(NOTE: Gotham Central is a summary of the Fox drama ‘Gotham’ as well as anecdotes, ties from the comics, general notes, and fan rant. This will contain some spoilers from the listed episode.)
The Recap Page:
Gordon and Bullock bust up a white collar fight club headed by the Black Mask. Bruce Wayne returns to school but comes across a bully named Tommy Elliot. Fish Mooney continues to push her spy onto Carmine Falcone by any means necessary.
Gordon returns to his girlfriend’s/ex-girlfriend’s (?) apartment with Selina Kyle and finds the note Barbara left for him. Gordon wants Kyle to describe the Wayne murderer to a sketch artist but Selina is more concerned about where she’ll live. Gordon’s great idea is to put a known thief in with Bruce Wayne and Alfred. The young kids immediately strike up a friendly relationship though it’s clear Bruce may be smitten. Alfred, however, isn’t too thrilled about having a sticky fingered houseguest.
A plucky young counselor is plotting to use the information that there is a key eye witness in the Wayne murders for potential gain. Thomas Wayne’s adversary has seen his stocks rise since the murders, but some slight of hand and word of mouth might help solve the Wayne Murders. Or so the young counselor, Harvey Dent, seems to think.
Ian Hargrove, a notorious bombmaker, is being transported from Blackgate Penitentiary and is sprung out, ostensibly so he can use his skills for someone’s gain. Gordon and Bullock are on the trail and bring in Hargrove’s brother, who pleads with them that Ian is mentally unstable and felt like his previous bombings were because he felt he was doing good by them. He strikes again by building a bomb that is sent to the Gotham munitions factory.
The Penguin is up to some recon work and breaks in to the apartment of Mooney’s young lady, Liza. After raiding her shelf of scents he sees that she frequents a lilac smelling perfume. Penguin makes his way over to Mooney’s and after a sniff test confirms that she too wears lilac scented sprays.
Gordon and Bullock learn that Hargrove’s bomb was meant to get a more powerful explosive from the munitions factory. Trading explosives for explosives. Edward Nigma finds a metal name plate Hargrove left inside the bomb to help the cops track his location, which they easily do. Shootout ensues, bad guys escape with Hargrove.
Harvey Dent brings in Richard Lovecraft, the adversary to the recently deceased Thomas Wayne. After he tries the smoke and mirrors about the eyewitness they have, Lovecraft doesn’t buy it. Dent stays calm and collected until he suddenly snaps! And then returns to normal. He seems to be somewhat two-faced.
Edward Nigma tests out the more volatile compound and figures out that it is best suited to work through iron. Fish Mooney is the one behind getting Hargrove out of prison so she could get into the Gotham armory where Falcone keeps all of his money. The GCPD shows up right as they cut into the armory and apprehend Hargrove. The mayor then reopens Arkham Asylum after Gordon shares strong words with him that they simply send the mentally ill to prison instead of treating them.
Elsewise at the end, Penguin confronts Liza about her double crossing Falcone and Alfred sees the value in having young Selina Kyle around as she and master Bruce seem to be connecting.
It’s interesting that the showrunners would opt to bring in Harvey Dent so soon, but perhaps it is a good choice. Dent is always portrayed as a compliment to Batman as someone who originally wanted to do good but because of particular events takes on a different persona. The trajectory of the character on Gotham will be interesting to observe because one would imagine that he will get involved with the dealings of the Gotham crime families, which might lead to his transformation into the literal two-face.
The introduction of the character was very promising, and they even heightened expectations when they used some nifty shadow tricks when he was first discussing his plan to trap Lovecraft. After that, things fell apart when the actual scene with Lovecraft was limp and actor Nicholas D’Agosto turning to Dent’s dark side felt more looney than unhinged or dangerous. The character should get more play as the season goes on, so perhaps this was just a rough debut that will get better.
Why would anyone think it’s a good idea to put Selina Kyle at Wayne Manor? I understand this is probably the easiest way for the two characters to build a meaningful relationship, but the simple idea of a notorious pick pocket at a fancy mansion is dumb. The interface between the two pays off though, as that was the most interesting part of the episode. I’m not too sure about her acting as it doesn’t seem quite genuine, though the actor playing Bruce is hitting his stride.
Harvey Bullock spent a lot of time not wearing his trademark hat, again. Not really something that means anything, just something I noticed.
Enough with this stupid plot with Barbara, and I don’t even care that she was literally in bed with Montoya at the end. Every time they go back to that well I just tune out. It’s dumb.
It’s cool that they are re-opening Arkham Asylum, but I really hope they capitalize on that as location and a plot point. It is going to have to gain a lot of momentum though if they want to utilize it a lot as it’s typically portrayed, seeing as they just ‘re-opened’ it.
Why can’t we get more of Edward Nigma? His character is so quirky and weird, it’s perfect Edward Nigma! Give me more!
The villain of the week formula fired a blank this week, and ‘Harvey Dent’ limped to the finish. The main focus of the episode was very forgettable and didn’t seem to have much importance in the short or the long term. The parts that I wanted more of were the character moments like Selina palling around with Bruce and especially more of Edward Nigma. Largely it didn’t seem like the introduction of Hargrove had any importance except as the MacGuffin for Arkham Asylum being reopened, which in itself is somewhat intriguing.
The choice of actors for Harvey Dent seems okay, but his portrayal of the short fused white knight was off. Nicholas D’Agosto did well with the softer side of Harvey Dent that wants to do good, but when he snaps at Lovecraft and goes to his crazy side it felt somewhat campy and very forced. It was like Jada Pinkett channeled herself into D’Agosto for that one scene. Along with Dent not getting much airtime during this episode which was named after the character, a lot of things in this episode just acted the part of a red herring.
The individual elements of this episode sound awesome: a bomber who is mentally ill, Harvey Dent, and Selina Kyle shacking up at Wayne Manor. Almost every element of this episode just fell flat, from the short term threads with the villain of the week, to the overarching season long plotlines with Penguin or Fish Mooney. The Penguin character has built up a reputation as being creepy and conniving, now why don’t they just unleash him and let him be more than just a weasel. It just felt like the focus was again on the weaker elements that aren’t interesting.
“Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”