Friendship blooms in strange places. The unlikeliest of allies may turn out to be great buddies, complementary of each other’s styles and personalities. These friendships, I find are the most interesting to see develop which is why I was pleasantly surprised when Bruce made one of these of all people. For once, the highlight of an episode hasn’t been Gordon’s case or Penguin, it’s been from a character I started off hating. Suffice to say, Episode 9 of Gotham has improved over its predecessor. While Gordon’s case-of-the-week has only improved marginally and Penguin is still having a cool-off period after his part in Penguin’s Umbrella and the episodes leading up to it, Harvey Dent still manages to be just as entertaining as many of the other episodes of Gotham so far.
I’ll start with the case-of-the-week as I usually do. It wasn’t all that interesting and didn’t really have a villain let alone a good one but that’s still better than the previous episode where the villain’s motive was never even explained. The case centres around an expert in explosives called Ian Hargrove. Early into the episode, he’s kidnapped while being transported to Arkham Asylum by a group of Russians. What’s interesting about Ian is he’s made out to be the villain from the start, yet he’s really the victim. As his brother tells Jim and Bullock, he just needs help and was only sent to prison for blowing up munitions factories because he was against violence. This is reflected later on in the episode where Ian is forced to make bombs for the Russian’s own gain. It’s quite interesting that there wasn’t really a main villain in this episode but it also means the case doesn’t have much of a centre of focus and ends quite clumsily.
This story arc is also interlinked with Fish Mooney who still seems incredibly calm after her boyfriend was murdered by Maroni considering she lost her shit when her old boyfriend was simply beaten and even decided to take him out herself afterwards. If you hadn’t guessed yet, the group of Russians are Nikolai’s old goons and Fish was using them to get on Falcone’s nerves. Lisa, Fish’s secret agent also had a part in this episode along with Penguin. Penguin knows all about her and starts blackmailing her so Falcone doesn’t find out about her and have her killed. We’ve had plenty of showcases of Penguin’s ruthlessness in so far but what’s one more? It’s hard to get tired of watching Cobblepot.
Now, the best part of this episode was, as mentioned above, Bruce and his beginnings of a friendship with Selina Kyle(A.K.A Young Catwoman). Gordon pleads with Alfred to let her stay there as a witness and he reluctantly agrees. Bruce and Selina have a number of small interactions throughout the episode including an awesome, childish food fight. Maybe I was a bit harsh on David Mazouz before and it was due to the script he showed so little emotion. He’s been so uptight and emotionless since his parent’s deaths, even in his better episodes. Selina acts as a way for Bruce to embrace his childish side and I enjoyed seeing this other side of his personality. Despite having an episode named after herself, Selina Kyle, Selina hasn’t really showcased her personality when in a more relaxed environment. She constantly taunts and provokes Bruce(in a good way) foreshadowing their future relationship as Batman and Catwoman which is pretty nice. We also get a few hints towards where her parents are and they’re, of course, not good. Selina’s still in Wayne Manor at the end of the episode so hopefully we’ll see more of this in the future.
If you hadn’t guessed from the title the Harvey Dent, A.K.A Two Face also made an appearance in this episode. In fact, he wants to use Selina as a witness to cause Dick Lovecraft-who looks to be a new villain due to the fact that Dent says he thinks he has a part in the Wayne murders-to make a wrong move allowing Dent to take him down. Dent looks absolutely nothing like his comic counterpart unlike all the other Batman characters we’ve seen so far. I only knew it was him when Gordon referred to him as Dent and it showed him flipping a coin. Considering the episode is named after him, Dent doesn’t really have much to do with the episode, only appearing two or three times where he threatens Lovecraft like an insane idiot without any proof whatsoever. Smart move there Harv. Let’s hope he turns out to be more important in future episodes.
Easily the worst part of this episode was again, Barbara. She seems to change her mind as much as Katy Perry in the middle of the chorus of Hot N Cold. Gordon told her to stay away from Gotham for a while so he could deal with Falcone like a buffoon, she decided to come straight back and get captured by Zsasz, completely ruining Bullock’s and Gordon’s plan. NOW she decides to leave because she’s so scared of Zsasz and Falcone. What the fuck? If you could have just done that TWO episodes ago then Gordon might of got Falcone you insufferable fool! At the end of Penguin’s Umbrella, Barbara talks about how much she loves Jim. At the end of this episode, she’s back with MONTOYA! You’re telling me she can’t even stay faithful to her partner? She’s not just a moron, she’s also a massive bitch! Excuse the language but there are words a lot worse I’m tempted to use to describe her, and Montoya too for that matter.
Harvey Dent makes a less-than-graceful but nevertheless successful transition back to good Gotham episodes. While the case was uninteresting and part of me wants to punch Barbara Kean in the face as hard as possible, it’s the start of a recovery and hopefully Gotham will be right back into the swing of things next episode. Also, Nygma got some attention this episode and I absolutely loved him! “Do you play video games?”. YES Nygma! Yes, I do.