Skip to main content

Gotham Review (S1E9): 'Harvey Dent'



At this point we know Gotham is short on subtlety and big on world building. Character development? The jury is still out on that one but the titular character in 'Harvey Dent' could have been blended in better but was too busy playing to the back of the theater. Some critics complain about overacting on the show and it's true to some extent but Nicholas D'Agosto wasted no time smirking his way to virtual self-parody.


Yet the episode proved to be more restrained than usual because the crime-of-the-week actually tied into the overarching mob war between Fish Mooney and Carmine Falcone. During a transfer from Blackgate Penitentiary, Ian Hargrove, a convicted bomber, is sprung from custody and taken hostage by Mooney-funded Russians.  He's forced to build bombs so they can be used against Falcone's places of interest. One of those interests is an armory he has a stake in but Hargrove secretly hides a nameplate in one of his bombs in the hopes it will lead the authorities back to where he is. Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock do exactly that but are unable to retrieve Hargrove. Then the show finds some depth and conviction.

The detectives interview Hargrove's brother and find out that he isn't the 'urban terrorist' he's been made out to be. In fact Hargrove's brother explains that his brother is sick and requires proper attention not found in the prison system. He was blowing up warehouses that held weapons or ammunition and never intended anyone to get hurt. Suddenly, the perp of the week represented more than just a distraction or plot device, the mentally ill man was truly misunderstood and misplaced and served as an opportunity to make a statement. It was voiced by Gordon to the mayor that the prison was ill-equipped to manage the mentally ill. It was sharp criticism about society's indifference to mentally damaged people that incarcerates them without addressing the illness that created them in the first place. It doesn't have to be the criminally insane, as the mayor called them when he ultimately decided to move them to Arkham and away from Blackgate, in real life the mentally ill are treated less than human. It was an unexpected argument made by the show that actually handled it well and without contrivance. 

In the end Hargrove was a chess piece of Mooney's to destabilize Falcone's infrastructure.  Her plan to have Hargrove blow up the walls of a vault go south but she relishes the fact that it cuts away at Falcone ever so slightly. In no worry to destroy Falcone all at once but bit by bit until she can smoothly transition herself into power. It's this time of storytelling that the show needs and not so much the next comic book character to make an appearance or unrelated crime-of-the-week procedural. There is plenty of drama and action to be had with the multitude of characters already introduced. 

Cobblepot for instance is the other villain on the show that is thoroughly compelling as he maneuvers his way like a snake in the struggle for control of the underworld in Gotham. His suspicions lead him to break into Liza's apartment and look for clues. It's one of two wonderfully shot scenes in her room that project a sense of dread especially as Cobblepot searches around. The tension rises when Liza returns and finds him waiting for her. The scene is fraught with suspense because Robin Lord Taylor as Cobblepot is one of the wildcards on the show. You never quite know what he'll do next. 

Selina Kyle has taken residence at Wayne Manor thanks to Gordon who's stashing her there because she's an eye witness to the Waynes' murder. This gives both David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova a chance to finally play off one another. It doesn't start smoothly, instead there's an awkwardness between but that might be intentional. The street-smart girl who looks out for herself and the pampered orphan who's training to be a badass have a good chemistry that balances each other out. Lil Bruce wants to learn to fight and that new wrinkle in his relationship with Alfred as his trainer has really helped that previously unconvincing relationship. However, Selina "my friends call me Cat" brings him back to earth explaining that on the street you don't fight with gloves. Some much-needed advice that Bruce will obviously take to heart. And their scenes of playfulness and childish exuberance are a welcoming ray of light in what's been a deadly serious life so far in Wayne Manor. Something Alfred takes notice of and resists the urge to reprimand the kids for playing in the house. 

Lastly, Barbara runs back in the arms of Montoya. Perhaps she couldn't resist the attraction of her former lover but the reason she left in the first place makes that development nonsensical. 

Oh well, the next episode, the Fall Finale looks like a doozy. Check out the preview below:



Gotham 1x10 "LoveCraft" (Fall Finale) - Following a misstep, Gordon is reassigned to duty at Arkham Asylum. Meanwhile, Selina (Camren Bicondova) leads a new friend on a perilous journey through Gotham to evade the assassins after her

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Best Comics of 2017

It's that time of year again. What comics site is complete without an obligatory "Best of 2017" list? No doubt it's been a crazy year in so many ways and the comic book industry is no different. But instead of concentrating on the scandals and controversies all that matters is the fruit of so many talented peoples' labor who've produced some amazing stories. These are just some of the best independent comics of 2017.


DISCLAIMER: [Editor's Note] Spartantown relies on the generosity of independent comic book publishers to provide review copies in order to post reviews. Thanks to companies like Image Comics, Valiant Entertainment, Archie Comics, Dynamite Comics, Black Mask Studios, Action Lab, and occasionally others, I've had access to some wonderful stories that otherwise I would have missed. I don't get review copies from mainstream publishers like DC Comics and Marvel so this "Best of..." list is far from comprehensive but a good sample …

REVIEW: 'Port of Earth' #3 by Zack Kaplan, Andrea Mutti, and Vladimir Popov

The hunt continues for a deadly rogue alien accused of killing a human. ESA agents Rice and McIntyre abide by different rules which make this pursuit a tense, precarious affair. A city on shut-down, a cop with a hair-trigger, and a showdown that could alter intergalactic diplomacy forever.


PORT OF EARTH #3 
Writer: Zack Kaplan Artist: Andrea Mutti Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: January 10, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
'Port of Earth' continues to evolve from a savvy sci-fi premise to a thrilling cop drama to a thought-provoking commentary on American worker displacement and the otherness of aliens as an allegory for immigrants. It's not heavy-handed mind you but there are layers to Zack Kaplan's story. When you consider the seismic change an alien technology that helps turn water into an efficient and powerful energy source would have on the planet it's inevitable that it would set off a societal chain reaction. Especially for those displaced by…

Fred Van Lente & CAFU Decode ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1

Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…

NYCC: Dynamite's Next 25-Cent Revival is 'Dejah Thoris' with Amy Chu

The Princess of Mars is set to return to her throne this January, as Dynamite Entertainment announces the relaunch of one of their most beloved characters, Dejah Thoris. Writer Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, Red Sonja, KISS) will bring the strong, iconic character back to the comics in the debut issue Dejah Thoris #0, which will retail for 25 cents and allow fans to join the adventure at this introductory price.


This replicates the outstanding debut of Sheena #0, which broke 120,000 sales. Retailers can confidently stock their shelves with extra copies of this red-hot new series.

This exciting prequel to Edgar Rice Burroughs' beloved book, A Princess of Mars, will delve into the untold story of the classic Red Martian princess!  After learning of the legendary Gardens of Mars from her grandfather, Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, sets off on a dangerous scientific expedition to save her dying planet. But things don't go the way she planned when she encounters a mysterious Green Martian…

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …