6:00pm PT by Graeme McMillan
'Gotham' Central: Five Questions About 'Harvey Dent'
Who saw that coming? Not the last-minute reveal about Barbara (We’ll get to that soon enough, though); I’m talking about the Selina/Bruce dynamic, which turned out to be — whisper it quietly, considering the dark nature of Gotham as a whole — fun.
While it was hardly a surprise that the two characters would eventually meet, given Selina’s early stalking of Bruce and her witnessing his parents’ murder (Not to mention that whole Batman/Catwoman thing), their scenes together were charming in a way that I didn’t see coming, balancing out what was otherwise a fairly dull episode in terms of this week’s case. For once, I wasn’t upset when we cut from Gordon and Bullock back to Wayne Manor, even if, as always, I was hoping to see more of Oswald Cobblepot causing trouble with his double-, triple- and quadruple-crossing ways.
While I’m still reeling from the fact that I find myself wanting to see even more of little smitten Bruce in next week’s episode, let’s distract ourselves by asking five questions about “Harvey Dent.”
Is Harvey Dent The Unluckiest Man in Gotham?
The foreshadowing about Harvey’s eventual fate was hard to miss as soon as Gotham’s favorite D.A. showed up: Look, there’s the coin toss (with a double-headed coin, to wit)! Look, he’s got a hidden dark side that showed itself when he’s talking to Lovecraft! Watching that outburst was a reminder that Dent is, in many ways, Gotham’s favorite son — the city, not the show; at least, not yet. “I want what you want, Jim,” he said earlier in the episode. “I want to make the world a better place.” And he believes that, too. The problem is that Dent, like so many others in Gotham, is corrupt in ways in which he doesn’t even recognize (Note that he’s already cheating on the coin toss), meaning that his definition of a “better place” is already suspect, even before he ends up being turned into a monster by bad luck, bad guys and a bad city…
Who is Ian Hargrove?
While the name doesn’t ring any comic book bells, there’re a couple of comic book villains who shared a modus operandi with this episode’s explosives expert. Perhaps he’ll eventually turn into Firefly, a pyrotechnic expert who has a history of torching parts of Gotham City before Batman stepped in to stop him. But, then again, Hargrove was more into blowing things up than simply setting fire to them, which might make him the Destroyer, a little-seen villain who came to attention after blowing up whole buildings to “restore” Gotham City to its former gothic grandeur. Except, of course, this guy doesn’t like hurting people… well, for now.
(Maybe more important about Hargrove’s story: we found out that Blackgate — a high security prison — is being used to house the mentally ill. That tied in with the ongoing story about Arkham Asylum, of course, giving the property an origin story far before Batman eventually got to donning his cape and cowl. But the property’s ownership is open to question right now, suggesting that the show might be setting up a future jailbreak of sorts in the future…)
Who is Dick Lovecraft?
Like Hargrove, his name isn’t part of Batman’s comic book mythology — although that last name certainly doesn’t lack for any meaning if you go outside of the comics. So who is Dick Lovecraft, really? Harvey Dent certainly feels convinced that he’s involved in the Wayne murders, enough to threaten him with conspiracy to commit 1st Degree Murder, which suggests that he’s very tightly connected with the crime families, but beyond that, it’s worth remembering what Lovecraft told Dent when he was threatened: “You have no idea who you’re even dealing with.” Was he talking about Falcone, Maroni and others, or himself? Is his last name some kind of foreshadowing for something supernatural to come? Surely not…
Barbara and Montoya? Together Again?
Two things about that last minute reveal about where Barbara’s gone: Firstly, for someone who left Gordon because she didn’t feel safe, staying in the city run by the man she’s terrified of and getting involved with another cop seems like an impressively bad idea. Secondly, I’m taking this as even more of a sign that Barbara Kean is actually going to turn out to be Gotham’s version of Kate Kane — the former girlfriend of Montoya in the comic books, and the character who ended up becoming the modern-day Batwoman. Come on, Gotham. You know you want to go there.
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