See our reviews of previous episodes here:

Episode One
Episode Two
Episode Three
Episode Four
Episode Five
Episode Six
Episode Seven
Episode Eight

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This week’s episode of “Gotham” did what it could to remind me why I thought this show was stagnant and stale for so long. All of the awesome fighting action of the last two episodes was absent, as was the high-stakes plot. This plot seemed unimportant, and at the end of the episode, I was pretty unsure as to what exactly any character accomplished that left them in a better position than they were at the beginning of the episode.

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The weak plot followed Gordon and Bullock on a hunt for a missing prisoner, known for his skill at making bombs. The bomb-maker turns out to be have been kidnapped during his transport to Blackgate, and the group who kidnaps him forces him to make bombs. His targets are all things that would hurt Falcone. Not that it’s much of a surprise, but it turns out the whole group was hired by Fish Mooney.

We don’t see very much action in this episode, just a few explosions, and so Jim and Bullock’s part is pretty uninteresting. Bullock is almost absent from the episode, while Gordon serves more as the exposition for Bruce’s part of the episode. Their case this weak was inconsequential. Though there were a few neat Riddler scenes, which was a highlight for me (I’m really getting to enjoy his character), the rest of the episode was pretty lacking.

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One of the highlights was Bruce’s story, which was just as interesting as last week’s. Alfred and Bruce agree to let Selina stay with them to stay safe and out of trouble. An infatuation strikes up between the kids, and we see Alfred get a few cool father moments in. This is the first time we see Bruce with a friend- Selina “Everyone calls me ‘Cat'” Kyle. The weird thing about this is that Selina (I refuse to call her ‘Cat’) sees Bruce training in boxing, as well as breath control. How is she supposed to be surprised when she finds out about Batman?

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Harvey “Everyone calls me ‘Cat'” Dent

This aside, there’s the matter of Harvey Dent, for whom the episode is named. His part in this episode is pretty unimportant, and the character feels rushed. In moments of seeing him, he’s already flipping his two-headed coin, in a bet with some teenage kid. If the kid calls it right, he can walk on some minor charge, but has to promise to get his life back on track. The kid calls heads, which Harvey later explains is because, “He’s a teenager, they always call ‘heads.'” I must be the exception to that rule. Either way, we don’t get much of a sense of his character, and so there’s nothing really to make this character feel like Harvey Dent except for the coin-flipping and some incredibly obvious shadowing that hid half of his face at times.

Penguin’s part of the episode was minimal as well, limited to sneaking into Mooney’s little spy-girl’s room to discover a garment that smelled like lilacs. Later in the episode he confronts Fish and discovers she smells like lilacs. Obviously, this means that the girl, who we never understand Penguin’s motives for initially suspecting, is working for Mooney. Penguin, of course, is right, despite the lack of any real evidence, and ensures that the girl knows that he knows her secret.

The episode ends with an unconvincingly sad Gordon trying to contact Barbara, who it turns out is back to dating Montoya. It is interesting that every female in this show is at least bisexual, but that’s whatever. My problem with it is that it’s the only defining aspect of Barbara’s character. She’s best defined by her complete uselessness throughout this show, but has served as a bland placeholder for a plot device on too many occasions. Adding in the fact that the Barbara Gordon that the character is based on in the comics is not bisexual, it’s too obvious that this was done for ratings and, again, for the convenience that comes with a bland plot device character.

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Overall, this episode was a disappointing chapter following two promising episodes. I’m still not fully sold on this show. I want to be, but every time I find something positive, it seems the writers find another way to let me down. Let’s bring back the tension and action of the last few episodes, ok?

Positives:
– Some fun Riddler scenes
– I did like that the bomber turned out to have good intentions
– Bruce, Selina, and Alfred had some great moments

Negatives:
– Overall bland and pointless plot
– Low energy, stakes, and excitement
– Harvey Dent is rushed

Overall:
5/10

What do you think? Was this episode all that bad, or are we being too harsh?

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