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Gotham – S1E3 – The Balloonman

Previously, on Gotham: “Selina Kyle

Gotham | Balloon


Gordon and Bullock investigate a strange vigilantly taking justice to the streets and to the sky. The Penguin is back in town and he is hungry from power and some tuna. Mooney is still scheming on how to take down Falcone while Montoya and Allen are going to try to pin Oswald’s disappearance on Gordon.

In this episode of Gotham. foreshadowing is the word of the day, and the city introduces us to our first vigilantly. Look! Up in the sky. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No… it is a man tied up to a big, silver balloon screaming for his life as he gets further and further away. Although it was not Batman, it was a man who looked like “Professor Pyg” but was seeking justice for the little guy. In a normal world, a person taking justice into his or her own hands, killing criminals, would be completely rejected and taboo, but in Gotham, the general public is hungry for justice, and they don’t care how they get it. This sets the stage, preparing the city for what is to come (without the killing… unless Mr. Snider becomes the show runner) and how it will deal with a man in a mask.

Gotham | Cobblepot

What worked
  • The best parts of this episode were the ones with Mr. Cobblepot in them. Penguin has returned to Gotham City. He’s hungry for retribution and power. After his last venture into trying to be a criminal mastermind went poorly, he decided to take a more subtle approach by “cutting a b$#%” for trying to turn him in and procuring a new pair of shoes, so he could get a job in a nice family Italian restaurant. The restaurant is run by a mob boss named Salvatore Maroni (David Zayas), who is Gotham City’s number two in the criminal business and is only surpassed by Carmine Falcone. Maroni sees Cobblepot as an echo of his past self and befriends him. This might be the making of a beautiful friendship.
  • Another piece to the episode that I felt worked well, or at least was interesting, was the vigilante and how he would serve out his justice. Granted, it was a little farfetched, but hey, this is a comic book TV show of sorts, and they are allowed to stretch things a little. The financier, the cop, and the priest all had to have had a bowel movement seeing the streets get further and further away; this gives a whole new meaning to having a “come to Jesus meeting!” They could meet him where HE lives, seeing as to how all these guys were literally ascending to the skies. It was also morbidly comical to see the frozen body fall from the sky and hit the little old lady walking her dog across the street. I am sure she wished she had a boy scout right about now.
  • Selina is always a good thing. We cannot get enough of her peeping tom ways.

Gotham | Selina

What did not work
  • The dialogue is again clumsy and forced at times; specifically, the scene with Mooney, Det. Allen, and Montoya, as well as the scene with Gordon and Bullock when they talk about Montoya confronting Gordon about Cobblepot’s disappearance. I feel the crew is still trying to figure themselves out, as well as the writers.
  • OK, we get that Mooney wants to take over for Falcone in the near future. We get that she hates him for beating her man in front of her and putting her in her place. We get that Falcone knows Mooney has betrayed him and the showrunners want you to know without a reasonable doubt that this is going to come to a head at the end of the season, but enough! We get it, and now let’s move on. No need to see Falcone come over to Mooney’s place again for a fourth episode and kiss her head and tell her how much he appreciates her loyalty.
  • Montoya, Allen, and Gordon… again! Oh, and shocker, jealous Montoya and Barbara again. No more, please. As with the Mooney/Falcone thing, let’s keep the show moving, shall we, folks?
  • The show begins with Oswald stepping off a bus into a city in need of some serious police work. Crime has run amuck and yet people still seem to wander the streets, as if they were in Times Square on a Sunday afternoon. All Penguin has to say is “home” with a smile, and we are off and running.
  • Gotham | The BalloonmanNext, we get to see a news broadcast in which a business financier, Ronald Danzer, is free after stealing billions from the not-so-one-percenter’s out of their retirements with some sort of Ponzi scam. As he attempts to get out of his hotel inconspicuously, he is approached by a guy selling balloons. He seemed safe enough with his pig mask and all, but you know Gotham; strange things happen when guys and masks come at you. My advice… run! Anyway, guy in the mask approaches Danzer and asks him if he would like a balloon. Danzer, of course, says no. Pig mask guy does not like that answer and handcuffs him to the biggest balloon he has and off he goes into the wild blue yonder. But as we know from Mr. Newton, what goes up, most come down.
  • Gordon and Bullock are investigating the incident. Well, Gordon is; Bullock is going to get a Danish.
  • Next, we get to a new character. It is Lt. Bill Cranston who loves to use his trophies as interrogation techniques. Lends a whole new meaning to everyone gets a trophy.
  • Gordon and Bullock, back from getting his Danish, debate on the finer points in police work and who deserves to have their murders investigated. The bad guys or the really bad guys? As the debate continues, Selina is brought into the station and custody is given over to Gordon to help him on the Wayne case. Bullock is not too happy with Gordon putting more effort into more closed cases. Gordon ignores Bullock and takes Selina to Crime Alley where the Waynes were killed to try to get a better sense of what she saw. She tells him that she saw the killer with his mask off due to her being able to see in the dark. She is a cat you know. As Gordon follows Selina’s clues into the sewer. As he finds the wallet she stole prior to seeing the Wayne’s get killed. As he is discovering more interesting in smells, Selina gets away and is lose to prowl another day.
  • Next scene has us at Mooney’s place as Det. Montoya and Allen stool in. They are looking for Cobblepot who was their source during the Wayne murder investigation. Mooney vehemently denies killing Oswald and instead points the finger at Gordon as the dirty cop who kill Oswald for Falcone. Funny how all investigations seems to run through Mooney.
  • Speaking of Oswald, we now see him counting his $.85 in his hand as he looks at a food truck across the street. Figuring he does not have enough money to get a sandwich, he pulls a knife looking to do some bartering with the vender. Just then a man approaches Cobblepot from behind, recognizes him and tell he that his is supposed to be dead and Mooney would pay big money if he turned him in. Oswald struggles to no avail. So he pops out his handy dandy pocketknife and goes to work. Now he has $100 to add to his $.85. I think he has enough now to buy that tuna sandwich.
  • Now we are at the Wayne manor watching Bruce and Alfred get their “Water Dancing” on and discussing Bruce’s detective skills.
  • While back in the precinct, Allen and Montoya try confront Gordon about Cobblepot’s disappearance. It does not go well.
  • Next Oswald is trying to get a job at an Italian restaurant but is turned down due to not having the right kind of shoes. Or at least that is how Oswald heard it. He sure was looking pretty hard at the dishwasher guy’s shoes.
  • Bullock tells Gordon he found a guy who knows about the weather balloons the pig mask guy used the float the bad guy away. They discover there are 3 other balloons out there and they need to find the pig guy fast.
  • Poor guy. I knew Penguin was up to no good. But I guess everyone needs a good pair of shoes. That will show him when a stranger asks what shoe size you wear.
  • Next scene is Gordon and Bullock interrogating the owner of a balloon store who’s former employee stole some weather balloons.
  • Next scene is Lt. Cranston stealing from other criminals when he meets the pig man. It takes some effort but Lt. Cranston is now going to each see the city in a whole new perspective and without Sgt. Obrian.
  • Gotham | Gordon and BullockThe next scene is Alfred and Bruce debate the finer points in breakfast and a why it is the most important meal of the day.
  • Now we see Gordon putting on his clothes “Men in Black” style and almost going to have breakfast with his spouse. The best line of the episode is used when Gordon talks about different people getting different services in the city, “Everyone has to matter or nobody matters. Otherwise people lose faith. And that is when you get vigilantes.”
  • Next we have Gordon, Bullock and Capt. Essen watching a Morgan Freemen look-a-like in “Clean and Sober” talking about how the Balloon-Man is going to get criminals. Then they update Capt. Essen about the case.
  • Our next adventure finds Bullock chatting up prostitutes, beating up what probably was a dirty informant, and getting his lunch.
  • Next scene we see Oswald with some new shoes working that dishwasher job. That pesky penguin. Oh and we also find out that the restaurant is frequented by Gotham’s number two crime lord.
  • Gordon and Bullock find the guy who stole the balloons. But not without getting tossed around like a rag doll by an Amazon woman. Second best scene with the exception of Bullock punching a woman in the face. I think it is way too early for that to be ok… if ever.
  • Next, Moony is talking to her boy toy that Falcone beat up. During the conversation Moony determines her boy has “lost his spine” and orders one of her hitch men to be taken care of.
  • Gotham | BarbaraBarbara is coming down the stairs and creepy Montoya is in the living room. Montoya says she still had her key. She then tells Barbara that Gordon is dirty and that she can provide it. Barbara of course does not believe her and after Montoya gives her—friendship with a little side of somethin’, somethin’ kiss” Barbara asks her to leave.
  • Next scene Gordon and Bullock interrogate the guy who stole the balloons. He gives them all the information he has about the guy who bought the balloons. Also schooled them on the finer points of how weather balloons work. Never a good thing to be in the scene right after this one. Look up girl! After the mess on the street (at least the dog was ok), the cops determine that Davis Lamon, a Juvenile worker, is the killer/vigilantly after finding evidence on the dead victim.
  • Maroni introduces himself to Oswald. Maroni proceeds to see similarities in on how he was brought up from nothing and seems to take Cobblepot under his wing.
  • Gordon and Bullock find the missing balloon and the vigilantly. Bullock gets into his second fight of the night, which ends after Bullock shoots down the last balloon with Lamon and Gordon still attached.
  • Next scene has Mooney and Falcone sharing words both attempting to find out what the others next move will be.
  • Gordon talks to Lamon one last time attempting to get who his final target was going to be. Gordon also tells Lamon that you always have to stay on the right side of the law. That’s why the laws are there. Lamon tells him that the cops are too late and had their chance to clean up Gotham. More vigilantes will follow his example. Lamon says he’s just the beginning. And as we all know… he speaks the truth!
  • Bruce and Alfred discuss what makes a person seeking justice a criminal.
  • The last scene is of Gordon and Barbara talking about how the city is beyond repair and how people cannot take the law into their own hands. As they continue to talk, there is a knock at the door. Guess who is coming to dinner? Everyone’s friendly neighborhood Penguin!
About Michael James (88 Articles)
An Air Force brat and former bluesuiter, Michael was raised all over the country, but calls the southwest his home… although you would not know it since he currently resides in the nation’s capital! (For now…?) He is also a reformed government black suit and tie guy who now gives back to the world one child at a time as a child therapist. He was brought up on Star Trek NG, Buck Rogers and old BSG TV shows and he loves most things Geek (TV: GoT, BSG, Fringe, Walking Dead; Comics: Image, DC, Marvel; Movies: Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, Serenity, The Avengers, Man of Steel (I know!), Pacific Rim, and Edge of Tomorrow. His perfect time would be traipsing around the world with his family and his two dogs, discovering and experiencing all kinds of ridiculous adventures. Too bad he doesn’t have William Bell money!

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