Review: Gotham 1.03 – “The Balloonman”

I’ve been trying to root for Gotham and give it the benefit of the doubt while it finds it’s footing, and for episode 3, I think it finally succeeds. We have a vigilante “Balloonman” who keeps terrorizing the crooks of Gotham by tying them to weather balloons and letting them just lift off. Ingenius, no? If only the Balloonman had a fun catchphrase or outlandish costume. Alas…

SPOILERS BELOW

Detectives Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock are on the case. Harvey isn’t that interested in figuring things out because he thinks the victims, which include a ponzi schemer (Clark Middelton), a crooked cop (James Colby), and a “diddly” priest, deserve what they got. But, white knight Jim isn’t going to just let this go. He also is still holding onto finding the real murderer of the Waynes.

Gotham_103_TheaterDistrictAlley_2120_previewSelina Kyle has been manipulating Jim with the true information. Jim tells her juvenile worker (Dan Bakkedahl) that she won’t be sent upstate because she has evidence on a case. Selina takes Jim to the alley and doesn’t really explain much. But she does get Jim to go down into the sewer where she dropped a wallet she stole, confirming her place at the scene, but not before giving Jim the slip and escaping. Does anyone else think Selina has the face of, like, a 30 year old? There is just something about her…

Over at Fish Mooney’s place, officers Montoya and Allen come in, questioning her about lovable Oswald Cobblepot. She tells them it was Jim who killed Oswald and implies that Carmine Falcone gave the order. Very fishy, Fish! And I am loving her accent. More accent please!

Gotham_103_FishMooney_s_3825_previewBack at the station, Montoya and Allen confront Jim about Cobblepot and Falcone, and Jim gets all pissed and storms off. Montoya and Allen are very obnoxious and smug. Can’t they see that Jim is clearly a good guy through and through? C’mon! Jim tells Harvey what happened, and Harvey tells him to let it all go already. But Jim can’t. It’s like he is addicted to justice and finding the truth. Meanwhile, the city of Gotham freaks out about the Balloon Man.

They eventually trace the balloons to a weather balloon salesman (James Georgiades), who tells them his employer stole a bunch of his balloons. They track the employer (Jonesy) down. He tries to run, but is caught. He tells them it wasn’t him and explains how weather balloons work, because apparently no one in Gotham knows that weather balloons eventually pop in the sky, so the bodies will come back down. And sure enough they do. Crooked cop, Cranston, falls down dead from the sky right onto an old lady and her dog. Poor dog.

Gotham_103_GCPD_2963_previewSo, who is the Balloon Man? Jim Gordon knows. After finding a paper on the body of Cranston, he is able to deduce it was David Lamond, the juvenile worker who brough in Selina Kyle. Okay, so random! Jim and Harvey catch him after a fight, of course. The Balloonman promises there will be more like him, but Jim promises him that he will be good and do his job.

In another plot, at Wayne Manor, Bruce and Alfred spar with swords, though Bruce is reluctant. Alfred is weirdly aggressive and mean and there is something about him I don’t trust. He finds Bruce in possession of the police files for the Waynes murders. Bruce wants to find the killer himself. Later, while watching a report on the Balloon Man, the reporter asks, who will defend the people of Gotham? Bruce twiddles his thumbs. HE WILL, HE WILL.

Gotham_103_FishMooney_s_3799_previewFish’s boytoy, Lazlo (Michelangelo Milano), who was beat up by Falcone last week, is bringing Fish down, so she has one of her lackey’s (Mario D’Leon) take care of him, as well as cause an “accident” for Falcone’s current girlfriend. When Falcone pays her a visit, she blames it on rival crime boss Sal Maroni (David Zayas). These two are playing a dangerous game.

For a second I forgot that Barbara Kean was on the show, but she makes some rather odd appearances. Firstly, she gives hardened Jim a pep talk about sticking it out. I was distracted by the beautiful giant clock window, so I didn’t really listen to what she was blabbing on about. Secondly, she gets a visit from her former lover, lesbian cop Montoya!  Montoya apparently still has a key and let herself in. Stalker Warning #1. She continues to bash Jim, telling Barb that he is a killer and lying to her. Stalker Warning #2. WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? Barb is also apparently high and smoking weed. Okay? Totally out of left field. And then Montoya tries to kiss Barbara. Stalker Warning #3. She needs to back off. I’m all for lesbians, but Montoya is out of bounds here. Barb clearly knows that Jim is a good guy. Who would believe you Montoya? Weird.

Gotham_103_ItalianRestaurant_3375_previewAnd, meanwhile, the true star of the show, Oswald Cobblepot, aka Penguin, is back in Gotham. Throughout the episode, we follow him as he kills, eats tuna, gets a job, steals shoes, kills again, and finds his way into the sights of Don Maroni, the rvial to Falcone. Then, in a shocking turn, he shows up at Jim’s apartment. Oooh, what is going to happen next? Penguin is by far the most interesting character and bringing lots of life to the show in a fun way.

Gotham_103_GothamStreetAlley_3311_previewWhat did you guys think of the episode? I’m really pushing for it to get more fun and crazy instead of grim and gritty? I think any superhero based entertainment product should be fun! That’s why we love it! What is Penguin up to next? What is up with Montoya and Barbara’s past? And will Jim be able to cure the city of it’s sickness? Tune in next week!

Gotham airs on FOX, Mondays at 8/9c.

Facebook Comments

Post Author: Ben Fleck