Gotham – The Balloonman Review
"Up, up and down they go. "
Ah Gotham City, the city filled with thieving children of the future, exploiting cops, the LA Noir-ish detectives, and falling men. The third installment of Gotham brings out the first vigilante with a unique form of punishment. Using the same pattern as the last episode, I have come to accept that the pace and order of scenes are here to stay. Every episode from here on out is going to unravel the plots of each character little by little. Gordon, Mooney and the Cobblepot being the common stars of Gotham will most likely premiere in every episode with more than one scene each.
The vigilante Balloonman takes the award for best part of the episode. Davis Lamond (Dan Bakkedahl) was once a sweet man, until the injustices of Gotham made him snap. Targeting the men who wouldn’t get a day in court, he attaches them to a weather balloon and sends them up to the skies. Great thing about this unique way of punishment is that these men have plenty of time to really think about their wrong doings. The Balloonman, criminal as he was labeled, did have mercy, since the men died before hitting the ground. Bad part of the punishment, although, is the poor old lady who unfortunately got squashed when the balloon finally popped. For someone who is trying to do the right thing for Gotham, he probably didn’t know about the consequences of his actions or stopped caring.
Of course I couldn’t help noticing that the Balloonman had a bigger purpose in this episode. He planted the seed in young Bruce Wayne’s mind. Bruce, who obviously has an interest in the news, watched him being called a vigilante and by the look on his face seemed to agree with the idea. He is keen on the concept of a vigilante but, of course, who doesn’t kill. The show is most certainly beginning to drop bread crumbs that will lead to the future Bruce Wayne, but it is a little early in the season for that.
Following the pattern of the show, Mooney and Falcone are in a game of hot potato with revenge being the potato. In this episode Mooney is the clear winner after causing a little accident to Falcone’s lady. It is an eye for an eye with these two. Maybe the next episode will bring a change in the playground and they will find another thing to fight about. Unfortunately, Falcone hasn’t found the culprit so this is bound to come back around.
Then, continuing the pattern is Cobblepot. He certainly got smarter and stronger quickly, since he came back to Gotham. It might just be me but I was left wondering what happened to the man he kidnapped for ransom. He didn’t get any money for him because it is clear that he is broke in this episode. So, why did he come back? There was no clue to his plans and all he did was kill to get a job. Truly there wasn’t an advancement in his character but his newly relationship with Maloni. Although, I should point out that his run-in with the other mob leader was purely fortunate. He doesn’t sound smarter or look stronger in this episode and even though he is more open to kill, he is still cowardice.
This episode, also, brought more progress to Barbara Kean (Erin Richards), Detectives Allen (Andrew Stewart-Jones) and Montoya (Victoria Caragena). From the beginning of the show these characters never brought anything to the table. They still don’t but the episode shed some light on their vague motives. While Montoya and Allen are trying to bring down the police department, Montoya has a bigger reason for it. Her sexual tension with Barbara has shown that all she wants to do is bring down Gordon and win back the girl. In my opinion these two characters are playing the antagonists for our protagonist Gordon. They are out to label him a corrupted detective without really investigating. As they get closer to figuring out what happened-but-didn’t-happen to Cobblepot, hell will be raining down on Gordon. The detectives’ mission can only end in two ways: they find out Cobblepot is still alive or pin his fake death on Gordon. Whichever way it ends, Gordon will find himself in problems.
Although the characters of Gotham are beginning to push forward in their plots, I still haven’t received the main purpose of watching the show. As a fan of the villains, I haven’t gotten a concrete villain. In the Selina Kyle episode they were on the right track with the Dollmaker but even that wasn’t followed through. A real bad guy that even Gordon can’t defeat is what the show continues to lack. This week’s vigilante is not the kind of bad guy I was looking forward to seeing.
• This war that Cobbolepot continues to refer to is still unclear.
• While it is still too early, Bruce Wayne has learned the concept of a vigilante.
• Bullock has the capability to be a great detective especially with his skills of searching for suspects.
• Alfred has shown more personality and isn't as serious as his tone of voice has me to believe.