On Season 1 Episode 3 of Gotham, there is a vigilante on the loose–and it isn’t The Bat. Gordon has to figure out how to deal with this criminal who is becoming a hero of the people of Gotham. Check out Josh’s recap of the episode, titled The Balloonman, along with both Josh’s and Violet’s thoughts!
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Episode Recap of Gotham, Season 1 Episode 3: The Balloonman
Gotham opens up with a new villain. One that I am not familiar with anyway–The Balloonman. Apparently his M.O. is to tie a weather balloon to unsuspecting villains, and let them float away. But before that, Cobblepot has returned to Gotham. He seems happy to be home.
Then we see the Balloonman’s first victim, a financial man who swindled people out of money, and is out on bail. Apparently, the Balloonman could be a vigilante, like a familiar dark knight we know. The media is all over the scene, watching the crook float away.
Gordon and Bullock are on the scene investigating. Bullock isn’t too interested in solving this case given the victim’s criminal activities.
At the station, Selina Kyle is brought in, to talk to Gordon. Gordon and Selina head out to the murder scene of the Wayne’s. She describes the scene, and says she even saw the killer’s face. Gordon isn’t buying it, but Selina is able to provide proof–a wallet she dumped on the scene. Gordon heads into the sewer to retrieve it, and when he returns to the street, Selina has performed another escape.
Meanwhile, Mooney gets a visit from Major Crimes, Detectives Montoya and Allen. Mooney then rats out Gordon for killing Cobblepot. They ask for his motive, to which Mooney explains it must be Falcone’s order.
Speaking of Cobblepot, he runs into one of Moody’s men, who threatens to take him in. Penguin spouts some end of the world nonsense, then shanks the thug–accruing some much needed cash.
He then heads to find a job at a restaurant. He decides to get the right uniform, to which another murder is required–an employee of the restaurant.
Cobblepot gets a job at the Italian Restaurant he was hoping for. Don Maroni, an apparent important figure, owns the restaurant, seeming to be the reason Cobblepot was interested in this job.
Maroni talks with Cobblepot. Maroni tells him to keep working hard to make something of himself.
Back at Wayne Manor, the Dark Knight in training is fencing with canes against Alfred. Bruce gets a little aggravated, but calms down. Alfred finds some police files about Bruce Wayne’s parents. Alfred asks him why he has them, and Bruce says he is looking into them. Alfred isn’t happy about him looking at these, telling Bruce to leave it to Gordon.
Back at the station, Allen pays a visit to Gordon, and asks him about Cobblepot’s murder. Gordon tells them he’s innocent, but they aren’t believing it.
Returning to the balloon case, a balloon maker comes in saying that his balloons were being used in the murder. He says a former employee stole the balloons. Apparently this former employee stolen 4 balloons. Then we meet the next victim–Lieutenant Cranston–the “rough and tough” cop Gordon met earlier in the episode. He floats away the same as the first victim.
At Wayne Manor, Bruce finds a newspaper article about the Balloonman. Bruce seems to be on a hunger strike, and Alfred tries to talk sense into him.
Gordon returns home, and Barbara is worried about Gordon. Gordon is unhappy that people aren’t caring about criminals until someone important is killed.
Gordon’s and Bullock’s boss is unhappy that the Balloonman hasn’t been caught yet. Bullock and Gordon hit the streets, looking for their suspect. Bullock finds the suspect, and after a scuffle, makes the arrest.
Bullock and Gordon interrogate the ex-balloon employee, and he swears that he sold the balloons to pay off some loan sharks. The suspect tells Gordon and Bullock that the bodies will return to the ground–when the balloons pop. They find the bodies on the ground, and one of the victim’s has a document with Gordon’s name. Somehow this makes Gordon realize who the Balloonman is. Meanwhile, another victim has been “ballooned” — a pedophile priest.
Back with Mooney, Laslow, one of her men, is getting nervous about Falcone roughing him up some more. Mooney orders his death for, “bringing down the mood”.
Mooney then meets with Falcone, and Mooney asks about Falcone’s new girl who was recently beaten (by Mooney’s men). Falcone, not sure who did it, promises who ever did will pay.
Montoya pays a visit to Barbara at home, and it looks like they have had a romantic past. Also, Barbara is a bit of a dabbler in the illegal drugs. Montoya then tells Barbara that Gordon killed Cobblepot. Barbara doesn’t believe it. Montoya goes in for a kiss, but Barbara tells her to leave.
At the station, Lamon, the person in charge of the juvenile detention center, seems to be the new suspect. Gordon is able to think of a spot the man may be hiding. Bullock and Gordon see the last weather balloon, and move in to search the area. Bullock gets caught by surprise, and Lamon pleads his case, saying the law is insufficient, because of the corruption in the city.
Bullock hooks the balloon to Lamon, but Gordon jumps and grabs onto Lamon, floating with him. Gordon screams for Bullock to shoot the balloon, and he hesitates, but finally does to save Gordon.
Lamon is severely injured, and Gordon asks who the last target was for the last balloon.
On the news, Bruce Wayne watched the news story of the Balloonman’s arrest. Bruce Wayne calls the Balloonman a criminal for killing people too.
Returning home, Barbara is relieved that Gordon is okay. Gordon says that the Balloonman’s last target was anyone with power, because of how corrupt Gotham has become. Barbara asks him if he could ever do what these corrupt people would, and Gordon says he couldn’t. Barbara and Gordon get a visitor, and who is it? Mr. Cobblepot himself.
Josh’s Thoughts: Gotham, Season 1 Episode 3: The Balloonman
So I might be coming around on Gotham I think. I have been harsh on the show so far, because of how much it has seemingly strayed from the lore that we know. For die-hard comic fans, I think people that are worried about the story straying from the “true” history of Batman and Gotham will be disappointed in this show.
But, I am trying to open my mind and accept this new take on Gotham, and the eventual creation of the Dark Knight. This episode was pretty enjoyable if you take it for its merits. We have a vigilante who is winning the city over, and Gordon feeling alone in the fact that this guy is not above the law. This is certainly an ode to the relationship Batman and Gordon have later, and a precursor to how Gordon’s view may change on the whole “Vigilante” thing.
I really am liking Bullock’s character as well. He is a great flipside to Gordon. It is pretty interesting seeing the Yin and Yang relationship Bullock and Gordon have.
I am getting a little curious about Penguin/Cobblepot’s plans. He certainly is looking to move up in the crime lord world. But why would he show up on Gordon’s doorstep? My best guess is that Cobblepot still wants to pit these gangs against each other. I think Cobblepot is hoping to create a power vacuum, which will allow him to swoop in and take control. Gordon will likely have his hands full with Cobblepot once Cobblepot’s plan is executed–whatever that plan may be.
The one problem I had with this problem was the weird Montoya/Barbara relationship the show shoe-horned in. I feel like that was simply put in for the surprise-factor. I have no problem with same-sex relationships, but the way this was done, it was clearly to try to get the audience react, especially when Montoya moves in for the kiss. This also sets up what I really despise in most television shows–love triangles. Those are the most boring, annoying tropes used, and I do not feel it belongs in Gotham, whether it’s a straight couple or same-sex. I really just am not a fan of weird, secret love triangles with one character quietly trying to steal their ex back.
But overall, still a good episode. I look forward to next week!
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 1 Episode 3 of Gotham: The Balloonman
I was okay with this episode, but I’m still not entirely drawn in by Gotham yet. I’m just not very excited by it yet, I guess, though I can see that they are trying to lay the groundwork for more to come in the future. The question is, how long are they going to take laying said groundwork before it starts to get really good?
I was surprised to see Cobblepot back so soon. I thought he would continue terrorizing citizens outside of Gotham for awhile, plus I figured he knew he was a dead man if he came back to Gotham. But I guess that wouldn’t fit very well with the show, if one of its main characters were to set up shop outside of the city. Considering that the show is called Gotham, it follows that everything should take place in Gotham. Quite clever of Cobblepot to keep his return under wraps by working at the restaurant of Maroni, the Don of the mob competing against Falcone’s mob for control of the city. And it was nice to see Batista (from Dexter)! I hope we get to see more of him. I really like David Zayas as an actor. Anyway, looks like we’ll get some mob wars going on, eventually.
I don’t know if I like this whole idea of seeing not only Bruce Wayne, but also Selina Kyle, start off as kids and grow into the people we know them as. Kids can be annoying, and I found Selina Kyle to be so this episode.
Remember how I was saying that I felt the scenes between Gordon and Barbara to be really boring? Maybe it’s because they already have an established, seemingly solid relationship, so we don’t have the romance aspect there. Anyway, so I think the show realized that the audience might be bored with that, the female audience at least, and decided to throw in this lesbian relationship, that would appeal not only to females because we get this dramatic love triangle aspect to the show, but also to guys, because apparently straight guys like lesbians for some reason. Seems like a cheap shot. Either way, I don’t find myself interested in this storyline.
One thing I did find interesting in this episode was the mention of Arkham Asylum, and how it’s been shut down for years. Conveniently, the next episode is titled Arkham. This could be good. We’ll see!
Scenes from Gotham, Season 1 Episode 4: Arkham
Here are scenes from the next episode of Gotham, titled Arkham: