Gotham. Episode 3: The Balloonman

We first see The Penguin as he makes his much needed return to Gotham. But, let’s catch up with him later. We get probably the best opener so far this year, a guy attached to a giant balloon. Ronald Danzer, a politician involved in a “Ponzi Scheme” and hated by many in Gotham is attached to a big weather balloon by an unidentified attacker and lifted above Gotham. Detective Jim Gordon wants to investigate the attack, but his partner Bullock refuses, stating that Danzer got what he deserved Jim Gordon is very busy, he is also following a lead from Selina Kyle and follows her to the crime scene. He initially rejects the idea she witnessed the murder, but believes Selina when he finds a wallet she stole earlier that night. Detectives Montoya and Allen finally make themselves useful by going to Fish Mooney to see what happened to Oswald Cobblepot, but we already know. They also question Gordon, who tells them straight that he didn’t kill Oswald. Montoya also makes one last stop to see Jim’s fiancée Barbara as she tells Barbara that Jim killed Oswald and doesn’t believe his innocence. It is also revealed that Montoya and Barbara were once in a lesbian relationship, so maybe this could be a reason behind Montoya’s hatred towards Jim. While back in Gotham, Oswald is almost taken back to Fish Mooney by one of her thugs, but Oswald is not going to go without a fight and leaves the poor guy dead in a pool of his own blood. Later he gets a job at the restaurant (which is helped when he kills a worker who has the same shoe size as him) run by Don Sal Maroni, hoping to become part of his gang. Bruce Wayne is trying to adjust to life without his parents and has a sword fight with walking sticks with his butler. Alfred once again is shocked by Bruce when he finds that Master Wayne has obtained the crime file for the murder of his parents. So we have touched in with many of our regular characters, and then we get a corrupt cop go up for a balloon trip by the same culprit.

“The Balloonman gonna get ya” states one of the residents of Gotham. Gordon and Bullock investigate and are given the lead of Carl Smickers who used to work in the factory where the balloons were made. They go to the apartment of Carl and arrest him. Fish Mooney meanwhile is putting a hit on Falcone’s mistress Natalia. Also, the horrible fact that the balloons eventually pop brings the fear that people will start dropping from the sky. Gordon and Bullock then set out to find the real killer, but how will they react when they finally get to them? They find out the killer was social worker Davis Lamond who was willing to break the law to save the people. He was trying to help the children who could not be adopted and wants those involved who think they are above the law to suffer. While holding Bullock at gunpoint, his defence slips and Bullock attaches the killer to the balloon and lets him go, but Jim Gordon jumps onto Davis and forces Bullock to shoot the balloon down before they both ended up sky high. The news report the man more as a vigilante than a villain, stating who will be the hero for the city and this is watched by the pre-Batman Bruce Wayne. The day is saved; Jim Gordon is supported by Barbara even though he feels like he is slowly falling apart on the inside. Just as the episode comes to a close, Jim is visited by an old face, the one and only Mr Oswald Cobblepot.

So, let’s keep this bit short and sweet. The idea we have a vigilante rather than a villain as this week’s big bad is intriguing, the idea of the police not being the only law is a big inspiration for Bruce Wayne to make a difference. Though not given much time, Camren Bicondova is still a delight to see as the young Catwoman. Ben McKenzie is really becoming a torn character as Jim Gordon goes through much stress to try and clean Gotham of crime. It was nice to see a bit more of Erin Richards as Barbara this week and to learn a bit more about her past, hopefully this will come out more in the coming weeks. Fish Mooney is given a bit of a rest this week, but it was nice to finally see David Zayas as rival gang leader Sal Maroni and his chat with Oswald Cobblepot brings out a great truce which I expect to see build up later in the series. Finally once again the top actor is Robin Lord Taylor, his portrayal of Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot just gets better and better and I am glad that this week he was given more screen time and look to see him more in the future. My only real disappointment is with Harvey Bullock, Donal Logue is a great actor but his character just doesn’t seem to be learning quick enough that he needs to change his actions, but he needs to stop seeing Jim Gordon as his conscience and grow one of his own. A greatly acted episode, a very creative menace is finally given to us and I know there is so much still to come in this fantastic series.

Final Rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove.

Now here is a preview for Episode 4: Arkham. Remember to catch it on Channel 5 in the UK.

cobblepot balloonman

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