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Gotham Season 1 Episode 3 – “The Balloonman”


Welcome back to the worst police force in the world. After three episodes it still seems like Jim is the only good cop on the force, even if he was not quite sure how a weather balloon worked. Even Montoya, who should be good, broke into Barbara Keane’s apartment. Yes, she had the key but nonetheless she came in uninvited while Barbara was in the shower. The closest runner up to Jim seems to be Allen but we know almost nothing about that guy. Poor Jim is stuck with a partner who only wants to go get Danish. Now on with the show!

We have to wait all of about a minute to find out what a villain with the name “the balloonman” would do. Honestly, I don’t know what I was expecting because handcuffing a awful human being to a balloon and watching them rise to the skies seems about all I could ask for in a balloonman. If you are picking up mocking in my tone, that’s because I thought this episode was leaning mostly to the ridiculous side. The previous two episodes, in my opinion, balanced the cartoony aspects with the gritty realism that we have come to expect from Gotham, thanks to the brilliant Christopher Nolan movies. This episode just seemed plain silly. I do have to give a nod to the Nolan-esque shot in the opening in which the balloonman walks away from the scene of the crime and the camera pans down as he drops his mask on the ground. The balloonman is a vigilante and is trying to rid the city of bad cops, “diddling priests”, and whatever the first guy, Danzer, did. I missed his crimes because I was in awe of the insanely old TV that the news was playing on and had to make a note “does everyone one in Gotham have the oldest TV’s in the world?” (Note, the answer is yes, even multi-millionaire heir Bruce Wayne) It turns out that the balloonman is actually the guy who takes care of the orphans but I didn’t really care.

I really want to talk about this whole Selina Kyle thing. At the end of Episode 2 she swore to us that she say plain as day the guy who shot the Wayne’s. She said that and then the episode ended. Then, at some point when the cameras went away, Selina got sent back to the home, rather than Jim just getting the information from her right away. Now, she is re-delivered to Jim (spoiler, by the balloonman) and he takes her back to the scene of the crime so she can, we assume, prove to Jim that she knows who killed the Waynes. Selina seems to think that she will get freedom if she tells Jim this important information, but instead of, oh, I don’t know, describing the guy, she sends Jim on a hunt for the wallet that she discarded in the pilot episode. He ends up in a pile of shit, literally and figuratively, because sneaky Cat is gone (for the rest of the episode). We still got more Selina Kyle in this episode than we did in the episode “called Selina Kyle”.

I am not emotionally prepared to speak about whatever nonsense they have brewing for this whole Montoya-Keane love affair. I am having trouble letting go of the Montoya I know and love and this Montoya who I am, at this point, merely tolerating. I would like to see Barbara go to work. I want to see this art gallery. Let her do something. Although I don’t blame her because she lives in what appears to be the greatest clock tower ever. Let Montoya do something other than accuse Jim of murders in front of Barbara. I am not giving up hope on Montoya becoming worthwhile and I will try to be patient.

I did not like this episode very much but there were some things I did enjoy about it. First off, I finally felt some love between Bruce and Alfred. The sword fighting scene was my favorite scene of the episode and I finally saw a softer side of Alfred. We see the nurturing, fatherly Alfred and the Bruce who one day becomes a great detective/vigilante. I also enjoyed meeting Maroni. I am interested in the mob aspect of this show and I hope that we get to see some good Falcone/Maroni showdowns. I also enjoyed pretty much everything with Oswald. I am not sure that he really NEEDS to kill everyone he comes across, but I get that he WANTS to. He really could not stay away from Gotham, no one can. Oswald has gotten himself a job in Maroni’s restaurant and has already met the big boss. He certainly wastes no time at all. I did perk up a bit when Barbara opened the door to Oswald. Any time someone opens a door in Gotham, something bad is probably going to happen. This time, it was Oswald standing there all penguin-like saying “Hello James, old friend”. I am hopeful that next week’s episode picks up right where this one left off.


  • I did not care for this episode that much but there is still plenty of potential for this show. We heard names like Arkham tonight and that is always promising! And Fish is still crazy!
  • The Pig mask made me think of a character in Grant Morrison’s run of Batman and Robin named Pyg. Pyg was a crazy character that put people’s faces on other people but he wore a pig mask that looked very similar to our own Mr. Balloonman. Trust me, it is as disturbing as it sounds.
  • I am so glad that the writers decided to do all the math for me so I never had to figure out what 4-2 equaled. Jim and Harvey BOTH answered that question for me and I could just sit back and relax and not have to figure out how many balloons were left. PHEW, it’s been a long day, I didn’t want to have to think at all.
  • Seriously, the oldest TVs ever.
  • That girl kicked Harvey’s ass and she was about to smash his face with the second oldest TV of the night but Jim is such a good guy that he could not let that happen. He caught his perp and stopped ass kicking lady from hurting Harvey. I think she should have maybe not lifted the second oldest TV in Gotham quite so high. It had to have slowed her face smashing response time (or FSRT™)

I wish I liked this episode more, especially because I deal with a co-worker who told me three times last week that Gotham was a “shitty show”. Sadly, this one was a miss for me but I choose to remain positive. I am not giving up hope.I, like Bruce Wayne, believe in Jim Gordon! Join me next week for #GothamAfterHours and Episode 4, “Arkham”. That’s right. Arkham. In the meantime, I’ll take comments and opinions and other stuff that is not rude! StephersRG




About stephersrg

I'm a total nerd for all things nerdy! . I would die without the cinema. And I collect things. Nerdy things. Comic book things. And comedy rules all life. I think people should be kind to each other. I am a dreamer.

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This entry was posted on October 6, 2014 by in Gotham, Reviews, Television and tagged , , , , , , , .
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