Gotham 1.03 Review: The Balloonman

gotham balloonman

Last night’s episode of Gotham featured one of the city’s first vigilantes and you guessed it, it wasn’t Batman.

When I heard the title “The Balloonman” I was almost sure that I had heard that name before in some Batman comic, but apparently he was created for the show specifically. The A-story of the episode was that there was a man going and hooking weather balloon to corrupt people’s arms or legs.

Even though Gotham is a procedural, this is a kind of procedural that I can get used to unlike Fox’s last genre procedural that was Almost Human. The thing that makes the show so enjoyable, despite that it’s a different case ever week, is that it always ties back to something that we have already been established to.

I had a few issues with this episode and to begin with, it was once again the lack of Selina Kyle who has become a character that I desperately want to see more of. In last week’s episode, she reveals to Gordon that she knew who killed the Waynes and what do we get this week? A two-minute scene of her recapping what we saw of her during the murder scene and some brief dialogue that she saw him without his mask before Gordon steps into the sewers.

Let’s not forget the part where she then escaped while Gordon was trying to see if her point about that wallet was true. I’m hoping that they are saving her for some bigger things later this season because Catwoman has always been a favorite of mine when it comes to the Batman mythos.

We get to meet another famous character from the Batman lore, Sal Maroni (David Zayas) who is famous for being the one who disfigured Harvey Dent (who was just cast last week). He had a very classic mobster personality and I sort of enjoyed that. There was a lot of focus on Penguin this week and they are continuing to take a lot of huge steps for him getting closer to his destiny. Even though I said last week that they are going a bit too fast, this week I was actually OK with it.

One of my favorite parts of the episode was everything that had to do with Bruce and Alfred, especially the fence scene. This incarnation of Alfred has pretty much jumped out of the Batman: Earth One graphic novel because he is feisty and he dares to challenge Bruce and that is what makes their relationship so strong. Some would perhaps argue that he is being a bit too harsh on Bruce, but what he really is a challenge for Bruce.

They continue to explore Barbara’s and Montoya’s past relationship and it’s something I’m really intrigued by. We also learn that Barbara seems to have some drug problems and that Montoya has known about it. I’m curious though if we might see a triangle drama take form between Barbara, Gordon and Montoya and it wouldn’t surprise me if it actually happens later this season.

One of the biggest moments of the show so far is the scene at the very end and that is when Ben McKenzie is when he shined the most. He talks with Barbara about how dark Gotham is as a city and all the corruption and you start to see a Gordon that is starting to break a bit. The thing that I’m looking forward to see throughout the show is how Gordon will keep up the optimism and become the man that he becomes in the future. In that final scene we see a struggle and that made this version of Gordon so deep and those are the kind of moments that I like to see.

The episode ends with a huge cliffhanger with Oswald showing up at Gordon’s home, suited up and looking stronger than ever. What is he up to? Better tune in next week to find out! Overall, “The Balloonman” was a solid episode, it wasn’t as good as last week’s episode, but it was still great and I’m so far very into this Batman prequel series.

Gotham airs Tuesday nights, 8/7c on FOX.

[Photo via FOX]

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  1. David Rosen