Gotham Season 1 Episode 3 “The Balloon Man” Recap
Tonight’s Gotham features that titular’s city’s first vigilante but instead of one that dresses like a bat, we get a man that likes to attach corrupt and morally depraved individual’s to a weather balloon where the drift away like the balloons in Up.
The episode, however, opens up with Cobblepot’s return to Gotham where he relishes in seeing crime and corruption all around him.
Question: Does anybody think that the opening music (as short as it is) sounds exactly like the opening/title music for the short-lived The Tomorrow People? I get that vibe every time I see Gotham.
Back to the Balloon Man. His first victim is Ronald Danzer, a corrupt business man who ran a Ponzi scheme that bilked tons of people of money and led to two suicides. Gordon wants to look for the killer but as far as Bullock is concerned, the Balloon Man did the people of Gotham a favour and considers the case close and Gordon should consider that too just as he should the Wayne case.
Gordon wants Bullock to look into who the Balloon Man could be while he takes Selina back to where the Waynes’ were killed (much to the chagrin of Bullock). Selina describes what she saw but Gordon tells her that the general public knows all of that and wants some proof that she was there. Selina mentions the wallet she lifted and she dumped it down the sewer drain. Afraid that Selina will run while he investigates, Gordon handcuffs her to a railing, while he climbs down the sewer. However, Selina does escape just after Gordon finds proof of Selina’s presence.
The Balloon Man case finally takes some police consideration when one of Gotham PDs own is lifted up in the air. The victim is Bill Cranston, a brutal and very corrupt cop that Gordon met earlier in the episode. Before being lifted up, Cranston did beat up the Balloon Man and grabbed some items from him including a piece of paper that contained some surprising information.
Gordon and Bullock get a lead when a man calls in thinking it is one of his former employee’s a Carl Smikers who stole 4 weather balloons. Bullock and Gordon track down Smikers but he tells them that he sold the balloons to someone and also informed then that what does up must come down. We then see Cranston’s body come down and smuck a poor woman walking her dog. Among Cranston’s possession is that piece of paper that has Gordon’s name on it. Gordon realizes who is the Balloon Man – a Davis Lamond – a man that works for Gotham’s Child Services and earlier released Selina to Gordon’s custody. News then comes that the Balloon Man’s next victim was a pedophile cardinal.
Gordon and Bullock eventually track down Lamond to Gotham’s old juvenile detention center. Lamond holds Bullock at gun point and goes on and on about how corrupt Gotham is and that the law is behind the criminals and it is up to people like him to punish the corrupt. Bullock does manage to get the upper hand and attach Lamond to the last weather balloon but before he can rise any further, Gordon grabs onto him giving Bullock the only choice to shoot the balloon down. As Lamond gets taken away, he tells Gordon that there will be more like him that will be coming.
A news report of Lamond’s arrest does ask the question about who will take Balloon Man’s vigilante mantle next. And who is watching this news report? Why young Bruce Wayne, who earlier in this episode was doing some sword fight (with sticks) practice with Alfred. And we also learn that Bruce has been taking a look at the crime scene photos of his parents murder looking for clues to the point where he is not eating. Alfred asked him does Bruce think he is a detective (if you know Batman at all, apparently that is what they call him too). Bruce also took a great interest in the Balloon Man case and as we see Bruce watch the news report asking who will take up Balloon Man’s mantel, he starts to eat again.
I have forgotten about the Penguin. Cobblepot is still living a trail of bodies behind him that include someone who recognized him and was going to snitch on him to Fish Mooney and a dish boy at an Italian restaurant so he can get his job. At this restaurant, a frequent diner is Sal Maroni, another mafia big wig that Cobblepot manages to get on the good side especially after feigning ignorance of hearing Maroni’s conversation about Arkham and Falcone.
Meanwhile, we see Fish playing Maroni and Falcone against each other by attacking Falcone’s lady friend that makes it look like it was Maroni’s doing.
Also, paying a visit to Fish are Montaya and Allen asking about Cobblepot. Fish implies that Cobblepot is dead at the hands of Jim Gordon on the orders of Falcone.
Montaya goes to visit ex-girlfriend Barbara to tell her about how corrupt her fiancee is. Barbara doesn’t believe her and thinks that Montaya is only saying those things because she is jealous that Barbara loves Gordon. Montaya tells Barbara to ask Gordon where we was on the night that Cobblepot was last seen. Things we learned from this conversation is that Barbara likes to partake in the occasional joint and that Montaya’s constant lies is what broke them out.
After the whole Balloon Man incident is over and after hearing Gordon bemoan at the sad state of Gotham, Barbara realizes that Gordon is un-corruptible. Their night is interrupted by a knock at the door and that visitor is one Oswald Cobblepot.
Now that I’ve seen three episodes of Gotham I can safely say now that I think it is too much how the show shoves down out throat how corrupt Gotham is. Bullock is too annoying how he really isn’t trying with his job and I find Pinkett Smith a tad over the top as Fish Mooney, especially the voice she gives her. And the violence of the Penguin is too much. Sometimes Gordon can be a but goody two shoes but it is not as annoying as I thought it would. I suppose what I do like is seeing the development of Bruce Wayne as he slowly becomes Batman and I guess the premise of the show is how he is influenced by what he sees his city becoming.
Gotham still hasn’t quite hooked me but will see the season through to see how everything will play out.
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