GOTHAM: “The Balloonman” Review

Gotham just keeps getting better as it floats to new horizons – just like it’s latest episode titled “The Balloonman”.

The name of the episode tells you pretty much all you need to know about the “bad guy”. Balloonman is a vigilante that kills prominent corrupt Gotham figures by handcuffing them to a weather balloon and letting them float to the heavens and fall to their doom. I enjoyed the introduction of a vigilante character such as the balloonman as it showed Jims distaste of vigilantism and a nod to Batman (Harvey Bullock actually likes that the vigilante is making their jobs easier). It also shows Bruce’s awareness and acknowledgement that the balloonman was not a vigilante but a criminal because he committed murder.

Speaking of Bruce, we get more time with Bruce and Alfred as both are seen “sword fighting” with wooden swords. Bruce seems to enjoy himself but takes it too far in which alfred must hide behind a curtain. I think this is a prominent scene. Just how far will Bruce go when he becomes Batman? How far will Alfred go to support him on his quest? (Maybe i’m looking too much into that scene but that’s what it made me think of). Alfred finds a file containing pictures of Bruce’s murdered parents and asks Bruce why he has these horrible pictures? Bruce tells Alfred that he is gathering clues, in which Alfred asks him “what do you think you are, a detective now?” Bruce wants to believe that Jim will catch his parents murderers but he would rather “gather clues’ himself. Bruce doesn’t have much of an appetite through the episode – a concerned Alfred trys to get him to eat something but with no luck. Near the end of the episode Bruce watches tv and finds out that the Balloonman is captured  and the newscaster says “who will be the next to protect Gotham from the crim and corrupt?” Only then does Bruce start to eat as he sits intrigued watching the newscast.

Major Crimes Detective Montoya and her partner pay Fish Mooney a visit only to find out from her that Jim Gordon was the one who pulled the trigger on Oswald Cobblepot. Montoya already has it in for Gordon suspecting him of being a crooked cop. Montoya visits Barbara to tell her that Jim was hired by the mob to kill Cobblepot. Barbara and Montoya clearly had a past history together – Barbara tells Montoya that she is jealous and can’t bare to see Jim with her and that she just wants to destroy him. She dismisses Montoya’s claims about Jim and tells her to leave. (This is probably the one story-line that honestly bores me. I’m not sure if the writers know what to do with these characters, but i’m starting not to care.)

Oswald Cobblepot arrives back in Gotham after getting off a bus while sighing “home” as he smiles seeing all the crime and corruption going on around him. Cobblepot quickly disposes of one of Fish Mooney’s goons by stabbing him repeatedly. He takes a dishashing job in the kitchen of a restaurant that is frequently visited by No. 2 mob boss Sal Maroni. Noticing who it is, Cobblepot sees the advantage in trying to make an alliance as Maroni is making a push against the top dog, Carmine Falcone. The episode ends with Cobblepot arriving at Gordons door asking for his old friend Jim. Cobblepot has been warning everyone that he knows what is coming for Gotham. I think its possible that Oswald is talking about himself.

Overall Great episode! I believe Jim and Harvey’s relationship still needs to grow. I don’t think it was as strong in this episode. That relationship is going to be key as the series continues to develop. I’m happy to see Penguin using his smarts to make a power play by being on Maroni’s side. Things are going to get interesting and you know that Falcone and Maroni are going to clash soon in which Fish Mooney could possibly make her move?

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