Barbara Kean's self respect & moral strength
Salvatore Maroni's positive intro
Too many hints of Batman
Corruption, corruption, corruption..
Good intentions with drop dead results.
Gotham’s third episode “The Balloonman” did not exactly continue the shows development with the same momentum as “Selina Kyle” from last week. This week we get to see the work of the Balloonman’s first hand and his reasons for doing so, though they aren’t exactly what the fans expected. We also see Bruce continuing his attempts to master all the pain that he can, this time rather than holding his hand over a candle, he’s been starving himself. David Mazouz continues to portray young Bruce Wayne exceptionally, showing us the true grief and darkness surrounding him. One thing that really stood out in this episode is that the writers are trying to tailor this show to the expectations of fans. We’re well aware Bruce becomes Batman, but isn’t it a bit too early to show us too many signs that he’s leading towards that path? He’s not even a teenager yet! It is highly unnecessary to keep hinting towards who he’ll become. This is definitely the weakest episode of the season so far, but there’s still good content fans can take out of it moving forward.
Having power doesn’t always mean you’re safe.
This week’s main plot featured the Balloonman who really took things into his own hands, as he stole four big weather balloons, worth about one thousand dollars each I might add, to prey on his to-be victims. His chosen targets were corrupt public figures that he killed by tying them to weather balloons which would eventually pop, sending his victims to a crushing end. I’m not sure how no one, at all, could spot him when he tied up his first victim in broad daylight. I understand Gotham is a corrupt city but come on, there’s no way that every citizen would feel the need to stay away and not report this out of fear. Eventually Gordon and Bullock tracked him down and arrested him after an awkward confrontation in which Bullock ironically ties the Balloonman to his own balloon, only to be brought down by Gordon. After taking a step forward last week, I think Ben McKenzie kept Gordon at a standstill. Of course he stands for what’s right, but at some point he needs to take more initiative rather than argue with Bullock about corruption that ultimately exists throughout the entire GCPD.
There truly is no place like home.
Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) made his return to Gotham, and looked oh so comfortable to be home after getting off the bus and seeing petty crimes taking place left, right and center. Can this many crimes really happen in such quick succession during the middle of the day, without anything being done about it? Apparently in Gotham it can. Cobblepot wasted no time in committing another murder as one of his old associates spotted him, planning on taking him back to Fish for a payment. In turn, he lands a job in a professional kitchen with janitorial duties. Here he meets Salvatore Maroni, the mafia don of a family that rivals Falcone’s in Gotham’s constant power struggle over crime, who explains to Cobblepot that even he started from the bottom with nothing but rose up through dedication and hard work.
Maroni: “I was a lot like you. Started from nothing, but I kept my head down, I worked hard, now look at me. Gotham is the city of opportunity.”
Cobblepot: “Yes, sir, I believe that too.”
Before this conversation begins Maroni seems to immediately like Cobblepots demeanor and gives him a hefty tip, something that may very well lead him to truly choosing a side. Robin Lord Taylor has once again put on a great performance, giving fans a greater glimpse into his awkward and funny personality, as well as his extremely cold heart.
The field of secrets is always treacherous.
Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) and Renee Montoya had another interaction in the rooftop suite, where they had another conversation in which Renee insists Gordon is just as corrupt as the rest of the GCPD. Barbara is stronger than some may think and she’s consistently stood her ground, defending her fiancée whenever someone attempts to dismantle his career and image. Clearly, Barbara and Renee had a relationship in the past, which could very well be another factor as to why she’s been on Gordon’s case so much. The Gotham writers have done a good job with this specific relationship, not revealing too much but just enough to continuously peak our interest. Erin Richards has shown us some of the real stress that can come with being engaged or married to a cop. Through the first three episode I’ve wanted to learn a little more about Barbara and her past, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an episode created around her back story… Fingers crossed!
FINAL VERDICT: What does the city of Gotham truly represent?
I think most of us can agree Gotham’s third episode wasn’t a high point in the series so far. We got to observe lots of the usual corrupt acts of public officials that Gotham is so famous for, but it had me asking myself this question: What does the city of Gotham truly represent? Corruption is probably overused to describe the city at this point, but through three episodes that’s what we’ve mostly been given. We’ve seen some relationships develop, and been teased when it comes to back story’s like Barbaras. What I want to see moving forward is more initiative from Jim Gordon. He’s had faith in the city but has come to realize just how “sick” it actually is. This week we saw someone with good intentions take the law into their own hands, though the plan wasn’t the greatest; In fact, if we want to see more of the good in Gotham, Gordon may have to walk well outside of his moral barriers and move beyond the grim attitude to make a real difference in a city so vastly corrupt, those who are good and live with faith have more to be paranoid of than the bad.
TV Review: Gotham 1×03 “The Balloonman”