Tuesday, October 07, 2014

My Review of Gotham's 1x03: "The Balloonman"

Written by John Stephens
Directed by Dermott Downs

Davis (to Gordon): “There will be more like me, detective. You know that, don’t you?”

Our first vigilante episode and it was certainly a quirky enough tale. To be honest, I’ve never really given a great deal of thought to weather balloons, so the fact that they were used as a weapon of choice against corrupt Gothamites was actually pretty inspired as well.

Davis had a point though – there will be more of him and I’m clearly not referring to Bruce, who seemed opposed to the killing aspect of the Balloonman’s mission. He was just the beginning of certain people who will take the law into their own hands and dish out their own brand of justice but at the same time, Davis was an interesting start.

I liked the contrast between victims here as well – one was a shady con artist (Ronald Danser) and the other was a corrupt cop (Lt Cranston), but it was only when the latter was attacked that both Bullock and Essen even bothered to take the Balloonman’s actions seriously. Before then, only Jim was bothered, which he told both Bullock and Barbara about in various scenes.

I did side with Davis in this episode but at the same time, I like that Bruce was able to see the flaw in the Balloonman’s actions when he wasn’t attempting to do some detective work of his own. We may be a long way away from Bruce donning a certain cape and cowl but the seeds for his future are still being planted and I did like his scenes with Alfred in this episode as well in relation to the case of the week.

Keeping with seeds being planted, Selina herself was only relegated to two scenes but she made sure to use them wisely. She gave Gordon enough information about the Waynes murder but at the same time managed to also give him the slip as well. Even in brief moments, this version of Selina is fantastic to watch yet again.

However, it’s Oswald who once again was the highlight of the episode though. I loved that he didn’t waste time in getting back to Gotham and I certainly loved how he managed to endear himself to Sal Maroni (nice introduction/welcome aboard David Zayas) and the last scene where he showed up at Jim and Barbara’s place was a brilliant way of ending the episode.

With Oswald resurfacing quickly and Maroni making himself known, it might be time for both Falcone and Fish to put their passive aggressive dynamic behind them and band together. On the other hand, I did sort of like Fish getting her own back on Falcone and his veiled threat to her was effective enough.

As for the rest of the episode – I really like Renee Montoya a lot but her hostility towards Gordon is going to wear thin very fast if she doesn’t snap out of it. Why was she so quick to believe Fish about Gordon and Oswald? I certainly wouldn’t take what Fish was telling me as gospel. I’d make sure I had my facts before publicly accusing a man of murder in his own work place. Renee dropped the ball here big time. She’s going to have egg on her face when she does realise that Oswald is actually still alive.

On the plus side, at least this episode did give us some insight into her and Barbara’s past relationship though. Unfortunately it seemed that when they were together they used to do mostly drugs and lie to each other. It also seems that along with keeping her past relationship with Renee from Jim that Barbara also does some weed on the side. Suddenly both Barbara and Jim are looking less and less ideal as a couple.

Also in “The Balloonman”

That frat boy from last week wasn’t seen in this episode. Oswald also killed another bloke, bought a tuna sandwich and got a job in a restaurant that Maroni frequents. Plus, shoe theft.

Gordon (re mugger): “You saw him here in the dark?”
Selina: “I can see in the dark.”

Arkham was mentioned several times in this episode. It’s a good thing we’re actually seeing the place in the next episode then.

Fish (to Renee, re Oswald): “He’s dead but I didn’t kill the little snitch. Word is Jim Gordon pulled the trigger.”

Alfred (re police reports): “Why would you want to look at these? They’re horrible. They’ll give you nightmares.”
Bruce: “I have those anyway and I’m looking for clues.”

All Lazlo did in this episode was express concern for Fish and she decided to have one of her cronies take care of him. Boo.

Bullock: “For the last time, Gordon, let it go.”
Gordon: “Or what? Am I gonna be the next person taken out to the pier to get a bullet in the head?”

Barbara: “You’re lying but I guess I should be used to that.”
Renee: “True. When we were together, I did lie to you but you always knew.”

Both Butch and Nygma were missing from this episode. Also we still don’t know the name of Fish’s bar? Unless I keep missing it that is.

Maroni: “I was a lot like you, started from nothing but I kept my head down, worked hard and look at me? Gotham is the city of opportunity.”
Oswald: “Yes sir, I believe that too.”

Oswald: “Hello James, old friend.”

Chronology: Not long from where “Selina Kyle” left off.

Possibly the weakest of the first three episodes to air but at the same time, “The Balloonman” did give us our first taste of a vigilante and while I’m sure there will be more interesting ones to come, this was still a good start though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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