TV - Gotham Season 1, Episode 3


Floating criminals killed by the elements? Sounds like the kind of weather report Steve Taylor-Bryant likes. Here's the thoughts on Gotham's latest offering, The Balloonman...

This week saw a more police procedural drama take on the happenings in Gotham. Whilst Oswald Cobblepot sneaks his way back into the city and becomes a pot washer in No 2 mob boss Moroni's restaurant, the corrupt are under attack from a vigilante. A banker that used a Ponzi scheme to embezzle half a billion dollars from the people of Gotham is under house arrest, awaiting trial with the media camped outside. After threatening his lawyer and arranging to pay off the District Attorney and the judges he sneaks outside where he is confronted by a balloon salesman. A wink of an eye later and he is strapped to a weather balloon floating off into the night sky live on television.

Bullock doesn’t really care, thinking The Balloonman is doing the city a favour, until the corrupt Lieutenant he likes is the next victim. He decides that the man must be stopped, much to the amusement of Gordon who thought it from the very beginning. Selina Kyle proved to Gordon she was in the alleyway when the Waynes were killed but flees with Gordon down in a sewer tracking a stolen wallet. Back at the station the MCU accuse Gordon of murdering Cobblepot after being tipped off by Fish Mooney, which infuriates Gordon who thinks he's being stitched up. A third victim of The Balloonman is taken in the form of a child molesting priest. The man who stole the weather balloons to cover his gambling debts is questioned by Bullock and Gordon who think he's perpetrated the perfect crime, until he explains that basically what goes up must come down and the bodies will reappear, which one does - head first into a little old lady walking her dog.

The detectives eventually trace the balloons to the now abandoned children’s services building and the man who was trying to do his best by the kids before the corruption blinded those on the city council. During the arrest scuffle Bullock manages to give the murderer a taste of his own medicine by strapping him to a balloon, which he thinks is funny until Gordon jumps on, leaving Bullock no option but to shoot the balloon down, allowing the man to be arrested properly.

Detective Montoya had earlier let herself into Jim and Barbara's apartment where it plays out she used to live as Barbara's girlfriend. She tells Barbara that Jim has murdered Cobblepot and was paid for his service by Falcone, which Barbara doesn’t want to believe and doesn’t have to as, just after Jim arrives home, Oswald turns up at their door.

This was a great little story that allowed for other characters to build slowly in the background and for some actual police work to happen, which was a nice change of pace. The introduction of Dexter star David Zayas as Sal Moroni was welcomed, and the little glances and facial expressions that Robin Lord Taylor has added to his portrayal of Oswald are as stunning as his speech patterns. Light on Gotham folklore, heavy on Gordon and Bullock actually being policeman and the Arkham storyline bubbling away in the background makes for a satisfying 45 minutes entertainment.

Image - IMDb.

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