TV Review – Gotham Episode 3 “Balloonman”

Episode three of Gotham shows us one of the precursors to The Bat. Not a swashbuckling hero like The Grey Ghost from TAS, no, this hero goes by the terror inspiring name of “The Balloonman”. The Balloonman is attaching corrupt Gothamites to weather balloons letting them float away, Falcone and Fish continue their passive aggressive power struggle,  Selina leaves Gordon in a sewer, and Cobblepot reveals that he is unclear about the definition of “staying away.” We are starting to move away from the introductions every episode, and as you will see below there is a lot less bad than there has been.

Balloonman's First Victim  Gotham


The Good

  • Living in Gotham STILL sucks. Not sure how this can be made any clearer, the ONE guy looking to clean up the streets is called “The Balloonman”.
  • Bullock isn’t the biggest dick on the GCPD, No, that distinction goes to Cranston,who has a special statue, given to him by the chamber of commerce (or some other organization) specifically for beatings questionings.
  • Professor Pyg mini Cameo.
  • That annoying guy who works for the GCPD, whose name means puzzle, and who loves riddles? They left him out of this episode. And yes, that is a good.
  • David Zayas as Maroni
  • “Ever since the Waynes were killed the city has gone crazy”
  • Throwaway line of the week: “What size show do you wear?”

The Bad

  • Ok, we’ve seen it for two episodes now. We know Cobblepot is a psycho creep. There is zero reason to telegraph what he is going to do next, it build no tension and adds nothing but run time. So it feels like padding.
  • As does any “Selina Kyle knows something, but is really just dragging it out” scene.
  • Not sure what is,was, or has been going on with Montoya and Barbara, but honestly, if that is the best way you can think of to use your female characters, just set them down and walk away.
"Nerds love chick kisses..."  Gotham
“Nerds love chick kisses… let’s give them that instead of well rounded female characters.”
  • Do the police REALLY need to have the physics of balloons explained to them?
  • Young master Bruce, first getting ticked off during a “sword fight” with his butler, then apparently taking his inspiration to hunt down criminals from a guy who tied them to weather balloons. Sigh. Guys, if you keep giving him “inspiration” like this, when his actual, true to story, inspiration shows (assuming you don’t just throw it away), if is going to seem over the top, instead of pushing him over the edge. It is a subtle difference, yes, and you are just getting the hang of subtle (see Cobblepot reference ) just tone it down, ok?
“I shall become…BananaMan…No, wait, what else starts with ‘b’?

What I’m on the fence about

Why have Barbara as anything but a background character? Honestly, you give her maybe 3 minutes of screen time, and all she does is react to other people. Either use her or don’t, but either way do something.


Heh, heh. Clever naming.

  • What do you get when you put the names Lamont & Cranston together? The Shadow knows…


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About the author

Mark Driscoll

When not ranting about the current state of his favorite comics or working on The Magic Cantina, Mark spends a majority of his time renovating his newly purchased, 120 year old Victorian house. Badly. He is very bad at talking about himself in the third person, as he thinks it make him sound pretentious.

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