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TV Review: GOTHAM – Season 1 Episode 3: The Balloonman

By: Kyle Shultz

GOTHAM

I’m not saying that “Gotham” is a horrible show, it definitely is one of the better shows out there, especially for a show based off of a comic series; although I feel that I’m sitting around waiting for something to happen that makes me think “Okay, now THIS is where things start coming together.” I know I cannot judge too much, the show is only in its third episode of its first season thus far, so I have to give it some slack. Shows in their first season have trouble finding their footing & I have a feeling by seasons end, I’ll stick around with this show for the long run. Though, for now this episode “The Balloonman” was not bad, but it wasn’t great. To me, it was mediocre at best. This episode was better than last weeks, but so far; I’d have to say the Pilot has been my favorite so far.

Balloonman

I love that the crew behind this show is creating their own universe, and completely ignoring certain aspects of the comics & just utilizing creativity of the mind with this world. Having a vigilante in Gotham before there was Batman is interesting, and a bit ballsy as well. My main problem with him in the show is that GCPD seemingly didn’t know how the hell a weather balloon worked, that’s one thing that bothered me the most. There’s a reason Isaac Newton said “What goes up, must come down”. There are a couple other things that bother me the most about this show & they’re Fish Mooney and how “Gotham” always seems to show a “bad corner” to show how rotten the city is. I’ll start off with Mooney; I’m not saying she’s a bad character, though I’m also not saying she is a great character. She just seems like a waste of screen time to me. There has yet to be a scene she was in that made me feel or connect with her. I have more connection to Edward Nygma in the show, & he’s only been on-screen for maybe 5 minutes. Granted Nygma is one of my favorite Batman villains, but still. The role of Fish Mooney just seems like Will Smith said “Here’s some money, now put my wife in the show.”

Fish Mooney

On to the second point that bothers me. It seems that anytime we’re out in the streets of Gotham on the show, no matter the situation, some crime is going down. In this episode alone, when Oswald came back into town, he stepped off that bus & immediately we saw someone giving a cop money, a lady getting her purse stolen & I think a couple of other crimes happen as well. Then there is Harvey Bullock beating a guy in broad daylight, though he was under a bridge, so obviously no one saw him. I am a huge Batman fan & I know that Gotham was a pretty scum of the Earth city before Batman came along, but damn every time we see Gotham on the outside, MUST we always see some random crime going down? It kind of reminds me of the opening to 1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and those were kids training to be Ninjas stealing in broad daylight! A small annoyance I had is all the obvious lines that hinted at characters futures. I know Superhero shows do this a lot, but Gotham does it a whole hell of a lot. I can look past that, cause really it tickles my 10-year-old comic book self.

Penguin gets assaulted

The greatest parts of the show though are the rise of The Penguin, scenes with Gordon and Bullock & scenes with Gordon/Barbara & Montoya. When Oswald came back, he wasn’t Cobblepot anymore, he was The Penguin, or on the road to becoming The Penguin. I know this season is all about The Penguin, but that ending scene with Penguin in the doorway was just beautifully shot. I’ve said it to my friends & I’ll say it here, I love Ben McKenzie & Donal Logue as Jim Gordon & Harvey Bullock. From day one I’ve always stated Ben McKenzie will be excellent as Gordon, & then he was cast. I said the same for Logue as Bullock and then he was cast. Maybe I should buy a lotto ticket or something if I’ve had that much luck to predict casting choices. Anyways, Gordon and Barbara is another pair I love on the show. Erin Richards is just flipping gorgeous and she can hide her accent well, I know her from a show called Breaking In, which is a more comedic show, so this role is much different & it is different seeing her in this darker/more mature role. The fact that we also got a bit of back story on Kean when Montoya came in was interesting as well, They really flipped stuff on its head when they revealed that they used to be lovers & establishing that what ended things between Kean & Montoya is that Montoya used to be an addict, which is a nod to the comics as she was an alcoholic in the comics. I really want to see these two on-screen more throughout this season.

gotham-balloonman

Every show has its pros and cons, especially in the first season, I’m sure this show will only get better throughout the rest of the season, though I’m sure once Fish Mooney is out of the picture I’ll start to like the show more.

Overall Grade: 7/10

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