Published on October 28th, 2014 | by SgtKaiju


Gotham – The Balloonman – Review

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He’ll kill you with a squeaky rubber sword….

One thing I’m very glad to see in Gotham is the embracing of the inherent campiness of the Batverse. More than any other mainstream comic property, Batman is silly. It has evil clowns, a penguin-man, immortal ninjas, silliness. And Gotham, unlike another recent trip to the Batworld, is gone full pelt into that. This week, a vigilante who kills you with a balloon.


The titular  anti-hero is slowly offing some of Gotham’s most corrupt, from a Ponzi-scheme banker, to a dirty cop. From here the rest of the episode is as plain a police procedural as any, with Bullock and Gordon hunting down leads and chasing suspects. The Balloonman doesn’t have the same presence as the child snatchers from last week, but merely serves as a plot device to highlight Grodon’s internal struggle over his ‘killing’ of Cobblepot and the moral lapses he has had to endure as part of his job at GCPD.

Else where in Gotham, Cobblepot is back, now working for a rival Mafia Don to Fish Mooney, initially as a dishwasher but soon catching the eye of the Don himself.  The ongoing power-battle between Fish and Falcone continues to bubble along quietly, each taking shots at each other via the people around them. This week, Fish kills Carmine’s recent lover in retaliation for his assault on her lover last week.

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Over all, Gotham still feels like it dealing with too much of being a prequel. There are too many nods and winks to the future stories we know. The Balloonman does start to introduce the idea of vigilante justice in Gotham City, and the mixed reactions it receives. Some hail him as a hero, some a killer. You do feel that show is attempting to show how Batman ended up with his particular set of moral codes over how Gordon ended up with his.

On the Gordon note, Ben McKenzie is still doing excellent work but the on-going plot line of his internal torment over Cobblepot needs to end soon, it is bring down his story into the same cliche’s that can often destroy a character like this. But, given this episode’s final ‘twist’, I doubt that is anywhere in the near future.

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