Gotham (2014– )
7.9/10
4,046
7 user 17 critic

The Balloonman 

A masked vigilante is killing off corrupt citizens by strapping them to weather balloons. Cobblepot returns to Gotham.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... James Gordon
... Harvey Bullock
... Bruce Wayne
... Sarah Essen
... Alfred Pennyworth
... Oswald Cobblepot / Penguin
... Barbara Kean
... Selina Kyle
... Edward Nygma (credit only)
... Renee Montoya
... Crispus Allen
... Carmine Falcone
... Fish Mooney
... Sal Maroni
... Davis Lamond
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Storyline

Detectives Gordon and Bullock track down a vigilante who is killing corrupt Gotham citizens by attaching them to weather balloons. Meanwhile, Oswald Cobblepot returns to Gotham and gets a new job close to an influential figure in the underworld. Written by Jiilo_Kim

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

6 October 2014 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This episode features two characters, one by the name of "Lamond" and another named "Cranston". This may be a reference to the character "Lamont Cranston", also known as "The Shadow", who was the inspiration for Batman. See more »

Goofs

When Lamond is lying on the stretcher, the drip chamber of the IV tube is empty. This must have fluid in it for the IV to work. See more »

Quotes

Davis Lamond: Why don't you ask yourself, detective, who are you fighting for? A mayor in the mob's pocket, cops on the take or for the weak and the innocent? Who are you finally?
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Soundtracks

Down On The Street
(Uncredited)
Written by David Alexander, Ron Asheton, Scott Asheton and Iggy Pop
Performed by The Stooges
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User Reviews

 
Starting to Take Shape
10 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

After feeling incredibly underwhelmed by the overstuffed and poorly paced pilot episode, I find myself becoming more excited with each subsequent episode. The previous one thankfully slowed stuff down into a more measured pace, and this one is the first episode that really feels like it's telling a solid story and it's settling into the world as a whole.

This episode deals with Bullock and Gordon on the trail of a vigilante killer that the papers dub the Balloon Man, who targets well known corrupt figures of authority in the city. The episode touches on the bigger picture issues like Montoya and the MCU targeting Gordon and the continuing mystery of the Waynes' killer, but for the most part it sticks to the immediate case and that's to the show's benefit.

This show really finds its stride when Bullock and Gordon get to work a case. Their dynamic, while still confrontational, is starting to settle into something more watchable. Bullock is starting to slowly accept that Gordon is going to push to do the "right thing" while Gordon is slowing starting to accept that Bullock is capable of doing decent police work and that his network of hookers, crooks and low-lifes can actually yield usable information. They're not just pointlessly butting heads anymore, but there's still the tension and it's working much better overall.

The show has thankfully stopped cramming pointless ties to future Batman characters into the show where they don't belong and are letting the story dictate what is being used. Selina Kyle appears in this one, but there's an organic story based reason for her to do so. Ditto for the newly introduced rival gangster Sal Maroni. The few scenes of Bruce Wayne also don't feel as out of place as they have in previous episodes, and Alfred is starting to gel as a character after his first few rather schizophrenic appearances.

Gordon is starting to grow on me, but he's got a bit of a way to go. His slow partial acceptance of Bullock's way of doing things is the start of taking the shine off the character a bit. Because the whole "white knight" routine from the pilot was frankly kind of boring. Now the guy's developing shades: he seems to be learning that he can't just fight against the corrupt system but that he has to work within it at least a little bit.

The Penguin continues to be a wonderful highlight of the show, and it's hard to put into words why. Really it comes down to the performance, this guy just sells the in the moment switches from cowering toady to vicious killer so well that you don't question it. He's becoming an oddly intimidating figure in a rather unassuming way and it's a fascinating way to build the character.

The tone of the show overall seems to have found a good place as well. The first episode was just so overly dower and dying to be taken seriously. This episode, by contrast, has some glorious moments of humor that feel organic to the setting and the story. It lets you know that it's OK to have fun, even in as dark a place as this. I hope that this is an indication of what the show will be going forward, because I could definitely use more of this.


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