Monday, October 6, 2014

Gotham: Season 1, Episode 3

Episode Title: “The Ballonman”
Channel: Fox
Director: Dermott Downs
Writer: Bruno Heller
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Runtime: 45 min
Rated: TV-14
Original Air Date: October 6, 2014

The Ballonman” rejoins the denizens of Gotham almost immediately after the previous episode. What struck me most was one line that I'll paraphrase as, “since the Waynes died, everything in Gotham has gone to hell.” If their death had that much of an impact on Gotham maybe the audience should've been shown what they had been doing to keep it from being that bad! I know I've mentioned it before, but here it seems like the writers' admission that they didn't pick the right starting place for the series. Now they're going to be forced to use these oblique references instead of showing us the Waynes' work. I feel like this will be a recurring theme in these reviews, and it wouldn't surprise me if we see a flashback episode or two that tries to correct this.

This episode was all about showing how the different characters react to vigilantism. The general feeling in Gotham is that someone ought to do it, Jim Gordon isn't ready to accept it, and it appears to young Bruce to be a novel idea. Some of the dialogue in regards to those ideas is really bad. I think that has been one of the bigger disappointments through the first three episodes. The writers need to decide if they're going for a gritty, Nolan-esque version of the story or if they're going to keep with the comic-y camp, toeing the line isn't working.

I'm warming up to the Harvey Bullock character, Donal Logue seems to have gotten his feet under him and know what he's about now. Robin Lord Taylor is giving us a good look into the descent of Cobblepot into the villain he'll become. The character I'm enjoying the most though is Alfred. Sean Pertwee is bringing something we haven't seen in tv/movie versions to the character, an edge that perhaps hints at a past that is far more intriguing than the common Alfred origins.

Conclusion: This episode featured a forgettable villain whose sole purpose was to allow everyone to opine on vigilantes. A few strong performances kept what was a rather weak script from slipping into something groan worthy. There are past events that the writers seem to think the audience will need to know, and I hope we get to see them soon.

Rating: 6.5/10

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