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Gotham: Episode 3: Cobblepot Returns, The Balloon Man and More Bruce Wayne

By Margeaux Johnson · October 8, 2014

It seems that the gritty, dark world of Gotham still has a bit of “silly” in it.  This week showcased a vigilante who targets crooks that would never see a jail cell. He picks out each criminal – from a rich Ponzi scheme type to a priest – by attaching each to a weather balloon. Once attached, the balloon continues higher into the atmosphere until the cold causes it to burst causing the attached criminal to crash with it.  His first victim, a prominent figure in Gotham, landed on top of an elderly lady walking a dog, killing the poor old lady (the dog escaped). The vigilante quickly becomes a hero with citizens desperate for justice. Even Bullock is on his side.  Gordon, of course, won’t side with a criminal and at the end of the day, the vigilante is still a criminal.

Gordon is still on the Wayne case and enlists Selina Kyle for help. She tells him that she saw the guy’s face, but Gordon isn’t sold. He makes her prove that she actually witnessed the crime by telling him where she stashed the wallet she stole on the same day (minutes before the Wayne murders). She gives him the exact location – the sewer. Gordon goes down under to find it and is surprised that she wasn’t lying. Of course Kyle takes this opportunity to do what she’s best at, running away.  She only gives him just enough information to keep him interested, but by now she should realize that Gordon is one of the good guys. Why does she keep running away?

Meanwhile, Cobblepot is back in Gotham and gets a job at a restaurant frequented by mob bosses. Along the way, Cobblepot takes pleasure in getting whatever he needs in any way he can. In one scene he kills a cook for his shoes. Cobblepot is no criminal genius, just thirsty for blood and it’s a bit disappointing. I thought he had a bit more depth. He was so interesting the first two episodes. While at the restaurant he overhears a crime boss mentioning Gotham’s impending doom. The boss realizes he is listening and confronts him. Quick on his feet, Cobblepot denies he heard anything and shows him a bit of innocent charm. It works. The boss gives him words of encouragement and a few dollars.

The dynamic duo of Montoya and Allen are still looking for Cobblepot and Fish says that Gordon was the one who killed him on Falcone’s orders. That’s just the information Montoya needs and goes straight to Barbara with the new intel. She’s still in love with Barbara, but something is preventing Barbara from giving her an inch of trust. Barbara can’t believe what she’s hearing and knows Gordon is one of the good guys. Montoya can’t convince her, but leaves enough doubt to cause her to look at him differently.

If the weather balloon vigilante seems a bit off from the gritty backdrop of “Gotham," don’t be alarmed. It seems that he was written in to influence Bruce Wayne.  Wayne, keeping up with the police files on his parent’s murder and all crimes in Gotham, finds the idea of a vigilante interesting. Like most of Gotham’s citizens, he desperately wants to rid the city of its flagrant criminal activities. Unlike Gotham’s citizens, he realizes that the vigilante isn’t fighting for justice. Wayne concludes that because he kills people, that makes him a criminal too. This is the moment when Wayne develops his moral code. It’s clear that this experience will be the basis of the “Dark Knight” rising in the name of justice. It also hints that there may be more Bruce Wayne than we initially thought. 

Gordon and Bullock get their man, a disgruntled social worker, and Gotham is safe again. Well, maybe not. Cobblepot shows up at Gordon’s door with a huge smile and a few dollars richer. Who knows how many more people he has killed since the shoe incident? Barbara’s faith in Gordon is once again saved, but what does Cobblepot want from them? A psycho showing up at your door, unannounced, can’t be good news.


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