Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Gotham S01E03 "The Balloonman" Review

 photo Gotham_S01E03_HDTV_x264_LOL0089_zps1d0c7049.jpg
So the search for Joe Chill continues with Selina Kyle manning the hunt, meanwhile a crooked politician gets handled in one of the best ways possible, weather balloons. I'm still not 100% sure about how I feel about this show, sometimes it shows REAL promise and other times it spirals downward into a mediocre police drama. The best parts are still when Penguin is on screen, that's the most fun I get out of this series and Ben Mackenzie continues to turn in a great performance as James Gordon but that's about it.

So this episode establishes Gotham's first vigilant titled The Balloonman, he attaches weather balloons to crooked politicians, cops and priests and allows them to ascend into the sky eventually falling to their death...and in this case landing on an old lady. The creativity aside, this wasn't what I had in mind when I said this series needed a game changer. When I said game changer, I meant something that'll make Batman fans stand up and go "Whoa! Did NOT see that coming!". I was talking to a friend of mine who mentioned (like Jeremy Jahns has said) that it'd be nice to see the Waynes BEFORE they were killed by Chill. As Carmine Falcone mentioned, The Waynes and The Falcones were the pillars of Gotham, what does that mean? Were The Waynes dirty? Great territory to be explored if the series actually gave a crap about exploring it.

What is being explored is The Penguin's eventual rise to power, now back in Gotham and posing as an Italian dishwasher named Paulo much to the delight of Salvatore Maroni (played very personably by "Dexter" alumnus David Zayas). The Penguin's timid charm, sociopathic intelligence, well mannered charm makes him the most entertaining thing about this show as he's able to capture, cunning, menace and complete helplessness all in the same scene. It'll be interesting to see just how Penguin manages to turn the tables on Fish Mooney, The Falcones and The Maronis, will he be snitching to James Gordon directly now? Or will he be blackmailing Gordon to keep his identity a secret? This is EXTREMELY interesting to me now that the two best players in "Gotham" will be sharing the screen. That alone makes me wanna tune in next week.

 photo Gotham_S01E03_HDTV_x264_LOL1294_zps7151d232.jpg
"Hello, James."

What still has me irked is Jada Pinkett's confusing portrayal of mob under-boss Fish Mooney. She's dropped that unusual accent she started with but continues with the erratic behavior that makes her character pretty much unbearable to watch, but not NEARLY as unbearable as Victoria Cartagena's and Andrew Stewart-Jones' Renee Montoya & Crispus Allen. Talk about wooden and stilted, Andrew is at least trying with his dialogue (not so humorously) telling Gordon to shower because he smells like a sewer, but the scene between Barbra and Renee, OH MY GOODNESS you wanna talk about eye-rollingly bad and bland acting, not to mention LAZY writing (how many cliche's were stuffed in that one scene?). Stuff like this makes this series difficult to sit through because we Batman fans KNOW the vast mythology and know the potential it has.

 photo Gotham_S01E03_HDTV_x264_LOL0266_zps117bfdd2.jpg
Special Crimes, my ass...

Getting back on topic, "Arkham" has been thrown around a lot, and I'm curious about how that plays into things, especially with Salvatore Maroni, makes me wonder what exactly they have in mind with that. How will the mob war play out? I'm 100% certain Arkham will have something to do with it. The sub-plot of Fish Mooney's eventual betrayal of Carmine Falcone makes me scratch my head, Carmine appears to be a guy in complete control, and while I understand Fish is greedy for power, Carmine already one upped her when she attempted to kill Harvey and James and Carmine put an immediate stop to it. Maybe if Carmine was shows to be a much older man like Junior Soprano, I'd buy Fish having a chance of claiming his empire...and maybe if Fish wasn't such an impulsive moron.

 photo Gotham_S01E03_HDTV_x264_LOL0273_zps00612add.jpg
Also, borrowing from the wardrobe of Caligula's mistresses, I see.

And that's "Gotham's" problem, so much potential and yet so little can be done with it and will be done with it. Because we're not going to get to the meat and potatoes of The Batman universe like "Smallville" did with Superman's rogues, slowly phasing them in bit by bit and eventually establishing season long villains, we're not going to get that here and even if we do, we're gonna get those Batman villains in the backdrop of a pretty mediocre cop drama, and that backdrop isn't big enough to suit the colorful and boisterous rogues of Batman's universe. Even Christopher Nolan, in his bringing the Batman universe down to earth understood that The Joker needs to be as grandiose as possible, and if blowing up a hospital isn't grandiose, I don't know what is.

 photo Gotham_S01E03_HDTV_x264_LOL0041_zps600608e4.jpg
I love the fresh smell of crime in the morning.

That being said, I'm curious to see where James and The Penguin go from here, but it doesn't pan out to something big, I'm afraid I may drop this series altogether. Truth be told, I want this series to get cancelled and I hate saying that because that means jobs will be lost, but in all honesty I'd rather have them do it right than to do it at all. Because so far, a cop drama with Batman easter eggs in it, isn't gonna cut it in this post-Nolan Era Batman, and two strong performers isn't enough to keep this series afloat.

No comments:

Post a Comment