After a few brief scenes of what has come before in Episodes 1 and 2, the show gets down to the real meat. Oswald Cobblepot disembarks a bus in the heart of Gotham. Dressed in a dirty sweater and old pants, he stands on the corner for a brief moment, taking in the ruckus around him. Two children pickpocket a victim, police are taking shakedown money, a woman’s purse is stolen and streetwalkers solicit customers. He observes all this with a smile on his face and says “Home.”
The next scene cuts to a news report that indicates a “financier”(Ronald Danzer) who has bilked people out of millions of dollars via a Ponzi scene has been released on bail. The financier himself appears on the phone, telling (we assume) his lawyer to pay everyone involved in the case “whatever it takes”. He refers to his victims as “dumb bus drivers and stupid old ladies”.
On the street, a man with a pig mask comes up to Danzer and asks him his name. Then, Pig-Face cuffs Ronald Danzer to a weather balloon (plus several other balloons), which pulls him up. The female reporter and her TV crew report on this.
Cut to Gordon and Bullock are at the scene discussing the case over the credits. Bullock could care less, saying that Danzer got what he deserved.
Cut to Gordon at the police station where another officer shouts for ice. The loud officer introduces himself as Cranston and makes a remark about Gordon being a “Boy Scout” and says he hopes he can handle Gotham. Cranston also indicates that an award he received for being a good cop is used in police interrogation.
Bullock and Gordon have another conversation about Danzer’s murder. Bullock doesn’t want to investigate, Gordon does. Bullock thinks justice was served and Gordon references the Pepper “murder”.
Enter Selina, who supposedly has information about the Bruce Wayne murder. Bullock makes another comment about “what is it about a closed case don’t you understand”.
Gordon takes Selina to the alley where the Wayne were murdered. She gives her version of the events, and Gordon doesn’t believe her. Basically, Selina saw the murderers face. “I can see in the dark.” She challenges Gordon to go down in the sewer where she threw a wallet she pick-pocketed from a random guy on the street. To make sure she doesn’t go anywhere, he handcuffs her to a railing while he goes down in the sewer. He finds the wallet, showing that Selina was telling the truth. Just then, Selina drops the handcuffs she escaped from down the sewer and disappears.
Finally, Fish Mooney’s club. Poor Lazlo looks a mess from last week’s beating and Fish tells him to take a rest. Montoya and Allen enter the club, asking about Cobblepot’s whereabouts. Fish confirms he’s dead and drops the bomb that Jim Gordon killed Oswald. “Who can make a cop commit cold-blooded murder?” Allen suggests that maybe Fish is looking for a little revenge because Lazlo got beaten up. Fish denies this, saying “I just want justice.”
Cut to Oswald on the street, counting his coins. He’s hungry. A man on the street recognizes Oswald and threatens to take him into Fish Mooney. “Fish is going to pay some serious cash for your skinny ass.” After pleading and begging saying that he’s Gotham’s future Oswald ends up stabbing the man to death and taking his money.
Now, at Wayne Manor, where Alfred is forcing Bruce to fence with sticks, even as Bruce protests that he doesn’t want to do this. Bruce becomes angry and fights back, showing real skill, where upon Alfred surrenders. All is well. Alfred reprimands Bruce for having the crime scene photos and files of his parents’ murders. Bruce says “he’s looking for a clue.” But he hasn’t found one yet.
Montoya and Allen come to visit Jim Gordon about Oswald. Gordon denies killing Oswald. He tells them to come back to them when they have actual proof. Allen tells Gordon, as Allen leaves, that Gordon stinks like a sewer.
Back to Oswald, who’s trying to get a job in a kitchen as a restaurant. The manager/owner tells him “we’re all staffed up” but Oswald makes his own opportunity by killing the dishwasher and taking his job. Turns out the restaurant is a meeting place for the mob, which Oswald sees as a huge opportunity.
Bullock and Gordon discuss again about who deserves what. Gordon is stuck on the Waynes’ murder. Bullock is losing patience with him, tells him to let it go. Someone who owns/knows about weather balloons is in the interview suite.
Oswald ambushed the dishwashers, asks what size his shoes are. We know what’s next.
Back to the man and the balloons. The man who owns the balloon shop gives a lead on who might have stolen the weather balloons. We find out the man stole four weather balloons.
The crooked cop, Cranston is shaking down a drug dealer. The Balloon-man hooks him up to a balloon and sends him sailing, but not before he beats up the balloon man and takes a slip of paper from him.
Bruce Wayne is reading the paper about the Balloon-man and hasn’t eaten breakfast or dinner the night before.
Gordon at Barbara’s apartment. She brings him coffee as he gets ready for work and is worried that he may become a victim of a Balloon-man. He feels its not right that crooks are killed and nobody cares. “Either we all matter or no one matters.” Barbara calls a hero before he leaves.
A news report shows citizens supporting the Balloon-man. Gordon and Bullock are asked for an update on the Balloon-man case and are told to find him.
Bullock is all up in arms because a cop was killed. The viewer is then treated to a montage of Bullock strong arming his contacts on the street while Gordon looks on.
Oswald gets the deal about what’s going on in the restaurant. Dom Maroni comes in. “A great opportunity indeed.”
Gordon and Bullock come to a apartment where they apprehend the suspect, Carl.
Lazlo expresses his worry for Fish. She wants to get rid of him because he’s bringing the place down and makes an arrangement for her strong arm men to arrange an accident for Falcone’s girlfriend.
At Barbara’s apartment, Montoya lets herself in “I still have the key, remember” , and surprises Barbara, who’s in the middle of getting high. Turns out the two have had a relationship before. Montoya wants to talk about Gordon, tells Barbara that Gordon killed Oswald. The two have a tender, reminiscing moment. Montoya still cares about Barbara, thinks she deserved better than Gordon. Barbara tells her to leave.
Bullock is interrogating the man who stole the balloons. He sold the balloons to someone else. The suspect tells them the bodies are going to come back to earth because the balloon will pop.
Cut to a woman walking her dog and a body falls on her. Poor woman, poor dog. The yellow paper that Cranston took from the Balloon-man has Gordon’s name on it. Gordon says he knows who the Ballonman is.
At the Italian restaurant, there is some discussion about the opening of Arkham. Oswald (who gives his name as Paulo) has a brief moment with the mob boss, who gives him money. The mob boss sees himself in Oswald/Paulo. On the news, a Cardinal is killed via weather balloon.
Back to Gordon and the DA. They have a picture of the Balloon-man. Gordon and Bullock go to the old juvenile building to look for the Balloon-man. They see the cart and go to apprehend the man. The Balloon-man holds Bullock at gunpoint. Balloon-man makes a speech about the corruption of Gotham and how the law protects them. He asks Gordon who he’s fighting for. Bullock connects Balloon-man to the balloon. Gordon grabs Balloon-man as he’s going up and yells for Bullock to shoot the balloon. Bullock argues for him to “just let go” but ends up shooting the balloon and both men fall back to Earth.
Falcone stops by Fish’s club and checks to see if there are no hard feelings. Turns out Falcone’s girlfriend had “an accident”. Fish tsks tsks this and puts on a great show of apology. Falcone asks if Fish had heard anything from Maroni’s camp and there is some more talk about Arkham.
The Balloon-man tells Gordon that there will be more vigilantes. Gordon says he’s going to try to do his job, but Balloon-man tsks tsks him.
Bruce Wayne, watching the broadcast with Alfred, says since the Balloon-man killed people, that made him a criminal too. The news cast ends with “Now that the Balloon-man is gone, who will defend the innocents of Gotham.” Bruce has a pensive look on his face and after a day of not eating, he picks up his fork and begins to eat.
Barbara and Gordon at her house. Gordon says the city is sick. The Balloon-man felt everyone in power is corrupt. Gordon says if everyone takes the law into their own hands, then there is no law. Gordon asks Barbara if she believes he could do something like that. She says “no and that’s why I love you.”