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TV Review: Gotham - Season 1 Episode 16 "The Blind Fortune Teller"

02.17.2015

Episode 16: "The Blind Fortune Teller"

Synopsis: Gordon takes Dr. Leslie Thompkins to the circus, but the day turns quickly when the circus comes under attack. Then, Falcone enlists Butch Gilzean to help Penguin with the night club, while Fish Mooney is otherwise occupied. Also, Bruce Wayne schedules a meeting with the Wayne Enterprises board.

Recap: GOTHAM had a lot on it's plate this week including updates on Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle, Oswald Cobblepot, Barbara Kean, Fish Mooney, Ivy Pepper, and of course Jim Gordon.  With a brief montage of scenes catching up with the various characters, we get to see Gordon and Dr. Thompkins on thier date at the circus where they are amazed by The Flying Graysons.  As the acrobats take their bow, a clown car drives into the center ring.  A clown emerges and cracks a bottle over the head of one of the acrobats which prompts Gordon to step in.

Gordon and Thompkins learn of a family feud between the Graysons and the Lloyds, the uncle of one of the girls, Lyla, prompting the attack.  Going to meet the snake dancer, Gordon and Thompkins meet Jerome, Lyla's son.  The ringmaster hints that Lyla is a "party girl" but she didn't take any of her belongings with her.  Gordon has Jerome set Lyla's snake free and they follow it to a truck where they find her corpse.  The ringmaster knew about her body and shows Gordon where they found her, saying them were going to bury her after the performance that night. Gordon takes them into custody.

Questioning Jerome, Gordon learns that his mother slept with a member of the Lloyd and the Grayson families but he defends her as an imperfect person with cold comments about how sex is a healthy human behavior.  Lloyd accuses the Grayson he attacked of killing Lyla and vice versa.  Their feud dates back to before World War I.  The younger Grayson and Lloyd, a couple, argue about how either of their relatives could have been the killer and why or why not to the chagrin of the GCPD officers.

The Captain is impressed by Gordon's use of the snake but less so that his prime suspects are a clown and an acrobat.  Edward Nygma arrives with the added news that Lyla was killed by blunt force with a hatchet or another weapon.  The time of death rules out booth Grayson and Lloyd but they keep them locked up until they get more on the murder.  Thompkins invites Gordon over for dinner that night so they can finish their date when an old blind man arrives asking for the detective.  He recognizes Dr. Thompkins and unveils himself as Paul Cicero, a psychic with the sideshow and an old friend of the deceased.  He offers to share the message Lyla sent him "from the other side".  While Gordon doesn't believe, Thompkins asks for the message which is "a servant of the Devil lies in the garden of the Iron Sisters".

Continuing their date, Jim enjoys Leslie's cooking but she has an epiphany about the fortune teller's riddle which she believes is about a park near Arkham Bridge.  The two argue about the merits of psychics and unexplainable phenomena.  Jim concedes that they can go check it out the next day, but Thompkins wants to get going right then and there.  Under the bridge, Leslie calls out Jim for wanting a strong woman but not wanting her out there with him.  Once again, he accepts her logic.  As they look at the base of the bridge, they find a bloody hatchet with The Hellfire Club acronym in the handle.  Jim calls his Sargeant to pick up some suspects.

At the GCPD, Gordon admits to Thompkins that he was a hypocrite and brings her into the first holding cell where Paul Cicero is held.  Gordon explains they solved Lyla's message and found the hatchet which also makes Cicero an accessory to murder having planted the weapon.  Gordon tries to indicate that Cicero planted it to protect someone close.  He then brings Jerome in which forces Cicero to flinch.  Gordon then accuses Jerome of killing his mother and assumes Cicero is his father.  Jerome plays dumb saying his father was a sea captain but doesn't have any details.  Gordon wants to give a DNA test and Cicero admits he is Jerome's father.  Jerome starts to cry but begins to laugh, turning his creepy gaze and revealing a cold, hard enter.  He admits that he killed his mother for being nagging and maniacally laughs.  After, Thompkins and Gordon discuss the thrill of solving the case.  She suggests they go home and the two kiss as Barbara Kean walks in and sees them.  The two reconciled circus performers come to thank Gordon for letting their families come together and they jokingly say they will name their son Gordon.  Bullock sees a smile on Gordon's face and deduces he got laid the night before.

At Oswald's, Penguin's mother performs on stage to a bored audience.  When one of them dares to boo, Penguin quickly takes the guy out with a broken bottle and a spurt of blood.  The next day, while the club is empty, Oswald plays piano.  Another time, Oswald watches a woman play piano as Victor Zsasz arrives with a message that Falcone believes Penguin is failing and doesn't know how to run a club.  Zsasz then whistles and when Penguin turns, there stand's Butch.  Zsasz says he is harmless after having worked on Butch in his basement for a while.  Penguin is worried, but says Butch will do anything Penguin asks and demonstrates by making him dance.

In the underground prison, Fish rallies her fellow prisoners to rise up against their captors from using them as human transplant donors.  She doesn't promise to save them all but only some and delivers a rousing speech about family.  The next morning, Fish prepares the prisoners when the guards arrive and demand one of them by number.  Instead, Fish steps up and says she needs to talk with them.  She offers the man they asked for in exchange for water, blankets, fruit, and magazines.  When the guard refuses, she signals to her felllow inmates to kill the man, rendering him useless to the guards.  The head guard says The Manager will be unhappy with her but Fish demands he come down to see her.  When the guards return, they reveal The Manager accepts Fish's deal.  She asks the guards name, which happens to be Thomas Schmidt.  She then goes to meet The Manager.

At Wayne Manor, Alfred confirms Bruce's meeting with the board the next day.  Alfred tells his ward he thinks it is a bad and dangerous idea but Bruce says his mind is made up.  As he meets with the board, young Bruce is greeted warmly by the executives.  That is until he asks about their involvement with underground elements of Gotham City and their manufacture of chemical weapons.  The board goes cold.  Bruce shares his deductions of Wayne Enterprises illegal activities, but the board denies them as rumors.

Review: Whether or not Jerome turns out to be The Joker, this was a disappointingly cliche introduction for the character.  As far as episodes go, this is the first one to completely waste The Penguin who has proven to be the most interesting element of the story.  Fish Mooney's stint in the prison chugs along but seems to be building to something significant despite the slow build feeling half-assed.  The showrunners seem to feel that they have to drop Batman hints every week, leading to the introduction of a Romeo and Juliet origin for Robin's parents, The Graysons.  The entire circus storyline this week felt concocted just to give Gordon and Thompkins a romantic development that itself felt pretty forced. The brief scenes featuring Bruce Wayne confronting the Wayne Enterprises board felt tacked on, just like the Barbara Kean and Penguin scenes.  Sixteen episodes in and the writers still cannot balance all of their various storylines in a single episode.

Final Verdict:

Next Episode: "Red Hood" airs February 23rd: Following several bank robberies, Gordon and Bullock investigate the Red Hood gang. Selina Kyle continues to bond with Barbara, and Fish Mooney tries to reclaim her position in the underworld.

Source: JoBlo.com

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3:18PM on 02/22/2015
I think I differ from a lot of people here. Personally, I am tired of Penguin. He's boring, he's given everything and he's essentially still a useless shit.
As for Bruce and the Board meeting, I would consider that one of the highlights. Shows that this kid is smart, something Nolanverse Batman didn't really do.
Also, maybe it's just me, but I liked the ending with Gerome. The way he talked and laughed reminded me, as someone else said, like Nicholson and Ledger in one. His speaking
I think I differ from a lot of people here. Personally, I am tired of Penguin. He's boring, he's given everything and he's essentially still a useless shit.
As for Bruce and the Board meeting, I would consider that one of the highlights. Shows that this kid is smart, something Nolanverse Batman didn't really do.
Also, maybe it's just me, but I liked the ending with Gerome. The way he talked and laughed reminded me, as someone else said, like Nicholson and Ledger in one. His speaking manerisms felt like Ledger, the laugh more like Nicholson. I kinda dug it. I do agree it was a horrible way for, if this is infact Joker, to start his character. I kinda still prefer autonomy, not knowing who he is.
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9:20PM on 02/17/2015
They really need to jump a good 10 yrs in the future when the second season starts or else they will be spinning their wheels on air for the rest of this series. It just feels like too much filler.
They really need to jump a good 10 yrs in the future when the second season starts or else they will be spinning their wheels on air for the rest of this series. It just feels like too much filler.
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+0
2:16PM on 02/17/2015
Several times now, someone has been able to simply walk into GCPD headquarters who probably shouldn't be there (Barbara being the most recent). They really need to get a front desk at that place.
Several times now, someone has been able to simply walk into GCPD headquarters who probably shouldn't be there (Barbara being the most recent). They really need to get a front desk at that place.
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9:01AM on 02/17/2015

wow

an actual honest score for a comic book show, mind blown
an actual honest score for a comic book show, mind blown
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7:31AM on 02/17/2015
It was an okay episode - just okay. But it's odd that by half season Gotham still hasn't stood out much whereas The Flash (a new series like Gotham) makes audiences (at least me) sympathize with the characters and a core storyline to go along.
It was an okay episode - just okay. But it's odd that by half season Gotham still hasn't stood out much whereas The Flash (a new series like Gotham) makes audiences (at least me) sympathize with the characters and a core storyline to go along.
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5:56AM on 02/17/2015
Honestly I differ from the writers thoughts on this episode in only one way, I actually thought Bruce confronting the board was the most interesting part of the episode. It showed the intelligent Bruce, detective Bruce, and the Batman that always has a trick up his sleeve and never shows his full hand. Bruce's arc and the Red Hood next week were my highlights.

As for the Joker, fucking UGHHHHHHH. Jesus that was the most forced fake laugh and reaction to confessing murder that I have ever
Honestly I differ from the writers thoughts on this episode in only one way, I actually thought Bruce confronting the board was the most interesting part of the episode. It showed the intelligent Bruce, detective Bruce, and the Batman that always has a trick up his sleeve and never shows his full hand. Bruce's arc and the Red Hood next week were my highlights.

As for the Joker, fucking UGHHHHHHH. Jesus that was the most forced fake laugh and reaction to confessing murder that I have ever seen in any show. Its like the actor was told "ok do your best Mark Hamill Joker laugh, you know from the animated series, yeah that will make them think you're the Joker alright" sigh its insulting to us viewers. We know its in the Batman universe, you don't need to repeatedly beat us over the head with clues and references like we're too stupid to figure it out. If they had left this kid with the serious voice but just that maniacal smile when he first looked up from his hands, it would have been perfect. It would have left us thinking it was but not 100% sure. But no they had to have him laugh and laugh and laugh like they had to make sure we think this is the Joker. Fucking christ I want to punch every writer of the show dead in the face Les Grossman ordering the Key Grip style.

The Fish stuff for the first time was also interesting. I'm curious what they have going on there. I hate her character, but tonight I found her almost interesting mainly because she reeled in the overacting some. And I agree the Penguin was wasted tonight sadly. I was also unhappy that there was next to no Bullock. I will say Gordon and Medical Examiner actually do have chemistry, something that Barbara lacked. I'd be completely happy to never see her on this show again and at the end credits for the series just run a tag saying that Barbara and Gordon got married. I really never want to see her again.
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12:21AM on 02/17/2015
Why the low rating? I thought they paced this episode very well and Cameron Monaghan had a nice blend of Nicholson and Ledger whilst also giving his "Jerome" character his own twist on the Joker.
Why the low rating? I thought they paced this episode very well and Cameron Monaghan had a nice blend of Nicholson and Ledger whilst also giving his "Jerome" character his own twist on the Joker.
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12:09AM on 02/17/2015
Fox didn't do this episode any favors by spoiling the ending just for a desperate ratings grab.
I would rather they played more red herrings on who or if Joker would be in the show, but "Orange Boy" from Shameless plays crazy well, so I won't mind if Jerome returns next season.
Fox didn't do this episode any favors by spoiling the ending just for a desperate ratings grab.
I would rather they played more red herrings on who or if Joker would be in the show, but "Orange Boy" from Shameless plays crazy well, so I won't mind if Jerome returns next season.
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