GOTHAM Season 1 Episode 16
Episode Title: “The Blind Fortune Teller”
Writer: Bruno Heller
Director: Jeffrey Hunt
I took a few weeks off from Gotham because there’s only so much of this series that I can stand. I can’t believe how badly this show has squandered its audience good will and yet it still manages to hold on to an audience. As I’ve said before, the only way that this show will ever go away is if people stop watching it.
To the people who are watching it, I have a question: is Gotham really the show you want? Because it’s neither the show you deserve nor need.
This week, the Gotham creative team is bringing in a potential future Joker, and I absolutely had to see how they’d screw that up. In regards to that prediction, the show didn’t disappoint.
A Night At The Circus
Cue the circus music! A circus in Gotham can only mean that we’re about to meet Robin’s parents, Mary Lloyd (Abbi Snee) and John Grayson (Robert Gorrie). And we do… for less than five minutes across the entire episode. But first, the set up: Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and his new girlfriend, Dr. Leslie “Lee” Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) take in a performance by the Flying Graysons before they’re attacked by a family of clowns.
In the aftermath, Lee learns that the fight was largely an extension of the feud between Mary’s uncle, Owen Lloyd (Jeremy Bobb) and John’s brother, Alphonse Grayson (Slate Holmgren) over the circus’ snake dancer, Lyla. Gordon and Lee meet Lyla’s suspiciously ginger son, Jerome (Cameron Monaghan) before Gordon lets the snake out (!) to find Lyla’s dead body on the back of a truck.
The Blind Man’s Prophecy
Soon enough, the whole circus is brought into the GCPD for questioning, much to the disbelief of Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue). Lee and Gordon are soon approached by Paul Cicero (Mark Margolis), a blind psychic who claims to have a message from beyond the grave straight from Lyla herself. As you might expect, it’s a cryptic hint and not very helpful.
Unexpectedly, Lee really seems to buy into Cicero’s psychic message and she comes off as a crazy person when she insists that Gordon interrupt their romantic dinner so they can both look for the murder weapon in the park at night. It’s the first really bad characteristic that Lee has displayed since she was brought in as Gordon’s new love interest. But she’s still a big improvement over Barbara Kean (Erin Richards)!
Gotham City Sirens
Speaking of Barbara, she finally comes home to her apartment and finds it occupied by Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) and Ivy Pepper (Clare Foley). Barbara barely reacts to the two teenage runaways who have been squatting in her home. She even gets their feedback on which outfit to wear when seeing Gordon before she inevitably walks in on Gordon and Lee kissing at the GCPD.
A lot of the problems with Barbara could have been solved if she was a: played by Morena Baccarin) and b: given at least half of the useful things to do that Lee gets in this episode. Before Lee’s strange and bizarre belief in the psychic’s prophecy, she was coming off as the credible female lead that Gotham doesn’t have.
Fish In The Box
Meanwhile, in a subplot that no one should care about, Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) quickly builds up a cult of personality around her as she and her fellow captives come to terms with being unwilling organ donors. Fish wins the trust of the captives, before essentially blackmailing the man in charge of the operation into allowing her to meet with him.
Back in Gotham City, there’s also B.S. with Oswald “The Penguin” Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) running his new club into the ground. To solve this problem, Victor Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan) delivers a newly brainwashed Butch Gilzean (Drew Powell) to run the club for him. Butch even dances on command, to demonstrate Oswald’s dominion over him. Okay…
The Joke Is On Us
Eventually, Gordon figures out that Cicero came up with the prophecy to protect the real killer, Jerome. And to play up the Joker implications, Cameron Monaghan does a terrible imitation of Heath Ledger while reacting to the news that Cicero is his father and confessing that he killed his mother because she nagged him.
Well… of all the shitty possible origin stories for The Joker, this is perhaps the shittiest. Congratulations, Gotham!
And for almost no reason whatsoever, Robin’s parents, John and Mary thank Gordon for solving the case and one of them even tentatively offers to name their future son after him. Spoiler Alert: they don’t.
Brucebot & The Board
I’ve been calling Gotham’s Bruce Wayne “Batboy” for most of the season, but now I think that Brucebot is a better way to convey David Mazouz’s robotically stiff performance as the future Batman.
This week, Brucebot studies up for his presentation before the Wayne Enterprises board, and they are openly condescending towards him when he accuses them of the corruption and criminal activity happening within the company. Brucebot says that he would lead the company if he was a man, but no one takes him seriously.
“Why so serious?”
If anyone really believes that Jerome is Gotham’s Joker, keep in mind that Cameron Monaghan is a regular on Shameless and therefore he is not likely to be available as often as a villain of The Joker’s stature should be. He may be a ginger, but he’s a piss poor red herring.
Now it’s time for you to weigh in on Gotham’s latest episode. Share your thoughts in the comment section below!