Review: Gotham – Season 1, Episode 16 “The Blind Fortune Teller”

So. Gotham. That’s still a thing.

Not to say that it was all bad! It wasn’t. Just…a lot of it was bad and weird and not in a good way like ironically watching The Room.

You’re tearing me apart, Gotham!

This week, the “Monster of the Week” story involves Jim deputizing a snake into the homicide division of the GCPD. Dr. Thompkins, a grown woman with a legit medical degree, acts like a fucking 14-year-old who just found her funky aunt’s tarot cards. And there not nearly enough Bullock for anyone’s liking.

Jim and Leslie make use of those awesome circus tickets that I can only assume Leslie bought with her hard-earned babysitting money because she acts like a fucking CHILD throughout this entire episode.  It’s not a good look. (She’s not the only adult woman acting like a little girl, but we’ll get to that later.)

Because nothing good can come out of going to the circus in Gotham, a fight breaks during the show between two feuding circus families – The Graysons and the other family whose name doesn’t matter because it’s not the surname of an Important Batman Character. Also, if you read enough Batman comics you quickly learn that the mothers of BatFamily characters do not matter, only fathers matter, because penises.

Apparently, this display of fisticuffs is multi-layered: The Graysons and The Other Family hate each other because someone tried to steal someone’s horse several generations ago. I’m glad these guys are still fighting about it in this era of horse-focused transportation. In the present, this hatred boils over because a Clown and an Acrobat are fighting over a snake dancer named Lila. When Jim goes to question Lila, he discovers her agitated snake. Being a Detective with a Capital D, Jim immediately decides to allow the snake to lead him to Lila. As we all know, snakes are notoriously loyal. In fact – one was in the running to play Lassie in the original TV show!

If I had Photoshop I would put a snake’s head on this dog. But I don’t. Trust me when I say it would be hilarious.

Snakey leads Jim to Lila’s body, which the ringleader admits to moving. Jim is all, “That’s what you SHOULD do when you find a dead body. Thanks for the help!”

Instead of having several officers come to the scene to question the performers and then bring those that require further questioning to GCPD headquarters, Gordon arrests everyone. Bullock, in one of his few scenes, says, “Tell me this isn’t serious.” YOU LIVE AND WORK IN GOTHAM, HARVEY. A few weeks ago some guy with a generator strapped to his chest almost fried all of your colleagues. Last week a guy injected his kid with Eau de Adrenal.  But people dressed as clowns is a bridge too far?

Gordon talks to Lila’s son, Jerome. Specifically, they talk about how his mom was a big ol’ slutty slut slut who slutted around town like a slut. This is a wholesome conversation to have with a child about his dead mom. Then a blind psychic who works for the circus tells Jim that he’s received a message from Dead Lila. Like every dead person ever, Lila is cryptic and speaks in riddles. They don’t immediately ask Nygma if he has any thoughts because why would you ask the guy who loves riddles if he can decode the Sent From The Great Beyond riddle?

Leslie, a woman of science, believes the Old Blind Guy and tells Jim he should be more open minded. Sounds like she wants to date a believer. Boy, do I have the perfect guy for her!

He’s cuter than Gordon, too.

Dr. Leslie Thompkins, one of the few rational characters in the Batman universe, is being portrayed on this show like a 12-year-old who just got her first boyfriend and is overjoyed that said boyfriend likes to kiss her in between marathon sessions of Call of Duty. She’s also a ukulele away from joining the cast of New Girl

She’s all “I like it when you act tough, Jim, TEE HEE” :bats eyelashes: and “I’m a scientist but I WANT TO BELIEVE!” :Cue X-Files Theme: and “I made this dinner but fuck it, let’s go walk through the murder park in the dark because of a tip from a crazy old man!” 

In the MurderPark, Jim & Leslie get lost in a Sleepy Hollow plot when they find a hatchet with the Hellfire Club’s logo carved into the handle. Jim is all, “They aren’t killing people now so, like, it’s not them. Should we call Detective Snakey for his opinion?”

Back at the station, Jim and Leslie get to sit and watch while the psychic and Jerome work out their issues. It’s good that Jim doesn’t have to do any actual police work, because he needs his strength to deflower his child bride.

Old Blind Guy is Jerome’s dad. Jerome killed his mom because she was a drunken, nagging, whore. Oh, and Jerome is the Joker. The kid playing him does a good job. However – I’m going to bet that because the writers didn’t flat-out say he’s the Joker we’re going to see some news story in about 6 weeks where the showrunners play coy and say, “Well, we never SAID he was the Joker so it’s entirely possible that he’s not! He COULD be a red herring! Tee hee!” Eyeroll dot gif.

Fish Plot
The people in the dungeon are there because they are having their organs harvested. I’m not sure how Fish knows this, but she tells it to the rest of the people while standing on a dude’s back like he’s a step stool, so she can’t be wrong. She’s got a plan that will still get people killed, and she talks about family so it’s totally ok that not everyone will survive. Everyone agrees. She tries to strike a bargain with their captors, who are too dumb to realize that keeping their prisoners sedated until they are needed for organ harvesting makes them easier to control, and the “manager” decides to listen to Fish’s demands. She sashays out of the holding cell and into the next episode.

Penguin Plot
Some guy hates Penguin’s mom’s singing so he kills? wounds? him in front of about a dozen people. Smart. Falcone doesn’t feel Penguin’s club is doing well, which I don’t understand because that guy with the mohawk is back and repeat customers are always good! Zsasz shows up and gives him a “rewired” Butch as a “helper.” I’m actually interested to see where this goes.

Barbara/Selina/Ivy Plot
Barbara is back. She wanders back into her own apartment and finds Selina and Ivy hanging out eating Fruit Brute cereal. Instead of being all, “yo, what the fuck are you kids doing in my 35th story apartment?” she eats Fruit Brute with them and then asks their opinion on clothes. Yes, you read that right. A grown, rich woman, asks two orphan children with one set of clothing each, what she should wear to get her boyfriend back. I think both she and Leslie have joined Ariana Grande in Giant Actual Baby land.

Side note – Selina picking “sailing” as the activity Barbara is on her way to do is adorable. She really has no idea what people do with their time because she spends so much of her time just trying to survive. “Sailing,” to her, is the ultimate rich person activity.

Barbara goes to the station and sees Jim macking on Leslie and she storms out. Let us not see her again, oh, ever.

Bruce Plot
Without question, the best storyline in all of Gotham has consistently belonged to Bruce Wayne. It should belong to Jim Gordon since this is supposed to be his show, but Bruce is the one with actual growth and a story arc that features character change and agency.

Bruce has decided he needs to confront the board about how Falcone and the others got cut into the Arkham project. Alfred thinks this is a bad idea. I’m sure he’d rather Bruce go to each board member’s home and beat their face in with a rock, but Bruce insists on talking to them instead. (This sets him apart from his current comic book iteration, who believes fists are better than talking, just like every other character in the New52.)

With his “I LOVE METAL” notebook in hand, he confronts the board.  And god damn if he doesn’t make you root for him. The board thinks they can humor him, but they can’t. He’s already too smart for them. He’s made himself a huge target, but he doesn’t care. And he begs to differ if you think his age has any bearing on his ability to run his family’s company. He leaves the board with the idea that he knows more than he’s saying, and walks out like a motherfucking BOSS. Mad respect, Bruce. Mad respect.

Next week on Gotham – Penguin and Butch drink (to try to forget that there is an Ann Nocenti plot happening on the show).


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