Less than 5 – Skip it, 6 – OK, 7 – Good, 8 – Great, 9 – Phenomenal, 10 – You owe it to yourself to watch this episode!
The back and forth continues with this week’s installment of Gotham. Fortunately, The Blind Fortune Teller fell on the positive end of the spectrum. A possible Joker tease, The Flying Grayson’s and some interesting developments with Bruce. Check out the full review after the jump!
Creator and showrunner of Gotham flat out said that this episode would begin the origin of the “Clown Prince of Crime” leading everyone to tune in to find out just how everyone’s favorite villain came to be. Truth is, we don’t actually find out. We are introduced to a young Carnie by the name of Jerome (who has been plastered all over promo art and trailers with that devilish grin) who is already pretty psychotic. It isn’t much of a mystery that he was the killer (Gordon and Leslie go to the circus and have to investigate the murder of a Snake Charmer) and the fact that he is already the Joker sans makeup the origin aspect of the whole thing was kind of underwhelming.
That being said, Cameron Monaghan does a really great job in the role. He begins the proceedings as a meek and innocent victim but once he’s had the act is dropped and his true persona emerges. If he is in fact the Joker I would be ok with it performance wise. I just hope that they dive a bit deeper into things (The Killing Joke anyone?).
It was a nice surprise to see the episode focus so heavily on Gordon and Leslie, something I have been begging the people at FOX to do since the beginning. Granting them the majority of screen time allowed us to invest in their relationship and provided ample opportunity to create a solid story around them. The murder mystery was pretty thin but it did let us get to know our protagonists as well as a small tease of the Flying Grayson’s (Robin’s family). Ben McKenzie and Morena Baccarin have an interesting chemistry that is streets ahead of Barb & Gordon.
Speaking of Barbara, she snuck her way back in to the middle of things this week. She showed up back at her apartment, high or drunk on whatever, to find Selina and Ivy squatting. She’s so out of it she doesn’t even care (or piece together the fact that Ivy was the one who answered her call a few episodes back). She didn’t do much this week aside from catching a hot make-out sesh between Gordon and Leslie. Turning Barbara into the jealous ex is possibly the only bearable way to keep her around. Fans dislike her and playing up that aspect could be a way to win her back some fans. I would rather have her out completely but since that isn’t about to happen I guess this works.
The tail end of the episode tried to cram in all of the other subplots, which is where The Blind Fortune Teller fell apart.
Fish Mooney is still trapped in her underground prison where she busts out a completely unnecessary speech about family and strength winning the devotion of her fellow inmates. She has been in there for about a week, it makes no sense that people would be willing to die for her. Especially since the guys keeping them there have guns (why they don’t use them is beyond me).
With each passing week Robin Lord Taylor’s Penguin grows more and more pathetic. He started off as a ruthless killer that was willing to do whatever it took to get to the top. Now he gets pushed around by anyone bigger than him and he fails at every business venture he gets his hands on (first the tax thing at the pier, now the club). To let him fall any farther would be criminal.
David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne had a strong showing, though it did seem a bit random within the episode. Having connected a few dots, he thought it a good idea to tell the entire board of Wayne Enterprises (a group of people much older and more powerful than he) that he was on to them and willing to sue. Probably not the smartest thing to do (sentiments shared by Sean Pertwee’s Alfred) but it did convey some growth on the part of Bruce and Mazouz pulled it off grandly.
Someone must be reading my reviews. The folks behind Gotham have taken most of what I said last week to heart and crafted one of the better episodes of the season. There is still room for improvement but this is a step in the right direction. Hopefully they can integrate some of the storylines into each other while still keeping focus on Gordon and his cases.
Overall I give this episode 7/10