Gotham: Review: Series 1 Episode 16: The Blind Fortune-Teller

Gotham 1.16A visit to the circus ends in chaos, but why are those involved taking it so seriously?

We’ve know that he had to turn up at some point, and it’s taken until now for him to do so. In what would presumably have been the final episode of the season as originally planned – before the show received an extension to 22 rather than 16 instalments – we meet someone who is going to make a massive difference to Bruce Wayne’s life (and I don’t mean Dick Grayson’s prospective parents).

Or at least, I think we do: Bruce Heller wrote the episode, and even he is hedging his bets as to whether Jerome, the young circus orphan, really is the Joker. But let’s put it this way: Cameron Monaghan quite definitely seems to be playing him, with Heath Ledger’s  insanity combined with Cesar Romero’s style (and the purple hat of the titular blind fortune-teller may well reappear – once said fortune-teller is out of the way, as I’m equally sure is going to happen).

The confrontation between Bruce and Jerome is genuinely chilling – as is Bruce’s new girlfriend’s reaction to it. I could have done without the Barbara plotline (can’t she stay away for a bit longer, particularly if she’s not really prepared to fight for her man), even if it was nice to have some short scenes with Selina and Ivy.

Two other plotlines move forward with some sharp twists: Fish takes control of the transplantees and shows she’s as ruthless as ever; while Penguin’s nightclub venture isn’t exactly helped by his choice of entertainment, and Victor Zsazz’s offer of help is bound to come with some strings attached. The Wayne Enterprises scenes were surprisingly effective: David Mazouz dominated them, as Bruce made some bad enemies…

Verdict: Still one of my favourite new shows of the season, particularly now Gotham’s writers have got the balance between the plotlines working well. 8/10

Paul Simpson

 

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