We get our first peek at the Joker in last week’s episode of Gotham. We also meet the Graysons, the circus performers responsible for one of the Robins! Check out our weekly recap of Gotham for the episode The Blind Fortune Teller, along with Josh and Violet’s thoughts!
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Episode Recap of Gotham, Season 1 Episode 16: The Blind Fortune Teller Recap Overview
Gotham begins in Cobblepot’s new nightclub! His mother is singing, quite awfully. Other patrons seem to agree with how bad it is going. Cobblepot doesn’t like one heckler talking bad about his mother and well, kills him. Cobblepot then plays some piano for the nightclub, which is a lot better than his mother’s singing. Then Cobblepot watches a violinist, when he is paid a visit by Zsasz. Zsasz brought some help for the club–Butch. Something is different though–Butch seems to be under some sort of hypnosis, doing the bidding of whatever Zaz or Cobblepot says.
Meanwhile, Fish is dealing with her newfound leadership, and makes a speech that they should stand up to the guards. Fish says that some will die in their attempt to get out, but at least they will die with dignity. A guard comes for a prisoner, and Fish makes her move, telling the guards that inmate will not be going with them without fulfilling some demands. The guard refuses. Fish decides to kill the prisoner they were after. The guard demands her to go see the “manager”. Fish says the manager can come visit her here. She renegotiates the deal–she will go up, if the guard stays down with the prisoners. The Guard opts to talk it over with his manager.
Thomas Schmidt, the guard, returns and agrees to Fish’s terms. Fish heads to the manager, while the guard remains with the prisoners, probably for a beat down.
Also, Barbara returns to her apartment. She finds Ivy and Selina hanging out. She asks them where Jim is, and they tell her that he dropped off his keys last week. Rather than kick the kids out, she grabs some cereal and hangs out with them. But Barbara decides that she wants to win Gordon back, and heads down to the station…
At the circus, Jim and Dr. Thompkins are having a grand time watching the trapeze act. Some clowns join the act, and it turns out to not quite go as planned, as the circus performers break out into a brawl. Gordon goes into cop mode and begins questioning the performers as to why the brawl broke out. Turns out this is a story of Romeo and Juliet, but instead the Lloyds and Graysons. Dr. Thompkins inadvertently gets some information that she shares with Gordon.
Gordon asks to speak to a woman named Lila, a name that Thompkins overheard. She turns out to not be in her trailer. Her son, Jerome, says he hasn’t seen her in a long time. The Ringmaster seems to think that Lila is just out partying. Gordon decides the best way to find Lila is to let one her snakes out, as it will hopefully look for her. Turns out he was right, and finds Lila, but unfortunately, she is dead. Jerome breaks down at the sight of his mother’s death. Gordon realizes that the Ringmaster knew she was dead. He denies it at first, but then says she was found like that.
The Ringmaster takes Gordon to the actual crime scene. Gordon arrests the Ringmaster, and takes a bunch of performers to the station causing a real…circus. Gordon interviews Jerome, and a few other circus performers. Turns out the feud between the Lloyds and Graysons is over a stolen horse–before World War I.
Gordon lets all but the lovers of Lila go home, but warns them to get over their family feuds. The police station gets a new visitor–a psychic named Paul Cicero. The man says he has a message from Lila from the other side. Gordon doesn’t buy into the psychic, but Thompkins seems to want to hear it out. He says the answers lie within the Garden of the Iron Sisters. Thompkins and Gordon get into an argument about the psychic, and part ways. At dinner that evening, Thompkins has an epiphany that a garden by the bridge in Gotham must be the location that the psychic was referring to. Gordon doesn’t buy it, but will humor her interests. They head out to the scene, and discover a bloody hatchet. It is marked with THFC, which stands for “The Hellfire Club”.
Gordon and Thompkins talk with Cicero some more, and Gordon accuses him of accessory to murder, believing that the hatchet was planted. Gordon thinks that Cicero is protecting someone, and someone close. Jerome is brought in to talk next. Gordon then accuses Jerome of killing his mother. He then claims that Cicero is Jerome’s father. Jerome tries to explains his father died at sea, but Gordon isn’t buying that either. Cicero comes clean, and Jerome can’t believe it. He begins weeping, but it creepily turns into an evil laugh. He goes into “joker mode”. Jerome snaps into a completely different demeanor. He has some creepy laughs, and berates his mother.
Afterwards, Thompkins is in the locker room, and Gordon comforts her, but she seems a bit of a thrill seeker, and isn’t too shaken up. They decide to head home, but begin making out before doing so. Barbara walks in to see them making out, which causes her to leave without saying a word.
As for our buddy Bruce Wayne, he wants to have a meeting with his board members, thinking that shares of the company have been sold to some illicit fellows. Alfred warns Bruce that could be a dangerous move, but does schedule the meeting.
Josh’s Thoughts: Gotham, Season 1 Episode 16: The Blind Fortune Teller
Ben McKenzie is really good at portraying not only Jim Gordon, but also portrays a cop really well. I really liked watching him investigate the murder for this episode, and really thought he was very believable in the way he solved the crime. I might be kind of partial this episode though, because I totally agree with Gordon’s assessment of psychics in that they are a complete fraud. I was surprised that Thompkins bought into it, being a doctor. Doctors tend to be more science based, so it seemed like a weird jump for her to believe a psychic.
So it looks like we have our first introduction to the Joker. It is interesting for Gotham to give his origin story going all the way back to him being a young teen. This kid’s portrayal of Joker was very Heath Ledger reminiscent, and pretty menacing for how young he is. I would be curious to see him progress more into the Joker and see how it goes.
Unfortunately, I am still not impressed with Fish’s storyline. Partially because she is providing a inspirational speech of how they are all family, but while she is doing this, she is using some man as a pedestal to stand. To me, that sends mixed messages. Clearly she is out for only herself. I am curious who this “manager” is, and why he is so willing to meet with Fish Mooney. Do they know each other?
I am glad to see Butch back, but I am a little disappointed how he has been altered. Although it would be pretty great to see him snap out of it, and take out Cobblepot. I would prefer him not rejoining with Fish though, and perhaps like to see him get is own leadership gig.
Finally, Bruce Wayne. I am not sure what to make of his story. It seems silly a 12 year old kid could have any bearing on what happens at Wayne Enterprises currently. But we’ll see how it plays out. Based on the previews from next week, they might be taking his speech seriously, which might prove dangerous for Bruce…
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 1 Episode 16 of Gotham: The Blind Fortune Teller
I just want to start out by saying how cute Jim and Lee looked together on their date at the circus! I know, I know, I’ve been saying that the two have such great on-screen chemistry together, but it’s true! However, it seems like the show keeps trying to drive a wedge between the two on every single episode. Like on this episode, how Jim, the cop, was so against the psychic, while Lee, the doctor, bought into it so much. Don’t cops often use psychics in their investigations, and aren’t scientific minded people more logical and thus would be more skeptical of someone claiming to be a psychic? Here, we have seen that Jim is a logical minded person, and it would make sense for him to be skeptical of the psychic, so it would seem like the two might have been on the same page here. But the show just has to make a big controversy between Jim and Lee on this subject. In the end, it didn’t come between them. But if the show keeps coming up with these little disagreements every episode, those will soon start to build up, and eventually lead him back to Barbara.
Ugh, and Barbara was back this episode. It was really weird how she didn’t seem to care that two random teenagers were in her apartment, and even made it into sort of a “girls night.” I’m really not sure why Jim was ever even interested in her, and cannot fathom him ever going back to her. Barbara seems like a party girl, while Jim seems like he would be more interested in someone more mature and professional — like Dr. Thompkins. The question is, how is Barbara going to react to the knowledge that Jim is dating someone else? Will she retaliate in some way, and try to drive the two apart? I wish she would just go away. She and Jim do not seem right for each other at all.
This episode felt a little weird with the circus aspect, which almost made it feel like it was the 1930s or something. Interestingly, we got to see the parents of Robin get together, and also see the origin story of the Joker. Will the Joker pop up again to wreak havoc in Gotham, or will he be locked away for a good while? This was the same question I had about Scarecrow. My guess is that the show wanted to introduce as many heroes and villains as they could this season, and then keep them in their pocket to pull out whenever they feel like it in future seasons. Bruce Wayne himself is starting to look older already. Hopefully the show wasn’t depending on him looking like a kid for too long.
Scenes from Gotham, Season 1 Episode 17: Red Hood
Here are scenes from the next episode of Gotham, titled Red Hood: