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REVIEW: Gotham 1×16 “The Blind Fortune Teller”

Written by Scott Swartz

Well good to see I haven’t missed much as Gotham continues to be just short of being considered ok. On the surface there are plenty of elements to “The Blind Fortune Teller” that should make it an enjoyable watch. Gordon gets to do some solid detective work, Bruce gets to stand up to the board in some fashion, Jerome is a suitably creepy villain who could be someone worth while, but then you begin to see the cracks in all of those plot lines like they want to be something more. One of the many great things about Batman as a hero is each of his rogues manages to challenge a different aspect of his character, but without Bruce being at the center of these conflicts we have to wonder how are these villains representations of Gordon not only as a person, but also as a detective.

All of this episode hinges on our joy at knowing that eventually Jerome will possibly end up as the biggest of bads in Bruce’s universe. His muttering performances for most of the episode managed to showcase one of The Joker’s most terrifying abilities, to blend in so as to cause the maximum amount of chaos. If you look at the biggest Joker stories the character always focuses on the big finale or punchline to his macabre opera, and we as the reader struggle to figure how the cards all fit together. Here anyone with half a detective brain can figure out that Jerome killed his mother out of spite and hatred rather than something more powerful as a viewer. I mean he could have just killed her to see how it felt, or because he could and no one of importance would care to see her disappear. Instead we are given a self serving villain, which in my opinion is not who the Joker is, as he manages to service himself through the theatricality which was sorely lacking. I will give him one thing when he flipped the full on crazy switch for the briefest of moments I could see the villain we all know and love. I would have killed for an hour of that rather than what we got.

Speaking of what we got why the hell are we supposed to care about Fish in any way shape or form. Sure the fact that she was out of her element was enjoyable and watching her climb her way to the top last week was in character, but the way she has so quickly taken control of everything is just not satisfying. It is the same way that Penguin got back in control so quickly that I just don’t believe anything that is happening to them, I mean if it is so easy for a mob boss to get back in control then everybody should be doing it. Fish has gained back so much power so quickly it was completely unnecessary for her to go into exile the way she did. It is like the writers decided they don’t need an overarching villain this season and that is simply not how this type of show should function. I should know how dangerous people are to Gordon and no one I have met this entire season with the exception of Falcone is even the smallest of threats to Gordon. This show needs to say to us here is the villain, here is why they are dangerous, and here is why they are coming after our hero. On Arrow, The Flash, or even 12 Monkeys I know who the villain is, on Gotham it is literally no one and for a show with a plethora of options it is more infuriating than anything to watch.

The one shining part of the episode that managed to work so very well for me was Bruce going to Wayne Enterprises and confronting the board. This scene has been a long time coming and it paid all of the dividends it possibly could as Bruce managed to be the most Bruce like he could possibly be. He has confronted the board with the bare minimum of the evidence he has seemingly discovered and given the board just enough of a reason to fear him. That is what adult Bruce does all of the time and to see that skill beginning to develop is immensely gratifying as a Batman fan. If Bruce ever actually begins to start training and learning how to fight back in a real way I might even begin to like him as a character.

Overall we are still dealing with the same problems Gotham has always dealt with and it is so frustrating that the show is seemingly refusing to correct it’s problems rather putting in the leg work to become a good show.

Final Grade C-

+Bruce challenging the board

+Jerome going crazy

-There is no villain at all that challenges Gordon

-The plot was super predictable

-That was supposed to be our Joker origin?

-Barbara is back

Extra Thoughts

-Yes, Barbara is back and apparently super ok with Ivy and Selena squatting in her place. That is super dumb on so many levels.

-Gordon helps Dick Grayson’s parents hook up in the dumbest way imaginable. If the show wanted a Romeo and Juliet plot you could have at least half tried to make me care about these characters.

-I am just gonna be honest, this show would be best served if The Court of Owls showed up in some fashion and just laid waste to all the would be criminals. Even one Talon would make all of this bearable.

About the author

Scott Swartz

1 Comment

  • I agree on all counts. Barbara and Fish Mooney bog down the pace of the show every time they’re on screen. The writers have no idea what to do with them. Also, we’ve been shown again and again that Fish is a ruthless crime lord and now we’re supposed to believe she’s a humanitarian?

    A friend of mine mentioned that he doesn’t understand how the writers thought anyone would sympathize with Barbara when she walked in on Gordon and his new love interest when Barbara has been an unlikable character for the entire run of the show.