Gotham Recap: Episode 16 – The Blind Fortune Teller #Gotham

Gotham - The Blind Fortune Teller - Gordon and LeslieMorena Baccarin is determined to do what no one else has managed so far — make me actually get invested in a character on “Gotham.”

Seriously, instead of teasing Batman’s Rogue Gallery each week, I’d be perfectly content watching Gordon, Bullock and Baccarin’s Leslie Thompson solving crime in Gotham a la “Castle” style and the producers need to bump Baccarin up to series regular ASAP.

Gordon and Leslie are at The Haly Circus watching The Flying Graysons. With the subtlety of the show, I was half expecting Mary to ask what John thinks about Richard for their future baby’s name. The show gets cut early after a brawl between The Graysons and some clowns. Gordon has to break up the fight at the circus leading to the discovery that the fight stemmed over the snake-charmer, Lyla.

Gotham - The Blind Fortune Teller - Leslie, Gordon andLyla’s son, Jerome (Cameron Monaghan), doesn’t know where she is, but Gordon has the bright idea of releasing one of Lyla’s snakes, which finds her dead in a truck. That was kinda goofy, but it worked. The important thing is Gordon reluctantly agrees to let Leslie accompany him on the investigation. A “Gotham” investigation hasn’t come close to being this much fun and it’s completely due to Leslie’s infectious fun-spirited nature.

They encounter a blind fortune teller who has a psychic message from Lyla. Gordon blows him off, but Leslie is able to decipher it during a home-cooked meal. Gordon finally gets a taste of what it’s like to have someone put work ahead of quality time. Gordon and Leslie find the murder weapon and now he’s convinced of the killer’s identity.

After bringing them both in the interrogation room, Gordon tells Jerome the fortune teller is his father, which sends Jerome into a fit until he starts snickering — the inference is clear. This is supposed to be a young Heath Ledger version of The Joker. And exactly how do they plan on paying this one off? Jerome was tired of his mother nagging him while she was whoring around. Pretty weak as far as alibis go. Leslie is rattled with that revelation, but proving she’s a far better love interest, she gets past it and jokes with Gordon.

Gotham - The Blind Fortune Teller - Alfred and BruceOn another positive note for the future Bruce attends a board meeting with Wayne executives and tells them he’s concerned about some of the reports that look like his company is engaging in some questionable activities. He gives them the heads up that corruption in his company won’t be tolerated. This is a welcome switch for Bruce as learning the ins and outs of his company at a younger age is more believable than his junior vigilante training.

So now for all the stuff that didn’t work…

Penguin’s inclusion this week was wholly unnecessary. The writers need to stop forcing Penguin into every episode as Robin Lord Taylor’s quirky brilliance can’t save every scene. Penguin’s been treading water ever since his reveal as Falcone’s inside man and this week does nothing to make him relevant. Penguin is struggling to drum up business at his club since taking it over from Fish. Falcone isn’t happy with the numbers and sends Zsasz to fix things. Zsasz can’t be bothered with operating a club so he brings his new associate Butch to help him get it up to speed. Butch is broken and is fully under Zsasz’s control.

Gotham - The Blind Fortune Teller - Nygma, Gordon and LeslieAt random prison, Fish has rallied the prisoners into “her family.” She gets them to stand up against the guards in exchange for water and food. What’s frustrating here is that Fish is somehow dictating policy like the great negotiator when she could easily just have her eyes gouged out like the prisoner from last week.

And then in the absolute worse misstep this episode, Barbara’s back. She comes back to her place where Selina and Ivy are having another sleepover. Barbara doesn’t care who they are and plops down on the couch to munch on some cereal. Ugh. Why did Gordon not bother to change the window locks after catching Selina crashing? The most gag-triggering moment comes when a now sobered up Barbara is taking fashion advice from the girls. All that was missing was a montage with Barbara trying out several outfits.

Gotham - The Blind Fortune Teller - Essen, Bullock and GordonThen as Gordon and Leslie are making out in the locker room, you know the men’s changing room at the police department where presumably not just everyone can waltz into no matter how short their skirt. Barbara is shocked and runs off. This is where if she’d been developed any we’d care, but since she wasn’t, who the heck cares?

In all, Leslie’s team-up with Gordon helped carry the episode through the rough spots and certainly piqued curiosity about Jerome’s future, especially with the tease next week with the arrival of The Red Hood.


  • Yeah, the stuff with Fish really strained credulity in so many ways. Just having the only knife makes you the undisputed boss? Really? No challenges at all until Fish shows up? And having held onto that position, Mace is stupid enough to let someone he barely knows have that kind of access to him and the knife? Having stabbed Mace and yet shown kindness to the others makes them willing to die for Fish if need be (since the guy whose number was called had to know what was coming when he raised his hand and she clearly behaved like he had made the ultimate sacrifice for “the family”)? And Fish better hope Schmidt is important to whoever is in charge, because otherwise, there’s no reason at all for her not to wind up blinded and tortured. The whole scenario just made no sense at all, and considering it surrounds a character who is not from the comics and likely won’t survive the series, it just seems pointless to boot.

    The only thing that could possibly redeem that storyline is if the person holding all of them hostage is someone really impressive from the DCU. If that’s the case, I’ll give them a pass. Otherwise, I hope that subplot ends or ties back in really soon.

    But still, how cool was it seeing the first meeting of the Penguin and the Ridddler? I liked how Edward was more curious about Oswald than actually intimidated by him.

  • Oh, and I rolled my eyes at Gordon getting Dick Graysons’ parents back together and engaged (they even mentioned the potential of having a son; at least they talked about naming him “Gordon” and not “Richard”). That was the kind of thing I hate about prequels. As much as I liked the little Oswald/Edward moment, I hated that one.

  • keith

    you make gotham sounds so terrible lol. i havent watched yet, but i hope its better than the write up. y can barb 1.o die off already?

  • Thank you! Fish was always mildly annoying within Gotham, but this subplot is just absurd. There’s no value in keeping her alive from her captors’ perspective and it’s clear she’s getting star character treatment. I am hoping the boss ends up being someone important.

    I did enjoy Riddler and Penguin’s meeting.

  • The random “coincidences” thrown in?

  • Half of it was some of the series’ best, but there are some characters who don’t need to have so much screen time these days.

  • Yeah, but it’s a specific kind of coincidence that comes from the notion that, because this is a prequel, every important thing that happens in the future has to be accounted for in this little circle of people/events. “Well, of course John and Mary Grayson might not have gotten married without Jim Gordon’s intervention, and thus, it’s thanks to Gordon that Robin was even born! That’s plausible!” But it’s just so unlikely, and we’re only in the first season; I suspect this sort of thing will happen several more times over the years, making it even more improbable.

    Wouldn’t it have been just as effective a “name drop” if we had Haly’s Circus and didn’t even involve the Flying Graysons? And even then, I was fine with the future Mom and Dad Grayson being in the show as bickering exes who still obviously have feelings for one another. That was fun. Did we need the reassurance by the end of the episode that they were really going to get married and have a little Robin? And did we need Gordon to be the cause of it? In season six, is he going to have to deliver an infant Richard Grayson himself just so we know for sure that the continuity is secure?

    (I really shouldn’t have given them that idea, should I?)

  • Right!
    I’ve had issue with how obvious they have to make their Easter Eggs as if the audience needs the help to figure out what they’re referencing.

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