Why So Serious?
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
A vast improvement over the mediocre installment from last week, The Blind Fortune Teller is another messy episode from Gotham that nevertheless gives the show some semblance of momentum. We begin with a circus where Dr. Thompkins and Gordon were going to go on a trip, a circus that was rocked by a mysterious murder. The murder apparently wasn’t enough as a massive fight breaks out and Gordon discovers that the fight is between two families. And he coincidentally stumbled upon the body of a woman who had become the object of the fight. That opening in and of itself is meh, but the investigation following it obtusely vapid that you honestly have to wonder whether everyone involved in this episode was high on something. Logically a show in Gotham City showing murders can go to ridiculous lengths considering the rather extensive mythology that has been established, but I’m sure that everyone can agree on how patently absurd it is to have the murder victim tell Gordon how to solve the crime of her murder via a psychic. That inherently raises the question of why the victim won’t just say the name of the murderer and perhaps how to prove it? It’s really, really stupid and Gotham tries to make up for that stupidity by introducing Cameron Monaghan’s Joker.
Monaghan is great as the Joker in the subtle screen time he’s given, expertly juggling all of the various madness hidden within while keeping enough subtlety intact for the character not to go too over the top. If only the writing was as sharp as his performance. Jada Pinkett-Smith continues to shine as being one of the strongest characters in this entire series and after being butchered last week, Mooney’s character returns to shine in absolutely fury. Perhaps there hasn’t been a scene since the opening where Bruce’s parents got murdered that has radiated with such power – but Mooney rallying her troops so to speak is going to rank as hands-down one of the best things I’ve seen on my television screen all year. Speaking of Bruce, his storyline has become one of the season’s delights from its origin as a relative irritant. Him walking into the Wayne Enterprises Board Meeting like he owns it (well, he does) was stuff of gold and him telling off the board for its budding corruption was even better. See, there are great things in this show. They just deserve more attention.
With a few episodes to go, Gotham has yet to prove its worth as a series and that’s astounding in consideration that The Blind Fortune Teller is the sixteenth episode. I understand that negative reviews every week can becoming just as monotonous to read as they can be to write. But there’s a couple of things that this show keeps on tripping over again and again and again and in the most obvious of ways. Significantly, it keeps on relying upon Batman mythology to make up for its shoddy narrative work as if to say “Look! Look, there’s a bright, shiny object that you can see!” Except it’s really obvious that the bright, shiny object is a mere distraction. When a show is tackling a mythology this entrenched in pop culture, it has to commit itself to a tricky balance of remaining faithful both to the source material and its own self. It is tricky, but it is not impossible and there are certain moments like above where it works. As if a double-edged swords, those very moments in turn make everything look so lackluster in comparison. Maybe I should make a fan-edit of everything that works in this show and send it to FX. It would be short.
Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+“We have one simple choice. We die here alone on our knees or we stand up, and we fight with our family.”
+The production design and art direction continues to enchant
-“What you said earlier, about sharing lives, you’re right.” Sigh.
-Barbara needs to sue the writers. If a victim can call back from the dead through a psychic to solve her murder, then a fictional character can sue real people for making her look like a moron.
Title: The Blind Fortune Teller
Written By: Bruno Heller
Directed By: Jeffrey Hunt
Image Courtesy: Comic Vine