Gotham got green-lit for a Season 2 several weeks ago. Judging by the rate at which it’s cramming in characters from the Batman mythos, though, you might think that wasn’t the case.
It wouldn’t be an issue if our Harvey Dents and Edward Nygmas were enjoying strong character development over a sustained period of time, but that can only be said of Oswald Cobblepot. So we were more than apprehensive when the promos for The Blind Fortune Teller hyped up the appearance of The Joker. Thankfully, while Gotham still has a too-much-too-soon problem, the supposed first glimpse at The Dark Knight’s arch-nemesis is not without merit in this sub-standard hour.
Episode 17, shown on Monday 20th, and then there are the two episodes of The Flash too. And, of course, next Monday’s episode of Gotham.
It should be noted that The Joker isn’t the only reference to the Batman world this week, as the main plot thread concerns a murder at Haly’s circus and introduces us to The Flying Graysons, pre-Dick (for the uninitiated, Dick grows up to be the first Robin and eventually Nightwing). The investigation itself is, to put it mildly, puzzling. At one point, Gordon uses a snake to find a body. And we’re interested to know what the writers would say, if we asked them how Gordon knew who the ultimate culprit is.
Still, even if Cameron Monaghan’s character doesn’t turn out to be this world’s version of the Clown Prince of Crime, it’s impressive work from the Shameless star. The final interrogation sequence, in particular, is one he’ll want to have on his showreel; the sudden shifts in mannerisms proving very effective.
Elsewhere, Barbara returns this week and it is just as exciting as you’d expect (read: not very). Not only is she undaunted by the presence of Selina and Ivy at her residence, she goes on to take fashion advice from them so that she can win Gordon back. Aside from the obvious silliness of the situation, the fact that Barbara’s life seems to revolve around our lead detective continues to be a major problem. (We should probably note that, once an outfit is picked out, Barbara walks in on Gordon and Thompkins kissing, because TV! Cue plenty of eye-rolling and exasperated sighs.)
Barbara does have some competition for worst storyline this week, though: with Fish. The former mob boss has been in the underground prison a week and now she’s giving cringe-worthy speeches about family (bear in mind she had killed one of the group last week). Cue more eye-rolling and exasperated sighs. It’s also nonsensical how she’s able to negotiate with guards who are carrying guns and should therefore be the aggressors.
All of which is to say that the aspect we were dreading most turned out to be the most enjoyable segment of The Blind Fortune Teller, especially disappointing after a string of solid episodes. Here’s hoping the next hour is a Barbara-free improvement.
Gotham is available on Netflix UK, as part of a £7.99 monthly subscription.
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