Tonight’s episode of Gotham was, undoubtedly, the series’ most important for one simple reason: the introduction of the Joker. The iconic Clown Prince of Crime is so beloved by fans and so important to the Batman mythos that if Gotham botched it, it would have dealt quite the blow to longtime Bat supporters and forever sealed its fate in their minds. I say this with confidence because I’m one of the people who considered giving up on the series entirely if “The Blind Fortune Teller” dropped the ball on this important character.
I’m honestly surprised, but relieved, to say that that’s not the case, and that Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller (who wrote this week’s script), and episode director Jeffrey G. Hunt absolutely nailed the Joker introduction and have, for the time being, won back quite a bit of goodwill from yours truly.
While a far cry from a perfect hour of television, “The Blind Fortune Teller” is a huge step up from last week’s disappointing Scarecrow origin tale, and one of (if not the) most entertaining episodes that Gotham has provided thus far. Again, I’m surprised to say this, not just because of the inclusion of the future Joker, but because the hour was jam packed with other Batman icons as well, including Selina Kyle, Ivy Pepper, Penguin, Riddler, and two circus performers who are the eventual parents of Dick Grayson, Batman’s trusty sidekick Robin.
Not all of those characters come out unscathed, of course, but for a series that often loses its balance while juggling so many storylines, Gotham nicely managed to keep several balls in the air and pull off a fun performance worthy of Haley’s Circus.