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Gotham - The Blind Fortune Teller - Advance Preview

The circus comes to town on “Gotham” this week and even “The Blind Fortune Teller” could have told you it’d bring murder in its wake.

Gordon and Leslie’s date to a performance of Haly’s Circus comes to a halt upon the discovery of a dead body – the show’s snake charmer. As they investigate, the colorful setting adds a sense of whimsy to the often dreary world of Gotham City – acrobats and clowns brawling, a python used as a clue-sniffing police dog (Essen’s reaction to this is awesome), the bullpen of the GCPD filled with bright costumes. But things take a darker turn when the titular character gets involved, running Gordon and Leslie right into the Joker tease/red herring/marketing ploy that’s dominated the promos for this episode.

Speaking of references to Batman’s comic book world, flirting on the sidelines of the story are John Grayson and Mary Lloyd, two youngsters from rival circus families who seem like the type to grow up and have a son who’s a real Boy Wonder. The case also tests Gordon and Leslie’s relationship, as he’s unnerved by her enthusiasm while she finds it hypocritical that he claims to want to be with a woman who can handle his dangerous profession, but then constantly tries to protect her from it.

Someone who might be very interested in Gordon’s relationship status is Barbara Keen, who’s back in Gotham. She gets a surprise when she returns home from a night of partying to find Selina and Ivy squatting in her apartment. But unbelievably, she’s totally blasé about the intruders, enlisting them as pint-sized gal pals whose advice she asks about winning Gordon back. How will she react when she finds out about him and Leslie? Will it change her mind once again and send her running back to Montoya (absent again, as is poor Crispus Allen)?

The Penguin’s tenure as nightclub owner and operator is off to a shaky start. It turns out that modern clubgoers aren’t interested in hearing Carol Kane warble “While You’re Smiling,” or in the bloody beat downs you receive if you don’t appreciate the entertainment. An unhappy Falcone sends Victor Zsasz to have a chat with Oswald, with Zsasz presenting him with a surprising new employee to help turn things around.

And then there’s Fish’s subplot, which continues to seem like it’s happening on a completely different show. It turns out that the prisoners are being used for spare body parts by some kind of organ trafficking ring. Fish – who inexplicably has the rest of the inmates eating out of the palm of her hand – realizes that this gives her leverage, which she uses to get herself an audience with the man in charge. But really, nothing about this Fish Mooney, Queen of the Underground Dwellers story interests me.

Finally, Wayne Enterprises’ shady connections to the Arkham land deal and the Viper drug program are brought back to the forefront as Bruce gets himself a meeting with the board. At first, they are bemused by Bruce (who does himself no favors by bringing a schoolboy notebook to the table), but Lil’ Wayne issues an ultimatum that, for better or worse, gets their attention. This is a long overdue development and I’m excited to see it play out through the rest of the season.

“The Blind Fortune Teller,” the third “Gotham" of February sweeps, airs this Monday on FOX. Be sure to share your thoughts and speculations in the comments section.