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BWW Recap: The Circus Brings Murder to GOTHAM; ALADDIN's Iglehart Guests

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The grip of a bitter, Arctic chill may be gripping much of the country tonight, but the heat is on in Gotham City when the circus comes to town. Tonight, episode 16, "The Blind Fortune Teller," weaves several tales of family, passion and survival.

A night in Wayne Manor, we find Bruce sleeping, papers about his investigation on his lap. Across town, in Penguin's new club - Mooney's old club - his batty momma is singing with the band. He silences a heckler. Below the club, in her underworld prison, Fish is running the place. Barbara comes home to find Jim's keys and Selina and Ivy squatting.

At the circus, Bruce and Dr. Thompkins watch the aerialists, the Flying Graysons. A clown car drives on to the center ring and men start beating the crap out of circus performers - certainly the wish of many people creeped out by clowns. But the acrobats were attacked - the Lloyd family beating up John Grayson. Two circus families are at odds, like the Capulets and Montagues, apparently. Thompkins and Gordon investigate a little bit and he learns she can work a case pretty well. Lila, the snake dancer, has gone on a spree, so the Ringmaster - guest star James Monroe Inglehart - thinks, but her son Jerome thinks there has been foul play. Jim suggests letting a snake out of the cage and maybe the reptile will find Lila, which it does, murdered in a trailer bed. Gordon knows the circus people know more about her death than they are letting on.

In the underground, Fish talks to the other people about being spare part donors and her plan to escape with some of them alive. She rouses them with talk of family. Back at the circus, the ringmaster shows Gordon and Thompkins where the snake lady was killed. Circus people dispense their own form of justice, says the ringmaster. In the police station, Gordon brings in the circus folk for questioning. Jerome tells Jim about his mother, including her many sexual partners, especially among the circus men Grayson and Lloyd. "The circus is my family," Jerome tells Jim. Underground, some of the outsider guard types show up and Mooney requests a parlay with them.

Family feuds, extended families, people forced into being family because they are trapped in an underground dungeon - I sense a pattern in this episode.

Fish asserts herself to the handlers, attempting to negotiate with them for supplies. They play hard ball with her and she lets the inmates kill one of the others to prove she means business. She demands to see the manager who they agree will come visit her. The inmates cheer her pluck.

Captain Essen is surprised Gordon used the snake to find the victim. Nygma tells the cops how she was killed. They continue to investigate, sending the circus folks home. The doctor and Gordon plan a new date. Paul Cicero, the circus psychic who is blind, shows up to offer evidence from beyond the grave.
"The servant of the devil lies in the garden of the iron sisters."

At Wayne Manor, Alfred confirms Bruce's appointment with the Wayne Enterprises board, which the butler warns the boy is dangerous. Barbara tries on outfits with Selina and Ivy's help. At Jim and Thompkins date, she figures out the psychic's clue relates to a place near Arkham. She insists they go investigate, walking among the street people who live under the bridge. They find the bloody hatchet, with THFC - the Hellfire Club - marked on the weapon. Gordon returns to the station to question the circus folks he suspects. He lets Thompkins in on the questioning. Cicero is the first one to be questioned with Jim pushing the theory Cicero is trying to protect someone in the circus. Gordon has Jerome brought in to the holding room to reveal Jerome was the murderer and Cicero was the accessory, being the teenager's father. Cicero admits he is Jerome's papa, and Jerome breaks down, until he turns into a laughing psycho, bragging about killing the nagging, lying whore. By the way, Jerome has quite a distinctive and Joker-y laugh. Gordon and Thompkins talk over the case in the locker room. They start smooching and Barbara approaches the locker room and spies the new couple making out.

At Penguin's club, Victor brings the news Falcone is disappointed in the club's numbers. Penguin turns around and Butch is standing there much to his surprise. Victor laughs like a fool and tells Penguin not to worry. Butch will help Penguin, claims Victor, even though Penguin is skeptical.

At Wayne Manor, Bruce and Alfred head to their meeting at Wayne Enterprises. Bruce begins to question them about underworld involvement in the Arkham project and chemical issues. Bruce lays it on the board, and they deny everything. He has proof and will be raising the issues at the shareholders meeting. The board sits in silence for a moment.

In the police station, the star-crossed circus lovers John Grayson and Mary Lloyd thank Bruce for helping them. They announce they are engaged and leave a happy couple. In the future, it would be presumed they are the parents of Dick Grayson, who will grow up in the circus and join the Flying Graysons. In the Batman universe, Dick is also orphaned by the mid-air murder of his parents and will join adult Bruce Wayne as the first Robin.)

Underground, the handler, Thomas Schmidt, reports he is to stay down while Fish goes up to meet the manager. Fish marches off defiantly to meet the manager.

Episode 16 moved along rapidly and introduced new twists as it furthered other storylines. We may have met the young, homicidal maniac who will grow up to be The Joker - or Jerome may be just a teenager with a creepy laugh. Barbara Kean is trying to reenter Jim Gordon's life but now she has competition from Dr. Thompkins. Fish Mooney continues to show her tenacity even as an underground prisoner and Penguin shakily takes the reins of her club. And young Bruce Wayne has the brass cojones to face the Wayne Enterprises board of directors with allegations of corruption.

What do you think about the GOTHAM goings on? Tell us below or head to @BWWTVWorld #GOTHAM and follow me @jeffwalker66 for all the latest updates, scoops and recaps.

Here's a preview for next week's episode:


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