TV THIS WEEK: Joker's story begins on Gotham, Vikings returns, and more!

Contributed by
Feb 16, 2015, 9:14 PM EST (Updated)

It's another big week for TV, and it kicks off tonight with Gotham, where the reveal of the Joker is set to begin. Plus, Vikings is back for a third season, Gravity Falls returns from break, possible time travel on The Flash, the penultimate episode of Agent Carter, and it's all topped off with this year's Academy Awards on Sunday night.

Check out the week in TV below. What's on your watchlist?

Highlights of the Week

Gotham (FOX) Monday, 8 p.m. - "The Blind Fortune Teller"

Gotham built itself into what's basically FOX's only hit new show this season (apart from midseason juggernaut Empire) by being the "Before Batman" show, telling its own story while still dropping in plenty of easter eggs and nods to things even casual fans know. The tightrope walk between reinvention and recollection has sometimes been a treacherous one for the show (I'm still groaning at the name "Ivy Pepper"), but it's inarguably one of the season's breakout shows, and that means showrunner Bruno Heller gets to take time to run out new narrative threads in the ever-more-complicated pattern of this city. This week we get two of them, and it's hard to tell which one will be more precarious for the show and its writers: The Flying Graysons and the (sort of) Joker. In the case of the former, that means, in some way at least, that Batman's sidekick will have his origin story progress alongside that of Batman himself, which could create an entirely new dynamic between the two in the show's endgame. In the case of the latter, well ... explaining where the Joker came from isn't an easy thing to pull off, particularly if the show intends to go about it in a long-form way. We'll see how the first steps in these new storylines play out tonight as Gordon takes Dr. Leslie Thompkins to the circus, Penguin gets some help with the nightclub and Bruce Wayne sets up a meeting with his company's board. Check out a preview below.

Gravity Falls (Disney XD) Monday, 8:30 p.m. - "Northwest Mansion Mystery"

Nathan Fillion Alert! - Fresh off an Annie Award win for Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production from a Children's Audience, Gravity Falls is back with its first new episodes since November, and guest star Nathan Fillion is along for the ride. We've talked before about how this show, like Adventure Time before it, has transcended age groups to attract a wide range of audiences, and that's in some ways reflected in the number of actors who've lent their voices to it, including Stephen Root, Linda Cardellini, T.J. Miller, John DiMaggio and nerd icon Neil deGrasse Tyson. This week, Fillion is back to play Pacifica's father, and Dipper's trying to get a ghost of the mansion before a party. Check out a preview below.

QI (BBC America) Thursday, 8 p.m. - "Jack and Jill"

US Premiere! - After more than a decade on the air in the United Kingdom, the popular quiz show QI finally makes its way to our shores on BBC America this week. As you may know from DVDs or from the many episodes up on YouTube, the show, hosted by Stephen Fry, is a panel game featuring a number of obscure questions almost guaranteed to make you at least a little bit smarter. Each episode is devoted to a particular topic ("Lying," for example, or "Astronomy"), and panelists are rewarded not just for being right (which is hard to do), but for being interesting in their answers. The BBC America run will begin with three consecutive episodes from the 2012-2013 season, and though it's not strictly a genre thing, it is nerdy enough that we felt we should give you a heads-up about it here.

Vikings (History) Thursday, 10 p.m. - "Mercenary"

Season premiere! - Vikings is not a fantasy series, but it's got enough blood and battle and general medieval awesomeness that plenty of genre fans are drawn to it, so we though it might be worth mentioning that the third season starts this week. In terms of scripted programming, History's best known for miniseries, but Vikings has earned longevity with consistently strong viewership and a band of rabid fans, and now it's a staple of the History lineup each winter and spring. As for what we can expect this time around, creator Michael Hirst has already teased that he's ready to send Ragnar and his forces into Paris, upping the ambition on an already ambitious historical drama. We can't to wait witness the pillaging. This week, King Ecbert proposes a deal, and Ragnar leads his forces into battle. Check out a preview below.

The 87th Annual Academy Awards (ABC) Sunday, 8:30 p.m.

Much like the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards ceremony isn't genre programming, but it is one of the biggest TV nights of the year, so it's worth mentioning here. Plus, genre films are bound to at least get some love in the technical categories, and the superhero-tinged black comedy Birdman is in position to potentially emerge as the night's big winner, we might see Michael Keaton win an Oscar for Best Actor, and presenters include genre stars like Chris Evans, Ben Affleck, Benedict Cumberbatch, Scarlett Johansson, Liam Neeson, Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt. 

Monday, February 16

Gotham (FOX) 8 p.m. - "The Blind Fortune Teller"

Read more in our Highlights section above.

The Originals (CW) 8 p.m. - "I Love You, Goodbye"

Hayley begins to question whether the ritual involved in her union with Jackson will actually work; Elijah has a tense encounter with Klaus and suspects his brother may be up to something; Cami learns a surprising revelation about baby Hope; Kaleb harbors a devastating secret from Davina and seeks help from Rebekah when he realizes time is not on his side.

Gravity Falls (Disney XD) 8:30 p.m. - "Northwest Mansion Mystery"

Read more in our Highlights section above.

Sleepy Hollow (FOX) 9 p.m. - "Awakening"

Abbie and Ichabod try to prevent the reawakening of a formidable coven of witches. Meanwhile, Jenny discovers some unsettling news about Frank.

Tuesday, February 17

The Flash (CW) 8 p.m. - "Fallout"

A nuclear explosion separates Ronnie and Dr. Stein. When General Eiling targets Firestorm, the two must decide whether they are safer together or apart. Meanwhile, Mason Bridge tells Iris that something secret is going on at S.T.A.R. Labs; and Stein gives Barry some important information about time travel.

Agent Carter (ABC) 9 p.m. - "Snafu"

Peggy is cornered. Meanwhile, the SSR closes in on Howard Stark.

Supernatural (CW) 9 p.m. - "The Executioner's Song"

Dean, Sam and Castiel deal with Cain's return. Meanwhile, Crowley and Rowena continue to grow closer, but Rowena confronts him when he bails on plans with his mother to help the Winchesters.

Face Off (Syfy) 9 p.m. - "Troll Bridge"

Eleven artists remain for the challenge of creating trolls based on iconic bridges.

Person of Interest (CBS) 10 p.m. - "Q&A"

Reese tries to protect a software programmer who has a mysterious second life, but it's unclear which side of her life the threat is coming from. Meanwhile, a young hacker Finch tried to protect from Samaritan comes to him for help.

Wednesday, February 18

Arrow (CW) 8 p.m. - "The Return"

Malcolm puts Oliver and Thea in a dangerous situation that lands them on Lian Yu with Oliver's former enemy Deathstroke. In a flashback, Oliver and Maseo return to Starling City to retrieve the Omega bio weapon.

The 100 (CW) 9 p.m. - "Resurrection"

Lexa's leadership decisions are questioned by Clarke. Meanwhile, Abby struggles to help an injured Kane.

Thursday, February 19

Teen Titans Go! (TOON) 6 p.m. - "Hose Water"

Cyborg and Starfire find a baby bird.

Steven Universe (TOON) 6:30 p.m. - "Winter Forecast"

Connie must get home before it snows.

Adventure Time (TOON) 7:30 p.m. - "Dark Purple"

Susan her pals infiltrate the Super Porp factory.

The Vampire Diaries (CW) 8 p.m. - "Let Her Go"

Elena becomes concerned when she notices a strange change in Caroline's behavior; Alaric gets wary when Kai turns to Jo for help; Matt and Tyler contemplate a major life change; Damon deals with painful memories involving his mother; Bonnie finds herself in an unfamiliar situation.

QI (BBC America) 8 p.m. - "Jack and Jill"

Read more in our Highlights section above.

Elementary (CBS) 10 p.m. - "When Your Number's Up"

Holmes and Watson investigate a series of murders in which the killer leaves envelopes of cash on the victims. The probe leads the two into the world of wrongful death compensation. Meanwhile, Sherlock makes a generous gesture to Joan as she suffers through the aftermath of a personal crisis.

Archer (FX) 10 p.m. - "Nellis"

The gang visit Area 51 while on a rescue mission.

Vikings (History) 10 p.m. - "Mercenary"

Read more in our Highlights section above.

Friday, February 20

12 Monkeys (Syfy) 9 p.m. - "The Red Forest"

Cole risks his future to save Dr. Railly after the tragic events of the Night Room create an alternate reality in 2043.

Helix (Syfy) 10 p.m. - "M. Domestica"

The CDC team are forced to work together when another outbreak threatens to overwhelm the Abbey.

Saturday, February 21

Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy (TOON) 6 p.m.

TV premiere! - The gang get a fright on Halloween night from an evil crew of villains, one of whom is wearing an iron mask.

Sunday, February 22

87th Annual Academy Awards (ABC) 8:30 p.m.

Read more in our Highlights section above.

The Walking Dead (AMC) 9 p.m. - "The Distance"

After a spectacular storm, Rick and the group meet a seemingly friendly person.

(Episode synopses via TV Guide)