With the fall finale of Gotham behind us, many are still split on the show. People seem to either love it or hate it (or love to hate it). The original premise had promise. It would explore the criminal underbelly of Gotham City that led to the creation of Batman and his rogues by following a young Jim Gordon as he worked his way through the corrupt GCPD. Sadly, many feel that the show has mishandled its hero and introduced a slew of classic Batman villains, countering the idea that the Dark Knight’s existence created many of his more colorful foes. Meanwhile, the story of the young version of Bruce Wayne and his relationship with Alfred, the true heart of the series, is often pushed to the side in favor of villain reveals and weekly questions about which “lines” Gordon has crossed.
With all of that in mind, many fans were nervous when the producers started teasing the addition of Gotham‘s own version of the Joker. Even more so than the other villains, Joker is often seen as the yin to Batman’s yang, making his entrance while the latter was still a child even more worrying. Many viewers were surprised when the show’s seeming version of Joker, the young Jerome, turned out to be one of the best aspects of Gotham yet. Over multiple episodes, Jerome slowly began embodying all of the classic traits of the rogue (while Barbara began looking more and more like Harley Quinn).
Just as Cameron Monaghan was coming to be adored for his portrayal of Jerome, the show killed him off, seemingly ending any hopes that he’d become the Clown Prince of Crime. That is until a new trailer dropped for the show’s midseason premiere, promising his return. Now, thanks to Comicbook.com and a couple of Instagram users, we have even more evidence that the show is slowly morphing Monaghan’s character into the scourge of Gotham.
All three images seem to have originally come from Monaghan himself before quickly being removed. Luckily, the Internet is filled with obsessive fans who catalog these moments for those of us who don’t regularly follow the social media of various actors. Thanks to their work, we have three looks at some facial prosthetic work that Monaghan is undergoing. While these could be further misdirects, it’s hard not to immediately think of Heath Ledger’s visage from The Dark Knight and wonder if the people behind Gotham are finally ready to let Jerome be the Joker.
The show has previously teased the idea that the Joker and his lore are constructs floating in the subconscious of Gotham City. We’ve seen the Red Hood Gang, a group bearing the name and look of the Joker’s original guise from The Killing Joke, and the villain’s signature laugh has been heard throughout the series. The people behind the show even posed the idea that every Season 1 episode featured a Joker laugh somewhere in it as an Easter egg. We’ll leave that to the Gotham-diehards to work out, but after years of red-lipped herrings, it would be nice if the fan-favorite Jerome could officially come out as the show’s true version of the Joker.
Jerome returns when Gotham Season 3 resumes in January on FOX.