One of Gotham‘s longest-running and most intriguing story lines has been that of Jerome Valeska and the possibility that he’s the show’s version of iconic Batman villain, The Joker. Jerome was introduced in in the show’s first season with a nasty case of matricide, and his cartoonish behavior and menacing laugh immediately drew comparisons to Batman’s arch nemesis. The show’s producers have refused to confirm the theory either way, suggesting that Jerome could simply inspire a different character to go on to become the real Joker.

Of course, Jerome’s death in Gotham‘s second season seemed to put the fan theories to bed. However, as dying and coming back to life rapidly became fashionable in Gotham City, it was revealed that the character would be returning in season 3 – something that was later confirmed by the show’s producers. Last week’s episode, “Ghosts,” demonstrated that Jerome’s influence had sparked a cult-like underground following and one member in particular – interestingly played by David Dastmalchian, who also helped Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight – is clearly setting out to revive Jerome in body as well as spirit.

If new photos released by Fox (via TV Inside) are anything to go by, Jerome’s followers succeed in bringing him back from the dead. The images, taken from the upcoming episode “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies,” show Jerome back to his old tricks, reuniting with his ringmaster persona and – worryingly –  playing happily with a cannon. The shots also reveal Jerome to be sporting a rather nasty, stapled scar around his face. Speaking about his return, Monaghan said:

“I really can’t wait for people to see it, we have a few different looks [for Jerome]…it looks really great. Our make-up special effects designer Mike Maddi did a phenomenal job.”

Cameron Monaghan as Jerome Valeska in Gotham Season 3 2 Gotham Season 3.5 Images: Jerome Returns From The Dead

Cameron Monaghan as Jerome Valeska in Gotham Season 3 3 Gotham Season 3.5 Images: Jerome Returns From The Dead

Cameron Monaghan as Jerome Valeska in Gotham Season 3 4 Gotham Season 3.5 Images: Jerome Returns From The Dead

Cameron Monaghan as Jerome Valeska in Gotham Season 3 Gotham Season 3.5 Images: Jerome Returns From The Dead

It’s clear that, despite his recent resurrection, Jerome is quickly back on his feet and ready to wreak havoc upon Gotham City once again with his new foundfollowers in tow. Perhaps the most interesting element in the photos, however, is Jerome’s new scars. The injuries weren’t caused by his death and so must come from either his time under Hugo Strange at Indian Hill, or from his new followers’ attempts to bring him back to life. While the addition could simply be aesthetic, it could also be teasing another link to the mythology of The Joker (i.e. “Wanna know how I got these scars?”)

Jerome’s performance in Gotham has been mostly well received by the show’s fanbase and he certainly would make for an interesting interpretation of The Joker if he was indeed revealed to be the real deal. Gotham is currently far from a ratings smash hit and could absolutely use the huge shot in the arm introducing such a well-known character would generate. It’d also help to freshen up the show after the first half of season 3 arguably relied too heavily on an uninspiring love triangle.

With that said, there are definitely a number of arguments against both revealing Jerome as the Joker and indeed bringing his character back into the fold at all. Dying has become increasingly meaningless on Gotham and bringing yet another character back from the dead perhaps steals an opportunity to introduce a brand new villain to the show – something that Benedict Samuel’s Jervis Tetch proved could have a very positive impact.

Gotham continues tonight (January 23rd) with “Smile Like You Mean It” on Fox.

Source: Fox (via TV Insider)

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