Well, that didn’t take long. The audience which Gotham is directly targeting may still be split on whether or not Batman’s most iconic nemesis should even be included in the prequel series, but the showrunners seem to have made up their minds. After recently confirming that the villain would be teased before the end of Gotham‘s first season, a new promo for Episode 16 reveals that The Joker is finally here.
Going against previous reports by showrunner Bruno Heller that the writers would be making the most of the iconic villain, stringing viewers along with several hints and teases throughout Gotham‘s debut season, the new promo for Episode 16, “The Blind Fortune Teller” – also set to introduce The Flying Graysons – confirms that the next villain to appear is “no joke,” with a laugh to die for.
According to the official plot synopsis for the episode, the character in question is named Jerome, to be played by Shameless‘ Cameron Monaghan. Since the actual origin story of the ‘Clown Prince of Crime’ is intentionally vague in the comic books, the show’s writers have plenty of room to craft their own version. From what little is known, Jerome looks to be a long way away from his criminal career (in terms of years, at least).
Gordon takes Dr. Leslie Thompkins (guest star Morena Baccarin) to the circus, but the day turns quickly when the circus comes under attack. Then, Falcone enlists Butch Gilzean to help Penguin with the night club, while Fish Mooney is otherwise occupied. Also, Bruce Wayne schedules a meeting with the Wayne Enterprises board in the all-new “The Blind Fortune Teller” episode of GOTHAM airing Monday, Feb. 16 (8:00-9:00 ET/PT) on FOX. (GTH-116) (TV-14 D, L, V).
Guest Cast: Drew Powell as Butch Gilzean; Morena Baccarin as Dr. Leslie Thompkins; Carol Kane as Gertrude Kapelput; Anthony Carrigan as Victor Zsasz; Dashiell Eaves as Kelly; James Monroe Iglehart as Ringmaster; Robert Gorrie as John Grayson; Abbi Snee as Mary Lloyd; Cameron Monaghan as Jerome.
That might be enough to pacify fans who felt that introducing an older Joker anywhere near his final version would be breaking canon entirely, as he now seems to be much closer in age to Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz). Given Monaghan’s past work, there’s no question he’s a strong addition to the show’s cast, but how large a role he will play going forward isn’t known.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the reveal is the fact that it’s far from expected. That may seem foolish given the show’s tendency to bank on some of the most popular and easily-recognizable villains (Scarecrow, most recently), but projects like Gotham tend to tap into only as much established fiction as necessary. Half the fun of re-imagining classic villains is their surprise reveal, after all.
It’s for that reason that the recent casting of Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes) as a new serial killer had some immediately suspecting that his character could be yet another potential Joker-in-the-making. Heller had promised that the showrunners would be teasing Joker “in a subtle way” – not the impression that the promo is likely to give. There’s a chance that this, too, is simply misdirection, but if that’s the case, so bluntly connecting the character to The Joker may be seen by fans as not playful, but downright misleading.
What do you think about this early a reveal of The Joker in Gotham‘s universe? Do you have concerns that the writers didn’t hold off for longer, or have you been counting down the days until the villain was finally added to the likes of the Riddler, Penguin, and Scarecrow? And if the character turns out not to be The Joker, will you take issue with the show’s efforts to imply otherwise? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Gotham airs Mondays @8pm on Fox.
Source: Television Promos