Good things come in small packages. At least that seems to be what Gotham is hinting at with its three-week storyline teasing the resurrected Jerome Valeska’s continued evolution into what appears to be the Joker. After already taking a few weeks off during the holidays, the Batman prequel series returned for a short stint, so that Jerome could terrorize the citizenry of the gloomy metropolis and maybe have a little one-on-one time with Bruce Wayne. It’s an odd move for the series to make, as the on again, off again nature of the show’s scheduling runs counter to how most audiences watch TV these days, but it does have the positive effect of making these Jerome-centric hours feel self-contained and a little more noteworthy.
So far, this three-week interlude has taken the speculation that Jerome is indeed this series’ version of the Clown Prince of Crime and gone about as far as it can go without simply calling him that. After being surprisingly struck down early on in season 2, Jerome has been out of the picture since then, but after Gotham revealed death is by no means the end for anyone thanks to Dr. Hugo Strange, it was only a matter of time before the laughing maniac was back on the streets, causing trouble for Jim Gordon and the rest of the G.C.P.D.
And it’s a good thing, too, as Jerome brings a necessary kinetic energy to the show that is sorely missed when he’s not running around, chasing after they guy who absconded with his face or otherwise. Now that it’s been established that the Proto-Joker is back, Gotham is gearing up for a big showdown between the newly scarred villain and those who’ve sworn to protect the city. This time, though, the show knows what a draw it has in Jerome, and makes him the star in a new extended midseason finale trailer.
The trailer acts as a bit of a refresher for the recent life of Jerome Valeska. For those who’ve been keeping tabs on Gotham, some of what’s in the “White Band” promo will be like a recap, but for everyone else, this three-minute-long ad may be enough to pique their interest. If nothing else it serves as an impressive reel of Cameron Monaghan’s character work, as he seemingly blends bits of past Joker performances into his own Proto-Joker routine. Just watching the clip it’s apparent Monaghan was inspired by Heath Ledger’s take on the character.
Perhaps with ‘The Gentle Art of Making Enemies’ Gotham will finally get around to confirming Jerome as the Joker. After all, it’s not like this new trailer is shy about tossing the word around. Still, Gotham has gone this far without giving the character that particular moniker, so maybe the series plans to make viewers wait a little longer.
Gotham continues Monday with ‘The Gentle Art of Making Enemies’ @8pm on FOX.