Here’s why Gotham season 4 episode 11 “Queen Takes Knight” was so important for the Joker, aka Jerome Valeska. The Joker is arguably the most iconic comic book villain of all time and has tormented both Batman and Gotham City for decades. There have been several memorable portrayals of the character too, from Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s Batman to Heath Ledger’s terrifying performance in The Dark Knight.
The TV series Gotham explores the titular city before Batman was around to keep it safe. The show deals with cop Jim Gordon trying to maintain some kind of order over the crime-infested city, while young Bruce Wayne slowly begins his journey towards becoming the caped crusader. The show also introduced the character of Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan), a deranged young psychopath who is clearly modeled on the Joker. That said, Gotham never labeled the character that way and it was eventually revealed the show was prevented using the classic depiction of the villain so he could be retained for the DCEU movies.
Instead, the character of Jerome acts as something of a seed for the future Joker to emerge. Monaghan’s performance made the character a memorable villain, but Gotham only used Jerome sporadically throughout the first three seasons. After being absent for the first half of the fourth season, Jerome made a triumphant comeback in Gotham season 4 episode 11 “Queen Takes Knight.”
This episode finds Oswald Cobblepot sent to Arkham Asylum after being bested by Sofia Falcone, with The Penguin being beckoned in his new cell by a mysterious voice with offers of help. Oswald looks through a grate to the next cell, where Jerome’s scarred visage suddenly appears. Gotham season 4 episode 11 set up the endgame for Jerome, with the character soon joining forces with Oswald, The Scarecrow and others in a plot to drive the entire city insane. Jerome finally came into his own as the major villain of this portion of the season, but in a shock twist, he later falls to his death in episode 18 “That’s Entertainment.”
Jerome had beaten death before but this was the end of the road for the character, but it’s later revealed he sent his twin brother Jeremiah a gift box filled with toxic laughing gas. Jeremiah soon inherits his brother’s madness and becomes yet another prototype for The Joker, which leads to the No Man’s Land storyline of Gotham season 5. Gotham season 4 episode 11 is when the show really brought Jerome to the forefront, with the show's unique take on the Joker putting his plan in place to shape the future of the city.