The parade of future super-villains on Gotham won't slow down over the remaining episodes of the DC TV series' freshman season, beginning with tonight's installment, "The Fearsome Dr. Crane". Baddies such as Red Hood and Dollmaker will likewise be making appearances in the foreseeable future, even as the gangster wars of Gotham heat up and such characters as Edward Nigma (Cory Michael Smith) continue on their descent to the dark side.
But what of the Clown Prince of Crime himself, The Joker, whose eventual appearance has been teased by Gotham showrunner/creator Bruno Heller before? Well, now Heller is saying the slow-burn buildup for that story isn't done yet - but viewers at home will, in fact, get their first taste of that villain plot thread before the show's first season wraps up.
Here's what Heller told TV Guide, regarding Gotham's Joker origins storyline:
"We've said you're going to be waiting a bit longer for it, but this is America -- nobody wants to wait. [Laughs] So, we will scratch the surface of that story, yes. But just scratch it -- a little tap on the door [before season one is done]."
Gotham fans have been heavily scrutinizing the show's episodes thus far for any hint about who the Joker might be (and/or where they come from) in this series' continuity - enough so to have given rise to some pretty wild theories, like the claim that Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) will eventually become the Clown Prince of Crime on the show. It didn't help that, from the very beginning, Heller told everyone watching at home to keep their eyes peeled for clues and hints about the villain's debut.
However, Heller's latest comments suggest that any Joker nods included on the show thus far are smoke and mirrors - and not necessarily direct foreshadowing of what's to come on Gotham.
Cobblepot's stirring of the pot amongst Gotham City's mobsters - in order to climb higher on up the totem pole himself - has served quite well as the driving force behind Gotham's narrative to this point; indeed, most people seem to agree it's far and away the best aspect of this mixed bag of a show. The Penguin storylne ought to continue to payoff off nicely as the show, as a whole, slowly (but steadily) continues to enrich its over-arching subplots and character stories with further development.
There's certainly room for Heller and his writing staff to incorporate the Joker storyline organically into the proceedings, perhaps even partially built on the foundation of the Cobblepot thread. Still, there's no need to rush that plot thread either, since the Clown Prince of Crime will no doubt serve a larger purpose in the series' mythology - maybe even emerging as a main antagonist at some point during the second season... or somewhere else down the line, should the show hang around that long. Then again, a "little tap on the door" might be all that we get for a while now.
Meanwhile, there are other important Gotham plot threads - like James Gordon's (Ben McKenzie) troubled home life and young Bruce Wayne's (David Mazouz) journey to becoming the Caped Crusader one day - that still need a lot of work. That's where the show's writers really out to focus their attention right now - not so much on diving too deep into another major villain's backstory.
In other words: "scratching the surface" of the Joker storyline is all that Gotham needs (well, "needs") to do, by the time season one has reached its conclusion.
Gotham continues tonight with "The Fearsome Dr. Crane" on Fox.
Source: TV Guide