WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for this week's episode of Gotham, "Ace Chemicals," which aired Thursday on Fox.
The wait is finally over. After teasing the character for five seasons, and after weaving an unpredictable web of twists and turns, Gotham has finally given the Joker his definitive origin story.
For a time, it was nearly impossible to guess the Batman origin series' ultimate plan for the Clown Prince of Crime. However, ever since the start of this final season, it seemed clear that Gotham would deliver on its purple and green promise. Now, with the Fox series' latest episode, the fittingly titled "Ace Chemicals," we finally have the answer: Yes, Jeremiah Valeska is the series' one, true Joker.
When Jeremiah was introduced in Season 4, it wasn't long before he was dosed with a toxin -- a laughing gas created by his twisted twin brother, Jerome -- that turned his skin pale, transformed his grin into a nightmare and changed him into a maniacal killer. But still, he wasn't really the Joker. Well, not any version of the character fans are familiar with.
But, as it turns out, this was only a stepping stone to the real deal.
In Gotham's latest episode, Jeremiah, in his insane attempt to befriend Bruce Wayne, recreates the events of the night that Thomas and Martha Wayne were murdered. Naturally, things don't work out as the future Joker plans, and it isn't long before Bruce chases after Jeremiah, right into the Ace Chemicals building.
As fans know, Ace Chemicals is the infamous location most closely associated with the birth of the Joker. In comic books such as DC's Batman: Zero Year, as well as in Tim Burton's 1989 film Batman, the chemical facility is where the Joker emerges after falling into a vat of chemicals that bleach his skin.
But since Jeremiah already has the white skin, fans wondered if maybe there would be some final twist in store for the Joker in this fateful episode. Would someone else fall into the vat of chemicals? Would Jeremiah's transformation be more symbolic than actually physical? As it turns out, it's neither of these options. As Bruce and Jeremiah fight on a railing directly above the toxic chemicals, Jeremiah accidentally trips and falls right into the vat of green liquid.
There you have it: Gotham has finally delivered the moment fans have waited for ever since Jerome Valeska first appeared in Season 1. Jeremiah falls into the vat of chemicals, sealing his status as the series' version of the Joker.
But that's not where the episode ends things. Later, we see that Jeremiah was fished out of the tank and hospitalized, having slipped into a coma. His skin is entirely covered in chemical burns, which appear to have wiped the slate clean for the character. This turn of events confirms that the leaked photos of a horrific and scarred Joker are real, and that actor Cameron Monaghan's mysterious third character will be different than Jeremiah.
The only question is, will there be anything left of Jeremiah when he wakes up, or will the Joker be all that remains?
Airing Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox, Gotham stars Ben McKenzie as James Gordon, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne, Robin Lord Taylor as Penguin, Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean and Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth.