WARNING: The following contains spoilers for tonight's episode of Gotham.
Tonight’s episode of Gotham was a very special affair, as it finally delivered on the long-held promise to reveal Batman’s greatest nemesis, the Joker. The road to the Joker has been a long one, dappled with teases and red herrings abound, but tonight it finally happened… though not exactly in the way fans might have expected.
Last year, Bryan Wynbrandt, co-executive producer on Gotham, revealed that Cameron Monaghan’s Jerome Valeska would not be the Joker, despite him effectively filling that role for most of his time on the show. But if not Jerome, then who? Fans have long wondered who might step in to fill Jerome’s shoes and eventually become the Joker. Last week, that character’s identity was hinted at when Jerome tracked down his twin brother, Jeremiah, not wholly intent on killing him, but rather driving him mad.
In tonight’s episode, Jerome met an unceremonious end when he was gunned down by Jim Gordon, falling from a rooftop after trying to convince Gordon that he is more than a man and more of a “concept.” Even in death, Jerome is trying to convince audiences that he is the Joker, it would seem. It is a short-lived conversation, though. Jerome cackles his way down to the ground below and his well-earned death (likely for good this time).
It might seem like for a few short moments that Gotham has gone back on its promise, that the Joker might never emerge as the villain Gotham loves to despise. That is until we get another look at what Jeremiah is up to. The twin takes the news that his brother had died rather hard, but eventually the arrival of a gift interrupts his mourning. Jeremiah opens his new present and, predictably, all hell breaks loose.
Jeremiah is doused in a strange gas that seems to come from Wayne Enterprises, but in reality is the work of his deceased brother -- a final act of revenge for turning Jerome into a pariah all those years ago and the first step towards creating something even more dangerous than Jerome himself. Whether he knew it or not, Jerome’s last act unlocked his brother’s madness and created the worst villain Gotham will ever see.
After nearly four season of teasing and false starts, Gotham finally has its Joker.
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.