Gotham season two ended with (spoiler) a busload of villains escaping from Arkham, including a Bruce Wayne lookalike, the previously-deceased Fish Mooney (resurrected by Hugo Strange), and the familiar-sounding laugh of proto-Joker Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan). The character supposedly died shortly after his introduction as a matricidal, patricidal, cackling carny in season two, but hints immediately emerged that he wasn’t going to stay dead, with Ben McKenzie talking about Jerome and Fish Mooney coming back and showrunner Bruno Heller dancing around the identity of the Joker.
But two new developments make it clear the character isn’t finished terrorizing Gotham yet. First, the actor tweeted this:
And we did this:
But it wasn’t just Monaghan having some wishful thinking. Fox is now being a little more direct about their will-they-or-won’t-they relationship with Jerome. During a press tour, executive producer John Stephens told Zap2it, “It is 100% our intention to bring Jerome back.”
And he was less vague about the Jokerish-ness of the character:
“We’re going to be playing it again this year and basically extending the idea of the cult of Jerome. […] You’ll have these underground movements that have started to talk about Jerome and what he represented and how he’s going to come back like in the days of John the Baptist.”
He went on to say Jerome wouldn’t come back until season four (if there is a season four), and there will continue to be “different versions of the Joker myth,” which is nothing new. Stephens also said the character “plays into the idea of transformation” and will be a “new version.” Presumably, the new version will be the same actor (Sorry, Clare) but even more bonkers.
It keeps sounding more and more like Monaghan was a better fit for the Joker than they expected, but the scripts using him as a misdirect and killing him off were already written, leaving the writer’s room to say, “Well, sh*t, how do we bring him back and give him a lot more scenes?” It’s a reverse Jared Leto, if you will.