SPOILERS AHEAD for Gotham Season 2 Episode 4 “The Last Laugh”
As predicted, proto-Joker Jerome (Cameron Monaghan) had his last laugh — maybe, but we’ll come back to that — in the Gotham episode titled, um, “The Last Laugh,” which aired earlier this evening on Fox. After confronting his blind, fortune-telling father early in the episode, the dad gives one final prediction for his son, foreshadowing what we all knew was coming. “You will be a curse upon Gotham. Children will wake from sleep screaming at the thought of you. Your legacy will be death and madness.”
From there, the Galavans go through with their plan for Jerome and Barbara to disguise themselves as the evening’s entertainment to take hostages on live TV at a charity gala.
Spoke a little too soon, kid. The real plan, of course, was for Theo Galavan to look like a hero by stabbing Jerome in the throat, whispering an apology that it’s “not what we rehearsed.” What a boner.
Then we find out what executive producer Bruno Heller told Deadline is the true identity of Jerome, not the Joker, but “the mother and father of the Joker. He is the seed of the Joker.”
The scene cuts to various redheads of different ages laughing maniacally while watching the live footage of Jerome from earlier in the night. The lesson being that, as Jerome said, “laughter is contagious.” Or perhaps the real lesson is gingers are evil.
Like the Joker once said, “If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!”
Heller also told Deadline they have “not cast an actual Joker yet.” He also pointed out that they deliberately didn’t leave this revelation for the end of the season, because building it up like that would be “kind of tricking the audience” and “simply using the brilliance of Cameron Monaghan to goose the show.”
Speaking of Cameron Monaghan, is his character of Jerome really, truly dead? (Spoilers possibly coming.) He was coughing up blood and is shown seemingly dead in the morgue, so, yeah, probably, except Monaghan is credited on IMDb as being in the next episode, “Strike Force”. This could just be replayed footage from the hostage situation or his body on a slab or a flashback scene, but I’m kind of hoping they’ll leave it more open-ended than that, perhaps drop him in the Lazarus Pit to emerge even crazier. It’s all just wishful thinking, of course. It appears Gotham‘s most entertaining character besides The Penguin is really gone from this bonkers show, but the seed of the future Joker has been spread all over Gotham’s collective faces; okay, that metaphor got weird fast.
Seriously though, f*ck this show. Oh, I’m still gonna watch. But f*ck this show.