If you were watching the Gotham season two finale “Transference” last night, you’d have seen what happens when a TV network has fully embraced the insanity and absurdity of the Batman universe. And they’re already renewed for season three, so the batsh*t way this season ended — with a resurrected Fish Mooney escaping Arkham with a whole busload full of Hugo Strange’s experimental supervillains — will actually be paid off with new episodes.
We’ve already learned from interviews who some of these season three villains will be, assuming nobody gets the business end of a rocket launcher in the first episode. (Yes, they killed someone with a rocket launcher this season. And no, it wasn’t even the first time someone exploded in a spray of red mist during the run of this bonkers show.)
Gotham executive producer John Stephens told CBR we can expect to see Solomon Grundy, the Tweedle Brothers (Dumfree and Deever Tweeds), Talon (of the Court of Owls), and the Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch) next season.
But back to that end scene of the season finale. We didn’t see most of the occupants of the villain bus. We did see someone who looked just like Bruce Wayne with long hair (who may or may not have been Clayface impersonating another character after impersonating Jim Gordon earlier in the finale). But that’s not the mystery villain who really caught our attention. Somewhere off camera came a familiar laugh:
MY EMOTIONS. Even though Cameron Monaghan (Shameless) wasn’t back on set, that definitely sounds like the laugh of the of-course-he-didn’t-stay-dead Jerome Valeska. But is he going to be the f*cking Joker or what?
After proto-Joker Jerome seemingly died in episode four of season two, showrunner Bruno Heller said he’s not the Joker (who will appear eventually) but rather the “seed of the Joker.” But at the same time, Heller was also saying “we probably have not seen the last of that fellow” and Ben McKenzie hinted at the character coming back.
As for whether this is some kind of bait-and-switch and he’ll end up being the Joker after some kind of transformation, we can pore over what Heller said in interviews way back in season one, when he wouldn’t confirm if the matricidal circus kid Jerome becomes the Joker but he did describe his introductory episode (“The Blind Fortune Teller”) as all of the following:
- “[…] the true beginning of the Joker saga — the first page of the first chapter of the story that brings the villain known as Joker to life.” (TV Line)
- “[…] the beginning of the Joker arc.” (People)
- “This is not someone who is just a character who is going to disappear. This is not a red herring. It’s the beginning of the story of how the Joker came to be, how the Joker was created, where he came from, who he is. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Cameron Monaghan is the Joker. He might be. But like I say, this is a story that begins about seven or eight years before the actual Joker arrives on the scene in his fully-fledged persona. As we’re telling with all of these characters, the origin story of that villain begins [with “The Blind Fortune Teller”].” (E!)
In other words, they’re clearly leaving the door open that he could end up becoming the Joker, while they can still deny it and drop hints everywhere.
And now we have to sit around wait till this Fall to see who was on that damn bus. I’m fine. This is fine.