Back in January, David Mazouz (who plays Bruce Wayne) and guest star Cameron Monaghan (who plays Jeremiah Valeska) summed up the inevitability of this showdown. Mazouz told IGN, “Jeremiah wants to be best friends with Bruce, Bruce hates Jeremiah, but in Jeremiah’s world, Bruce is playing hard to get. He does awful things that he thinks will eventually make Bruce come around to him, but neither can end this cycle since Bruce cannot kill, and Jeremiah doesn’t want to hurt Bruce.” Monaghan added that Jeremiah’s obsession with Bruce is the remaining element of his humanity and vulnerability. Well, a vat of green chemicals can wash that away.
If you’ve been watching Gotham, you already know Jeremiah has just kidnapped Alfred, and he’s also captured a man and a woman and had their appearance altered to resemble Bruce’s parents, all so he can stage a “family reunion.”
The new trailer above and the synopsis below give new details about Jeremiah’s desperate plan to win friends and influence people. His family reunion involves re-enacting Thomas and Martha Wayne’s murder, including a remake of The Mark of Zorro — the movie Bruce saw with his parents the night they were killed — staring Jeremiah as Zorro:
“Next week’s episode of Gotham, we get all kinds of weird,” Monaghan captioned this photo, as though we even have a way to quantify the weirdness of this bonkers show anymore.
Here’s the synopsis for Thursday’s episode:
Gordon races to uncover the criminal element threatening to end talks of Gotham’s reunification with the mainland. A very-much-alive Jeremiah (guest star Cameron Monaghan) returns and organizes a twisted recreation of the murder of Bruce’s parents, with the help of Jervis Tetch aka Mad Hatter (guest star Benedict Samuel) in the all-new “Ace Chemicals” episode of GOTHAM airing Thursday, Feb. 21 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Don’t expect to hear anyone calling him Joker, however. Even though Monaghan has said they’ve been given more leeway this season with characters, it doesn’t seem like they can necessarily use the name. In recent interviews, especially during Gotham‘s Television Critics Association panel earlier this month, cast and crew members weighed in on the character.
Last month, executive producer John Stephens said, “You never see a full transformation into the Joker, but you do see another transformation. Jeremiah undergoes another evolution in his character to become another amalgam of Jeremiah and Jerome that I think audiences are gonna look at and say, if it’s not the Joker then it’s definitely an antecedent or a proto-Joker that lives there.” Earlier this month, he added, “[T]here are some elements, I’d say, of the character of the Joker himself that we see down the road that have not been present so far, either in Jerome or in Jeremiah. But those elements and characters are present in the new iteration of Jeremiah that comes out.” Then he confused us all over again by saying, “If he’s not The Joker then he’s someone who does provide the origins for the person you’re going to see later.”
Meanwhile, co-star Donal Logue (who plays Harvey Bullock) said, “Cameron may not be the Joker, but he’s my favorite Joker of all-time.”
All this build-up to still not go full Joker would be such a lost opportunity. Speaking of lost opportunities, The Mark of Zorro? Could’ve gone with Space Jam…