The fourth season of Fox's Gotham returns tonight for its midseason premiere with "Pieces of a Broken Mirror," but next week will be even bigger as it marks the return of Jerome in "A Beautiful Darkness."
Played by Cameron Monaghan, Jerome Valeska is the insane son of two circus performers whom many have guessed to be a version of the Joker, given his wicked smile, maniacal laughter, and a tendency to staple his face back on like the character did in 2012's Death of the Family arc. Monaghan even based his performance on that of Mark Hamill's voice acting in Batman: The Animated Series.
Monaghan hinted at big things for Jerome in a recent Instagram post, but the show's Bruce Wayne (played by David Mazouz) confirmed last month that Jerome is definitely not the Joker. However, Mr. Valeska will serve as an inspiration for the Joker who will supposedly make his appearance very soon, a move that Mazouz considers one of the most "brilliant things Gotham has ever done."
"It really is one of the biggest shocks. I think it's safe to say that this kind of transition is not only the smartest thing, but the biggest kind of surprise that Gotham has thrown at its audience," he said. "Gotham loves to kind of have a shocker moment. I mean, I'm sure we'd love to have crazy cliffhangers, but this is one that is not even on the same level as anything we've done before. I mean, the second I read that in the script, I was like, 'Oh my God. Yes. That is perfect'."
The hint-dropping and teasing of the Joker is certain to keep fans guessing until the Clown Prince of Gotham finally does rear his makeup-sodden face. Whether Jerome somehow totally transforms into him by falling into a vat of chemicals or simply inspires another crazy inmate of Arkham to take up the look is anyone's guess.
"What they end up doing is kind of a great balanced way to answer that question and to have Jerome maybe be involved in the creation of the Joker but have him not be the Joker," continued Mazouz. "[Jerome] is not the man that will have green hair and a pale face. He's not that man."