Examining ‘Gotham’s’ Joker, Jerome

by Eric Joseph
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This past Monday on Gotham’s latest episode, “The Blind Fortune Teller,” we were introduced to a young man named Jerome, played by Cameron Monaghan. In the week leading up to the episode, Fox certainly wasn’t shy about teasing this maniacal youth would one day go on to be The Joker. It’s being debated by fans all over social media as to whether or not he actually is the future Clown Prince of Crime. In this article, I’ll give you my take on the situation and I invite readers to lend their opinion in either the comment section below or on one of our social media pages.

Before I proceed further, it’s worth pointing out that the producers of the show stated they would tease several possible Jokers throughout the course of the series and when The Joker was revealed we wouldn’t see it coming. Either they changed their minds or Fox let the cat out of the bag (more on that in a moment).

Showrunner Bruno Heller had to go on record and say this to the Hollywood Reporter“He may or may not be The Joker. All I can promise is that’s not a bait and switch. It’s a long game we’re playing here.”


Want to know what I think? He absolutely is the future Joker and Fox spoiled it in the promos (you can check out one they circulated on Facebook to the left), which they are no stranger to doing. Heck, Family Guy has made fun of the network’s penchant for doing things like this in the past. I’m well aware a character like The Joker can boost ratings, but was spoiling the surprise worth it? I’m guessing Heller and company wanted this to be the Joker you wouldn’t see coming and have it start a brush fire on social media the next day. It’s also likely this was meant to be one possible Joker, but Fox has already put all their chips on Jerome with these promos, so anything else would feel contradictory.

If you’re wondering what I think of seeing Joker’s origin on Gotham, here you go: I don’t mind it at all. I’m well aware the character’s backstory is often steeped in mystery or “multiple choice.” However, I’m willing to do what many won’t: enjoy Gotham as a re-imagining of the Batman mythos and go along for the ride. There have been instances in comics like Batman: Lovers and Madmen or in a big screen adaptation in the form of Tim Burton’s Batman that we definitively saw who The Joker was before taking his chemical bath. In the two examples I cited, he was already a terrible person made worse by his accident. I feel that’s the kind of person we will see on Gotham.

Another social media promo.

Another social media promo.

Before closing, I’d like to compliment the young Mr. Monaghan on his performance. I thought all of his scenes were well acted and the moment he dropped his facade near the end of the episode was truly a sight to behold. His facial expressions, laughs, and changing of voice were all spot on. He also exhibited that unpredictable and volatile nature needed in portraying the Ace of Knaves. With the Red Hood Gang showing up soon, perhaps we will see him join their ranks before long and fall in with the wrong crowd, as it were.

My advice to the producers of Gotham: believe in Cameron Monaghan and stick with him. He has the potential to put smiles on many faces.

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