Few shows are as fancy free with their subject matter as Gotham is with the history of DC Comics, and I say that in a pro-Gotham way. Fans have been waiting to see how the adventurous drama will handle the return of fan favorite villain Jerome, whose reemergence has been teased ever since he was first killed off last season. We know he's coming back soon, thanks to actor Cameron Monaghan's own recent viral marketing, and his social media posts (which have been deleted soon after going up) hint at one of The Joker's two most recognizable iterations being used on _Gotham. _
Cameron Monaghan apparently began filming his next Gotham episode in the past couple of weeks, and his blink-and-you-missed-it posts have been pretty revealing. The past two show the actor wearing some face prosthetics that make it look like his skin isn't quite attached to his face. (Take a look at a screengrab of one of those posts.) Fans of Batman lore already know that the skin on The Joker's face is an important part of the character in a nondetached sense, so could it be possible that Gotham will introduce the Clown Prince's storyline from the New 52?
Within the continuity of the New 52 launch at DC Comics, The Joker's time at Arkham Asylum included having his face ripped off by The Dollmaker. (For what it's worth, Gotham's Francis Dulmacher is presumably still alive.) Though he's thought dead by many, The Joker eventually returns for more murderous mayhem, with his face reattached to his skull by staples and a belt, creating one of the most amazingly grisly looks of any comic book villain.
Should it go down like this on Gotham, none of the details would need to be the same, so long as his face looks like a dropped pizza. I mean, it would be great to see some version of Harley Quinn show up to aid things along - though not this version - but it's all about the visuals in this case, since we know Jerome is going to deliver the goods performance-wise.
Gotham may not be seeking out the quickest way to make its audience throw up, however, so perhaps New 52 Joker is too far-fetched. What about if we got to see Cameron Monaghan pay homage to the big screen's first nightmarish take on the arch-nemesis? (Sorry Cesar Romero.)
For Tim Burton's Batman in 1989, Jack Nicholson donned facepaint and stylish suits as the deadliest Joker, and his villainous transition involved quite a bit of plastic surgery to vaguely fix everything that his chemical bath ruined. It was this reconstructive procedure that gave the character his recognizable smile, so that would be a great way to specifically bring Jerome back in as The Joker proper. But we have seen Jerome laughing and smiling ridiculously big already, so he might not need surgery to assist him there.
Creator Bruno Heller likes to put the comic book source material through his own processor to get original twists on familiar characters, so it's possible Jerome's return to Gotham will reveal a completely original version of The Joker, or one different from my guesses above. Whichever way it goes, we all win with more Jerome.
Gotham will return to Fox for more of Jerome's maniacal madness on January 16, 2017.To see what else is hitting the small screen before and after that time, check out our midseason premiere schedule.