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For Season 1, Gotham tipped a hat to Batman's greatest nemesis with the introduction of Cameron Monaghan's carrot-topped Jerome, and he was a sadistic tempest in Season 2 until his shocking death. Season 3 has yet to give fans a sign of (after)life from Jerome or The Joker proper, but a new image from an upcoming episode implies the villain's story will seemingly soon continue. Also: it will be messy. Check it out!
Actor Cameron Monaghan has been on a teaser tear recently, dropping close-ups of his ghastly Gotham visage on social media and quickly deleting them, allowing for waves of speculation. One popular theory is that we'll get to see the complete mind-fuck of a Joker that was crafted for the New 52 relaunch, and the image above doesn't do anything to dissuade that line of thinking, considering the skin appears to have been cut from his face.
In the New 52 comics, Joker's face is removed by the Dollmaker and though he's assumed dead, Harley Quinn rescues him and, after he reattaches his face using a stapler and a belt, he goes on an epic crime spree that called back to the character's rich history. Things will obviously be different on Gotham, which doesn't have a Harley Quinn, and it doesn't seem like Barbara will take that title. Plus, it's more likely that Jerome's return will have something to do with Hugo Strange's experiments that brought so many others back from their deaths. Perhaps he'll also get some of Alice Tetch's blood. In any case, though, the point is that this corpse is missing his face skin, and that's exactly the kind of grisly shit that Gotham excels at.
Skeptics may look at this image and say, "You can't even really tell that's Jerome, and why would this scene even be happening present-day Gotham City when he's been dead a while?"And I say, "That dead body has red hair, and we know Jerome is coming back, and it's probably a flashback." Plus, not only did Fox put the image out there for the public to see, Cameron Monaghan shared it not long after on his Instagram page. So it's gotta be him, right? It's interesting to note that this is the rare promo shot that actually captures someone in action - as in Lee's hand being blurred as she pulls the sheet up - while most specifically feature actors in still moments.
Speaking of Lee, she and Jim were on very strange grounds when the midseason finale came to a close, as he appeared to have murdered her beau Mario Falcone, who was actually about to kill her in a jealous rage. We can't wait to see how he gets out of that jam, and how his uncle Frank's introduction will play into Gotham City's ever-growing problems.
Gotham will make its triumphant return to Fox with Season 3's "Ghosts" (and possibly a Dark Knight easter egg) on Monday, January 16, while a certain Clown Prince of Crime will possibly be back that next week for "Smile Like You Mean It." Head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what else is hitting the small screen in the new year.