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How Gotham Brought Jerome Back For Its Joker Storyline

jerome gotham

Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet seen Gotham's "Ghosts."

With "Ghosts," Gotham was often at its campiest and craziest, and the hinted-at arc of the title was hilariously baffling. But the narrative that many fans have waited for was the return of Cameron Monaghan's Jerome Valeska, Gotham's take on The Joker. We've seen small references to the fanatic cult that developed after around Jerome's shocking Season 2 death, and that cult got put in the spotlight tonight, as we learned they're the ones responsible for bringing their perma-grinning deity back. Get enough similar-minded people together and anything can happen.

Jerome's return for "Ghosts" sadly wasn't one in which he was fully animated and ramping the unhinged drama up into orbit, and he appeared only through past footage and in the episode's final moments, as we got to see where he's been held all this time instead of buried in the ground. (The corpse of Elijah Van Dahl appeared elsewhere, though, looking nowhere near as composed.) Not all of the dots have been connected yet, but enough connections were made for it to all make sense.

One new character tonight that wasn't Selina's mother was Dwight Pollard, played by Dark Knight actor David Dastmalchian. Jim and Bullock first tapped into this weirdo's activities due to his morgue job, a big sign of things to come, as well as the later reveal that he worked for Indian Hills. If you're going to work with dead people at one place in Gotham City, you might as well go for broke. He was the person behind the non-Hugo Strange reanimation of the corpse that put him in the GCPD's crosshairs, so Dwight's obviously got what it takes to reverse Jerome's current state of mortality.

While the membership list wasn't laid out in full for fans to study, it appears that Dwight was also at least partly responsible for getting the Joker cult going, as he was the person speaking at the gathering. (Not to be confused with the ICP festival, although the makeup seen therein ascertains crowd crossover.) This Jerome-loving bunch gets together to talk about taking down the oppressive powers-that-be while watching the Quasi-Joker's viral videos that went out along with his crime spree. It must have been quite the sight for Jim and Bullock to witness, with that non-admiration expressed through whipping some of their asses.

And now that next week will almost certainly introduce Jerome's Joker as he lives and breathes, I cannot wait to see how Gotham handles things this time around. It was recently revealed that the revived madman will influence Bruce Wayne in such a way that leads the young man deeper down his path to becoming Batman, which is an interesting spin on the characters' much-retconned histories in all media. My guess for his very first order of business? Killing Dwight Pollard, who had better have figured out a way to lower the voltage to keep his subjects alive a lot longer. Now to wonder if anyone in that crowd of cult members will become Harley Quinn later in the season.

With Jim no longer a marked man and Nygma's war on Oswald in full swing, Gotham airs Monday nights on Fox, although after the next two episodes (that will sadly wrap Jerome's Season 3 narrative), the drama will be going on a midseason hiatus. To see what you can watch while it's gone, head to our midseason premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.