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Spoiler warning for Gotham fans who haven't yet watched up to the episode titled "That's Entertainment."
Gotham's lunacy is currently unparalleled on television. The ongoing Valeska family turmoil is gloriously nutty, and somehow, things just got even weirder. You know how Jerome died (again) and left that toxin for his brother Jeremiah, which seemingly turned said brother into the full iteration of Batman's most iconic nemesis, The Joker? Yeah, apparently any assumptions about Jeremiah's Joker-ship were made too hastily, since Gotham won't be giving him the title, either. Here's what executive producer Danny Cannon said when asked about Jeremiah being called The Joker on Gotham.
I don't think so, no. This is an origin show about the beginnings of everything, therefore we just wanted to do the beginnings of why. When we first did the pilot, we were trying to create a world where someone like Batman would be necessary, and that's what we've done these last four years. If you want to survive as a villain in Gotham, you've got to think big. We just wanted to really make an origin story of not just one character at a time, and how they got made, but why things get so out of hand in Gotham, and where criminality is going in Gotham.
Technically, Danny Cannon's answer to ComicBook.com is similar to what Gotham's execs were saying about The Joker, specifically when talking about Cameron Monaghan's Jerome, who was introduced back in Season 1. It has been clear for a while that the series was using Jerome as a destructive inspiration for the eventual emergence of Gotham City's most chaotic villain, but without actually giving Jerome the glory. The whole Jeremiah arc seemed like a way to give Monaghan his most deserved spot as The Joker without having to retcon the creative team's earlier stance. But apparently Gotham will continue adapting and corrupting the Clown Prince's influence to the point where the madness completely eclipses that of Jerome's. The kind of madness that brings out the vigilante bat in others.
The future could technically turn out in such a way where Jeremiah's haunting baddie does earn the official Joker moniker, but Danny Cannon doesn't have us very optimistic about it. In fact, he makes it sound like fans might never hear about a single entity dubbed The Joker. In reference to Jerome's final words to Jim about being more than a man, Cannon said this:
Well, I think that just spawned the conversation of the idea of it, of the Joker not being a one person, but like I said, it's a personality. It's a way of thinking. It's more powerful than just one person. Therefore, that sparked the conversation of, if it's the opposite of good, the opposite of Bruce Wayne, is somebody who just wants to destroy, and wants to do it in a chaotic way, then that could be anyone, because you are literally just going the opposite of your main character and take it as far as you can go. I don't think that's just one person. I think that is a way of life, it's an ideology.
When I'd recently spoken with Gotham star Cameron Monaghan about the back half of Season 4, he spoke of Jerome's connection to The Joker, and how the character's distinction as the "proto-Joker" is a proper one. Which is fitting, even if that proper name isn't one that will be uttered on the show itself. I guess this means we can stop asking when Harley Quinn will show up, since there's no Joker for her to be infatuated with.
With more shocks to come in its final four episodes, Gotham airs on Fox on Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET. To see what other shows will be popping up when the Valeskas have vacated primetime, head to our summer premiere schedule.