Gotham's Joker Mystery Got Weirder Thanks To Netflix Subtitles

Gotham has found a way to introduce a bunch of Batman's most legendary villains despite the fact that Bruce Wayne is still a growth spurt or two away from the cape and the cowl, and even more baddies are on the way in the fifth season after an in-universe time jump. A big question has been whether the Joker would appear or if, in fact, he had already appeared without the official title. Well, the Netflix subtitles for Season 4 just made the mystery even weirder. Take a look!

In the Netflix subtitles for the Season 4 episode called "A Beautiful Darkness," the still-very-much-alive Jerome had more than one line of dialogue captioned with "Joker" rather than "Jerome." An eagle-eyed fan on Reddit caught the "Joker" mention in the subtitles, which came when Penguin was locked up in Arkham and Jerome was attempting to win him over to his cause. On his way to pay Penguin a visit, Jerome can be heard in the background, regaling a guard with the tale of how he strangled somebody.

Jovially sharing a story of murder is definitely a Joker-esque trait, but it's hardly the first or only one Jerome showed over his years on Gotham. There's a reason why fans have been speculating since his very first appearance that he would be revealed as the Clown Prince of Crime, and it's not just his delightfully unsettling cackle. That said, Jerome finally bit the dust in Season 4, and he seems like he's staying dead this time around. If Jerome was the Joker on Gotham, then Joker 1.0 is dead.

Of course, Jeremiah fits the bill for the Joker. He already comes across as more dangerous and perhaps even crazier than his not-so-dearly departed twin brother, and he remained behind in No Man's Land as of the end of Season 4. There aren't too many episodes in the fifth and final season; if Gotham intends to use the Joker as a character beyond a cameo, revealing Jeremiah as the iconic villain could be the way to go. Is the Netflix subtitle a hint that a Valeska brother is the Joker?

Okay, probably not. The party that added the subtitles may have just gone ahead and used "Joker" for Jerome without knowing his full history on Gotham. It's worth noting that the subtitles on the digital version of Season 4 called him "Jerome" in the same scene. Besides, the show using Netflix's subtitles to drop a huge hint about a dead character's brother would be pretty wild, even by Gotham standards. Still, it's a sign that Jerome (and therefore Jeremiah) have a bunch of traits that definitely get people thinking "Joker."

Given all the new villains who are popping up in Season 5 -- not the least of which will be Bane -- it should be interesting to see if the Joker gets his day, is left out of Gotham altogether, or is hinted at similar to the way the Joker is hinted at the end of Batman Begins. If Harley Quinn does indeed debut, could Gotham really leave out her puddin' before the end? Only time will tell. Sadly, Gotham won't be back on the airwaves until midseason. The good news is that there are plenty of viewing options between now and then.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).