Spoiler warning for anyone who isn't yet caught up with Gotham's fifth and final season.
For years, Gotham has given fans an abundance of Joker-esque storylines and character beats, but mostly without the ability to directly reference the comic character’s mythos. That’s definitely meant to change in the upcoming episode “Ace Chemicals,” whose iconic title location is central to many versions of The Joker’s origins. The episode's trailer teases potentially big transitions on the way, and Cameron Monaghan talked excitedly with CinemaBlend at TCA about Gotham being able to break ground with such a Joker-tastic setting.
Ace Chemicals was first introduced in 1951 (Detective Comics #168), in the Bill Finger storyline that first gave Joker his Red Hood backstory. Gotham has already run through a couple of Red Hood appearances that weren't tied to Cameron Monaghan's Valeska brothers, so it's clear the Fox drama won't be rekindling that arc with Jeremiah.
While we have yet to learn whether or not "Ace Chemicals" will be the inciting location for Jeremiah's transcendent rise to super-villainy, we can safely assume that the episode will truly set the stage for him to become Bruce Wayne's worst nightmare and lifelong nemesis.
Both "Pena Dura" and "13 Stitches" ended with Jeremiah setting the dust-ridden Wayne Manor up for a truly horrific trip down memory lane. First, he seemed to have either resurrected Thomas and Wayne Martha, or found a way to clone them, and then he kidnapped Alfred. Here, Cameron Monaghan talks about Jeremiah burrowing his way into Bruce's psyche, Joker-style.
The extended "Chemical Green" trailer, seen lower, makes it more abundantly clear that Jeremiah is going to somehow make Bruce re-experience the day his parents were killed. And it doesn't look like this will merely be a hallucinatory experience similar to what Bruce went through in the past. Jeremiah wants things to be all too real.
While it isn't clear yet how the episode will make the leap from the Waynes' final hours to the Ace Chemicals plant – nor how Jeremiah apparently becomes Zorro at one point – it IS clear that big things are going to go down inside the facility. Not only with Jeremiah and Bruce, but also the Mad Hatter, who'll be making his rhyme-time return. His presence does make one curious just what is being concocted in those giant vats.
What fans really want to know, though, is what would happen if someone fell down into that green gunk. If either Bruce or Jeremiah does take an acid bath, the fall will likely be a relief after the extended brawl that will go down. Here, Cameron Monaghan tells a story relaying how physically strenuous it was filming parts of that sequence.
Batman-related films and TV shows don't ever really get into the awkward details of Bruce Wayne having to function while being completely worn out and overheated. Even a billionaire vigilante can fall victim to an upset stomach after long brawls with killer sadists.
I also got to chat with Gotham's David Mazouz during TCA, and the actor was absolutely just as enthusiastic about "Ace Chemicals" as Cameron Monaghan was. Here, Mazouz further explains the purpose behind Jeremiah's most appallingly sinister act yet.
If there's anyone out there who can personify their hate in a way that goes farther than Jeremiah's tactics, that's not the person I want as a future employer. (Or as a lover, or an adopted parent, or most other things.)
For everyone who needs an extra Bat-flavored tease about where "Ace Chemicals" will take these characters, here's what else David Mazouz had to say about the episode.
What does that mean for Bruce and Jeremiah as far as Gotham's final episodes go? Will this indeed pave the way for whatever new character Cameron Monaghan is playing post-Jeremiah? What does it mean for anyone else in Gotham? For viewers, it means another wild and trippy ride from the most bizarrely nuanced drama currently airing, which is all we could hope for. Check out the green-band trailer below.
Gotham will continue zipping through its final season every Thursday night on Fox at 8:00 p.m. ET, with "Ace Chemicals" airing on February 21.
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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.
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