Eek! Ack! OMG! Orp! (That last one might not be a real exclamation.) With just two episodes left in its final season, which are still some weeks away, Gotham has at last invited everyone to have a face-to-face introduction with the final stage of Cameron Monaghan's villainous magnum opus. Without any further ado, let us all welcome a man called J. (Seems short for something, but I just can't think of what it could be.)
First things first, the teaser kicks off with a shot of the iconic Wayne Tower, which is as good a sign as any that this footage is coming from a point well beyond where things were left off in Season 5's tenth episode. That was when Bane came out to play and the bombs (and bat-babies) started dropping, but we're in the future now.
Then we jump to Arkham Asylum as the West Side Story ditty "I Feel Pretty" takes off, with the word "pretty" appearing over the back of Jeremiah Valeska's largely bare head, with some random strands of hair falling about. A lot of laughter can be heard in the background, but there are no smiles on Jeremiah's burned up face when the camera flips around.
He's just a dead-eyed and drooling inmate that doesn't look anything like he did before he took that fateful plunge at Ace Chemicals. And then...BLAMMO! Our first good shot of Gotham's big Joker look, even though the character may still not be called that.
It would have been a shame to only get that split-second shot, but thankfully, Gotham dropped another quick moment after the title card, in which the pasty-faced villain looks down and realizes he has a Batarang stuck in his hand. A BATARANG!
I don't know what it is about the look of shock on his face when he notices the bat-impalement, but I am so down for this performance. I'm also dying to know how in the world Jeremiah went from being a pilled-out zombie in Arkham to a street-dwelling monster. (It's possible some of those pills help with being oblivious to major body wounds.)
Gotham also unleashed an official still of its J Joker non-Jameson, seen below.
Here's how Cameron Monaghan described his character's final look to CinemaBlend whenever I spoke with him at this year's TCA winter press tour.
I think that what we see is a little bit more faithful to what we're familiar with. I think that we've already gone somewhat absurd with the origin with, with the twin brother and the gas and all that stuff. I mean, a lot of that is not that absurd for comic books, and certainly not for The Joker. But I think what we wanted to do with this is pay tribute to a number of things from the comics that people may or may not be familiar with, but also to leave it somewhat grounded and to allow the character to be kind of horrifying in a bit more of a real-world way by the end. So that was nice too.
We know that Gotham will deliver Batman to viewers and citizens in its Season 5 finale, and now we know who will be the freaky-looking mofo that he'll be facing. Though no one should expect this Joker to get defeated or anything. After all, this is only "The Beginning..."
Gotham will return to Fox and fans on Thursday, April 18 for the penultimate episode "They Did What?" before moving onto its finale "The Beginning..." on April 25, with each episode airing at 8:00 p.m. ET.