(Warning: The following contains potential plot SPOILERS for Gotham season three and beyond - and, accordingly, the recently concluded season two. Proceed with whatever level of caution your ever-so-loyal British butler suggests is wise...)
Now, Gotham has never exactly been shy about teasing the impending presence of The Joker in the show, what with much of the show's first season being more-or-less a Joker-themed Easter egg hunt and all. What's more, with a large part of the show's second season (and the tail end of its first) seeming to contain an actual, 'in-beta' version of the villain, it seemed for a while there that we might actually get to see a youthful version of the Clown Prince of Crime in Gotham after all. And then...we didn't.
The fan-favorite for the role, Jerome, was promptly killed off, and the long-standing fan theory that the anarchy-loving Barbara Kean would become (a surprisingly female take on) the Joker seems to have now fizzled out. And yet, there's still hope:
Gotham's Producers Just Teased A Very Different Joker In Season Three
While speaking to TV Guide about what we can expect to see in Gotham season three, y'see, executive producers Ken Woodruff and John Stephens actually ended up revealing a surprising amount of detail regarding their plans for The Joker.
Want more on The Joker's Gotham appearances? Check out:
- It Seems The Joker Will Be Heading Back To 'Gotham'
- 'Gotham' Just Dropped Its Biggest Joker Easter Egg Yet
- We Might Already Know Who'll Be Playing Harley Quinn in 'Gotham'
In fact, as it turns out:
Jerome Is Definitely Still On The Table
As Woodruff pointed out, while discussing 'that' laugh at the close of season two:
"[The laugh] was really to keep [the Joker] alive, to keep Jerome and that threat of the Joker alive. We wanted to make sure fans don't feel that we're completely done with [the mythology of the Joker] because we are 100 percent, absolutely not... [But,] it's not going to be something we delve into right way at the top of the season."
That pause, it seems, is the result of the prior filming commitments of Cameron 'Jerome' Monaghan, who is currently shooting the seventh season of Shameless. Woodruff, though, seems to have a fairly good idea of when the Gotham team is going to be able to get Monaghan - and Jerome - back on board, though:
"We are absolutely planning in Season 3 - but primarily in the mid to second half of Season 3 - to delve back into the mythology of the Joker, and characters that may or may not be the Joker - but more likely characters that are an amalgamation of what we'll come to know as the Joker... We are definitely going to hit it."
The key point there, though?
There Could Well Be More Jokers Turning Up In Season Three Than We Were Expecting
In fact, according to Stephens:
"We're going to see how the cult of the Joker, which we started at the beginning of last year and we touched on in the middle of the year, is going to extend and deepen and change a little bit this year... You have these sort of underground movements that have started to talk about Jerome and what he represented and how he's going to come back on the day, sort of like John the Baptist, et cetera."
Which would seem to support the long-standing rumors - and straight up hints from the creative team - that Gotham is going to feature more than one Joker before its run comes to a close. And, as it turns out:
None Of Those Jokers Is Necessarily 'The' Joker
As Stephens went on to add:
"[That] sets the stage for, perhaps if there's a Season 4 on FOX, hopefully we'll bring that back in a much bigger way, and you will see these different versions of the Joker myth that develop next year with Jerome and with other characters. [Then] we can put those pieces together and go, 'Oh,' eventually, 'that's where the Joker himself came from.'"
Or, in other words? We could well spend the next several seasons being introduced (and re-introduced) to potential Jokers - and indeed an entire Joker mythos built around that cult - before finally, finally, meeting the real deal in the final moments of the show. Perhaps, should Gotham survive long enough, right about the same time we finally see David Mazouz' Bruce Wayne don the bat-costume for the first time...
The big question that all raises, though?
Is All This Focus On The Joker Good For Gotham?
Well, that likely depends pretty heavily on how you feel about the villain - and in particular the depiction of his forebears in the show thus far. If you're all in on Jerome and the Joker cult, then the prospect of more, more and more is great news. If, on the other hand, you're really only watching Gotham for the procedural crime drama and occasional bursts of criminal insanity from Batman's extended rogue's gallery, then a more Joker-centric approach might well prove problematic.
Though, with Monaghan's Jerome stealing hearts left right and center, there's reason to have faith in Gotham's creative team having an intriguing (and most likely gloriously insane) approach to the next few seasons in mind.
Though perhaps less so if he unexpectedly starts a career as a singer-songwriter...
What do you reckon, though? Who would YOU like to see play future 'Jokers' in Gotham? Let us know below!