Warning: This article contains spoilers from Gotham Season 3.
Gotham has been doing a great job at furthering the Batman mythology this season and the latest storyline took things to a whole new level. Fan favorite character Jerome Valeska made his gruesome return to the show two weeks ago and has been causing mayhem for the poor citizens of the city ever since.
As the madness spread across Gotham City, it became clear that the young psychopath is Gotham's very own version of the Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker, and actor Cameron Monaghan has definitely put a smile on our faces, making us both amazed and terrified at the same time.
Season 3's winter finale saw the culmination of the Jerome storyline as the crazy character was stopped by none other than Bruce Wayne and sent over to Arkham Asylum. Gotham is currently on a break and won't return for new episodes until late April.
However, there's no need to be getting down. The three part Jerome arc was filled with enough Batman easter eggs to get even the biggest of nerds excited. So without further ado, let;s turn that frown upside down and take a look at some little nods to the past in the latest three episodes of Gotham.
'The New 52'
- Before we take a look at the epic film references, it's worth noting that Jerome's new look was inspired by The New 52 version of The Joker in which the villainous clown cuts off his own face and then staples it back on to his skull. The horrifying sight made Jerome all the more terrifying and as viewers we actually got to witness him staple his face back on on multiple occasions — it was uncomfortable to watch and Cameron Monaghan's facial expressions demonstrated just how much pain Jerome was in — this helped the viewer to realize just how twisted and sadistic Jerome really is.
- In Batman and Robin #15, The Joker has his face upside down on his head. He twists the skin back to it's normal position before telling Robin that he turned his frown upside down. In Gotham Season 3, Episode 14 Jerome tells Bruce to "turn that frown upside down".
'The Dark Knight'
- The police uniform that Jerome used to drive to the television studio in Season 3, Episode 13 was reminiscent of the one Heath Ledger's Joker wore during one scene in The Dark Knight.
- Both Jerome and Heath Ledger's Joker loved to create chaos and cause anarchy. Jerome was broadcast on national television to put put the power back in the people's hands — he wanted to create chaos by relieving them of their morals. Heath Ledger's Joker was also obsessed with watching the city tear itself apart.
- The battle scene between Jerome and Bruce in Season 3, Episode 14 is similar to the ending of The Dark Knight where Batman resists killing The Joker — just like this, Bruce resists killing Jerome.
- David Dastmalchian who played Dwight Pollard previously played Thomas Schiff in The Dark Knight.
'Batman: The Animated Series'
During the scene where Jerome breaks into Bruce Wayne's house in Season 3, Episode 14, the character's hair is styled in a different way and it is reminiscent of the famous hairstyle Mark Hamill's Joker sported in Batman: The Animated Series. This is ironic as Monaghan himself has admitted to being influenced by Hamill's classic take on the character.
'Batman: The Killing Joke'
- During the circus takeover in Season 3, Episode 14 Jerome stabs one of his followers and uses their blood to paint a smile on Bruce Wayne's face. The scene is eerily similar to a controversial (and ultimately unused) New 52 variant cover by Rafael Albuquerque that paid tribute to Batman: The Killing Joke in which The Joker paints a bloodstained smile on Batgirl's face.
- The Killing Joke features a memorable scene where The Joker puts Gordon through hell after "purchasing" a circus. Much like The Killing Joke, when Jerome made his comeback, he conducted his sinister plans from a circus.
Are you going crazy to know more on Jerome's return? Check out these:
- Jerome's Resurrection On Gotham Was Pretty Gruesome — Did The Show Go Too Far?
- Gotham Sees A Ratings Increase For Winter Premiere — Does This Prove That The Show Needs Jerome?
- Cameron Monaghan Shares A Batshit Crazy Behind-The-Scenes Snap Of The Joker's Disfigured Face Mask On Gotham
1960s 'Batman' TV Series
- Jerome took over Channel 9's TV station in Season 3, Episode 13 and it was definitely reminiscent of a memorable scene from the classic Adam West led Batman TV series. The fifth episode, entitled "The Joker is Wild" features The Joker taking over a televised opera performance before being apprehended by Batman and Robin.
- Moments before Jerome reveals Bruce Wayne at the circus, he gives the young billionaire an introduction, calling him "the climax of our festivities". The phrasing and tone of voice used by Monaghan was reminiscent of The Joker's "grand finale" moment in the '60s series where he called the unmasking of Batman and Robin the "climax of my performance."
As well as conducting his heinous crimes on location, Jerome hosted the Gotham circus in Season 3, Episode 14. As a result, he dressed in full over-the-top outfit — much like you would expect from the host of a circus. As he threatened the safety of Bruce Wayne, it became apparent that the whole scene was eerily reminiscent of Batman Forever when Two-Face becomes host of Gotham City circus. Both men have disfigured faces which only increase the similarities between the two scenes.
'The Dark Knight Returns'
Perhaps the most noteworthy easter-egg of all occurs in Season 3, Episode 14 when Jerome enters the hall of mirrors looking for Bruce. There is a moment where Jerome points his gun and several reflections of Bruce appear in the multiple mirrors behind him. The scene is scarily similar to The Dark Knight Returns when The Joker flees into the hall of mirrors after causing chaos at the carinal only to be apprehended by Batman — the Caped Crusader's reflection can be seen behind the Joker just like in Gotham.
Check out what's coming up on Gotham when the show returns in April:
It's pretty awesome that Gotham paid tribute to these great Batman adaptations and even though the writers are carving out their own unique version of the Batman story, it's nice to be reminded of the past every once in a while. The show will be taking a 12 week break before returning with new episodes in the Spring and although we'll have to learn to live without Cameron Monaghan's Jerome for a while, I have a feeling that the sneaky little devil will still have the last laugh.
Gotham returns with new episodes April 24th on FOX. Did you notice any other Batman or Joker easter eggs on Gotham's winter finale? Did you catch all of the ones above? Tell me in the comment section below.