Warning: This article contains massive spoilers from Gotham Season 3.
The third season of Gotham has been pretty eventful so far but things were really taken to the next level in last night's explosive episode. Fans have been anticipating the return of Jerome Valeska ever since executive producer John Stephens confirmed Cameron Monaghan's return to the show back in August. After months of teasers from Monaghan himself on social media, Jerome made a welcomed return to the show in last night's episode and, despite knowing he was coming back in advance, the resurrection was incredibly shocking.
Many of the hints that Monaghan has dropped for us over the past several weeks seemed to indicate that Jerome's new appearance would be heavily influenced by the Joker seen in The New 52 #Batman comic series. The New 52 features a much more brutal version of The Joker in which he slices off his own face and then staples the skin back onto his skull.
Even with this knowledge, we were still pretty certain that Gotham's use of this storyline would have to be stripped back due to the violent nature of those comics. But, after viewing the episode, it was anything but stripped back.
How Jerome Was Resurrected
After last week's Gotham episode saw Dwight Pollard lead the cult of Jerome, it became apparent that this man was going to be responsible for resurrecting the laughing maniac. Last night's episode saw Dwight abduct Jerome's body and attempt to thaw it out before using electricity to bring the former criminal back to life. However, he failed multiple times and, believing that Jerome's face would be enough to create chaos and send a message, Dwight sliced off the devilishly handsome psychopath's face.
Afterwards, Jerome's body was brought back to the precinct for Lee Thompkins to examine. After several close up shots of what was left of the boy's face, Thompkins was ambushed by Jerome — the electroshock therapy had actually worked. He paraded around with bloodied bandages covering his huge facial wound and then decided to hunt down the man who stole his face.
Upon catching up with Dwight, Jerome stapled his face back on to his skull — something that viewers actually saw taking place. It was here that we saw Jerome's iconic new look and after months of speculation, it became clear that his new look is indeed inspired by The New 52 comic and just like the comics, Gotham didn't hold anything back.
For more on Jerome's return to Gotham check out these:
- Gotham Sees A Ratings Increase For Winter Premiere — Does This Prove That The Show Needs Jerome?
- Cameron Monaghan Suggests There Is Something Monstrous About The Joker's Arrival On Gotham
- This Amazing Fan Edit Gives Us Our First Look At Cameron Monaghan's Joker On Gotham
Did Gotham Actually Go Too Far?
The entertainment industry is much freer in exploring adult and graphic content these days, with HBO, Showtime and Netflix taking advantage of this. However, even the big shows that air on cable can be bashed for being a little too graphic. The Walking Dead suffered backlash last year following an extremely violent season premiere and although some would ague that the violence was necessary to the storyline, that didn't stop several viewers from complaining. In fact, The Walking Dead was deemed so violent that it's original broadcast in the United Kingdom was censored.
Television is definitely pushing the boundaries but I think we were all pretty shocked to see the amount of detail shown during the latest episode of Gotham. As Gotham airs on network television, I know I was expecting a subdued take on The New 52 — this isn't HBO, only so much violence can be shown.
- Jerome Finally Becomes The Joker In These Terrifying New Photos From Next Week's Gotham Winter Finale
Gotham definitely pushed the boundaries — specifically on the close up scenes of Jerome's face. Was it too far though? I would argue no — the brutality of Jerome's disfigurement went hand in hand with his resurrection — his outside is catching up with his inside and now people know what he's capable of merely by looking at him. He's the ultimate psychopath and now it show's on the outside.
Moreover, the character of The Joker is, and always has been, insane and previous on-screen adaptations of the character have used different methods to convey his madness to the viewers. For example, Jack Nicholson's Joker in Tim Burton's Batman electrocuted his enemies whereas Heath Ledger's Joker from The Dark Knight pushed his foes to breaking point by forcing them to make impossible choices.
I would argue that in order to convey Jerome's madness, the graphic nature of thIS Gotham episode was more than appropriate. Moreover, fans of Gotham who are perhaps unfamiliar with the Batman mythos now have an idea of just how insane Jerome really is thus making him even more terrifying.
As with The Walking Dead, the graphic nature of the latest episode Gotham served a purpose — now we all know how mad Jerome really is. With only one episode remaining in Jerome's arc, who knows what lies ahead for us in Gotham's winter finale? One things for sure, the citizens of Gotham City will never be the same again. Jerome is here to stay — for now — but will he have the last laugh? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Do you think 'Gotham' went too far?
Gotham's winter finale "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies" airs Monday January 30 at 8/7c on FOX.