BySean Erickson, writer at
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

Another Joker Hint?!

You may have been left scratching your head at the end of last weeks Gotham, wondering if the show really did introduce the Joker or if we simply saw what we did see - some kid named Jerome killed his mother at the circus. After all, the series did have to pad out the episodes in order to fill out what was originally to be a 16 episode first season into a 22 episode season. Was Gotham just teasing us before the real Joker reveal?

Haly's Circus, home of the worst date night ever.
Haly's Circus, home of the worst date night ever.

Well, it wouldn't be the first and definitely not the last time Gotham would do such a thing. Gotham creator Bruno Heller, who wrote last week's episode was pretty cagey about what villainous role actor Cameron Monaghan was actually playing, though when talking to the Hollywood Reporter he said that fans should be keeping an eye on this Jerome.

The Red Hood's Joker History

So what's to be made of the Red Hood then? Not only is The Red Hood the name of this week's episode, it's also the character that gave DC comics Joker his start. The Red Hood is a struggling stand-up comic (at least in Alan Moore's classic The Killing Joke take on things) and thief who, in the process of trying to rob a factory, becomes horribly scarred and disfigured, resulting in the birth of The Joker.

Is this guy finally our real Joker?
Is this guy finally our real Joker?

What is Gotham up to? Is Jerome now in Arkham? Whatever happened to him at the end of last week's episode, I doubt he would be the one donning the Red Hood in this episode. Was Jerome a fake-out? In one of the teasers for the new episode, we do see someone whose face is wrapped up in bandages - is this Gotham's Joker?

And unlike Jerome, this guy is already winning over some admirers and showing the kind of leadership and intelligence skills that makes for Gotham's most notorious criminal mastermind. Indeed, this does lead one to believe that The Red Hood could be introducing someone big this week.

What Else is On Tap?

I gotta tell you, it's good to see Donal Logue's Harvey Bullock back in this episode after he was sidelined to one or two lines in The Blind Fortune Teller last week. It looks like we'll also be seeing some possible progression on Little Catwoman and Barbara Gordon's storyline as well. These characters, along with Little Poison Ivy, who is seen in this clip as well, haven't exactly been all that captivating lately. And if we were to be lead to believe that Barbara's multiple episode disappearance was her cleaning up and getting off the booze and pills, it would seem that running into Jim and his new lady friend at the end of last week's episode has pushed her into a relapse of sorts...

Here's hoping that Gotham figures out something to do with these characters besides having them hang out in the apartment trying on outfits for two episodes. Constantly winking at the audience about who these people will turn out to be, doesn't count as the kind of motivation and development Gotham is giving other, less female characters on the show.

Set The Penguin Free!

Speaking of characters the show has been good to, Penguin is continuing to face problems with his club in The Red Hood. With five episodes left, I'm hoping the show can get back to the kind of Penguin we saw in some of the midseason episodes - the scheming, crafty and sometimes murderous Penguin that was playing all sides of the game. The put-upon Penguin that seems to be more or less strictly confined to this nightclub just hasn't been as entertaining.

But wait, look at this clip - did we just see The Joker bombing up on Penguin's stage as a stand-up comic - much the same way that Alan Moore's The Red Hood did? Seriously!?

Ok, Gotham, you have my attention, here's hoping for a solid final five episodes of the season. Let's get Penguin out of this club and actually doing something besides dealing with a lack of booze to sell. Let's get your other great character of Fish Mooney out of that weird dungeon basement, and let's get Jim Gordon dealing with better crimes that make better sense than some circus folk punching each other. Deal?


Is the Red Hood the real Joker of Gotham?!


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