ByShannon McShortall, writer at
I have been reading comics since before I could read. When I learned how to read, they became significantly better.
Shannon McShortall

Gotham has definitely picked up in steam since its second season premiered a few weeks ago. Many mysteries have been introduced and many plot points have surprised. Before I begin, I'm just going to say the obvious:

Spoilers for Gotham Season 2 Episode 4 (and the Court of Owls comicbook storyline)

Ok, let’s go.

Also be warned, this will probably end up being one of my more bonkers theories.

I was going to do one particular article about only Jerome, but after watching Episode 4 I decided to merge it into a piece about Theo Galavan as well. I have a theory as to who he is/will be and how Jerome can come back, and his death and soon-to-be-return is all part of Galavan’s plan. Therefore, the piece will be in two parts: ‘Who Is Theo Galavan?’ and ‘How Could Jerome Come Back?’ Here’s the first part of the theory:

Who Is Theo Galavan?

Theo Galavan is an original character in Gotham. He has a history with the city and connections in high-society (such as Silver St Cloud). Now, this season has promised the Court of Owls. The Court of Owls were a secret society of Gotham that controlled it from hiding, sending resurrected circus performers to assassinate for them, as their “Talons”. I believe Theo Galavan is a member of the society that is teetering the lines of their laws. He wants to actually heavily influence the city, but not in the same slow way that his ancestors have proven to do. The Court trusts him to fulfil their goals, but if he missteps they will sentence him to die. He believes himself above even the Court, given his history of betrayal, a sort of pre- Lincoln March stand in (for those who are familiar with the Court of Owls storyline). Here’s why:

1. Galavan is a member of high-society, as the Owls are. He also seems to have an intricate knowledge of Gotham, despite being a “newcomer”. This would suggest that he knows Gotham’s little details without being one of the citizens. If he was hiding in the Court, this would explain his sudden appearance.

2. Galavan wants control over the city, as the Owls do.

3. Further on point 2, he wants to “retake” the city after his forefathers (who built Gotham) were betrayed. While not actually confirmed, it’s suggested that the Court of Owls had a hand in Gotham from back when it was first built. Their betrayal could’ve been what led them to go into hiding and manipulate from the shadows.

4. He is running for Mayor, as Lincoln March did.

5. He wants to remake Gotham in a new image (and he uses a hologram of tall blue buildings to show this). This is an idea that Bruce Wayne wants to initiate in the Court of Owls storyline and Lincoln March is one of his “supporters”.

6. He deploys a team of killers to attack the supports of Gotham City itself (as the Court’s plan was in the comicbook)

7. He gets someone to fake his assassination to cover him, as Lincoln March did.

8. He’s trying to get close to Bruce Wayne, as Lincoln Marsh did.

9. The aforementioned fact that the Court of Owls will appear this season

10. He’s an original character, so he’s open to become anything really. Plus, we don’t really know much about the Court’s past.

So, Theo Galavan could very well be a member of the Court of Owls, trying to push his way out of the antiquated ways of the Court, but still using their resources. Now we go into how Jerome could come back.


Firefly gets sent to retrieve an old knife for the Penguin, who is doing it for Theo Gallivan. In the comics, Penguin wanted to collect old knives. These knives were ancient Court of Owls knives. A Talon comes to retrieve them. This could be related. It is later revealed in the episode that the knife has an ancient history with the original high society founding families of Gotham

How Could Jerome Come Back?

While I’m still on-the-fence as to whether I’d want to see Jerome become the Joker, I would love to see him come back. Cameron Monaghan is an amazing actor and his portrayal of what very well could’ve been the Joker defied expectations. As such, fans were shocked when he was killed by Theo Galavan in Episode 3. I’m going to suggest a theory which would make Jerome’s death and his soon-to-be-resurrection part of Galavan’s plan all along. Basically, Jerome will act like Galavan’s “Talon” before breaking free and operating on his own, allowing him to either become the Joker or go on to become something else. I believe Jerome will probably be coming back considering his fan popularity and the fact that he was being set up as a main antagonist, with Ben McKenzie making an act about promising to catch him at Comic Con earlier this year. Of course, that could all be part of the act to psych us out, but it could also be telling of the future. Here’s why Jerome could be a Talon:

Imagine one of them is Galavan and one is Barbara.
Imagine one of them is Galavan and one is Barbara.

1. Obviously, Jerome is dead, as are the Talons (before they become the undead assassins they are)

2. Jerome worked as a killer for Galavan, and if we assume Galavan is the stand-in for the Court, then Jerome’s position as a killer for him would put him closer in line to that of the Talon

3. Jerome is agile and skilled with knives and fighting, as the Talons are

4. When the Talons come back, they have white faces, as the Joker eventually does. In terms of the actual method of bringing them back, Victor Fries has been talked about as being in this season and his connection with the Electrum compound could be established.

5. Jerome wanted ultimate power and to be an undying icon. Galavan making him a Talon could give that to him.

6. Galavan’s role as the hero of Gotham could make him a pre-Batman of sorts, thus definitely not as pious. Him killing Jerome and bringing him back is almost him forcing the idea of the hero creating the villain (Batman pushing Joker into the vat). While Jerome’s actions at the Ball encouraged Bruce Wayne’s heroic side, which in turn created an actual hero out of Bruce Wayne. Thus the imperfect hero makes the villain who makes the hero, and that could be taken further into Batman’s future if we consider characters like Red Hood, but I digress.

7. Jerome, like the Talons, is a circus performer. Particularly at the main reaping ground for Talons, Haley’s Circus.

8. Jerome has been called something that will menace Gotham for an eternity and his legacy will be told in hushed tones as a villain of Gotham who causes so much pain. That’s something along the lines of what his father said. That in itself sounds a lot like the idea of the ominous nursery rhyme about the watchful Talons of Gotham. The exact line was: "You will be a curse upon Gotham. Children will wake from sleep screaming at the thought of you. Your legacy will be death and madness". That sounds pretty much as menacing as: "Beware The Court of Owls, that watches all the time, ruling Gotham from a shadow perch, behind granite and lime. They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed, speak not a whispered word of them or they'll send The Talon for your head".

9. Being a Talon means that Jerome can lay low before finally emerging from the dark. Showing Gotham that the Joker never dies. This could, in turn influence Bruce to become Batman. Think about it, Bruce only really becomes Batman to deal with some of the more insane crime. In the New 52, he has to deal with the Red Hood Gang first. The very idea of a gang that suggests it has one leader but it’s actually several people is a very comicbook idea, and they’re around before Batman. There’s also Ras, and the aforementioned Court. Joker inspiring Batman couldn’t be too farfetched. In terms of background, there is no comicbook evidence as such to suggest the Joker WASN'T a Talon, while there is no evidence to suggest that the Talons DIDN'T have the Joker in their ranks. It would also suit the newest Joker origin that there has always been a "clown" in Gotham.

10. Jerome’s speciality in magic tricks suits the Talons, as they need to be able to disappear into thin air.

Basically, in theory Jerome would work as a Talon. We have seen they (the Talons) are usually compliant, although their control can be overridden by their own personal feelings and ambitions, and most of those Talons were loyal to the Court anyway. How would a Talon react to being controlled by the man that killed him? I’d assume he’d rebel at one point.Plus, Jerome has enough willpower to be able to do so in my opinion. A few Talons have rebelled before. In fact, killing him could just be part of making a Talon. It's been suggested that part of making them is breaking them and then building them back up. Being an ex-Talon would also explain the Joker’s longevity and incredible fighting prowess that is so outlandishly good that he is able to keep up with Batman. Jerome could very well be the first resurrected Talon.

So, is Jerome a Talon-in-waiting for the Court of Owls modern-enthusiast Theo Galavan? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Also, just a sidenote I'd like to talk about in the comments, do you think Jerome knows he's in a comicbook show? The way he acts suggests a feeling that his death can only come dramatically and his dialogue is that of a full-blown villain. Then, right before his death, he says "Wanna boost our ratings?" Just thought I should raise that question.

Thanks for reading!


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