Jerome Valeska may not be Gotham's actual Joker, but he's certainly armed with the Clown Prince of Crime's most iconic weapon.
WARNING: Major Spoilers ahead for the latest episode of Gotham! Continue reading at your own risk!
Throughout the entire episode, Jerome and his Legion of Horribles (Tetch, Scarecrow, Firefly, Mr. Freeze, Penguin) hunted down his twin brother, Jeremiah, who has spent years in hiding. Come to find out, he lied about Jerome's attempts to murder him, which led their mother to send him away to school at St. Ignatius, and caused the burning hatred in Jerome's heart to swell.
When Jerome finally had Jeremiah cornered, he revealed part of his plan to kill his brother, and involved some kind of chemical attack. This initially sounded like it could be Scarecrow's fear toxin, especially considering Jerome asked Crane earlier in the episode if he was finished with the "you-know-what."
At the very end of the episode, we learned that this substance wasn't actually Crane's fear toxin, but a terrifying chemical that makes whoever inhales it laugh hysterically, their face expanding until it eventually explodes.
Fans of DC Comics know this weapon as the iconic Joker Venom.
Before this lethal poison was revealed, Jerome told Jeremiah that he planned to use it on him, before unleashing it on the entire city. The villain wants his brother, who seems innocent at this point, to endure an excruciating pain before meeting his end. Jerome made this point in the most Joker-esque way possible, referencing one of Joker's most memorable storylines, The Killing Joke.
"I guess it's like what they say, we could all go crazy with just one bad day," Jerome said to his brother. "I guess, with you, it's more like one bad spray. You'll see."
Later on in the conversation, Jerome told Jeremiah, "I'm gonna kill ya, of course. But first, I'm gonna drive you mad."
It's abundantly clear that Jerome is planning to use the gas on Jeremiah, to rid the world of him once and for all. However, it's more likely that Jerome just established Joker's origin story on Gotham. Using this gas on Jeremiah, and turning him into a mentally unstable villain rather than killing him, would be clever way for Gotham to mirror the Joker's Ace Chemicals origin story. Instead of being tossed into a vat of liquid however, this Joker would simply inhale.
Gotham is getting closer and closer to bringing Batman's most iconic villain to the small screen, and this week's episode proves that the series is just one step away from making those Joker dreams into a reality.8comments
What do you think of this roundabout Joker introduction? Did the Jeremiah reveal surprise you as much as it did Harvey Bullock? Let us know by dropping a line in the comment section below!
New episodes of Gotham air on Thursday nights at 8pm ET on FOX.