In three episodes, FOX’s “Gotham” has shown that its second season does indeed seem to have more balls on display than its first season.
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR GOTHAM 2.03 “THE LAST LAUGH”
However, no-one really expected that last night’s third episode would do something so dramatic – namely kill off Cameron Monaghan’s Jerome character – the young man who looked like he was on his way to becoming The Joker. Appearing in only one episode last year and the first three this year, it seems surprising to kill off the character so early. Showrunner Bruno Heller was asked by Deadline why Jerome had to go so soon:
“It’s a twist that leads to more twists. The creation of the Joker is a larger and more epic story than people realize, and this show is very much about kind of the deep, secret history. So, as the show rolls on, people will see how a mythology is born, how a kind of cultural mien is created that will lead us to the Joker himself.”
In terms of actuall casting The Joker, Heller confirmed that they have not yet cast anyone for it. The aim here seems to be to play a long game with the character, make him less of a random choice and more something organic that grows out of the chaos:
“Sometimes backstories are more complicated and interesting than, you know, falling into vat of toxic chemicals or being bitten by a spider. Like they say, nobody creates themselves out of whole cloth, whether it’s Elvis Presley, or you name it – Jesus. There’s a tradition in forebears and ancestors of those characters that went into creating them. So, to me, Jerome is genuinely the mother and father of the Joker. He is the seed of the Joker. You’ll see how Gotham itself coalesces around the legend of Jerome. I don’t want to give away too much, but the audience will see an organic progression towards the real history of the Joker, rather than a kind of legendary supervillain who creates himself out of nothing.”
“Gotham” continues Mondays on Fox.