If you’re a fan of Gotham, then you’re well aware of the emotional rollercoaster ride we’ve had to endure over the past few weeks by wondering if the show would get picked up for a fifth year. This, of course, culminated in a weekend that left us all waiting on pins and needles before learning that, yes, it will – but season 5 will be the final one.
With that out of the way, it appears as though the powers that be have found yet another way to ruffle everyone’s feathers.
This time, the headache is caused by learning that the recently introduced Jeremiah Valeska isn’t actually the Joker. That’s right, the producers went through all the trouble to create a twin for Jerome who has been driven insane, wears a purple suit, and has chalk-white skin – but he’s not Batman’s greatest nemesis.
It’s maddening, I know, but before I criticize this notion, check out what executive producer John Stephens had to say to IGN regarding this matter:
“Jeremiah is not the Joker. The other characters are who they are. Mad Hatter, Scarecrow, etcetera. But no, he isn’t the Joker. What we’ve always gone with is that Joker is somewhere out there, anonymous and unformed, in Gotham, and he’s watching the actions of Jeremiah and Jerome and possibly even another one, on his way somewhere down the line, and he’s adopting them as inspirations as the person he’ll one day become.”
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Before, I’d thought the reason no one on the show has been referring to Jeremiah – or even Jerome, for that matter – as “Joker” is because Gotham wasn’t allowed to present a version of the character that’d compete with whatever WB’s motion picture division had going on.
Confirming my suspicion was Cameron Monaghan on Twitter, who posted several pictures (seen above) along with this:
“Various hair tests. Pure green was off-limits to us (as well as the name “Joker”), a decision from high-up as they wanted to reserve these for films. A decision which ultimately I respect. They did not want to dilute the very lucrative brand. It allowed for creativity on our end.”
As you can see, they went through various looks, including Monaghan’s natural red and purple, the latter of which is a color favored by the Jokester, whom comic book readers will know as the Ace of Knaves’ doppelganger from an alternate Earth. The final image looks to be that of a green and black blend, which appears to be what was ultimately settled upon.
Like I was hinting at earlier, the idea that the Joker would follow anybody else’s lead is absolute blasphemy. The producers already had the perfect actor in Monaghan, so it’s quite unfortunate that the series has been handcuffed by studio execs. Alas, I guess we’ll just have to appreciate the performances for what they’re worth.
Gotham‘s season finale airs this Thursday night on Fox.