Gotham: Is Jerome Channeling Nolan’s Joker?


Jerome’s plans for Gotham may be the same as the Joker’s in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

On Gotham‘s “Smile Like You Mean It” episode, audiences saw the resurrection of Jerome—a.k.a. the Joker prototype. I say “Joker prototype” because the creators have been beating around the bush, and not giving fans a definite answer if this is the actual Clown Prince of Crime.

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And they definitely have a good reason not to confirm it. The Joker has no real biography. Even when he does give background information, it’s in the form of lies—something that adds to his characterization as a maniacal sociopath.

Though Gotham‘s writers are ambiguous on whether or not this is a young Joker, they’re still molding his actions along the lines of the most iconic portrayal of the villain—Heath Ledger’s in Christopher Nolan’s monumental The Dark Knight (2008).

In the film, the Joker was seen as an agent of chaos. There was no real reason to his actions. He wanted to plunge Gotham City into darkness and disorder. A much more eloquent way of putting it would be this phrase from Alfred’s tale: “Some men just want to watch the world burn.” And like Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight, Jim Gordon on Gotham may not “fully understand” Jerome.

In “Smile Like You Mean It,” Jerome comes back to life and immediately strikes up a conversation with Lee. He treats it like a nonchalant chat with an old buddy. He has no demands and relishes the ridiculousness and chaos around him.

Rushing to the television station, Jerome helps his loyal follower, Dwight, escape. Jerome soon murders him live on the air, and in the process, blows up a power station, plunging Gotham City into darkness. Jerome wants to see a city with no rules. Just like the Joker in The Dark Knight, he desires total chaos.

Jerome has definitely evolved—from someone who wanted to punish his mother for her lifestyle, to someone who does things just to test people. He may end up being Gotham‘s most philosophical antagonist. And because of that, Jim’s job will be made that much harder. How do you catch a villain without tangible goals. The act of catching him only plays into his game.

Next: Catch up with a recap of 'Mad City: Smile Like You Mean It'

Don’t forget to visit the Gotham After Show where our friends at will give fans a play-by-play of the latest episode. And the fun continues with Welcome to the Batcave, also on

Gotham airs on Fox on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. EST.