So, Gotham has finally (more or less) revealed their Joker and it was…stupid.
If any of you have been following Gotham and have not watched last Thursday’s episode and don’t want spoilers, I’d definitely suggest not reading any further as this blog post is going to have quite a few spoilers. You’ve all been warned!
Alright, so to jump right into it, lately, the show has been focused around Jerome Valaska’s search for his twin brother, Jeremiah, who apparently completely destroyed Jerome’s life and is a part of the catalyst (including the treatment he received from his mother) for why Jerome is the deep nasty jerk that he is. If you paid close attention during the episode when Jeremiah first appeared, there’s a pretty strong hint that Jeremiah has a dark side he’s repressed for quite some time now. And all of that is perfectly fine and interesting, were it not for the fact that this show is taking the Joker in a different direction.
I think my biggest gripe with the way the show handled this situation is the fact that Jeremiah just doesn’t seem to have the right backstory or material for the character. I’ll admit, I’m not extremely well versed in the Batman universe as I am aware of the fact that a previous iteration of the Joker had fallen into a vat of something that turned him into the villain that he was, but I really don’t know much about it. Additionally, I just don’t like that story.
Jerome had everything. He had the right name, the right background, the right motivation. And it is here most of all that the show writers have messed up in their determination to not have Jerome as the Joker, but to keep Cameron Monaghan playing the role as he rightfully should after the genuinely phenomenal performance he has given. I don’t think we’d ever had a better Joker, though Heath Ledger’s version is basically on par. The motivation for Jeremiah’s Joker just isn’t as strong or even as interesting.
Where Jerome has excelled in so many ways, has fit the persona so exactly, I’m just not sure if his twin brother is capable of measuring up. Now, granted I still imagine there will be some amazing acting coming from Monaghan and I will love the role solely based on the sheer brilliance he brings as an actor, but I will forever be extremely upset and disappointed at the reasoning for why the character became the villain. I don’t like the crazy gas idea, I’m not at all fond of the fact that key things which define the Joker were started by someone who is not, in fact, the Joker. I don’t like that Jeremiah had to be turned crazy, I don’t like that he was not the one to create (or at least be instrumental in the creation of the Joker’s iconic laughing gas weapon, and I don’t like that his history with Bruce Wayne is so minimal.
Jerome was, in so many ways, the perfect Joker.
Jeremiah? Not so much.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!