Spoilers ahead for the May 3 episode of Gotham on Fox.
Gotham has gone hard on incorporating madness into Season 4, and the introduction of Jeremiah Valeksa gives viewers the closest thing we’ve ever gotten to a true Joker on the show. Sure, Jerome was off his rocker and mastered the maniacal laugh that had many hoping that he would turn into the Joker, but Jeremiah turned out to be even more dangerous than his brother after being exposed to the laughing gas. A trailer for next week’s episode of Gotham reveals that none other than Bruce Wayne will be exposed to the gas, and all signs point toward a Joker-esque breakdown of his own. Take a look!
Well, it looks like Jeremiah wasn’t done with Bruce after the end of their big fight! Bruce is in for a nightmare much more frightening than just being shoved down into a grave with Jerome’s corpse, and that was quite a nightmare. The trailer obviously can’t give too much away about how exactly Bruce’s life will take a Joker-esque twist, but Scarecrow clearly has something to do with it. Scarecrow is after all the one who created the laughing gas; Jerome is just the one who intended to have his twisted sort of fun with it.
While Jeremiah is off terrorizing Gotham (presumably with those devices he unveiled in the latest episode), Scarecrow will pay Bruce a visit and expose him to the laughing gas. Jeremiah almost certainly sprung a trap for Bruce and set him up with Scarecrow, and it can’t possibly end well. The quick glimpses of Bruce after being exposed to the gas show him freaking out convulsively, not altogether unlike Jeremiah’s reaction to being exposed to the gas courtesy of Jerome.
We can be pretty confident that Bruce isn’t going to turn into Jeremiah 2.0, especially given that Jeremiah recently claimed the gas only changed him aesthetically. Still, I have to wonder how much Gotham is going to draw on the infamous Killing Joke story for this upcoming episode. The episode is titled “One Bad Day,” which Killing Joke fans will recognize as a nod to Joker’s claim that all it takes is one bad day for a good man to go mad. In that story, Jim Gordon is captured, drugged, and forced to look at traumatizing images. Bruce will clearly be drugged in the episode, and the trailer features Bruce in what looks like a hallway with images projected on the walls. Could young Bruce take on the Jim Gordon role from The Killing Joke on Gotham?
If Gotham is going heavy on the Killing Joke references, let me just say that I’m glad Jim doesn’t have a daughter named Barbara at this point. Something tells me Gotham won’t use crazy Babs Kean as a stand-in. To see what happens next on Gotham, check out Fox on Thursday, May 10 at 8 p.m. ET. For what you’ll be able to watch on the small screen after the Season 4 finale, swing by our summer TV premiere schedule. For other important TV dates, take a look at our rundown of big TV season finales.