Why Gotham Used Jerome And Jeremiah To Tells Its Joker Origin Story

Gotham has gotten crazier than ever in Season 4 with the introduction of Jeremiah Valeska, a.k.a. Jerome Valeska’s brother who is off his rocker in a whole different way. Fans who have been waiting and wondering about when Gotham‘s version of the Joker would show up have gotten two characters who mostly fit the bill to eventually become Batman’s greatest enemy. Gotham executive producer John Stephen spoke with CinemaBlend about why the show used the Valeskas to tell a Joker origin story, saying this:

Viewers who thought Jerome would turn out to be Gotham‘s Joker despite all the evidence (and statements) to the contrary had to face the reality that Jerome would never gain all of those qualities that define the Clown Prince of Crime after he fell to his death in Season 4. Twin brother Jeremiah is a madman in his own right, but there’s an organization and structure to his madness that was absent in Jerome. Jerome wanted to watch Gotham burn; Jeremiah wants to build something out of it. Neither Valeska has been given (at this point) all the qualities we’ve come to expect of a Joker courtesy of decades of comics books and movies. That said, according to John Stephens in his chat with CinemaBlend’s own Nick Venable, Jerome and Jeremiah together do embody those qualities.

The trailer for the next episode points toward Jeremiah seeking out a bond with Bruce that he never formed with Jerome prior to his death. The episode — called “One Bad Day” — will also feature Jeremiah preparing to level Gotham City, so the good guys of Gotham will have a lot on their hands. Bruce may be all on his own if he gets himself in trouble yet again.

Combined with John Stephens’ comments, the footage released so far for “One Bad Day” points toward a Gotham take on the classic Alan Moore story The Killing Joke, in which the Joker kidnaps Jim Gordon, shoots and paralyzes Barbara Gordon/the former Batgirl, torments him with images of his daughter gravely injured, and attempts to drive him mad due to his belief that all it takes is “one bad day” for a good man to go crazy. “One Bad Day” will present a version of The Killing Joke that substitutes Bruce Wayne in for Jim Gordon. We can only hope that nobody ends up shot and paralyzed on Gotham, not least because the city could be on the verge of destruction.

We’ll have to wait and see. Fox has not yet announced whether or not Gotham will return for Season 5, but we have a long list of reasons why cancelling Gotham would be a huge mistake. You can catch “One Bad Day” on Thursday, May 10 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. For what you can watch during the upcoming hiatus, take a look at our summer TV premiere guide.

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