Before season 3 premiered, promotions called Gotham a “Mad City”. Episode 13, Smile Like You Mean It, lives up to that subtitle in the most explosive way. All hell is breaking loose, the floor is crumbling around Cobblepot, the citizens of Gotham are going haywire… and the best part? Fan favorite Jerome Valeska is back.
After Jerome was introduced back in season 1, fans had all assumed that we were witnessing the making of the Joker. It had been previously hinted by the showrunners that introducing Batman’s nemesis would be done with the greatest care. But Jerome was soon killed off in an early season 2 episode, an apparent switcheroo that had people looking for the real Joker.
No Joking Around
That turned out to be a double-whammy. Jerome (Cameron Monaghan) is the Joker, there’s no doubt about it now. When Pollard’s resurrection experiment encounters a few unforeseen delays, Pollard cuts off Jerome’s face. He uses it as a mask, turning himself into an apparent symbol for their weird death cult to follow, while the real Jerome recovers from… well, from death.
Jerome wakes up, frustrated at recent events and at everyone from Theo Galavan to Dwight Pollard. He has a brief, almost friendly conversation with Leslie Thompson before making his way over to the news station. There, he sacrifices Dwight in a messy, live television death (mimicking Jerome’s own live television death back in season 2). Oh, and he also grabs hold of his face and staples it back into place. He smiles with a bit of glee as he does so.
— Gotham (@Gotham) January 24, 2017
Remember how the Joker is supposed to be a psychopathic maniac? Jerome’s got that part down pat.
The New Face of the Show
And while the citizens of Gotham are turning the city upside down, fans of the show are rejoicing. Several viewers hit the Twittersphere shortly after the episode to respond to the return. Shortly after the episode premiered, #Gotham was trending, number 1 in the US.
“Cameron Monghan Joker is challenging Heath Ledger for best of all time,” one tweet read. “Rule #1, Dwight: Jerome’s ALWAYS the star of the show!” read another.
— Lucas Siegel (@LucasSiegel) January 23, 2017
Can’t wait for more Gotham? We’ll see where Jerome Valeska takes us next when the winter season finale, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, premieres on Jan. 30.