Cameron Monaghan has been stealing the show as the villain Jerome Valeska on "Gotham" Season 2. With each laugh and line spoken, Monaghan captures the audience's attention, and many can't help but wonder if he really is the famous Batman villain the Joker before he comes of age. However, there is also the idea that the show could be teasing viewers with Jerome and maybe he won't be the Joker after all.
Here are three reasons why Jerome could be the Joker and three reason why he isn't.
He's The Joker
1. The Laugh: Ever since he first appeared last season, Jerome has become known for that crazed laugh. New villain leader Theo Galavan (James Frain) loves the laugh and suggests he uses it when dealing with the people of Gotham. One of the Joker's character traits is that evil, creepy laugh. With a laugh like that, can Jerome really not be the Joker?
2. The Insanity: As if being an inmate at the Arkham Asylum wasn't enough, fans of "Gotham" got to see who truly disturbed and insane Jerome is in "Gotham" episode 2, "Knock, Knock." Between his admiration of throwing shipyard workers off of a roof and spelling out "Maniax," to him pulling the trigger on himself multiple times in a row during a game of Russian roulette, Jerome is clearly crazy enough to be the Joker.
3. Tribute To Past Jokers: Monaghan's portrayal of Jerome is very similar to past presentations of the Joker, like Heath Ledger's performance in 2008's "The Dark Knight." Monaghan had a moment similar to Ledger's version in episode 2 when he made a declaration to Gotham City to "Wake up!" while filming a video of himself. In "The Dark Knight," The Joker self-recorded a video of himself with a Batman impersonator and demanded the real Batman take off his mask and turn himself in or people will die. The sequence was a blatant tribute to the film, so why use it on a character who in the end won't be the Joker?
You can see the Jerome scene below and the Dark Knight scene here:
No Way He's The Joker
1. Too Early: Although the similarities are there, it still seems too early for the Joker to be introduced on the show. The Joker is Batman's nemesis, so it would make more sense to have him closer to Bruce's age so by the time Batman rises up, the villain is ready to terrorize Gotham City at the same time. It would be a little strange to have Batman take on a villain so much older than him, especially when it's his biggest rival.
2. Show Unclear On Joker Character: "Gotham" has made it very clear of who Penguin, the Riddler and Catwoman are, but when it comes to the Joker, it has been very unclear. In an interview with Collider, Monaghan said there's plenty of possibility Jerome isn't the Joker. "The only way to say it is that he either is or he isn’t, or maybe he represents the idea. Maybe in this universe, The Joker is not one specific man, but more of an idea, at least to this point. This is still very early in the mythology. Who knows where it’s going to go from here," he dished.
3. Red Hood: In the comic books, the criminal Red Hood became the Joker. The idea of Red Hood was introduced in Season 1 and the hood is still out there somewhere. It leaves open the idea that maybe the person who finds this hood could be inspired by what Jerome is doing throughout the city. However, it's still too early to tell, but it looks like Jerome will be very busy in episode 3 and will continue to show traits of the Joker.
"Gotham” Season 2, episode 3, "The Last Laugh," will air on Fox on Monday, Oct. 5, at 8 p.m. EDT.