|And. Here. We. Go.|
I was totally prepared to hate Jerome. The premise of Gotham is/was "Gotham before Batman," with Bruce Wayne as a recently orphaned tween and Jim Gordon as a rookie cop. Seeing a city steadily decay and burn over the years to the point where a high-tech vigilante dressed as a bat seems like a reasonable solution sounds like a great prequel.
But either the writers or the studio or both could not help themselves, and tons of established Batman characters have been crammed into the show already, despite Bruce Wayne being a child at this point. I was hoping they could at least refrain from blowing their Joker load, but near the end of Season 1 came the extremely unsubtle teasers that the mythology's #1 scene-stealer since Batman #1 would be appearing.
|If Batman pursues us, we'll step into a 21+ establishment.|
I didn't like the lack of restraint; I didn't like the cloying campaign; and I didn't like that assuming this is Joker and not an obnoxious bait-and-switch, he has a known background (he's not a John Doe, his name is Jerome, and he grew up in future-Robin's grandpa's circus being forced to listen to clown sex).
But alas, Cameron Monaghan won me over with a virtuoso performance of a monologue delivered in the presence of Inara from Firefly and Uncle Hector from Breaking Bad. I'm not an actor, but my advice to young actors would be that when performing a monologue for an audition, definitely do it while flanked by Inara and Uncle Hector. Maybe Kaylee and Skinny Pete in a pinch.
Anyways, like the 1960s Batman series, Gotham's best assets have been good actors having the time of their lives as flamboyant villains (RIP Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney), and previews of Season 2 (premieres Sept. 21) suggest we'll be getting a lot of Monaghan's Jerome, who appears to be high on the "I'm not a carny anymore" life. Joker-fashion focus has been on Jared Leto's version, but Monaghan, finally out of that blue sweater, is also getting a lot of fabulous costumes. What do they mean? Let's speculate.
This screenshot is from this clip, where Jerome and Barbara do some flirting in Arkham Asylum. Barbara is clearly the fashion standout here thanks to her clever re-purposing of the traditional convict stripes to form a cute summery dress, which is apparently allowed, but Jerome's not looking bad either, showing off his undershirt in a Stanley Kowalski move. This isn't a dynamic we've seen before, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out (and how and if Barbara ends up back with Jim to produce Batgirl). If she's not the one, Jerome, don't worry: Arkham remains a great place to meet your significant other.
Rampant speculation: Jerome is so going to be future-serial-killer Jim Gordon Jr.'s biological dad.
These pics from Just Jared show Jerome in what seems to be the world's most fashionable and least effective straitjacket. It looks great, but there do not seem to be any arm restraints, which I think is the only point of a straitjacket? To be fair, arm restraints would make it harder to hijack that bus and thus pay homage to The Dark Knight and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Rampant speculation: Jerome's clearly Arkham's problem child from Day 1. Here he incites rebellion when the questionable asylum rents the inmates out as backup dancers for a Lady Gaga video.
Why is Jerome dressed like Hugh Hefner? It looks like he's out of Arkham at this point, unless Arkham is holding some sort of inmate smoking jacket competition, maybe as an attempt to make amends for the Lady Gaga incident.
Rampant speculation: Ok, this is actually interesting. In the clip showing the above scene, Jerome appears to be coached by Season 2 newcomer Theo Galavan, who some think might actually be Ra's Al Ghul. This still doesn't explain the Hefnerwear, but oh well.
Rampant speculation: At the end of the season, Jerome goes good and becomes an upstanding GCPD officer. He is such a great cop that Batman is never needed.