Gotham discussions have been ripe with rumors, innuendos, and theories that had Jerome was in fact the man who would one day be known as the Joker. The third episode put a sudden, stabbing end to that.
But while we saw the bravery of Bruce Wayne, the loyalty of Alfred Pennyworth, and the boldness of Harvey Bullock (has anyone received such a magnificent retooling on this show?) the ultimate message of the storyline that resonates throughout “Rise of the Villains” is this: it’s going to get really, really dark before Batman shows up.
While Penguin has had his fair share of reminiscing with dear, old batty mum, Jerome had his moment with his blind, fortune-telling father. As his father was about to get whacked by the team-up that Jerome had worked out with crime boss-masquerading-as-hero Theo Galavan, he announced that Jerome’s name would be a curse upon the city that would bring death, madness, and the screaming of children in their sleep.
There are significant mythos that pass on curses, but I was reminded of this passage from Exodus 34: “The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.'” In this case, it’s the opposite of love and faithfulness, the opposite of sin demanding justice. In the case of Jerome, it’s an evil spirit of sorts that has been introduced, and let loose to wreak havoc throughout the city spreading its own brand of madness.
This madness takes the form of Jerome’s laugh, which literally causes madness and murder. It’s a form spiritual warfare that we know will run rampant, until a certain savior of sorts rises to stop it. That crazed laugh…
Folks, it’s only going to get darker in Gotham for awhile.
Gotham airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. on FOX.