Jerome's Acolyte Is Causing Trouble In 'Gotham'

Jeff Neumann/FOX.

Gotham has been teasing the return of Jerome Valeska, deceased agent of chaos, for weeks now. When the doors of Hugo Strange's laboratory were thrown open, suddenly death didn't seem to be a permanent state for the citizens of this city. And last Monday's episode of Gotham may have introduced the person who's going to revive Jerome for an explosive return to the land of the living. In "Mad City: Ghosts," Harvey and Jim follow morgue night manager Dwight Pollard (David Dastmalchian) to a strange tribute to Jerome's short life after questioning him about a missing corpse. But who is Dwight Pollard and why is he dead-set on bringing the man back?

Dwight's motivations are unclear for now, but he's definitely experimenting with resurrection. The case that brings Harvey and Jim to his door is weird even by Gotham City standards. A woman named Melanie Blake was murdered by her boyfriend and shuffled over to the morgue. She turned up dead again days later, with her body showing signs of a strong electric shock. Hugo Strange was able to reanimate bodies through some twisted science. This poor woman is proof that one of his former employees is trying to recreate his work through trial and error: Dwight Pollard.

Jim smells the guilt on Dwight, which is why the cops stay close. They all end up at an abandoned venue where a meeting is going on and Dwight transforms from cagey morgue attendant to charismatic cult leader. His speech isn't about an end to death entirely. It's about the beginning of a new way of life, which they believe their leader will bring about. Of course, the installation of a new world order demands the destruction of the current one. "There was someone who understood, someone who spoke out and stood up to the jailers, puppets," Dwight says. "A man with no fear." Dwight and the rest of the would-be Maniax only want to bring about the second coming of Jerome.

Dwight Pollard isn't just Jerome's probable savior. He's also his warm-up act. He's keeping the man's followers rowdy and passionate while Jerome sleeps away in his pod. And I doubt Dwight will want much in return besides the opportunity to serve. While Penguin's reign is more about power and acceptance, Jerome's is ideological. These people want to follow him to revolution, which supports the fan theory that Jerome will become Gotham's joker.

If Jerome does turn out to be the Clown Prince of Batman mythology, Dwight's casting is a little Easter Egg. Dastmalchian had a role in the 2008 Christopher Nolan Batman film, The Dark Knight. He was a minion of Heath Ledger's anarchist villain and is credited as "Joker's Thug." Nice in-joke, Gotham.

Dwight or someone else in the operation will succeed in this endeavor eventually. The question is, what happens next? What effect will Jerome's return have on the city? My prediction is that Gotham is gearing up for another power struggle: this one between establishment bad guys like Oswald and the ultimate wild card, Jerome.