Jesus Christ, Gotham is really going all in on Jerome as a New 52-style Joker this season. FOX’s dark as shit take on Batman, which follows a young Bruce Wayne and his grumpy, overworked mentor Commissioner Gordon, has been inconsistent in quality, but reviving its Young Joker character seems like an obvious — and smart — move.

In previous seasons the show focused on other, older villains like Penguin, but teases for winter Gotham episodes suggest the show has finally decided to cave and give Batman fans the baddies they always want to see: an undead Jerome will wear a flappy skin mask as Joker, and he’ll likely be joined by Harley Quinn before the season wraps. It’s not original, but hey, it’ll be entertaining!

In DC Comics, Joker cut off his own face at the beginning of the publisher’s New 52 movement. Because he’s an agent of pure chaos, he simply took that limp face and buckled it back onto his head with a belt, scaring the beejezus out of Batman and inspiring cosplayers everywhere to cut holes in plaster.

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The Joker's bloody face hanging on a wall in a 'New 52' issue.
The Joker's bloody face hanging on a wall in a 'New 52' issue.

Gotham doesn’t play by canon rules, so the show may provide an explanation for Jerome’s mask that wasn’t there in the comics. After all, he doesn’t appear to have sliced off his own face in the promos FOX has run, but is instead wearing someone else’s face on top of his own. It’s also unclear whether the flesh mask is supposed to be real, because Gotham’s budget is low enough that its audience doesn’t always know how far to extend their imaginations. Either way, it’s pretty creepy.

Gotham airs Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern on FOX.

Photos via DC Entertainment