It was a busy Season 2 finale for FOX’s Gotham, wrapping up the battle against B.D. Wong’s Hugo Strange, while introducing the Court of Owls, pitting Mr. Freeze against Firefly, and somehow managing to work a Fish Mooney-mob showdown atop the setup for Season 3. The final moments opened a pretty big can of worms for future villains as well, though at least one sounded deliberately familiar to fans.

You’re warned of full spoilers for Gotham Season 2 finale “Transference” from here on out, but apart from all the colorful Arkham Asylum shenanigans that ended with Hugo Strange taken into police custody, Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) managed to escape with a busload of Strange’s Indian Hill “experiments.” Police pursuit failed, at least until Penguin and his mobster minions tracked down and opened fire on the bus (with a freakin’ minigun!), stopping the vehicle dead in its tracks, and hoping to find Hugo Strange within.

Of course, the mere sight of a resurrected Fish Mooney was practically enough to frighten Penguin half to death, after which the Season 1 villain managed to slip away, presumably to return another day. As for the villains on the bus itself, the ones Strange had earlier warned would cause “a revolution, an apocalypse” if released into the world, all it took was one kindly old woman to open the vehicle’s back door, and let all manner of new beastie out among them.

We didn’t really get a good look at many, apart from the mysterious Bruce Wayne doppelganger who stopped to thank the woman for their release, but if you listen carefully, at least one soundbite stood out among the cacophony:

Yup, Jerome “Not-Joker” Valeska! Mind you, we didn’t actually see Cameron Monaghan return to the cackling role, only hear that unmistakable laugh implying him among the bus’ escapees. Last we saw the Joker-esque character, he’d been conclusively killed early in the season by one Theo Galavan, as Gotham was left to consider his laughing legacy “infecting” countless other proto-Jokers (true to Gotham form, this was never referenced again).

Of course, Jerome would hardly be the first Gotham character granted a sci-fi return from the dead, and even Ben McKenzie said back in January that:

Not only can we [bring Jerome back], but we might. I can’t say definitively, but yes. I’ll put it this way: almost nobody that you’ve seen go away is dead. They are all able to come back.

Gotham has already begun rebuilding its stable of villains for Season 3, but might Jerome be among them, further down the Joker path? This summer’s Suicide Squad renders it doubly unlikely FOX would be granted official use of the character, but what other Bat-shenanigans lay hidden on that bus?

Stay tuned for more on the Gotham Season 2 finale, and beyond.

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