Gotham has spent over half a season teasing the characters Batman fans know and love, but still no Joker. So far, we've met early versions of Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Victor Zsasz, Two-Face, Black Mask, Scarecrow, and maybe even future Robin, Dick Grayson.
The next episode will introduce us to the Red Hood Gang, though whether or not we'll meet the character known as the Red Hood remains to be seen. A new preview for the episode, appropriately titled "Red Hood," has been posted online by Fox, and it hints at a story where a fame-seeking member of a gang of bank robbers dons a simple red mask as a means of setting himself apart. Instead of stealing for his own wealth, he starts giving away the money they steal to the public.
In this teaser, star Ben McKenzie describes "Red Hood" as a game-changing episode, as this fame-craving Red Hood character is the first to introduce to Gotham the notion of using a mask to create a new persona — for good or for bad.
The elephant in the room is that in DC Comics tradition, the Red Hood is the same man that eventually falls into a vat of chemicals, transforming him into Batman's arch-nemesis, the Joker. Since Gotham has been teasing out Joker's arrival since the very first episode, it seems that the intensity of this tease has been cranked up over the last few episodes. "Red Hood" is the 17th episode of the first season, so there are only a handful of episodes left.
Will we meet the Joker before the end of the first season? Might he be this Red Hood guy? Or could he be someone we've already met?