Last week, "Gotham" fans were in a fervor over a teaser that heavily implied that The Joker would be making an appearance on tonight's episode of the Batman origin series. Now, showrunner Bruno Heller has offered viewers some (vague) clarification about what that teaser means, and just who the man in the clip was.

In an interview with E! Online, Heller discussed the heated reaction to the promo, which featured actor Cameron Monaghan plastered with a creepy smile and doing his best maniacal laugh. Surely, that's The Joker, right? Maybe, maybe not. Heller explained:

I can tell you this is a long game plan and a long story that we are telling here. What I can promise you is this is not a bait-and-switch. This is not someone who is just a character who is going to disappear. This is not a red herring. It's the beginning of the story of how the Joker came to be, how the Joker was created, where he came from, who he is. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that Cameron Monaghan is the Joker. He might be. But like I say, this is a story that begins about seven or eight years before the actual Joker arrives on the scene in his fully-fledged persona. As we're telling with all of these characters, the origin story of that villain begins Monday.

And lest fans worry that Monaghan's character won't amount to much in relation to whatever Joker storyline Heller and co. have cooked up for down the road, the showrunner was adamant that the character featured in tonight's episode, "The Blind Fortune Teller," was quite important to that mythology indeed.

"I want to reiterate for those fans who might think that we are playing games, this is not a game," Heller told E! Online. "This is not a trick. It's the beginning of the Joker saga."

For more from Heller, check out the full interview over at E!. "Gotham" airs Mondays on Fox at 8 p.m.

Photo credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX