After watching episode 16 of "Gotham" titled "The Blind Fortune Teller," we were given a look at a young actor by the name of Cameron Monaghan (21).
The build up for this episode was based mainly on the not so subtle hint that Monaghan's character was going to be Gotham's interpretation of The Joker before Batman.
This has been under scrutiny from fans due to the fact that The Joker has never truly had a canon origin, and that is the way most fans like it. We could argue all day about if they should, or shouldn't include The Joker in Gotham; but are we still even sure that the character we saw in this episode was The Joker?
I am still not 100% sure that The Joker is being played by Monaghan. Mainly because in the next episode of "Gotham," titled "Red Hood," we are shown a figure wearing a red mask, and Gordon calls him "Red Hood." Most people who know Joke lore, will know that one of the few things we assume about the Joker's origins is that before he fell into a vat of chemicals (discoloring his hair and face), he was going by the alias Red Hood.
The marketing for episode 16 was widely focusing on Monaghan's character being a younger version of The Joker. But if that was the case, then why would they continue to try to give us Joker hints? It seems unnecessary, especially if you are giving us a character that is obviously The Joker. This is another subject we could discuss in depth, but I would prefer to go back to the main point of this article: Cameron Monaghan's performance.
Assuming Monaghan is The Joker; he has won me over. Seeing him in the show "Shameless," I knew he was a talented actor, but it is very hard to tell just how good any actor can be playing The Joker. Watching his mannerisms and the way he handled the character was incredible.
It was very reminiscent of The Joker that Mark Hamill voiced and Jack Nicholson played. You always like to see actors put their own different spin on the character (Heath Ledger). But in a situation where you have to play a young version of the character without the white face or green hair, then perhaps taking the safe route and doing a very generic take on the character is the best way to go. It gives the character a clear identity.
While generic, it was a very good generic. I truly felt like I was watching The Joker. It was a bit cartoony, but Monaghan did a great job at balancing out the funny side and serious side of the way The Joker talks and behaves. It was frightening, while also being fun to watch.
Honestly, this was a performance that a lot of great actors could not do, and that is act truly bat-crap crazy. It really speaks volumes to Cameron Monaghan as an actor.
While it is still unclear as to whether or not "Jerome" will one day become The Joker. In my opinion it would be an incredible waste of Monaghan's talents, not to use him as the young Clown Prince of Crime. My hope is we get to see much more of this character in the future, and if not then I will be on the look out for Cameron Monaghan in the future. He is a talented actor, and has a bright future.
If you have not taken the time to watch "The Blind Fortune Teller," I highly suggest you do, just for his performance alone.
What do you guys think? Did you like Monaghan's take on the character? Do you think he actually is The Joker in Gotham?
Here is the scene if you missed it: