The Fun Reason Gotham's Jerome And Penguin Are So Explosive Together, According To Cameron Monaghan

gotham season 4 jerome
(Image credit: Image courtesy of FOx)

Warning: spoilers ahead for Episode 13 of Gotham Season 4, called "A Beautiful Darkness."

Gotham has introduced plenty of crazy villains over the years and added some bonkers twists to DC Comics characters we thought we already knew. One of the craziest bad guys has to be Jerome Valeska, who has been bringing his own particular brand of mayhem to the show since way back in Season 1. He's been locked up in Arkham for Season 4 so far, but "A Beautiful Darkness" brought him back into the mix when he decided that the time had come to recruit the newly-incarcerated Penguin. The terrible twosome didn't get off to a great start, and it was an awful lot of fun to watch Cameron Monaghan and Robin Lord Taylor face off as Jerome and Penguin. Monaghan recently spoke with CinemaBlend's Nick Venable about the dynamic between their two characters, saying this:

I think the dude is a very fascinating actor, and it's a pleasure and an honor to get to act with him. To bounce of him is a weird pleasure, because as much as these two characters are broad and are heightened, and have both their silliness and their violence, it never felt that we were trying to outdo each other in going over the top. Ultimately, no matter how insane these characters are, it needs to feel grounded in how they interacted with each other. It needs to be from a real emotional basis, whatever friction they might have or whatever ideology they might have. And I think that Robin understood it very well, and you see some real fun in the interactions between Jerome and Oswald. They're two powder kegs of characters, and so obviously there's explosive results whenever they're onscreen together. They have some stuff together coming up later in the season that I think people are going to enjoy.

According to Cameron Monaghan, Jerome and Penguin get to be explosive with each other due to how grounded they are in their scenes together. Of course, it would be hard to argue that either character is particularly grounded in reality, given that Jerome all but laughed his face off after getting pummeled by Penguin and Penguin had to go to some pretty wacky lengths to take a stand against Jerome and his many cronies within Arkham. They weren't grounded in reality, but they were grounded in their convictions, and Gotham can always be counted on to give its villains some wild and crazy convictions to keep things exciting.

gotham season 4 penguin arkham

(Image credit: Image courtesy of Fox)

The good news is that there's more of Jerome and Penguin together in the rest of Season 4. Cameron Monaghan's comments point toward to the two mixing it up in later episodes, and they're both currently residing within Arkham, although both clearly intend to break out. Jerome is even ready to accept Penguin on his team after their incredibly entertaining and bizarre encounter in the Arkham cafeteria that saw Penguin go into a mime act to stop Jerome from lobotomizing him. When Jerome started playing along, Penguin seized his chance to attack Jerome... all while still incorporating mime moves. Monaghan went on in his chat with CinemaBlend to comment on that particular scene:

It's definitely one of the strangest resolutions to a scene you'll ever see. [laughs] It's something that is totally unique to the show of Gotham, and that's something that I really do like about the show is that it can solve problems in a way that you're almost never going to see in a show or in a film. That scene was a lot of fun, but all of them were.

The fight/mime act between Jerome and Penguin was such a quintessentially Gotham scene that it may go down as one of the most unforgettable scenes of Season 4. My personal favorite part actually came early in the scene when Penguin pulled a spork on Jerome and the two bantered over whether Penguin was brandishing a spoon or a fork. All things considered, all of their interactions in the latest episode are worth a rewatch.

You can catch more of Jerome and Penguin when new episodes of Gotham air on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. If you're still in the market for other viewing options, be sure to swing by our midseason TV premiere guide, our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule, and our 2018 Amazon Prime guide.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).