Cameron Monaghan Gotham Performance

TVLine's Performer of the Week: Cameron Monaghan

THE PERFORMER | Cameron Monaghan

THE SHOW | Gotham

THE EPISODE | “The Last Laugh” (Oct. 5, 2015)

THE PERFORMANCE | Stabbed in the neck — and, metaphorically speaking, the back — by coconspirator Theo, Gotham psycho Jerome Valeska never got to finish choking out his last words: “You said that I was gonna be… ” (We knew, of course, that the sentence would end in “… a star.”) But, while the maniac died thinking that lasting celebrity had eluded him, Monaghan can sleep easy knowing that his spectacular swan song will live in infamy.

In fact, the actor was so good in his final episode of the Fox drama that it’s hard to imagine the series ever finding a better (actual) Joker. Whether tormenting Jerome’s blind father, Cicero, with cheap humor (“Long time, no see!”), hamming it up in magician drag to entertain the guests at Lee’s charity gala or getting pissed off when the audience wasn’t appreciative of the terrifying show (“Well, clap!”), Monaghan killed. Even Jack Nicholson would have to tip his purple hat to the whippersnapper, who loosed a laugh unhinged enough to give us nightmares.

At least, if there is an upside to Jerome’s demise, it’s that, on Monaghan’s way out, he made it clear that whoever is cast as the actual Joker had better not be kidding around.

POTWHONORABLE MENTION | We’d have given Kelly McCreary this distinction even if she’d done nothing more in the “I Choose You” episode of Grey’s Anatomy than nail the hilarious monologue in which Maggie realized that her disastrous life choices had left her with nothing and no one. (And no, the doc’s newfound family and friends didn’t count. “I can’t have sex with you,” she all but sobbed.) But what really sealed the deal was the actress’ last scene, in which her blotto character threw herself at Andrew (McSmoldering?), broke away from their lip-lock just long enough to take a second look at him and, deciding that yep, he was that attractive, went right back to sucking face. In that moment, we went from liking the quirkily appealing Maggie and her portrayer to flat-out loving them.

POTWHONORABLE MENTION | Grief is powerfully paralytic, and when Nashville‘s Beverly was pronounced brain-dead in Wednesday’s episode, we worried that Scarlett would shut down rather than make some very difficult decisions about her mother’s future. But Clare Bowen channeled a quiet, sad strength throughout the hour, allowing Scarlett moments of doubtful weakness (like that breakdown with Gunnar in the chapel) as well as pragmatic resolve (like when she gently but firmly nixed Deacon’s objections to removing life support). We’re sorry it took such a traumatic event for Scarlett to show the steel underneath the sweet songwriter, but we hope to see more of it in the future.

Which performances knocked your socks off this week? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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36 Comments
  1. Mr. Tran K says:

    Cameron Monaghan deserves it. His character really gives me the creeps.

  2. sntindall says:

    No Charles Esten??? :(

  3. Meg says:

    Really… no Justin Chambers? He deserved it way more than kelly.

  4. Someone says:

    Kelly McCreary, seriously? I mean, she is a great actress and she was great, even though her character is the most annoying person I’ve even seen, but if you think anyone but Justin Chambers is worth a mention for this week’s Grey’s Anatomy, you haven’t watched the same episode I – and millions of viewers – did.

    • Aim says:

      Absolutely agree…Alex cradling that baby had me in tears. Then I was laughing so hard at the last scene with him. Justin Chambers deserved it.

    • Wordsmith says:

      The best part of Maggie’s adorable “I can’t have sex with you!” breakdown was Callie’s somewhat exasperated shrug in response, as if to say, “Well technically…”
      It was a tiny, priceless detail.

  5. Chris says:

    Whilst Kelly McCreary was good in the episode, Justin Chambers shined. It was HIS episode. He carried the emotional weight brilliantly whether in his scenes with the babies and having to decide which one to give the liver to or in his scenes with Jo where she confronts him about his future with her and his past with Izzie.
    It’s disappointing to see that TV Line didn’t recognize him and gave an honorable mention instead to Kelly for playing a drunk woman well in the two scenes mentioned. Seriously.

    • Scream Queen says:

      Love Alex as much as the next but the actor has no range.

      • taylor says:

        Saying Chambers has no range especially after this week’s episode only makes me sure of one thing: you have no idea what ‘range’ actually means. And I totally believe you when you say you love Alex…lol

  6. Karen says:

    Charles Esten and Clare Bowen were amazing this week.

  7. zac says:

    Everyone on Greys was on point this week but Justin Chambers carried that episode. And Claire Bowen made e feel her heartbreak while Charles Esten was really good in portraying the guilt ridden brother. good stuff

  8. John says:

    As somebody who loves the comics, I am happy if he isn’t the Joker. I prefer my Joker origin to be that he was a normal guy that went crazy after falling into a chemical bath. I grew up on more fantastic origins for the majority of heroes/villains, so if he would have just ended up being some crazy guy who decided to put makeup on one day and start calling himself the Joker that would have been boring. I can understand why people would be disappointed with this though.

  9. No love for Bellamy Young? Her monologue to Olivia about life in the white house was brilliant.

  10. Shannon says:

    Adelaide Kane and Toby Regbo did phenomenally in the premiere episode of Reign.

  11. rachelle says:

    SO well deserved! Cameron was electric!

  12. Shira says:

    Clare Bowen was wonderful! So glad she got a mention.
    Her performance was so powerful and she still managed to sing a great song :)

  13. Emma Roberts’ Chanel-O-‘Ween video.

  14. David. Tatlitug says:

    Cameron was genius in Gotham BUT let us not forget his bipolar performance in the continuing series Shameless on Showtime. He does show that he has the range that brilliant actors have. This ginger is a star. He’s one to watch.

    • Red Snapper says:

      I agree. He was awesome on Gotham and I will miss his portrayal of Jerome but I am looking forward to more Ian on Shameless. He does such a great job with showing the different sides, the ups and downs of being bipolar. Plus, I always support a fellow ginger.

    • Cas says:

      I love Shameless!

  15. Allison says:

    Cameron Monaghan wowed me from the first. I am still hurt that he’s gone, but he gave an awesome and unforgettable performance on Gotham. Kelly McCreary’s performance made me love her too! She was so whiny, but cute at the same time. It was definitely light and comical. Clare Bowen showed some grit. Scarlett was able to do something so painful and heart breaking and still keep her wits about her. I don’t know how long it will last but bold, brave and decisive all look good on Scarlett. She wears it well.

  16. Karen says:

    Justin Chambers and Jeff Perry were the true standouts for me this week.

  17. I agree that Clare Bowen was amazing, but to me Charles Esten stole the show. He just is so amazing every single week, I feel like he nails all his scenes and could not possibly do a better job..and this week he blew me away! His performance was phenomenal and real. I do hope he leans on his family instead of pushing them away in the upcoming episodes.

  18. Joey Padron says:

    Happy Cameron got Performer of The Week. He was great on his last Gotham episode & his run on the show. Will miss him on the show so much.

  19. Patrick Maloney says:

    I think Jake McDorman was soo good in this week’s episode as he realizes how little control he has over his own life, and Jennifer Carpenter was so amazing in his much she cared for him.

  20. Alexander Fritz says:

    Stephen Amell- a happy Oliver really carries the show much more efficiently!

    Honorable Mention to Grant Gustin- his guilt over the “death” of *spoiler* really shines through

  21. B says:

    Monaghan was excellent. He’s a talented young actor. I’ll miss him on Gotham.

  22. FtheFreys says:

    Maura Tierney’s Helen Solloway was excellent. I loved her point of view.

  23. Meryle says:

    Charles Esten’s performance on Nashville this week is his best work ever. His scenes are Emmy worthy especially the last scene in Beverly’s bedroom.

  24. I’m sorry, but what was the point of Jerome then, if he’s not the Joker? Why make him so Jokery, and then kill him..

  25. If you say so. I’m of the opinion that Monaghan’s performance was more over-acting than acting, and basically just a (bad) imitation of Heath Ledger’s Joker. Which is fine for Gotham, which has apparently decided to become a modern incarnation of the Batman of the 60’s, but hardly ‘performance of the week’ material.

  26. Audrey says:

    I think you should have mentioned Jennifer Morrison’s performance.
    Am I the only one who noted an amazing improvement in her acting?
    She rocks as the new Dark One, she’s been great playing the villain.
    Her transformation is amazing and her character is even more believable than before.