'Gotham's Cameron Monaghan Breaks Down Tragic 'Killing Joke' Homage

gotham jeremiah killing joke joker
(Photo: FOX)

Gotham brought comics to life tonight with its adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel, The Killing Joke. Cameron Monaghan, who stars as pseudo-Joker Jeremiah Valeska, took some time earlier this week to speak with us here at ComicBook.com, and break down the twisted episode.

WARNING: Major Spoilers ahead for the latest episode of Gotham! Continue reading at your own risk...

Referenced to The Killing Joke were littered all throughout the episode, but none were more obxious, or more tragic, than the final scene. Jeremiah shot Selina Kyle, just as Joker shot Barbara Gordon in the comic.

According to Monaghan, the decision to include that scene, and put Selina at the end of the barrel, was all about breaking the mind of Bruce Wayne.

"Obviously we have The Killing Joke references and homages in this episode," Monaghan began. "The final scene with the shooting of Selina Kyle is obviously a reference to Barbara Gordon from that story. That was something to make it more personal to Bruce. She gave it a certain level of stakes that he's hurting the people he loves, not only does he think that James Gordon has been murdered by display, but Alfred has been tortured. The girl that he loves is also been seriously hurt. I think that the final two episodes are designed to reinvent the stakes of the story and to remind people these characters are human, fallible, they can be hurt, and no one is protected."

Monaghan continued by saying that the darkness of this moment was a pivotal one for Gotham, as the tragedy reminded fans that there are still real stakes on the show, despite its occasionally campy tone.

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"I think that sometimes in a story like this, things like a gun can lose a bit of its ache," he explained. "It just becomes a bit less than interesting, as opposed to a thing that can kill you or harm you. I think that this episode is a bit of a reminder and it takes us a to a darker place than most episodes of the show do. I think that as fun as the comedy and higher stakes are, sometimes it is necessary for a story to still have a level of gravity and emotional resonance. Both of the comedy and the drama pays off more when there are stakes involved."

Gotham's fourth season comes to a close on Thursday, May 17 at 8pm ET on FOX.