When Jerome died on Gotham, there was a group of loyal Gothamites that were, in a word, distraught. Fans took to social media going nuts about the loss of the character, and Cameron Monaghan's expert portrayal of this man who may or may not be the Joker. All along, Monaghan and the writers and producers of Gotham had a secret: They knew Jerome would be back. Thanks to the machinations of Hugo Strange, and his assistant Dwight, fans finally go their wish and saw Jerome rise from the grave last week, ready to rain chaos upon Gotham City once more.
But in the lead-up to that, Monaghan had a bit of fun with the fans - on instagram and twitter, the actor would post a small portion of a picture of Jerome back in action, only to delete it minutes or even seconds later. It became a jigsaw scavenger hunt - how fast could fans (and yes, press) screenshot the image, and put them together for their first real hint at what Jerome would be doing and how he'd be showing up in his return.
"That whole idea was a metacommentary on the chaacter himself," Monaghan revealed in an interview with ComicBook.com, "and how he deemed the cult of the acolytes, who are reflective of fandom in certain ways."
Now, the actor was quick to note, no, he's not calling the fandom a cult, but the parallel, while twisted, was too much fun to not take advantage.
"Obviously, they're a distortion of it in the same way that Jerome is an ugly distortion of anything he touches, but the idea was to kind of play sort of a puzzle, a puzzle game with the audience and put out small pieces that could then be stitched back together in kind of a jigsaw fashion and to involve the audience in kind of this underground way of building excitement in the same way that Jerome had kind of built an underground following under the mainstream consciousness," he said.
He wanted it to be very reflective of the character and his experiences, but Monaghan did say if he could go back he'd do things "a little bit differently" to pull fans into it more and make it even more of an interactive game.
Jerome, meanwhile, will be playing some games of his own in tonight's winter finale of Gotham, airing at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX. It's the last new episode until April 24, 2017, but with everything Jerome does tonight, fans should have lots to think about for three months.
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