There's a new mayor in Gotham City, and the splashes this Penguin makes are sure to cause ripples for all citizens of the future home of Batman. But how will Oswald Copplebot's new office in City Hall -- and grip on unprecedented power for this former umbrella boy as revealed in Monday's episode, "New Day Rising" -- specifically impact everyone we know, love, hate, love to hate, and hate to love in this troubled city?
Well, don't let me answer that question for you. Instead, let's let Gotham's famous residents fill you in. I traveled to the real Gotham City, the set of the Fox show in Brooklyn, New York, to hear what many of the series actors have to say about Mayor Penguin's new gig, and how their characters will react to the new boss.
Check out the responses below, and seriously, don't miss the next episode of Gotham, "Anything for You," Monday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.
Robin Lord Taylor
(“Oswald Cobblepot”/ “Penguin”)
Oswald is someone who comes to power through manipulation, and manipulation of people’s fears. Having these monsters led by Fish Mooney, he uses that to stoke the fears of people of Gotham City so much to the point that they actually elect him by popular vote to become mayor. It is something continuing with themes of comic books since the beginning – Superman, Captain America and many others came from a place out of something happening in society at that moment, a world event or a national event.
What we’re seeing here is a reflection of what’s happening now, and someone who has no political office, has shady business dealings, is a master manipulator of everyone around him. Now, having gotten a little older and experience in power, he has the ability to manipulate not just his cohorts but the world he lives in. Also, he is becoming aware of his image, and is manipulating his image as well.
The fact he is all of those things, and can be elected by popular vote, based on a platform built on fear, fear of the other, fear of the strange, it is something we see in the world right now. I don’t want to say his name, but the comparison is there. It makes our show more relevant than it has ever been. When Gotham City starts to reflect the world we live in, it’s really f---ing scary.
At this point, Jim has other fish to fry. He’s not even focused on that, at the moment. I’m sure that will change. One of the things he realizes after the crime families ceased their reign on Gotham, it created a power vacuum that resulted in the anarchy that’s now manifest. There is the devil you know, and the devil you don’t. The devil you know can actually be a benefit.
In a weird way – I don’t think he’s pleased – but he’s far past the point of railing against Oswald for suddenly finding himself in the mayorship. He is sort of more resigned to it. And quite frankly, he and Oswald have a relationship now that is sometimes antagonistic, and sometimes friendship. Perhaps he’s gotten some leverage.
With Oswald, he does not think it is a good thing for the city, but I don’t think he is in the mindset to fight it and make it right. He just thinks, “Well, that’s Gotham.”
Cory Michael Smith
Edward can be very helpful to Penguin. I think I understand how he operates. He is always a little surprising and volatile, however, I know the things that make him tick. I know where his loyalties lie. I know he is loyal, mostly. I know what gets him angry, and he’s not trusting; he needs to see something to believe it, so all of these things I am aware of, and can be very helpful to him. I understand him way more than he understands me.
Harvey’s run around this town for so long nothing shakes him, in a way. He doesn’t like Penguin, doesn’t like Nygma, and doesn’t like this situation, and their potential smugness. But I think he’s so many changes, I feel confident he believes things can change, and will change. He’s seen so many people just get knocked off pedestals of power it’s nothing new, in a way.
Enter Ed Nygma. There’s a weird triangle that happens between him, Butch, and Penguin, and the power struggle is really interesting. I think the fans are really going to dig it, and I’ve had so much fun playing it. In a weird way, Butch and Penguin work. Nygma and Butch are absolute chalk and cheese. They are oil and water; it is not a good combo, and they are polar opposites in the villainous world. Butch is loyal, and tough, and strong physically. Nygma is not loyal, and all about using his brain, not his brawn. I hadn’t worked with Cory at all until this season, and it’s been great fun.
But the struggle is who is going to be the right hand [to Mayor Penguin]. This little, as Butch calls him, “pencilneck,” shows up and starts to crowd him out. That’s where a lot of the conflict lies, and I think that’s only going to escalate as the season progresses.
Barbara’s skill is that she can use everybody at the right times, and she’s very adaptable. So, her and Penguin have had a good relationship up until now. She’s understood he’s powerful, so she’s wanted his help, but at the same time, she considers herself an emerging power in Gotham. So she wants to think of herself as kind of on a level with him now. I think you see that dynamic develop where she is kind of saying, especially at the start of the season, “You can’t boss us around; we’re the Sirens.” And we’re going to establish ourselves, and establish this playing field. At the same time, he’s mayor now, and she understands she needs to feed off this power, and use him as a stepping stone as she always does.
You saw the portrait [in GCPD]? F---ing classic! Greatest thing ever ... Barnes is completely and utterly frustrated, and dismayed, and ineffectual [by Penguin as mayor]. He is going to take a lot into his own hands. Or he's going to try to. The interesting dichotomy is, in his zeal to maintain law and order, he just might lose sight of law and order himself.
Penguin still has a hit on Tabitha’s life because she killed his mother, so he’s looking to get revenge on her. The only reason she’s alive is because Butch is keeping her alive. We are at odds, and she is not on board with supporting him in any way. She’s not really going to try to take him out, but negotiate for her life, and using any means necessary to do that. She doesn’t want to incur his wrath any more than she already has. She’s not against him, but trying to reconcile, or at least get to a place where they can at least get along.