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Gotham's Robin Lord Taylor promises the Penguin will transform by the end of the series

By Matthew Jackson
Robin Lord Taylor as The Penguin on Gotham

Gotham is in the home stretch of its run at last. The show's fifth and final season kicked off just days into 2019, and now fans are eager to see how the Batman prequel saga wraps things up. We've known for some time that the story will give us some kind of transformative ending, as we see Bruce Wayne become a fuller version of Batman, Selina Kyle become a fuller version of Catwoman, and so on. According to star Robin Lord Taylor, we'll also see a transformation like that for The Penguin, and we're going to get something resembling his classic comic book look. 

Taylor was on The Wendy Williams Show earlier this week, talking about the series winding down and where his character is headed in the final episodes, and he teased a very clear change in the character, which will arrive at the time jump at the end of the series, when Bruce Wayne and company are all grown up. 

"We jump forward at the end of the season, so we'll actually get a glimpse of the Penguin that we all grew up with," he said.

Taylor's Penguin has always been rather slender, so of course the panelists on the show then asked about a fat suit, and that's when Taylor made it clear that when he says we're getting a more classic Penguin look, he isn't just talking about a weight gain. 

"You know it's interesting, because I was talking to our costume designer John Glaser. I was saying I don't want him to be like a cartoon, you know," Taylor said. "I was thinking of like the Blueberry Girl from Willy Wonka — I didn't want that kind of look. So we went with something a little more monstrous. There's a hunch on his back. He's becoming a monster in this season."

One of Gotham's most intriguing choices when it began was the decision to make many of Bruce Wayne's future villains significantly older than he is, and the Penguin was right at the forefront of that. It was clear how Bruce Wayne could evolve from grieving son to vigilante over the course of the series, but it wasn't exactly clear how the Penguin would change by the time he became Batman, if he'd change at all. The show could have very easily just decided "our Penguin is skinny" and left it at that, but Taylor's teasing a "monster" look for the character. While the look itself will be interesting to see, it will likely be even more interesting to learn why the transformation took place at all. 

Gotham airs Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.