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King of Gotham? Robin Lord Taylor Previews Season 2

By on September 21, 2015

Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin. Image © FOX

By Pauline Perenack

Gotham returns to FOX tonight with a rather lengthy season 2 premiere title “Rise of the Villains: Damned If You Do…”

Fans will however be happy to learn that unlike the title, tonight’s premiere is anything but meandering.

We noted a sense of urgency and drama to the first handful of episodes we’ve screened that left us feeling confident and hopeful for the show’s future.

It’s an impression reflected in the words of Robin Lord Taylor, who sat down with us this week to talk about what’s in store for his alter ego Oswald Cobblepot, now that he has secured his place as King of Gotham. Can Butch be trusted? What now for Oswald’s tenuous relationship with Jim Gordon, and which villain should we keep our eyes on this season? Read on for answers.

Catch 5 things we learned from our chat with the Penguin below.

1) How long can Penguin’s fraught relationship with Jim Gordon last?

I think this could essentially go on indefinitely because he is coming to realize that he needs Penguin, and Penguin has also realized back in the first season that he needed Gordon as well in order to get what he wants done.

The interesting change that’s happening, though, is that in the first season Penguin was looking at Gordon as someone that he could actually trust and could be an actual friend for him. But now, after what happened in the finale of the first season when Gordon basically left him to die in the hospital, the relationship is much more strained. And again, they do need each other. They need to come to each other to get things done, but it’s now from a very wary—they’re both very wary of each other at this point. It’s a really interesting development between the two characters.

2) Will we see the Penguin resting on his laurels now that he has achieved his dream of becoming King of Gotham?

He set out to achieve something in the first season and he did it. He succeeded. He became his own boss, his own man, and basically he proclaimed himself the king of Gotham. As with anything in Gotham City, though, nothing is easy, and now that he has achieved what he wants he’s faced with a whole new set of issues in terms of how to maintain that, and how to stay on the top. I don’t know if he’s exactly prepared for that, and this whole season it’s going to be about challenging his intellect, basically everything he has in order to stay the king of Gotham.

3) Penguin is essentially friendless. Is that a dangerous position to be in now that he’s on top of the heap?

I think, essentially, he’s very used to being on his own. He’s never trusted anyone implicitly. It’s always been him against the world. Again, the only person he trusts is his dear mother.

But I do think that part of his lesson that he learns, being the king of Gotham now, is he’s going to learn that he does need people. He’s somewhat isolated, and I do actually believe that that does weaken him. He is going to have to learn how to invite people in and rely on them to a certain extent. That’s part of his transformation this year, I think.

4) Is brainwashed Butch really on Oswald’s side?

I think it may be a mistake that Oswald makes, but he really does trust in the brainwashing. He trusts in Victor Zsasz and his amazing handiwork in terms of getting people to do his bidding, and we’ll see how that plays out. I think he relies on Butch. He needs someone like Butch to galvanize all of the players in Gotham City to be behind Oswald and to follow Oswald as we go forward, now that Falcone and Maroni are out of the picture. But yes, we’ll definitely see if that’s the smart choice or not.

5) Given that season 2 will see ‘the rise of the villains’ what character are you most excited for fans to see growing into his own this season?

Oh, my main man, Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma. I just love what they did with the character in the first season in that it was very, very slow, a very slow burn, and we got to see the seeds of madness that are being planted there, and that just really comes to the forefront in Season 2, and I’m just thrilled. I find Cory to be a very inspiring person to work with, and I’m just thrilled just to see him embrace the character and watch the character flourish. Yes, that’s definitely the one that I’m most excited for.

Gotham premieres Monday Sept. 21 on FOX.

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