Warning: This article contains spoilers from Gotham Season 3, Episode 5.
The third season of Gotham has been exploring the Batman mythology even further than before and it is shaping up to be the superhero prequel series' best season yet. With the Penguin running the city, the promise of Jerome's return and the Mad Hatter causing chaos, this season has been off the chart levels of crazy. However, despite Season 3 being criminally insane, it was the latest episode that sent the internet in to a frenzy after Penguin and Nygma shared a moment that definitely hinted at them becoming more than just good friends.
I know it sounds crazy, but that scene towards the end of the episode definitely had subtext of sexual chemistry between the pair. I never would have imagined myself getting behind such a cause but I must admit that in this moment it felt right. It's actually not as crazy as it sounds because Penguin told Nygma earlier in the episode that he desires someone to share his life with and Nygma's comments in this closing scene came as a reassurance that that someone would be Nygma. They share a bond, it's not unusual that this bond could blossom into romance.
Upon the realization that Nygma has always been there for him and that he is quite possible the only person that he's ever cared for outside of his mother, Penguin leaned in. I'm sure I wasn't the only one that thought for a moment that Penguin was going to kiss Nygma before settling for a hug. I thought for sure I'd misinterpreted the scene but then I saw the online reaction.
Could We Actually See A Nygma/Penguin Romance?
A romance between Penguin and Nygma seems very much on the cards after that moment that the two shared. Also, Oswald's hand gripped Ed in a more loving manner, and then he smiled with a look of genuine happiness that I don't think I've ever seen on his face. Something changed in this scene. If this isn't enough to convince you, then read the the press release for next week's episode.
Mad Hatter sets his eyes on his next victims, forcing Jim Gordon to make some tough decisions. Meanwhile, Penguin and Nygma’s relationship evolves, and a familiar face comes back into Nygma’s life.”
Okay so it's clear that we didn't imagine the chemistry between the two characters. A romantic relationship is something that I thought the show producers had been hinting at for a while but the latest episode — plus the press release — pretty much confirms that Nygma and Penguin will become an item. If you think about it Penguin has never shown any romantic interest in anyone — male or female — so sexuality shouldn't really be an issue here. I think a relationship between the two characters would be a great move for the characters and for the show.
They've Both Always Been Outcasts
It was clear from their first meeting that Penguin and Nygma do not judge each other. In fact, they both share a genuine appreciation for each other's weirdness — Penguin and Nygma have been the social outcasts of Gotham since the very first episode. Nygma may have done a better job at initially hiding his oddball ways while working as the Medical Examiner for the GCPD, but even working at such a level of importance he still found himself mocked and bullied by people much bigger than him.
Penguin understands this because if you remember back to the first episode of the Fox series, Penguin was nothing more than Fish Mooney's umbrella boy. During this lowly position, Penguin found himself mocked by his peers and he was beaten which resulted in his unusual limp. Nygma and Penguin's understanding of one another stems from both of them being outcasts.
Oswald has never been someone who speaks from the heart, he's more known for his snarky almost caricature type tendencies and phrases — for example, "old friend." Ever since he aligned with Nygma we've seen Oswald show some genuine human emotion and he clearly cares for his new pal — specifically seen in the latest episode when he smiles during the hug. It's not a sinister smile — he's happy with Nygma.
Are you a fan of Gotham? Be sure to check out these:
- We're All Mad Here: Will Harley Quinn Be Officially Introduced In Gotham Season 3?
- Cameron Monaghan Hints At Jerome's Return, But Does Gotham Really Need The Joker?
- The Third Season Of Gotham May Bring The Biggest Changes Yet
They Have Genuine Affection For One Another
One thing that comes across really well is that the pair genuinely care for one another. As we've seen in previous episodes, Nygma pulled out all the stops to get Penguin a clean victory at the election, before telling him "I believe in you, Oswald." In the latest episode, Nygma risked his life to show Penguin that Butch was not his friend. Penguin refused to let Butch kill the only person who understands him so he swopped in and saved Nygma, looking overjoyed to see that his friend was still alive.
In the latest episode, Nygma told Oswald that he would do anything for him which lead to the almost kiss. This episode was clearly suggesting that Nygma will be the one that Penguin desires to spend his days with.
Gotham Shouldn't Stick To The Comics
No matter what anyone says, there is no doubt that the scene in question had connotations of a potential romantic relationship. However, I'm afraid that Gotham is just toying with the fan base and dangling this potential relationship in front of viewers with no intention of actually following it through.
To be fair, I could see why the show's producers would be hesitant — the Penguin and the Riddler are both presumed to be straight in the comics. Messing with the comic cannon is not something to be taken lightly and, as we saw on Arrow, can be received rather negatively. However, unlike Arrow, Gotham isn't relying on source material — Gotham is a unique interpretation of the Batman mythos that exists in it's own universe.
Also, it's important to remember that all of these comic book characters were created during a time when homosexuality was still generally covered up, so the only reason none of the characters are gay is because it wasn't something that was publicized at the time. Moreover, romantic love interests aren't particularly something that the characters of the Penguin or the Riddler ever really required in the comics either so to argue that they must remain as straight characters because of tradition is a little preposterous.
I do think that some television shows feel the need to include LGBTQ characters for the sake of political correctness but Gotham is not one of these shows. The storyline between Nygma and Penguin doesn't feel contrived or forced — it feels natural. Gotham has changed much of the Batman mythos before, specifically Poison Ivy's origin, so a character's sexuality shouldn't be a problem. Nygma and Cobblepot are the ultimate duo and I don't think that the storyline should be held back because of the characters' apparent sexual orientation in the comics — Gotham exists in its own universe and a romantic relationship between the pair is totally plausible.
Check out a preview for next week's episode:
I hope Gotham is brave enough to pursue this relationship as I actually find myself drawn to these two characters more than any other characters on the show. With the promise of their relationship developing further in next week's episode, perhaps Penguin will finally have that special someone to share his life with. Get ready to start shipping #Nygmobblepot.
Gotham airs Mondays on FOX. Do you think Penguin and Nygma are more than just friends? Tell me in the comment section below.