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The Batman prequel series kicked off its New York Comic Con panel on Sunday with opening scenes from Monday night’s episode, featuring a spotlight on the character who eventually becomes Penguin.
“I told you there’s a war coming, Jim — there will be so many deaths, so many,” Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) tells Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) at the beginning of Monday night’s episode of Gotham. “You’re a good man, you may very well be the last good man in Gotham. … As you know, war is just politics by other means. And isn’t politics just money talking?” What is he talking about? Says Cobblepot: “Arkham, of course.”
It’s an interaction that inferred Jim’s trust in Oswald. “If [Oswald] had a superpower, it would be that he’s able to endear himself to a lot of people,” Taylor explained of his villain-to-be. “He works his way into situations, and then he’s able to play people off of people and emerge triumphantly between them.” In response to speculation as to whether the Penguin (an animal that eats fish) will end up devouring Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), showrunner Danny Cannon said, “A Machiavellian rise to the top is something we explore very much, and there are very many causalities and collateral damage.”
The clip also introduced a new villain with a telescope-like weapon that gouges out the eye of whoever looks through it. “When the lunatics run the asylum, the strongest lunatic will win — it’s such a corrupt town,” said Cannon after the sneak peek. “The villains that will emerge from the ooze will always surprise us.”
Star McKenzie reassured of his Jim Gordon, “He is surrounded by proper villains. … At the same time, he has this warrior’s mentality — the same things that kick him down are the same things that pick him up. He will never give in to hopelessness.”
While fans were anxious to see more of Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) in the series, Cannon noted that they’re many seasons away from focusing on the young Batman. “We’re going to concentrate much more on how Jim and Alfred are going to father him. … What’s hidden under Wayne Manor is going to be kept secret for just a little while longer.” However, he did confirm that Bruce’s first interaction with Selina Kyle is coming ahead.
In the meantime, the show will continue to introduce familiar villains. While Cannon couldn’t confirm a Harley Quinn appearance or whether the red-suited comedian is indeed the Joker, the showrunner did say that Victor Zsasz will arrive in episode seven and Harvey Dent in episode nine. “Season two, if Fox lets us, there’s no end of what we would see,” said Cannon.
Also, Sean Pertwee loves bringing a new version of notorious butler Alfred Pennyworth to the screen. “He’s the protector of young Master Bruce, but it doesn’t mean he has any particular parenting skills — and it gets worse!”
Cannon also teased of Alfred, “You start to realize why he’s such a great keeper of the gate and was hired by one of the richest men in the world to protect his son — because he’s a badass.”
And in episode eight, Bruce Wayne will approach Alfred: “I’m angry all the time — will it ever stop?” When Alfred responds, “I don’t know,” Bruce will ask, “Will you teach me how to fight?”
The other castmembers also reflected on their characters.
Donal Logue noted that his Harvey Bullock “had been around for a while, and he became very cynical, and I think when you meet him, he basically wants to stuff his pockets, retired and be alive.” But after meeting Gordon, he is “stronger, he has moral fibers to keep; it took someone like Jim Gordon to wake up Harvey Bullock.”
And Erin Richards noted of her Barbara Keen, “She obviously loves [Gordon] so much and she really wants it to work, but she can already sense that something’s not right. … She’s just going through normal relationship stuff, but everything’s heightened when you’re in Gotham.”
Gotham airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.
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