One of the big pros of Gotham? The Penguin. I really had never thought an origin of the Penguin. It seemed, in a way, of little consequence.
And yet, on Gotham, they have made him so very interesting. Whereas Burton cast him as a despicable little monster in appearance, Gotham takes a different rout.
Oswald Cobblepot seems to have come from a family that may have been rich once, but their power and influence has deteriorated with Gotham. And so Oswald had to crawl up the mob rungs and fight to survive. He will betray, lie, steal…anything to achieve the power he so badly wants.
Robin Lord Taylor portrays the Penguin as both incredibly pathetic and frighteningly dangerous. It is, in fact the pathetic aspect that seems to drive his vicious win-at-any-cost behavior. He first loathes the nickname of the Penguin, but ultimately seems to embrace it. He knows he is not physically threatening…but no matter how many times people attempt to take him out, he shows himself to be one step ahead. This could very well prove to be the downfall of those who think they hold power over him.
His mother (played with a creepy presence by Carol Kane) seems fully oblivious to her son’s activities, and seems fixated almost romantically on her son. She is constantly fearful that a woman will take him away from her. And Oswald does nothing to change this. Whether it is attention he enjoys, or is so used to it he has no idea it is creepy, I do not know.
What I do know, is watching the Penguin storyline is a very satisfying aspect of Gotham, and I find the portrayal of the character to be terrific.