If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, then Season 3 of Gotham promises to introduce -- or re-adhere -- some old relationships to fans.
The triangle between Penguin, Ed Nygma, and Butch figures to be central to that. It is not just fan theory, either. A recent set visit had the actors sharing insights to how they may intermingle.
Cory Michael Smith, who plays Nygma, told ComicBook.com that his character essentially has to reach out to Penguin for help.
"If and when Ed Nygma gets out of Arkham Asylum, the only person he can really reach out to is Penguin," Smith said.
That's good news for fans, who fell instantly in love with the dynamic between the future Riddler and Robin Lord Taylor's Penguin (seriously, just check Tumblr). Smith echoed that, saying their chemistry was built in just about a day on set.
“It is really fun,” he said. “Season one, we only had one scene together, in episode 15. In season two -- when we worked together -- we spent a whole day filming all this stuff in episode 9 in my apartment, and it was the true birth of our relationship. We were really stuck in one spot together, doing all these scenes sequentially in one and a half days. That was when he and I figured each other out and learned each other and now we just have a blast doing it.
"There’s so much of it in Season 3, the two of us, coming up.”
Of course, that could cause some competition between Nygma and Butch -- played by Drew Powell -- who seems to be sliding back into the right-hand-man job with Penguin.
The two actors are both enjoying the dynamic between them - and the three-as-one, strange triangle.
“The Nygma/Butch dynamic is pretty much the opposite of the Penguin/Butch dynamic.” Powell said. “There’s this weird sympatico between Penguin and Butch, but Butch and Nygma are chalk and cheese. They are oil and water. These two will never see eye-to-eye. So there’s this weird triangle between Penguin, Nygma, and Butch that starts near the beginning of the season, works through the first part, and I think will carry through the season of this weird dynamic.
"Where Butch is about loyalty, Nygma certainly is not; he’s all about looking out for number one. So it’s been a lot of fun. We had never even been in a scene together until this season, and now we’ve had a lot of stuff, particularly in this episode that we’re shooting now, and it’s been really a lot of fun.”
Smith agrees, saying he has really had a fun time with Powell and the Butch-Nygma relationship.
"The pair will be constantly both trying to be Penguin's favorite,” he said, for reasons that go beyond the obvious -- but will be revealed later in the season.
"I’m much smarter than he is, but he’s much bigger. Whenever we’re vying for the attention of Penguin, competing with each other, it’s kind of funny. We have very different gifts. It’s been really neat to play with him. It’s like a bull fight kind of thing – he’s the bull, but I’m totally in charge.”
Robin Lord Taylor said that neither Nygma nor Butch have any lead over the other. Largely because it isn’t friendship, rather controlling the situation, that is the main motivation for is character.
"The love of his life is power. This is his addiction," Taylor said. "This is his obsession. Having been a very powerless person in his life up to this point, it's something that he has built his whole life about attaining and maintaining.
“After everything in Season 2, having had a taste of that and then have it all taken away, now he has more tools to use to help to attain power and then hold onto it."
When Gotham Season 3 returns to FOX on Monday, September 19, 2016 at 8 p.m. a few months have passed since we last saw the city. Hugo Strange was taken down, the Indian Hill monsters were set free, and Gotham City had no real powers in play - well, none that could be seen, since the Court of Owls looms in the background watching over all.
As the villains grow in number, it could be this unique trio that rises to the top.