Major spoilers for Gotham: The Gentle Art of Making Enemies - the winter finale ahead. Seriously, massive spoilers, so read on at your own risk!
Gotham has only been back for three weeks, but now goes on an extended winter hiatus, and doesn't return for twelve weeks. Yes, it's true, Gotham is off the air completely until April 24, 2017, while 24: Legacy takes its timeslot. The show went out with a bang, a literal one, of course, and now the question is: did what looked like happened actually go down that way? LAST CHANCE TO GET OUT SPOILER-FREE
The end of the episode saw a confrontation between Ed Nygma and Oswald Cobblepot that sure seemed final. After nearly killing him earlier, Nygma takes Cobblepot down to the docks. The two have an argument, and Ed comes down to the nitty-gritty: "You killed her, so you die." Oswald says he created Ed, and is the only one who sees him as he is. "You can't do this." Ed says, "I'm listening. I loved her, Oswald. And you killed her."
With that, Nygma shot Oswald in the gut, then pushed him off the pier into the Gotham Harbor. The show ended with his lifeless body falling under water, eyes wide open and hands reaching out. But could Penguin really be dead?
The argument is strong in both directions. The death of not just a main character, but arguably the main character on the show, at least on the villain side, would be massive. It would fully establish that Gotham is its own world, with its own situations, and truly separate it from anything Batman that's ever been done. The death, if it holds up, would leave a massive hole in the show, as well - Gotham City would lose its mayor, sure, but Gotham the show would lose half of its heart. The evolution of the city has been shown to us primarily through two characters in two and a half seasons, Jim Gordon and Oswald Cobblepot. To lose half that equation would shake up the show in a way basically no other death could.
Of course, that's also an argument for keeping Penguin alive. Like that working both ways, so does the obvious parallel: in the pilot, Jim Gordon took Penguin down to the docks, seemingly killing him; but he didn't, really, and it was a transformative moment for the young Oswald. When he came back, he was changed; every one of his transformations have come from a death real or imagained, in fact. This one could do that, too, with Oswald getting the chance to come back, having finally sacrificed for love - and having been scorned. If we see an Oswald who just opened himself up come back even more closed off, it could be a truly fearsome sight for Gotham - and fans, to behold. And that's a sight fans surely want to see.
We won't find out for sure until we're closer to Gotham's return on April 24, 2017. Hopefully we haven't seen the last of the waddling criminal mastermind.
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