This week brought yet another episode of Gotham that thickened the plot without giving out many answers about what Dr. Hugo Strange really wants from the city. But the most shocking moment came when Penguin was released from Arkham Asylum by a still-scheming Strange. While there's no more talk of the Galavan clones (aside from a side mention by Ms. Peabody), Strange once again justified his choice to release Penguin by hinting at his "big plans." But why would Strange, whose other experiments are all about creating super-powered humans under his control, want a newly docile and kind Penguin out on the streets?
It's possible that the electroshock therapy used on Cobblepot gives Strange some kind of power over the criminal. And as we know, Penguin was pretending to be "insane" in order to avoid going to prison for his crimes. Strange probably shouldn't let Cobblepot go into the streets, but if the GCPD picks up Penguin, they're barely going to recognize the man. Now, he's still not "insane," but he is possibly going to turn over a new leaf — his subordinate, Butch, who took his place, could give this new Cobblepot some tips on how to deal with a brainwashing. However, that would mean that he'd have to break free from the influence of Tabitha Galavan first, and something tells me that won't happen without a fight.
I wonder if Penguin's new attitude will last, or if it could somehow lead to him having another psychotic break that makes him even more villainous. Since the Penguin usually isn't portrayed in movies and TV as mentally deranged, that could be Gotham's definitive take on the character.
Over the past season and a half, Penguin has been developing his position as the criminal overlord of the city. Given that Gotham is a Batman prequel, there does need to be something that keeps him from reaching that goal until Bruce becomes the Caped Crusader. Whether it's his newly kind and cowardly nature, something Strange implanted in his brain, or starting from the bottom of the mobster totem pole after disappearing for several months, Penguin will have to struggle in order to regain his position as the King of Gotham.
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