Who Are The Van Dahls On 'Gotham'? Penguin Might Want To Steer Clear Of His New Relatives

Last week's Gotham episode "Mad Grey Dawn" introduced Oswald Cobblepot, usually known as the Penguin, to his new family. After his mother was murdered by Tabitha and Theo Galavan, Penguin thought he had no relatives left. But then he met the members of the Van Dahl family — his father, stepmother, and step-siblings. And the trailer for future episodes featuring the Van Dahls makes them seem pretty tough. While the fearsome Penguin that Gotham usually portrays would normally be right at home in the den of his wealthy relatives, he's currently a lot more mild-mannered as a result of his treatment at Arkham. And even though they welcomed him with a toast, I don't think a good guy is going to fit in with the Van Dahls.

The one member of the family who seems pretty trustworthy is patriarch Elijah Van Dahl, Penguin's biological father who at one time hoped to marry his mother, Gertrude Cobblepot, but lost contact with her over the years. According to the description of Monday's new episode, "Penguin grows closer to his father, while his step-mother and step-siblings move forward with their own plans for the family." So even though it's a little suspect that Elijah just happened to run into his long-lost son, it seems like there's a growing familial love between odd father and estranged son. But the rest of the Van Dahl clan... that's a different story.

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The trailer above makes it seem like Oswald is going to be the target of his stepsister's advances. And whether they're violent or weirdly romantic, it sure looks like the Penguin is deeply uncomfortable about the idea. So there's a tidbit about Sasha Van Dahl — she might be kind of a wild card.

However, stepbrother Charles Van Dahl is still kind of a mystery. He doesn't have a lot of face time in the trailer, nor was he particularly featured in "Mad Grey Dawn." Penguin has always been the "little brother" type, between his relationship to Fish Mooney to his alliance with Jim Gordon, but perhaps he will finally be in the position to mentor his stepbrother.

Meanwhile, it seems like family matriarch Grace Van Dahl, who's played by former The O.C. star Melinda Clarke, is the one orchestrating the entire scheme. First of all, Clarke is a dominating screen presence, and if any of the Van Dahls are calling the shots, it's got to be her. According to the above trailer, she's going to be the one to reveal that Penguin is still known as Galavan's killer. Plus, the trailer shows that she's clearly upset about the revelation that Elijah has a biological son — perhaps the Van Dahl stepmother is after her husband's fortune.

Whatever the Van Dahl family has in the works, the addition of the Penguin is going to throw a wrench into their plans. Whether his stepmother and stepsiblings are out for his father's money or just don't want another villain stepping into their territory, Oswald Cobblepot-Van Dahl should hope that he quickly recaptures some of his self-preservation and killer instincts.

Images: Nicole Rivelli/FOX (2)