What's The Penguin's Endgame on 'Gotham'?

FOX's new series Gotham is trying to balance a dozen plots at once. One of the early standouts is the young Penguin, Oswald Cobblepot, who was kicked out of Gotham City in the pilot but is now on his way back — with a plan. Unfortunately, we won't know just what that plan is until the episodes start unfolding, and with so many different threads, it could be a while before we really find out what exactly Penguin's plotting on Gotham . The question is, does Cobblepot want to reunite with the Falcones and Fish Mooney, ally himself with new Mafioso on the town Sal Maroni, or forge out on his own path, indebted, for the moment, to Jim Gordon? All three could happen, and all three mean different things for the ultimate fate of the character and what he's planning.

So it’s very possible that for the moment, Penguin could become an informant and snitch to the cops, hoping that they'll take out the Falcones and his former mentor, Fish. However that would be surprising, given that he's just murdered two preppy college students and covered up the crime. Reuniting with the police doesn't really make perfect sense. But if his long game is to play the two sides against one another until they're both destroyed, he could be planning to emerge from the carnage and walk right into a high-ranking mob position after those he betrayed are dead or in prison. Fish would never take him back as a peon after seeing his betrayal.

And the only thing that's keeping Oswald safe from a mob manhunt at the moment is Falcone's belief that he's been killed. Once he resurfaces, he'll need protection from somewhere, and if the police are closed off to him, maybe he'll be running to Sal Maroni, another mobster who will be joining the series played by David Zayas. In the comics, Maroni, Falcone, and Penguin are three of Gotham's most vicious and successful criminals, and possibly the only three who aren't totally clinically insane. Penguin absolutely wants to get there, and if Maroni extends his protection, he'll grab it. Alternatively, if Falcone offers his protection from Fish, the cops, and Maroni, Oswald would sell out Maroni in two seconds flat (like he sold out Ms. Mooney not so long ago).

Carol Kane appeared in the second episode playing Gertrud Kapelput, Oswald's elderly mother who lives in a dusty mansion reminiscent of Miss Havisham. It would be a waste to introduce her without ever letting her bounce off of the Penguin. They clearly have some weird symbiosis, after living together for so long in that big house, so it would be a huge surprise if he wasn't planning on reuniting with her. That's gotta be happening soon — she called the cops after not hearing from her son for one freaking day. Once we figure out what Oswald's home life's all about, his ultimate plans should hopefully become clearer.

Images: Jessica Miglio/FOX; Giphy