Gotham has been building its organized crime storyline for the past six weeks, and it's all been leading to their Nov. 4 episode, where it seems like Jim Gordon's role in Oswald Cobblepot's disappearance will finally come to light. But if two crime families are going head to head and famous villain Victor Zsasz will be holding Gotham PD hostage — why is Gotham Episode 7 titled "Penguin's Umbrella"? It's actually a fitting name, since Penguin's umbrella isn't just an accessory —it's his trademark. In a city full of flamboyant personalities and superpowers, and when comic artists are drawing him, the umbrella a visual cue that shows who the Penguin is. Since most Batman villains have gone through many different looks and origins, visual reminders like the Joker's purple suit, Selina Kyle's goggles, or the Penguin's umbrella can make sure the audience recognizes the character.
It also adds to Cobblepot's gentlemanly affect: he's a stone-cold thug wearing tails, a top hat, a monocle, and carrying an umbrella. Penguin has a few different origins, but usually he is either a privileged aristocrat turned evil (as seems to be the case on Gotham so far) or a former street kid who dresses in a formal fashion after making his fortune as a crook and a gangster. A fundamental piece of the costume has always been his trademark umbrella. Some gangsters carry canes, some villains stroke white cats, but only Penguin uses an umbrella as an artillery weapon.
Actually, in some Batman stories, like Batman: The Animated Series and Tim Burton's Batman Returns, Penguin's umbrella is a sort of utility belt. He can use it as a gun, a grappling hook, a way to distribute poisonous gas — it's his catch-all tool. And since he's not typically an agile, young guy, and has no superpowers, he relies on his goons, his money, and yes, his umbrella gun.
But that's all background, and while Gotham is definitely inspired by the comics and movies, it isn't slavishly adapting them. But they have shown Penguin use an umbrella before — when he was Fish Mooney's assistant, guess what his primary task was? Wielding her umbrella. Now that the secret is out that he's back in Gotham City, maybe he'll pick up the tool that once was used to keep him subservient and turn it into a symbol of his new empowerment.
With his habit of concealing weapons in umbrellas, maybe's Penguin is planning to assassinate Fish on the next rainy Gotham City afternoon. It's a great title for this key episode, because when Penguin finds his umbrella, he will find his identity. Note that the episode title calls him Penguin — it's not "Oswald Cobblepot's Umbrella." Now all he needs is his top hat, tails, and monocle, and the total villain transformation will be complete.
Images: Jessica Miglio/FOX; Gotham Gifs/Tumblr (3)