Well, I for one never saw that one coming. Monday's episode of Gotham broke away from the police procedural format we've come to expect from the opening episodes and instead bombarded us with plot. While Jim Gordon searched for a way to release the truth to the world before he was killed by Don Falcone or one of the many, many people, both on the right and wrong side of the law, that are in Falcone's pocket, Penguin proved himself to be a force to be reckoned with within Maroni's operation. However, the last few minutes of the episode revealed that Penguin has been spying on Maroni for Falcone all along. Yes, that's right, Penguin is the ultimate snitch.
The bombshell came at the tail end of an episode that proved without a doubt that Oswald Cobblepot is the scariest villain on Gotham. First, he outwitted Maroni's right hand man, Frankie. The enforcer was pretty anti-Cobblepot when it became clear to him, and to the viewer, that Penguin had Maroni's ear and was capable of directing the actions of the organization with a simple whisper. However, when Frankie decided to put the fear of the family into Penguin, the tables were quickly turned on him. Cobblepot revealed that he had paid off Frankie's henchmen, which was more money than they had seen from Frankie in years, and they held the enforcer still so Penguin could run him through with a knife.
And you thought he was harmless. I can hardly be blamed for being on the edge of my seat when Cobblepot approached Don Falcone as he was with his chickens (seriously, what's with the chickens?) near the end of the episode. Was Penguin going to be the one to kill Falcone? Were these Maroni's latest orders? Apparently not. A flashback to the pilot revealed that after saving Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock from Fish Mooney's latest bout of temper, Falcone had gone to speak to the soon-to-be-dead snitch. It turns out that Penguin is the one who requested that Falcone have Gordon be the one to kill him. He guessed, correctly, that Gordon would spare him and he promised that if it happened he would return to Gotham, infiltrate the Maroni crime family, and snitch on them to Falcone to make up for his crimes.
Can you blame Falcone for taking advantage of such a great offer? Now, Penguin has gone from being public enemy number one and the most wanted man in Gotham second only to Jim Gordon to having not one, but two, Dons in his back pocket. Maroni has basically made Penguin his right hand man, a role that will only increase now that Frankie is dead, and, now that Penguin has made good on his promise, Falcone is also willing to do him favors — like sparing Jim Gordon's life. This is exactly the kind of manipulation, scheming, and backstabbing that we've been waiting to see out of Cobblepot and all of the tools that he'll need when he finally becomes, once and for all, the Penguin.
I don't know about you, but I officially consider Oswald Cobblepot to be the most dangerous person in Gotham. Sorry, Fish Mooney, but it looks like you're going to be out of your depth very, very soon. Especially considering Penguin has already informed Falcone about Fish's desire to take his place as the boss of all crime in Gotham. In the course of a single episode, Fish is the one who is doomed and Gordon and Penguin are saved. Not bad, Penguin. Well played.
Image: Jessica Miglio/FOX