Is ‘Gotham’ Going Gay? A Penguin/Riddler Romance May Be On The Way

Warning: This article may contain spoilers for Gotham.

Gotham fans were treated to a scene in “Mad City: Anything for You” this week that seemed to give even stronger homoerotic subtexts between Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) and the pre-Riddler Edward Nygma character, played by Cory Michael Smith. In fact, as the final scene shared by Taylor and Smith in this week’s Gotham episode progressed, it seemed a kiss comprised equally of both passion and romance was inevitable. Then, at the last moment, Gotham put the brakes on the heat and turned that would-be kiss into a platonic and compassionate hug.

The question remains, were fans reading into something that really wasn’t there, or is there still hope for a Penguin and Nygma love affair in coming episodes of Gotham?

Did Gotham Chicken Out Of A Gay Romance At The Last Moment?

Hanging with the best, @corymichaelsmith #Gotham #nygmobblepot #smaylor

A photo posted by Robin Lord Taylor (@robinlordtaylor) on

From the start of this season, Gotham seemed to be setting up Penguin and Nygma for a heated bromance, but the greatest of Gotham‘s conspiracy theorists have been reading something more into this budding friendship. Even as Nygma set up Butch (Drew Powell) to take the fall in a plot to make Penguin look even more like an undefeatable hero, one couldn’t help but find reason to suspect ulterior motives on behalf of Smith’s character.

Fans felt justified in their mistrust when Nygma confessed to Butch that he was eager to take Penguin’s place at the top, but even this turned out to be another ruse. By the end of the episode, Gotham fans were treated to an intimate moment between Penguin and Nygma in which Cory’s character confesses his part in the evening’s events. It is at this moment in this week’s Gotham episode that Nygma delivers that one line that seems to be laced with deep homoerotic subtext.

“I hope you know, Oswald, I would do anything for you,” says Cory Michael Smith as Gotham‘s Edward Nygma.

This touches Penguin’s heart in a way that none other has done, save his dearly departed mother, and, arm in arm, the two Gotham villains draw close and a passionate lip lock seems undeniable.

At the last moment, however, the kiss is dodged and they embrace.

There’s no word on whether Gotham showrunners intend to pursue a gay romantic story arc with these two characters, but it does seem the direction things are headed. Considering the fact that Robin Lord Taylor is gay in his personal life, this may be the best way for the series to give the Penguin character a love interest.

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Gotham Star Robin Lord Taylor Identifies With Penguin

Five years ago today, I married the greatest man I've ever met. We are proud and unafraid.

A photo posted by Robin Lord Taylor (@robinlordtaylor) on

Even before Taylor was given this great bromance/romance with Cory Michael Smith’s Gotham character, the actor felt a certain synergy with Oswald Cobblepot. Gotham fans may remember that, as an “umbrella boy,” Oswald didn’t start out in the best circumstances in Season 1 of the series. Before he rose to power, Taylor’s character was bullied and beaten, a situation which Robin has said that he often identified with as an overweight, gay teen, living in a small Iowa town.

“With The Penguin specifically, we’re very fortunate in that we have about 70 years of mythology to draw upon and do research with and that’s what I did when I got the role of The Penguin,” says the Gotham star. “That’s when I learned he was bullied as a child, he was always treated as an outsider. That was my human link to the character. I learned that and I was like, ‘This is something I want to show and root him down to reality.’ Growing up overweight and gay in small-town Iowa in the ’80s and ’90s—it was much different than it is now—and I know exactly what that feels like.”

In fact, the bullying hasn’t stopped for Mr. Taylor. Recently, Robin shared with his social media followers that he was sharing a five-year anniversary with his husband. Wisely, the Gotham actor declined to share the identity of his spouse, because, if he had, they both would have suffered the backlash that broke Robin’s heart.

“When I posted about my anniversary on Instagram, I was called a ‘f**got’ and a ‘gay bastard’. Homophobia is real and deadly.#LoveIsLove,” tweeted Taylor.

The next episode of Gotham airs on Monday, October 24, on Fox.

[Featured Image by Fox]