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Earlier in Gotham Season 2, Oswald Cobblepot watched as his mother, Gertrude Kapelput, was mercilessly killed on Theo Galavan’s orders. Since then, the future Batman villain has been without any family, but next week, he’ll finally meet his father, Elijah Van Dahl, set to be played by Paul Reubens. After getting a sneak peek at Reubens’ Gotham look two months ago, a new picture has emerged of Oswald and Elijah together with Elijah’s other family.
Posing for the camera in their evening best, Oswald and Elijah are seen in the picture with Elijah’s wife Grace (played by Melinda Clarke), his daughter Sasha (played by Kaley Ronayne) and his son Charles (played by Justin Mark). Besides the family portrait, executive producer John Stephens told TV Insider that along with his wealth, Elijah has plenty of secrets, which will surely bubble up to the surface now that Oswald is back in his life. As for Elijah’s family, despite their dignified appearance, they’re unscrupulous in their own way. As Stephens put it:
They’ll do whatever it takes to keep the family’s fortune.
This fits with the previous description of Grace, who, when previously announced for the show, wasn't mentioned as having any connection to Reubens’ character. After making a name for himself in the criminal underworld during Season 1 and the beginning of Season 2, Oswald has been taking a break from his illegal actives (in lock-up), but being around his father’s other family and their scheming may result in him rediscovering his darker tendencies. Gotham will feature Paul Reubens’ second portrayal of The Penguin’s father, having previously cameoed in 1992’s Batman Returns.
Warning: spoilers for this week’s Gotham episode are ahead!
After taking the blame for Theo Galavan’s murder in “Mr. Freeze,” Oswald blamed his actions on being insane. While not true, this earned him an extended stay at Arkham Asylum, where he was subjected to Hugo Strange’s version of “rehabilitation.” After brutal shock therapy and some tests, Oswald was seemingly cured of his violent tendencies. He was subsequently discharged from Arkham this week in “This Ball of Mud and Meanness,” though when this decision was questioned by Strange’s assistant, Ms. Peabody, the bespectacled professor informed her that Oswald still has a part to play in his future plans.
As seen in the preview for next week’s episode, titled “Mad Grey Dawn,” Oswald will learn of his father’s whereabouts and be welcomed into the Van Dahl family. If they’re as bad as Stephens says, though, maybe he would have been better off not finding Elijah. In that family’s company, the chances of Oswald falling back into the Penguin lifestyle just increased significantly.
New episodes of Gotham air Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.