Nobody enjoys a party crasher – especially one intent on wreaking bloody havoc and, well, forcing the dinner party to eat human flesh.
In tonight’s episode of Gotham, "Let Them Eat Pie," that's exactly what happens when Oswald Cobblepot and Sofia Falcone throw a charity fundraiser for the latter party's new orphanage. When Professor Pyg unexpectedly shows up to slice away at the guest list, however, things get a little "batshit crazy," as Robin Lord Taylor tells CBR. Pyg has been slaughtering corrupt GCPD cops on Oswald’s payroll for several weeks, but has he bitten off more than he can chew by facing Penguin head-on?
Lord Taylor spoke with us about Oswald’s gruesome encounter with Professor Pyg, his cat and mouse game with Sofia Falcone and Oswald’s hubris. In addition, the actor previewed Oswald’s imminent reunion with Nygma, and the power struggle viewers will watch unfold in the show's winter’s finale.
CBR: Season 3 culminated with Oswald literally putting his former best friend, Edward Nygma, on ice. How has heartbreak and betrayal affected Oswald this year?
Robin Lord Taylor: I trace this all back to Oswald’s childhood, this need that is inside of him to be accepted, to be desired and to be loved and trusted, all of those things we humans want. That’s so much inside of him, as much as he tried to get away from it. At the end of Season 3, Oswald says to Nygma, “I learned my lesson. I will never let anyone in again.” And yet, here we find ourselves in Season 4.
Oswald has found maybe one of his most worthy – I don’t want to say opponents, but someone who is really challenging to him in a way no one else has been, and that would be Sofia Falcone. She’s Don Falcone’s daughter and there’s also another connection there. Everything Oswald knows about running the crime syndicate and being the King of Gotham, he learned from Don Falcone. So, here comes his daughter, who has all of those traits inherently inside of her, having grown up with Don Falcone and seen everything first hand. She comes into Oswald’s life. No matter what Oswald has prepared himself against - whether he says he won’t let anyone inside, or he won’t let his walls down or that he won’t care about anybody ever again – she is able to break that immediately. It’s a testament to her cunning and the fact she is her father’s daughter.
Oswald and Sofia seem to share this cat and mouse dynamic, but... who is the cat, and who is the mouse?
I don’t know. I really don’t. That’s what I love about it. With every episode, and even multiple times within the episode, every time Oswald thinks he has Sofia nailed down, and the opposite when she thinks she has him nailed down, they both manage to surprise each other at every turn. It’s like an intricate dance, one that Oswald has never had to dance before. At every turn, she’s there to counter him. Obviously, things will be revealed as we go forward. But, as revealed in the last episode, Oswald thinks he has found her base of operations. Then, it turns out to be a children’s orphanage. Going forward with this episode, there’s so many times he feels she is going to betray him, and then something happens that is so batshit crazy in the form of the wonderful Michael Cerveris as Professor Pyg. Something like that is thrown into the mix. She gets stabbed in the hand. She puts herself out in the line and his theories are all shot to hell again. I don’t know who the mouse is and who the cat is at this point in the show. It’s been really exciting to play out.
There was a scene where Oswald was with Martin and he looks out the window at Sofia. It looked like there was a spark of recognition or suspicion in his eyes. Is he on to her?
I feel like he’s always on to her. It’s not like she’s Poison Ivy and he’s sprayed some perfume and he’s completely hypnotized. He has all his faculties, but, at the same time, every time he thinks he’s on to her, she changes the game. He recognizes he is being played, but it’s a game and what we know about Oswald is he does not to lose. He’s a master at strategy and manipulation. To find himself at every turn being outwitted, or invaded, by Sophia is incredibly frustrating for him. That’s another reason why instead of having her assassinated immediately. Oswald is so swept up in this game against her. He doesn’t want to let it go. He wants to win. He wants to prove, “Ha! I beat you. I beat a Falcone.” It’s part of his legacy.
Again, to touch on legacy, we have this other kid, Martin. Oswald is at a point where everyone in his life has betrayed him. At this juncture, because Martin has been put in front of him, Oswald sees someone he can pass along everything he has learned. As he goes through this thing with Sofia, Martin is a witness. That’s another reason Oswald doesn’t want to give up the game. He wants to prove to Martin, he wants someone who trusts to be a witness to his brilliance. Again, that’s another reason coming back to Sofia and participating in her games.