This week on Gotham, a new crisis has hit the Gotham City Police Department (GCPD): someone is killing cops, and the cherry on top of these murders is the fact that the killer slaps a pig head over that of the corpse. It’s a fairly horrifying concept (although this is Gotham City), but when Gotham introduces the culprit with his own dead-pig-mask, things get truly creepy. However, that’s not a bad thing. Cartoonishly frightening villains are what Gotham does best, and Professor Pyg (Michael Cerveris) is absolutely stunning.
As well as the GCPD’s newest enemy, this episode ‘Hog Day Afternoon’, continues two smaller storylines; Penguin’s (Robin Lord Taylor) relationship with Sofia (Crystal Reed), and Grundy’s (Drew Powell) time in the underground wrestling ring. We learn a little more about why Leigh Thompkins (Morena Baccarin) is back in town (she feels guilty about the Tetch virus, and needs to atone), and Riddler (Cory Michael Smith) finally convinces her to help him get his brain back. Bruce (David Mazouz) is nowhere to be found in this episode, but that’s not a bad thing, especially as this latest villain is one for the police force, not the baby-bat.
Related: Professor Pig Gets Musical Number
The Comic Book Pyg
In the comics, Professor Pyg is a relatively recent addition to the Batman pantheon, having first appeared in 2007. A truly disturbing and deranged villain (which is saying something, given the competition), Pyg’s real name is Lazlo Valentin, a former agent of Spyral (an international agency specializing in mind control and brainwashing). Lazlo designed a mind-erosion gas to be used as a weapon, but was driven mad when it was used against him.
Since this event, Pyg has become completely mad and obsessed with ‘perfection’. He creates minions known as Dollotrons that are his idea of ‘perfection’; people who have been lobotomized, drugged, and have doll faces permanently attached over their own. It’s a process that is definitely as horrifying as it sounds, and the language that Pyg uses makes it even worse. He himself wears a pig mask and usually has a makeshift surgical outfit on. In the past, he has attempted to release an addictive, personality-destroying drug throughout Gotham City, but was foiled by Batman.
Comic To Screen: What Has Changed
The Gotham version of Professor Pyg, like most of the Gotham villains, blends some of the classic elements with a new twist. Like the original Pyg, this version wears that distinctive pig mask, although Gotham chooses to make him as frightening as possible by using actual pieces of a pig’s face sewn together and worn over the head; a step up from the original plastic Halloween mask.
This Professor Pyg also doesn’t appear to have the Dollotrons that the original Pyg does. So far, he’s appeared working alone, with a little help from low-level criminals who procured pig’s heads for his killer stunt. He is also seen in the final moments of ‘Hog Day Afternoon’ on a pig farm, suggesting that he’s raising his own pigs and plans to use a whole lot of them: which means a whole lot more murder on the cards. That’s not too surprising, though, as this Pyg revealed his big plans for Gotham City this week.
Pyg’s Plan For Gotham
While the original Professor Pyg was deranged and obsessed with ‘perfection’ (as he saw it, anyway), the Gotham Pyg has a different obsession: corruption in the GCPD, and beyond. After capturing Jim (Ben McKenzie) and Harvey (Donal Logue), Pyg reveals a little of himself to Officer Gordon. He even claims to be a fan of the man, saying that they are very similar, and that both of them believe in doing what’s right, and in following the law. Pyg tells Gordon that Harvey is holding him back, and that Pyg believes in his abilities alone. However, when Gordon tells him that his hatred of law enforcement is delusional, Pyg replies that he has suffered ‘profound’ loss at the hands of ‘the greedy pigs in power’.
As a result, Pyg has decided to root out corruption on high, by murdering every single cop on Penguin’s payroll, and who support the new ‘criminal licensing’ system. When Gordon responds that that would be half the department, Pyg shrugs. It doesn’t matter to him how many he kills, just that he will kill everyone who is corrupt in his eyes. He’ll be continuing with his signature move of using pigs head’s over the heads of the corpses, too, which explains the pig farm (although having already made his point, this could also mean that he’ll start feeding his victims to the pigs to avoid being caught). Gordon is safe, it seems, but Harvey is definitely on Pyg’s list…
A Day In The Narrows
Gotham doesn’t often do the ‘freak of the week’, and Professor Pyg is no exception; this deranged, pig-corpse-wearing, corruption-hating serial killer is going to be on Gotham for a few episodes at the very least. At least one future episode will also include a song and dance number, which is sure to be an interesting addition to the Gotham world! Although Pyg will be sticking around for a while, he’s unlikely to become a true season regular, though. He’s certainly got the creep factor for it, but not the same kind of name recognition as Penguin and Riddler. The most likely scenario is that Pyg’s time on Gotham will be similar to that of Jervis Tetch (Benedict Samuel): a half-season arc, rather than a permanent addition.
Next week, in ‘A Day In The Narrows’, Pyg is still front and center as Penguin decides that he needs to do something about this new threat to the Pax Penguina. Penguin is also trying to convince Gordon that they should work together once more, as Pyg is a threat to both of them, but Gordon doesn’t seem too happy about Penguin’s methods. Gordon and Bullock are also at odds next week, as Gordon tries to convince him that he needs to find a way to stop Pyg before he murders half the department. It seems that Pyg’s plan is causing trouble on all fronts, and he’s just getting started…
Gotham continues with “A Day In The Narrows” Nov 2nd on Fox.
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