The Questionable Rise of Edward Nygma

The Questionable Rise of Edward Nygma

By Valerie Vale | Reporter
September 19, 2016

The article below may contain spoilers from Gotham Season 3, Episode 4.

They say Gotham is a town where fortunes can change in the blink of an eye. If you need an example of this, look at the meteoric rise of our newly elected mayor, Oswald “The Penguin” Cobblepot. Once a prominent player in the Gotham underworld, it’s hard to believe that Mr. Cobblepot is now the mayor of our fair city.

But Mayor Cobblepot isn’t the only one whose fortune has changed in recent weeks. Mr. Edward Nygma, a former forensic scientist for the Gotham City Police Department, has been by the Mayor’s side since almost the first day of the campaign, whispering encouragingly in his ear before press conferences and shaking the hands of important donors when Mr. Cobblepot was otherwise occupied. And in a moment that surprised everyone — including, from the look on his face, Mr. Nygma — Mr. Cobblepot named him his Chief of Staff during his victory speech.

But who is Edward Nygma, really?

Both Mr. Nygma and Mr. Cobblepot declined multiple requests for interviews from the Chronicle, but several members of the Cobblepot campaign and burgeoning administration were willing to talk on the condition of anonymity.

“There’s a good Ed and a bad Ed,” said one staffer. “One minute he’s got a big smile and friendly demeanor, and the next he’s throwing someone under the bus. I know it’s his first political outing, but he’s quite good at it. I think the only person in Gotham more two faced than him is District Attorney Harvey Dent.”

Mr. Nygma’s cutthroat ways were a common theme in many of the conversations I had with Cobblepot staffers. But a few of them had nice things to say about the man who is known for his quirky riddles and jokes.

“Does he play hardball? Absolutely,” said one source. “But this is Gotham. Being nice and playing by the rules is a waste of time in this city. You have to be merciless. Who can blame him for that? The bottom line is, I like Ed a lot.”

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But “merciless” might be putting it lightly. Mr. Nygma spent time in Arkham Asylum for his role in a series of grisly murders for which he attempted to frame former GCPD detective Jim Gordon. (Mr. Gordon also declined to be interviewed for this article.) He was also linked to the bombing that rocked the Gotham Museum of Art several months ago.

“We shouldn’t forget that Edward received his official certificate of rehabilitation from Arkham and was subsequently released,” said another staffer, who also declined to be identified for this story. “At the end of the day, he’s a dweeb. His idea of fun is working on a crossword puzzle while he has dinner at his bachelor pad. He’s harmless.”

So is Edward Nygma a loveable oddball in the world of Gotham politics? Or do his personality quirks mask something much more sinister?

“Honestly, I change my mind about him every day,” says another source. “Is he a brilliant political strategist? Most definitely. Does he make me nervous? Absolutely. In the end, the only thing I know for sure is that Edward Nygma is a riddle.”

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