Okay! SO! Time for me to do my part and address the queerbait argument in this fandom.
First off, hi there, I’m Robin, but you can also call me Spencer (middle name) and I’m a science nerd. Not that that bit of info has anything to do with either Gotham or Nygmobblepot directly, but you’ll see why I thought to mention it.
Now. The term ‘queerbait’ is obviously a Thing the fandom likes to talk about. A lot. However one thing struck me as strange, and that’s the definitions people were using in their arguments. Some said it applies, to queer-coded relationships that never ender the realm of confirmed romance, others lean towards it being about queer-coding a character and never having them confirmed queer. You can see how this ends up getting confusing and then the next thing you know, everyone it clawing at each other’s throat because they KnowTM their definition is the right one. So my goal here is to try and see if I can somewhat settle the argument.
Being the Science ChildTM that I am, I decided to employ science’s good friend, the scientific method!
Basically I did a shite ton of research into the subject and on average the definition I found was this:
Queerbaiting: a tactic employed in fiction where a relationship is queer coded and never addressed as a romantic relationship; a queer coded relationship that gets played off as a joke (no homo humour); a character that has been queer coded, but never confirmed queer (the ‘played as a joke’ bit counts here as well).
So now that I had a proper definition, I could go back and analyze everything Nygmobblepot! (which i did, also during the time I was making docks memes).
Definition part one: “a queer coded relationship that is never addressed in the romantic sense”
This is the part where all the arguments originate. Despite a large amout of queer coding, Nygmobblepot is not currently cannot. However, because the show isn’t over - hell, the third season isn’t even over yet - and because we’re using the scientific method, we will have to check this as unknown variable.
(Because c’mon, obviously Os isn’t gonna stay dead, that leaves us with more data to gather.)
Definition part two: “a queer coded relationship played off as a joke”
Call me unobservant, but I never once noticed any ‘no homo’ jokes through out the entire Gotham series so far. In fact, loving another man wasn’t even a struggle for Oswald to accept, he just went for it. Not to mention, no one else in Gotham even makes a big deal of even the idea of queer relationships. Obviously we can check this part as a negative for queerbait.
Definition part three: “a queer-coded character, never confirmed queer and/or passed as a joke”
Here, too, we have negative as queerbait. Ed was never queer coded except for certain instances with Oswald, and these were quite subtle. In fact, these are also behaviors enacted by people that feel a close, platonic connection with someone else. Oswald was the heavily queer coded character in this series. He’s also confirmed queer.
Okay, so now what? We have two definite not-queerbait results out of three. How do we settle this?
Well, I vote for another science
(also political) favorite method: Majority rules. Which, mind you, is a method that exists to avoid as much discourse as possible even if politics is broken.
Therefore, my conclusion is this: Even if Nygmobblepot is never confirmed cannon, based upon majority rules within the proper definition of queerbait calculated on the average results in the data, Nygmobblepot is not queerbait.
Feel free to point out anything I may have missed, but try to be civil about it. I assure you if you can prove any of my points wrong, I will retract my statement without a fuss.