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Gotham – S1E5 – Viper

Previously on Gotham, ‘Arkham’

Gordon and Bullock search for the source of a new street drug that causes euphoria and super strength—but with the ultimate side effect being death. Penguin works his way deeper into Maroni’s inner circle while Fish continues to train her weapon to use in her plot against Falcone.

In this episode of Gotham, we get to see the origin of the venom serum that the behemoth Bane will use to break the Batman’s back. It seems the original drug was called “viper” and had a few bugs that needed to be worked out. And a mystery man is going around Gotham giving out free samples of “viper” for an unknown agenda. Meanwhile, Gordon and Bullock are torn away from their oh so important lunch break to determine what this drug is and how to stop the mystery man. Mooney, who is now training her new weapon against who we can only assume is Falcone, meets with the Don and some other members of Falcone’s crime organization to discuss Maroni and how to deal with the number two crime family in Gotham.

And we have our friendly yet awkward Penguin as he comes clean with Maroni and attempts to further stretch his spy capabilities by offering to spy for him against Falcone and Mooney. So what does that make him? A triple double double agent? Finally we have young Bruce attempting to put the puzzle together connecting his parent’s death with all the bad things that happen in Gotham. Oh, and I forgot that Selina dropped in for a literal second just to remind us that she is still in the show. This episode was average at best, with very few good scenes and many more bad ones.

I feel the show is falling off a cliff into mediocrity and not sure how long the audience is supposed to hold on the hopes of still getting their expectations fulfilled. I am slowly beginning to lose interest and I suspect other watchers are as well. Maybe all we can hope for is for the show to do what WB’s “Arrow” did and get good toward the end of season 1 and really get good in season 2. And with the show signing new cast members with options for a second season the show runners may have time to do it.

What worked:
  • The chemistry and dialogue between Gordon and Bullock is getting a lot better. I found myself smiling a little when the two were on their lunch break before it was so rudely interrupted by a robbery. Did the criminal not know it was their lunchtime?
  • Oswald continues to progress into the character we will soon know as the Penguin. He remains the creepy guy staring at you across the room repeatedly telling himself, “Don’t be creepy, don’t be creepy,” but not being able to help himself. He bumbles his way into situations he thinks he is in control of only to find he is the butt of the joke or the blood smear on the side of a goons fist. Robin Taylor who plays Oswald has sold it every episode so far, job well done once again.
What did not work:
  • The overall pacing of the show is still off and the things that are introduced thus far all have some future reach into the Bat-Universe. I do not have a problem with certain elements that we will refer back to as Batman swings across the skyline, these nuances are sprinkled throughout the season, but it is beginning to seem forced.
  • The evil “My Fair Lady” style training with Mooney and her “little girl” or her weapon or whatever she is calling her these days, was just silly. I get why we need to see the grooming, but the scenes just did not work.
  • Bruce being the detective and not wanting vengeance. Yes to the detective but no to the kindler gentler young caped crusader. His parents just died and part of what makes him who he is to become is that anger and the need for vengeance. We all know he later veers off that vengeance path and more to the wanting justice for all road but we are so far from that yet. The scenes with Bruce are throw away scenes and they should not be.
  • The dialogue is still wanting. “Don’t vex me, mortal.” What?


Don’t Vex Me, Mortal?:
  • A mysterious man comes down a Gotham street and tips a street musician with a strange vile of green liquid. The vile said “breath me.” So the guy does what any other person would do. He breaths the liquid and gets super powers with a need for milk. (The writers really like people stealing milk.) Anyway, he goes into a convenience store and begins to get his milk on. The store worker approaches and is told not to “vex” him. Yes he said “vex.” Then the super strong milk thief grabs the store ATM slings it over his shoulder Santa Claus style and runs down the street smiling as he goes.

Gotham Viper

  • Later, Gordon and Bullock show up after hearing the store alarm. Bullock was vexed about being pulled away from his favorite burger truck and upon entering the store asks if anyone was killed. He had to know if all of this was worth his time (being homicide and all) but more importantly he so wanted his burger. The storeowner told them about the milk man and they went back to the GCP to brief the Captain as to what happened.
  • Gordon and Bullock canvas the neighborhood and find out the milk thief’s name is Bennie and where he hangs out. They find Bennie strung out on calcium with a white mustache. He asks them for help in finding some more of the drug he had taken. When they refuse he tries to throw the ATM machine at them. That is when we find out that milk does do a body good, but Bennie had not drank enough, he gets squished by the ATM machine as he lifts it over his head.
  • Gordon and Bullock discover that the drug causes the user to activate a portion of their DNA and uses excess amounts of calcium to make them stronger, which would explain the need for the white stuff (milk).
  • It turns out that the mystery drug pusher was a disgruntled scientist named Stan, a former employee of Wayne Enterprises’ subsidiary WellZyn, who became resentful by his moral apprehension at having to produce a super soldier serum. There is a whole philosophy aspect to this with a crazed philosophy teacher going all Hulk on Gordon and Bullock but that is so far out in left field I decided to not talk about it here. If you want to see how much the show does not want viewers to watch another episode go watch the episode and enjoy that portion of the show. If you do…thanks for reading my Gotham recaps so far and I hope to see you for another show in the future because you will not be back.
A Fish and Her Toys:
  • At Mooney’s place, she is busy training her “weapon” to listen to opera and being schooled in the nuances of how she can be her “baby girl” but Mooney does stress she is not her momma—at least not yet. Where is Nygma when you need him?
  • Mooney then attends a meeting with Falcone and other members of his crime family. They discuss Maroni getting a piece of Arkham meaning the system of power in Gotham. Falcone tries to put all at ease. Mooney oversells her support of Falcone once again. And did you know Gotham had indoor plumbing?
  • Mooney gets it on with one Falcone’s lieutenants who seems to be in the same mindset as Fish…Falcone has to go.

Gotham Fish Mooney

  • Falcone is in the park next to a fountain as our “secret weapon” or “baby girl” all un-sexed up strolls by singing bad opera. Of course Falcone could not resist the song that his dear old mother used to sing to him as he was a kid. Who could? And of course what attractive 20-something with daddy issues would not ask a 60-plus year old stranger to come and listen to bad music with her? (No need to answer this question, folks.)

Gotham S1E5 Falcone

Penguin is Ousted:
  • Maroni discusses his plan to hit Falcone for the restaurant robbery last episode, as Oswald looks on interested.
  • Oswald decides to be brave and inserts foot in mouth by letting Maroni know who he really is and how he can be an asset to his plans. Maroni sees things differently and plants Oswald’s face in the table. Poor Penguin.
  • So a nice man in a suite approaches Gordon with a proposition, come with him to see Maroni or have Falcone find out that he did not put a bullet in Oswald as he was instructed. After getting bagged rendition style Gordon finds himself in the company of Maroni and a bloodied Oswald. Maroni gives Gordon a chance to save both their lives by telling the truth…who is that pointy nose man? He of course tells Maroni the truth of how he spared Oswald to the joy of Maroni! And Oswald too!

Gotham Maroni

Bruce the Detective:
  • Yes Bruce is in this episode even though he did not have to be. He had no real purpose other than to again do what the show does, which is remind us just in case we forgot…this is Frak’n Batman!
  • All Bruce does is try to connect the dots in Gotham…organized crime, Arkham, his parent’s murder.
Episode Conclusion:
  • Stan’s final plan is to expose a black-tie Wayne Enterprises event with the Viper gas to prove his point. Don’t ask me what that is. Stan, pretending to be a caterer, pumps the poison into the ventilation system before he delivers a “public service announcement on behalf of all living creatures.” Gordon and Bullock arrive just in time to clear the ballroom, while Gordon confronts Stan. He shoots at the tank of Viper gas, and Stan gets a face full of green jack juice. Stan takes a dive off of the side of the building but first makes a mysterious statement telling them to look into “Warehouse 39.” Of course Gordon and Bullock check it out and find nothing. Bullock states, what else should they have expected…it’s Gotham, after all.
About Michael James (88 Articles)
An Air Force brat and former bluesuiter, Michael was raised all over the country, but calls the southwest his home… although you would not know it since he currently resides in the nation’s capital! (For now…?) He is also a reformed government black suit and tie guy who now gives back to the world one child at a time as a child therapist. He was brought up on Star Trek NG, Buck Rogers and old BSG TV shows and he loves most things Geek (TV: GoT, BSG, Fringe, Walking Dead; Comics: Image, DC, Marvel; Movies: Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, Serenity, The Avengers, Man of Steel (I know!), Pacific Rim, and Edge of Tomorrow. His perfect time would be traipsing around the world with his family and his two dogs, discovering and experiencing all kinds of ridiculous adventures. Too bad he doesn’t have William Bell money!

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