GOTHAM Season 1 Episode 5
Episode Title: “Viper”
Writer: Rebecca Perry Cutter
Director: Tim Hunter
Greetings, Batman fans! It’s time to revisit Fox’s disappointingly mediocre “Gotham.” It’s this year’s “Agents of “S.H.I.E.L.D.” in terms of squandered potential. But I’d love to see this show turn it around. If that’s even possible…
Let’s begin, shall we?
“Breathe Me?” Sounds Legit…
On a street corner, a young man openly asks for drug money while playing music. Stan Potolski (Daniel London) gives him a vial of a drug called Viper with instructions that read “breathe me.” The kid complies and the drug gives him a ridiculous level of strength and an unending thirst for milk. He even steals an ATM machine by carrying it out of a convenience store.
However, when James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) finally catch up with him, the young man’s bones collapse and break while holding the ATM machine over his head. It’s not the prettiest way to die.
Back at the police station, future Riddler, Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) tells Gordon and Bullock that the Viper drug gives users a temporary boost in strength by using the calcium in their bones for fuel. But it’s a drug that kills anyone who uses it. Nygma postulates that Viper could only have been created at a high end laboratory… and he is disturbingly fascinated when he watches a woman die from the effects of the drug.
Stan has been handing out free samples of the drug to anyone who will take it. But his distinctively scarred ear allows Gordon and Bullock to track his identity back to one of the pharmaceutical companies run by Wayne Enterprises. A representative of the company confirms that Stan used to be an employee, but she denies that their labs were used to create Viper.
An “Interesting” Story
Fresh from his “win” in the Arkham debacle, Sal Maroni (David Zayas) is eager to be the new top crime boss in Gotham City. Sensing an opportunity to move up in the organization, Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) outs himself as a former employee of the Falcone family and he nearly gets himself killed.
Gordon is forcibly coerced by one of Maroni’s men to have a face-to-face meeting with Sal in which he corroborates Oswald’s story. This leaves Maroni satisfied with Oswald’s loyalty and he also believes that Gordon is now in his pocket because he could be killed if the Falcone family discovers that he didn’t kill Oswald.
Wow… something interesting finally occurred in “Gotham?” How did that happen?
The Adventures of Batboy and Butlerman
Four episodes after the murder of his parents, “Gotham” is still trying to convince us that Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) has enough skills to be a junior detective as he pours over the files from Wayne Enterprises to figure out how the mob families came to own a piece of the Arkham project.
Bruce even confronts one of the Wayne Enterprises employees at a charitable event that comes under attack by Stan, who uses the opportunity to call out Wayne Enterprises for creating Viper by attempting to use it on everyone there. Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) immediately moves to protect Bruce by covering his face. Alfred also becomes convinced that Bruce is on to something, which he silently acknowledges by reading some of the files that Bruce has collected.
Prior to the attack on the Wayne Enterprises charity event, Gordon and Bullock track down Stan’s mentor… an elderly man who endorses Stan’s plan and he even uses Viper to enhance his strength as he attacks the two detectives.
Gordon and Bullock race to the charity event, only to find Stan releasing a large amount of Viper into the building’s air supply. Gordon shoots the canister and exposes Stan to a fatal dose of the drug. But rather than attack the two detectives, Stan tells them to visit a warehouse before leaping to his death.
But Gordon and Bullock find nothing at the warehouse. It’s already been cleaned by Molly Mathis (Sharon Washington), the Wayne Enterprises employee that Bruce confronted earlier at the charity event.
Fish and The City
Late in the episode, Maroni uses Oswald’s connection to pull off the robbery of a Falcone controlled casino. Earlier, Carmine Falcone (John Doman) urged his crime family to withhold their reprisal attacks on Maroni’s family. Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) used the opportunity to declare her loyalty to Falcone by verbally attacking one of her rival crime bosses.
But Fish and her “rival” are actually sleeping together and plotting Falcone’s downfall. Fish also mentors Liza (Makenzie Leigh) and molds her into a woman that Falcone would instantly fall for. In the closing minutes of the episode, Liza finally makes her move on Falcone and he becomes attracted to her because she reminds him of… his mother?!
What a weird and strange show. A lot of “Gotham’s” sins could be forgiven if it was also a good show. But for now, it’s just sad to watch.
Feel free to share your opinions about this week’s “Gotham” in the comment section below!