Season 1 Episode 5 of Gotham features a new drug in town. No, it isn’t Venom, but it might be something related…Check out Josh’s week’s of the prequel to the Dark Knight’s story, and check out both Josh’s and Violet’s thoughts after the jump!
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Episode Recap of Gotham, Season 1 Episode 5: Viper
So there is a new villain in town, and it may not be quite who you would think it is. Or at the very least, not the only one involved. A man, peacefully playing his guitar has a man walk by him. That man, without saying a word, drops a vial of green liquid down and walks away. The guitarist decides to give the liquid a smell, which seems to turn the man insane, and super strong–two very bad combinations. The man heads to a convenience store, and proceeds to drink all of the milk in the refrigerators. When confronted by the owner with a bat, the crazy man takes him out, then runs away with his ATM machine.
So Gordon and Bullock get the case, and talk to the shop owner. The owner tells Gordon and Bullock about the man’s milk obsession, and the man stealing the ATM with his bare hands. The two aren’t quite sure what to make of it. They start looking for people who know the suspect, and find a woman who seems to know him. After some bribing, they glean some information. Gordon and Bullock find him in a rundown warehouse, and he is suffering extreme withdrawal-like symptoms. But he soon hulks up, and grabs his stolen ATM machine to chuck at the cops. Unfortunately, something goes wrong, and the man seems to become more jelly than strong and is crushed by the ATM machine as he tries to hold it above his head for the throw.
Meanwhile, we see the mystery drug dealer handing out free samples on the streets of Gotham, which soon erupts into chaos, with police trying to deal with a bunch of super strong, crazed people.
So in their investigations, Gordon and Bullock found the green vial, and Ed Nigma, their forensic scientist (and eventual Riddler), has analyzed the drug. Turns out it is a drug that uses calcium to fuel the strength, which is why the victims of the drug turn to mush after a time. He also determines a highly sophisticated lab is necessary to produce this drug, so someone with a very scientific background is likely the distributor.
So with no leads, one lands in Bullock’s and Gordon’s lap–WellZyn, a pharmaceutical company, and subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises, has sent a representative to the police station to talk about “Stan”, a disgruntled former employee. She tells Gordon and Bullock that he made shampoo and became disgruntled with his mundane job. Looks like we have our villain–or do we?
After visiting Stan’s house, Gordon finds a photo of a man that looks to be a friend of Stan. This turns out to be a former professor of his at Gotham U. This professor tells the true story about WellZyn–They were making experimental drugs to enhance strength, and have even begun working on Venom–that sounds familiar doesn’t it?
But this professor seems to know more than he is saying, and Gordon realizes it. He demands to know Stan’s plan, but the professor decides to fight rather than talk, and takes some of the viper. He attacks Bullock, but Gordon is able to take him down. But Gordon is able to piece together that Stan must be planning to hit the Wayne Enterprises charity event happening that night.
At the event, and the gas begins pumping into the building, after Stan gives a quick “you’re all going to die” type speech. Bullock ushers people out of the building while Gordon heads to find Stan. He finds him, and to prevent further contamination of the charity event hall, Gordon shoots a hole into the pipe pumping the toxic gas in. This inadvertently causes Stan to be infected with the drug, and he decides to go loony, and jumps to his death from the roof. But before doing so, he tells Gordon to check out Warehouse 39. After all is said and done at the charity event, Gordon heads to Warehouse 39 with Bullock. They can’t find anything, but something was there–as outside the representative from WellZyn has been spying on them, and reporting to her superior. Apparently the superior considered killing them, but the woman watching the two didn’t think they would find anything worthwhile in the building.
That brings the main storyline to a close, but there are a couple side things to discuss real quick. The big one is the Penguin’s storyline. Maroni is pretty ticked that he has been hit by Falcone, and wants some pay back. Maroni has a plan to hit one of Falcone’s casinos, but Maroni’s men feel it would be dangerous for the little bit of money they would get. Maroni is dead set on the hit though–more for the principle than anything else. Cobblepot overhears this, and decides to offer his services–telling Maroni that he has a man who could sneak them in.
Maroni entertains Cobblepot, and begins asking questions about him. Cobblepot decides to come clean about who he is, and this winds up with his head slammed into the table by Maroni. Then, Gordon, given a break from the Viper case, is brought in by Maroni’s men. Maroni demands that Gordon tell the story he knew involving Cobblepot. Gordon does, and this makes Maroni a happy man–having his very own “dead” henchman. Maroni decides to hit the casino, and Cobblepot’s plan seems to go off without a hitch.
Mooney also has some important stuff going on–she is training her new “weapon” as she calls her. Also, we learn that Mooney is sleeping with one of Falcone’s men. Although it is not expressly said, it is likely for information, as this man seems disgruntled with Falcone as well.
By the end of the episode, Mooney’s plan is put into action–her weapon, the young girl is dressed in a very conservative dress, portraying her as an innocent girl, and has her listening to music that Falcone would enjoy. And just as Mooney would hope, when the girl is sent to seduce Falcone, the plan to seduce him seems to go off without a hitch, as the girl and Falcone end up sharing her headphones.
And finally, Bruce Wayne seems to always be a curious boy. He begins investigating the Arkham deal to figure out what is going on, and after hearing about the drug, wants to figure out Wayne Enterprises’ involvement. Alfred tries to get him to leave it alone, but realizes that it probably won’t happen. Bruce even heads to the charity event to talk to the shareholders about his findings, but he is cut short by the crazed Stan and his attempted poisoning of the charity event.
Josh’s Thoughts: Gotham, Season 1 Episode 5: Viper
I am not sure what to think of this episode. I have a big problem with the main storyline. Firstly, who decides to sniff a random chemical that someone drops off next to you, without knowing what it is? Secondly, the public knows it is a deadly drug, how do people continue to use it after hearing about the deaths? I suppose the streets do eventually calm down in the episode, maybe due to awareness, and people did actually start staying away from it–which is why Stan decided to move on to the charity event.
The interesting bit though, is the introduction of Venom into the story. It will be interesting to see how that plays into the story, and if/when we will be seeing Bane in the show. Bane is supposed to be born in a prison though, and doesn’t escape until we have Batman. The “canon” of Batman may not be too important for Gotham though, considering how almost everyone’s story lines are pretty drifted from what happened in the comics.
So far the most compelling storyline to the show though, is the Penguin’s. He is slowly managing to manipulate and trick people into making things go his way. Eventually I have to imagine he is going to strike at someone for a power play, but I am not quite sure who that is yet. It could very well be Maroni, so that he can take over for that gang.
So, all in all, not quite as interesting of an episode, but some good story elements to push the overarching story line on. Hopefully we get some good stuff next week.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 1 Episode 5 of Gotham: Viper
On the one hand, I liked this episode because of the fact that it has been the most comic book-like of all of the Gotham episodes so far, in that there’s a superhuman threat. Up until now, Gotham has mostly been a crime drama/mob type show very grounded in reality, and frankly, not all that interesting to me. While it is true that Batman traditionally is on the more grounded side, there are some over the top villains that seem more superhuman than realistic. So finally, this episode gave us something in the way of whetting our palates to give us something more, and offered us a drug that gives people superhuman powers.
On the other hand, this drug wasn’t very stable, and ended up killing off those who took it within a very short period of time. This, of course, begged the question of why would people take said drug if they knew it was going to kill them, and so quickly? This question was even brought up during the episode, and it was quickly explained away by saying that people would just want to get power any way they can, at whatever the cost (or something to that effect). However, it’s hard for me to believe that people would still take the drug knowing that it would kill them so fast! Sure, they would want that kind of power, but not with imminent death being the consequence. Maybe a few depraved people would, but not the overwhelming majority.
I am intrigued about Cobblepot’s story, though. What’s his game? Now Maroni know the truth and has Gordon in his pocket, knowing what he knows about Cobblepot and Gordon’s involvement. The question is not if but when Maroni will hold this over Gordon’s head and blackmail him.
Then at the end, we have Mooney putting her “secret weapon” into action, with her newly hired girl beginning to seduce Falcone. I’m wondering how long it will be before she drops the innocent act and gets to the seduction part, and therefore how long it will be before Mooney starts getting the info she wants.
Overall, I continue to be a little hesitant about this show. Guess I’ll give it some more time to grow.
Scenes from Gotham, Season 1 Episode 6, Spirit of the Goat
Here are scenes from the next episode of Gotham, titled Spirit of the Goat: