Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gotham: Viper

When the title of your episode is "Viper," you can make certain assumptions. Viper implies snakes. Snakes have venom. And venom is the drug that makes Bane super strong.

Left to Right: Dark Knight Rises Bane, Comics Bane, Arkham City Bane

But let's slow down for a moment. We didn't see Bane in this episode. And just because viper was revealed to be an earlier version of venom, it doesn't mean we will see any iteration of him as we know him. Anything we see will be an origin story, and if we're lucky, it'll be as good as how the Penguin's story has been so far. And if we're not lucky, he'll end up sounding like the Count from Sesame Street again.

Anyway, the drug in question made people feel awesome and gave them super strength while burning up all the calcium in their bones. That calcium deficiency caused the victims to chug gallons of milk and apparently eats lots and lots of cheese. The super strength led to some unintentional comedy, such as a scrawny guy pulling an ATM machine out of a wall and carrying it on his back. Which then led to some not so super special effects when he "hulked out" but instead looked more like "I Am Legend" (meaning not good at all) when he lifted the ATM machine over his head and proceeded to have all the bones in his body crumble. And who was responsible? This guy.

Yup, the nice doctor from Patch Adams. Turns out his motives weren't entirely evil. He wasn't just killing homeless people for kicks. It was to prove that WellZyn, the pharmaceutical company responsible for the drug was up to no good. But when the deaths of several homeless people failed to drum up any momentum, seriously don't bother Harvey on his lunch break, he decided to hit a charity event attended by people from WellZyn & Wayne Enterprises to drive his point home further. He was eventually stopped by Gordon & Bullock, but the episode really layered on the vigilante aspect of Gotham pretty thick. Just like in 'The Balloonman" Gotham is a really bad place filled with lots of bad people. When your cops are lazy, your government officials are corrupt, and your town is run by mobsters, you've got very few options. While these 'Good Samaritans' think they're doing good, they're just adding to the body count of the city. It's gonna be a long while before Batman enters the picture, and it's going to get much worse until then.

Big Penguin Balls

So you're moving up the mafia corporate ladder pretty nicely, and you decide to tell your current employer that you used to work for the rival mob?!? And you think this could be a good idea?!? Well what the hell do I know because it all worked out in the end for Penguin after Gordon verified his story. And with the casino heist going well, Penguin's back on the fast track.

Boy Detective

While young Bruce Wayne has finally gotten through his whiny phase, to me his detective work feels more like Encyclopedia Brown than Dark Knight. But that's to be expected because of his age. Even Alfred thinks Bruce's snooping into Wayne Enterprise's connections with the Arkham project are useless until the end of the episode when he silently sat down and helped him with the paperwork. It's a quiet scene which shows how important Alfred is going to be to Bruce's future work.

The Gullible Don

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Fish Mooney's weapon, Liza who has been dressed up to resemble Don Falcone's mother and trained to sing the same opera she did apparently knocked his socks off. You would think the head of a giant criminal organization would have better sense, but I guess not.

FYI, some Gotham news. Morena Baccarin from Firefly & Serenity and most recently was on Homeland, has been cast in a recurring role as Dr. Leslie Thompkins, a friend and ally of Bruce Wayne. I remember her character being voiced by Diana Muldaur on The Animated Series. Like all the characters on the show, she'll obviously be playing a younger version.

And in next week's episode, "Spirit of the Goat," things get super weird. I doubt that's the Scarecrow in the promo, but I've been wrong before.

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