Gotham Review – “Viper”

I think I finally get it; Gotham was not intended to be the story of James Gordon, but rather the city of Gotham itself.  Gotham is the main character, and all the other characters are effected greatly by it.  Does that make it a better show?  Not in the least.  It just makes me less angry than it did before.  It has come to the point now that I find it completely laughable.  The LOL articles by Mike Ryan at ScreenCrush may help with that.  You can read his LOL article for last night’s episode here.

As for last night’s episode, “Viper”, I found many parts of it laughable.  I mean, how does a 10 year old Bruce Wayne know so much about shareholding, board members, offshore accounts, and irregularities in any project, much less the Arkham Asylum project?  I’ll give it to him; he’s smart.  But I’m not fully buying the detective thing at this age, at least about the asylum.  However, for a show that loves cheesy lines, when Alfred talks to Bruce about “reeking revenge” THIS would have been the perfect time for him to say “Justice.”  But nope, he’s just trying “understand” things. I think I would have had more respect for the dialogue had he said Justice.  I may be griping, but I actually found Bruce’s story the most compelling out of all them this week.  He’s one of the more intelligent characters, and he finally got Alfred on his side.  Let the research commence!

That's right little Wayne, you had the best plot line this week!
That’s right little Wayne, you had the best plot line this week!

This week’s baddie, Stan Potolsky, or “The Man with the Mangled Ear” (cue spooky sound effect here) is basically going postal, except on the whole city, instead of his former employer, WellZyn.  He goes around handing out vials of a lime green mixture that read’s “Breath Me.”  And people actually do!  Like it’s frickin’ Wonderland! I would like to think that in a crime ridden city, people would not be so obedient or gullible to what is going on around them.  And this drug, Viper (which later becomes Venom), makes people really strong and then their bones break.  But instead of spending their time killing, maiming, or entering arm-wrestling competitions, they commit a really heinous crime: dairy thievery.  All the milk in Gotham is gone!  What will growing girls and boys do?  Besides the eye-rolling moments of seeing empty milk jugs strewn through alley ways, I thought that the possible commentary on drug use could be good for a show aimed at teenagers (it is aimed at teenagers, right?). Stan decides to take his lethal drug to a benefit put on by Wayne Enterprises and sneaks in a whole barrel of it with it’s logo embossed right on the side. But no one noticed!  And no one cared when he said he was going to poison them.  If I have learned anything, it is that the people of Gotham are deeply stupid.  It makes me like Heath Ledger’s Joker even more.  The only possibility for this part of the storyline to mean anything was for the dramatic shooting of the barrel to release the drug into Potolsky’s lungs.  Could Jim Gordon’s bullet have inadvertently created Bane? If so, I will gain a tiny amount of respect for the show.

But that mangled ear, though.
But that mangled ear, though.

As for Jim Gordon, his story is getting richer in some ways.  I was particularly intrigued now that Maroni’s crew knows that Jim didn’t kill Penguin.  For a guy who is trying to take Gotham apart from the inside, he sure is under the thumb of A LOT of crime bosses.  I am very interested to see how he can undo them both.  However, Gordon’s relationship with Bullock is a little murky.  They are getting along now?  When? Why?  It doesn’t make too much sense.  But Bullock did pull out one of my favorites lines this week.  When interrogating an elderly professor who helped Potolsky create Viper and claims to be dying, Bullock got in his face and yelled, “I hope you die faster you terrorist!”  How could you not burst out laughing at this point?

And lastly, there is Fish Mooney.  If you’ve been keeping up with my Gotham reviews, you know that I honestly believe she is single-handedly ruining the show.  Not only is she badly written, but she is badly acted.  There was a scene when she meets up with Falcone’s men and she keeps her arm in a perfect L-shape with her fingers pinched like she was sewing for a good minute.  Now I have a theory that if she didn’t have arms, she would be slightly more likable.  And truthfully, I don’t think that is as crazy as how Jada Pinkett-Smith won her role as Fish Mooney. But what was more terrifying than her arms was her grooming of Liza, the girl from the weird chick-fight last week. It was so overly uncomfortable to watch, that it almost made me feel better about last week’s Scandal.  It felt as though Liza was a regular Patty Hearst, but we were all supposed to feel like it was very sexy.  Let’s be clear.  Priming a young girl to be a sexual temptress via Stockholm Syndrome is NOT sexy.

Is anyone else offended by her arms and that hole in her shirt?
Is anyone else offended by her arms and that hole in her shirt?

And this:

  • Let’s put Catwoman in the show for five seconds because let’s not forget about her and how stealthy she is in broad daylight!
  • Cue the dramatic music as Penguin rubs water marks off a clean glass!  He still is a dishwasher!
  • Do people actually eat in the restaurant Penguin manages?
  • Do all drug addicts on TV eventually get crushed by ATMs?
  • Fish Mooney told a “Yo Momma” joke.  Reason 52 to dislike her.
  • Nygma is kinda adorable.
  • Even Maroni’s lackey says that the Penguin is a dishwasher in a suit.
  • Falcone’s mom used to sing him Opera as a lullaby.  I am suddenly feeling gypped by “Rockabye baby.”
  • Penguin giving up his identity wasn’t a smart move.  Other than this, his role was small this week.  I miss him already.

Hush Comics gives “Viper” a C+ for finally making Gordon’s story a little juicier, but still resorting to Mooney’s sex appeal to carry a good portion of the plot, making the bad guy of the week a little too obvious, and for not enough Penguin.

All pictures belong to FOX and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Jessica Miglio.

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Adrian Puryear

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon, and Breaking Bad are the best things to ever happen to me. I'm only a Three on MeowMeowBeenz. I really want to be a Four.

One thought on “Gotham Review – “Viper””

  1. Two or three more episodes of this garbage and I’m checking out until the third season or so (if it makes it that far) when Bruce can be old enough to entertain the idea of becoming Batman. They’ve gotta know they have to get to that soon to save this show.

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