Review: Gotham, Ep. 5 "Viper"

Review: Gotham, Ep. 5 "Viper"


Season 1, Episode 5


Rating: B-

So now Bruce has a murder wall. sigh. Look, I get it. He’s determined. This is just nonsensical to me because he’s a ten year old. His parents just died. What ten year old freshly orphaned child devotes this much time to justice, much less to finding the killer himself, or a ‘connection between the arkham plan and his parents killer’, according to Bruce himself. There’s just something that feels off about that to me. I know Bruce Wayne has never been the most normal kid, but it feels like when the wounds are this fresh he should be a little more human and a little less whatever this is.
Selina is back. Catwoman. I mean, she’s already pretty much catwoman, jumping from roofs and landing like a feline, green goggles strapped atop her head like cat eyes. So what if she’s 12. Anyhow, it is good to know she’s still even alive after a couple of weeks of hearing nothing from her at all. Apparently those 20 seconds are pretty much all we’re going to get with her this week too, but at least we got something and she’s not just mysteriously not a part of the story
This week’s villain is a strange one. This show’s supposed to be grounded in reality,  super crime isn’t really a thing that is happening yet. Timeline-wise, I don’t even think Superman has made his debut to the world at large yet. There’s a strange drug going around the streets of Gotham that invokes Alice/Mad Hatter with it’s “Breathe Me” message, and later Maxie Zeus with the comments about mortals vexing him. Then he lifts and ATM and runs down the street with it slung over his back. On the bright side, its a very temporary thing, as he lifts it over his head to throw it at Gordon and Bullock and ends up dead because of the effects of the drugs and the effects of holding a giant thousand pound hunk of metal.
Penguin is seriously climbing these ranks. He’s been working for Maroni for all of 2 weeks and is already sitting down with drinks with the Don. His hubris finally gets the best of him though, and he reveals a little too much about himself, which sends his head pounding repeatedly into the table, Maroni’s hand on the back of his neck, pressing into him. He also told him to own the name ‘Penguin’, so at least there’s the chance that he’s not going to continue to stab people that point that out.
This leads Jim to hot water, sitting down with Maroni as the latter has a lobster dinner while a bloodied Penguin sits to the side, begging for his life. It was odd to see palpable fear on Gordon’s face. I’m so used to him being stoic, even in this show, that seeing him falter for even a moment very effectively illustrates the kind of person that Maroni is, and the kind of power he holds over the city. The gang war is coming, and it’s coming faster than I anticipated. I certainly wasn;t expecting to make this much headway by the fifth episode.
The mislead with Viper completely got me, and it wasn’t until I heard the word ‘venom’ that I realized what I was seeing in the drug. I take back my bitchiness about lifting the ATM. Venom is the green crap that Bane pumps into his blood, rendering his muscles inhumanly and scarily large, and giving him strength beyond any mortal man. Viper is the rudimentary form of Venom, with the kinks still in it. Though I don’t like that they’ve implicated Wayne Enterprises in it’s creation, I love their way of debuting it into this world.
One last bit of complaining: the more I watch this show, the more positive I am that they have no idea how to write their female characters. Fish Mooney, who we’ve seen more of than any other woman on this show, has two modes: Angry and seductive. Montoya is a one-note lesbian holding her relationship over Barbara’s head while she plays the devoted partner to Jim’s hard-knock cop, though last week we actually did get something in the way of character development for them when she told Jim about she and Montoya’s relationship. Then we’ve got Sarah Ellis, who doesn’t like to hit notes outside the realm of hard-boiled police captain. Selina sits off to the side, not really fitting any mold but also not standing out. It’s troubling, especially since the majority of these women have companions in print. Montoya especially is being horribly underserved as a character here, as she is one of the MCU, and Gordon’s, best and loyal officers. I really hope they get better at it, because Gotham has some strong-ass women.
There was some definite improvement this week. Overall, ‘Viper’ was a very good episode. I still haven’t seen anything as strong as the Pilot, but when you are trying to stretch a season to 22 episodes, I get that there will be some pointless episodes.


  • Calcium is the reason the users of Viper end up crumbling and dying, and also why they continuously drink milk and eat cheese. Sure, okay, that sounds like something that would be real.
  • Nygma actually got real lines! AND THEY WEREN’T RIDDLES! I don’t even know what to do with myself right now.
  • If Cobblepot doesn’t want to be called “Penguin” he should probably stop styling his hair in a way that makes literally everyone think he looks like a penguin.
  • It’s odd to me that they would advertise Ivy, Nygma, and Selina as if they were going to be man focuses of the story and then spend so little time with the former two.
  • “I’ll help you die quicker you terrorist!” for some reason that line made me laugh harder than anything Bullock has said.
  • Bruce doesn’t understand why a board of directors doesn’t want to have a meeting with a ten year old.  Middle management just wants to amuse him and treat him like the kid he is “You parents built a company worth over a billion dollars. Isn’t that awesome?”
  • What exactly were you thinking was going to happen when you blasted Viper into that guy’s face, Gordon? That feels like a foolish decision beyond most of the foolish decisions we’ve seen come from you.
Categories: Entertainment
Tags: Gotham, review