Truth in Advertising
Hello! Back again for the next episode of Gotham: Viper.
The episode opens with Alfred asking young Bruce to go for a walk. As always, Bruce is concentrating on solving the murders of his parents and cares not for fresh air and sunshine. (I’m wondering, when does this little dude do his lessons? He seems to have an awful lot of free time.) Alfred then asks him what if he never solves the murder of his parents and thus never gets to seek revenge? Bruce has the answer right there and tells him that he doesn’t want revenge, but wants to understand how Gotham works. He wants to know why the mobsters are getting big shares of Arkham and why Wayne enterprises didn’t stop the corruption. Alfred doesn’t think it’s particularly healthy, but Bruce blows him off.
Maroni is teed off at the news that he can’t mess with Falcone by robbing his casino. He wants to take over. Frankie, the dude he’s talking to, is reluctant to do so. And Oswald is right there taking it all in.
Fade in on a man strumming a guitar on a stoop. His sign says, “Why lie, I need money for drugs.” Gotta love that. Across the street, a thin, unshaven man focuses on the musician and crossed the street, getting beeped at in the process. One of his ears looks damaged – I don’t know if that’s the actor or the character, but I take note anyway. He drops a vial with some green liquid and a strange symbol into the guitarist’s case and walks away. It says “Breathe me.” Ah, must be a gas. We all know what he’s gonna do, right?
Guitarist breathes in the stuff and his veins start darkening. Next scene we see him entering a store and grabbing a bottle of milk and gulping it down. Storekeep doesn’t like that, grabs his bat and confronts him. Guitarist says “Don’t vex me mortal.” What? The baseball bat doesn’t have an effect on this guy and he starts turning into …something.
Cut to Jim and Harvey getting burgers from a lunch truck. Hey! Cat-Tween is back. She snatched someone’s wallet and Jim gives half hearted chase. Harvey is like, it’s lunchtime. Luckily, they are right by that store where the milk-stealing guy stole the storekeep’s ATM machine.
We see guitar guy running down the street with the ATM on his back, looking nuts.
I must say, I kinda like this criminal of the week thing they’ve got going.
After credits, Fish is back, humming and gesticulating along with “O Mio Babbino Caro” from “Gianni Schicchi” by Puccini. (How do I know this? Because I LOVED the movie Room with a View.) But I digress. New recruit Liza is bored and wants to go out. Fish smacks her face and gives her a talking-to. Man, I love Jada as Fish Mooney, I can’t say enough about it. She makes me smile while I watch her be so bad-ass. She schools Liza on what she’s there for and that Liza better “learn the damn song.”. Liza backs down, saying “I’m sorry Mama,” to which Fish replies. “I’m not your Mama. Now you are my baby girl, but I’m not your mama….not yet.” Fierce and fab. Back to Puccini.
We see film of the Guitar Guy pulling out the ATM. They’ve found the little vial of green gas and are waiting on Nygma to give them the low down. You know he has all the…answers.
Falcone and Mooney meet. Nicoli, one of the associates (who looks like a cut- rate Antonio Banderas, which isn’t a bad thing.). Fish tells Nico to pipe down, and makes a derisive comment about his country not having indoor plumbing and the like. Nico bites back, saying the only difference between the two countries are that the women are in the kitchen or in bed, depending on their talents. And what does my girl Fish say? “I bet your mother was a lousy cook.”
While watching, out loud I say “Oh, shit.”
They get face to face and Fish doesn’t back down. Then Falcone steps in to stop it and Fish apologizes. “We’re all family here.”
Jim is hitting the bricks, looking for guitar guy. With a tip from a lady of the…afternoon, (I mean the sun is high in the sky and these gals are out on the stroll.) they follow the trail of milk gallon jugs and the guy says he needs “more”. More of the green stuff. He says he needs the “Man with the mangled ear”. Score for me for noticing the mangled ear!!
Guitar guy picks up ATM, but his strength suddenly leaves him and he is crushed under its’ weight. Cool Wile E. Coyote shot of him under the ATM.
Jim: “God help us if this drug gets out.”
Next Scene: Mangled ear guy is passing the stuff out!
Cut to back from commercial we cut to a sleeping Bruce Wayne stretched out on a leather couch with piles of papers and folders around him. He has apparently fallen asleep studying the files of Wayne Enterprises in an effort to get to the bottom of his parents’ murder and the corruption surrounding Arkham Asylum. Alfred comes along and whips open the shades. Alfred tells Bruce that there will be a luncheon about Wayne Enterprises that day and that he has taken the liberty of accepting. Bruce says good because he has questions to ask Wayne Enterprises Board of Directors . Apparently some mobsters in the city were given shares in Wayne Enterprises. Alfred seems skeptical at this theory, but leaves to make Bruce an egg. One egg?? At that very moment, a breaking news report about the drug Viper comes on the television set to provide some for the exposition. The drug provides the users hours of strength and euphoria before they die a horrible death .
Cut to the police station where we see Viper users tearing ish up. Hey! It’s Edward Nygma! Love his glasses. Ed Nygma observes the mayhem with interest, then tells Jim and the cops what it’s all about. The users take the drug which accesses untapped DNA resulting in super strength. On the other hand, the drug leaches calcium from the bones, which is why Guitar Guy was drinking all that milk. Eventually, the bones’ calcium is depleted and the users’ bones crumble on them. Nygma thinks this is pretty remarkable.
The outfits alone….
Turns out the lab who can make this is a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises. Must investigate!
Moroni still is discussing the takeover of Falcone’s casino. Oswald offers his expertise. I love how obsequious he is, but his mind is still ticking with evil plans. Frankie is skeptical of Oswald, but Moroni tells him to stand down. Oswald tells Maroni this isn’t his “first rodeo”. He reveals his real name and says he used to work for Fish Mooney. “Funny story…” Maroni grabs Oswald’s head and bangs it on the table. Maroni doesn’t think his story is funny.
Ooo! Is that Stockard Channing as an attorney for Wellzun Labs? Anyway, seems that mangled ear guy, Stan, is a disgruntled biochemist. Stan was frustrated and tried to cut off his own ear during a disagreement with his supervisor. He was fired….“disappeared off the grid.”
I wish Jim would keep his hands off his narrow hips.
Frankie grabs Jim from the police station. He threatens Jim with sending Oswald’s head to Falcone, which would result in a huge mess.
Lights come up and Jim and Oswald are at Maroni’s table. Jim is offered a drink. Maroni wants him to tell him the same story that Oswald told him or they both are killed. Oswald breaks in by say “Yes, just tell the truth.” Oswald is taken away to be put “on the slicer” until Jim tells the story. Turns out the truth saves Oswald.
“We just got a brand new weapon against the Falcones.”
Back to Fish and Liza. Fish is making Liza practice how to talk to Falcone, grooming her for the seduction.
At the station, Jim looks a little shell shocked from his meeting with Maroni but they go through Stan’s stuff from WellZun and get a clue about Stan’s old professor. Turns out WellZun was lying. Stan designed combat chemical weapons for the lab, not shampoo and beauty care products. Stan wanted his bosses to end the program, goes to Thomas and Barbara Wayne. The Waynes shut down the program, but then when they died, the board reinstated it.
The professor and Stan got together to expose the program. But then professor sniffs the stuff and starts to fight Jim and Bullock. Jim shoots super strength professor and as he is dying, they shout questions about what happens next. The funniest thing is that Jim is asking questions about who will be attacked and when while Bullock shouts “What’s altruism!!” Ha! Jim says “Charity’ which gives him the clue that Stan is headed to the Wayne Enterprises CHARITY luncheon where Bruce is going to be.
Dressed as a waiter, Stan is going to unleash a barrel of the gas at the luncheon. Maybe he should take that marker off the side??
At the luncheon, Bruce has a conversation with a woman with awesome looking natural hair. He tells her about the irregularities in the Wayne Enterprises papers/books. The woman tries to reassure Bruce that that would never happen, and tells him she’s going to try to get him a meeting with the board.
Stan comes on the display at the luncheon and gives his manifesto. Then he flips the switch to send the gas into the ball room.
“Bad things only truly happen when they happen to important people. Like you! “ And the gas comes through the vents.
Jim’s get to him on the roof and shoots the canister open. Stan gets a noseful of the stuff. And tells them to look in Warehouse 39 just before he jumps off the roof.
“You really can have too much of a good thing.” Thanks, Harvey.
Jim is at Warehouse 39. Looks like it’s the setup of Stan’s lab. They find nothing.
Bruce and Alfred are going through the papers. Alfred is a new convert to Bruce’s quest to find the conspiracy.
The robbery of Falcone’s casino goes off smoothly,
Fish and Nico in bed. She’s got him tied up. They are working together, but pretending to be at odds in front of Falcone.
Cut to old man Falcone feeding the pigeons. Liza walks by with a new look, and attracts the attention of Falcone. Fish has really made her over and Falcone is shaking in his shoes. They sit and listen to the aria together.
Before I end this week’s post, let me just say that I do enjoy this show. Now, let me qualify by also saying that being a woman of a certain age, I’ve seen it all and then some. Yes, Gotham has its cliches. Yes, the storylines aren’t all that original. But you know what I like about the show? It’s not pretending to be anything other than a comic book/graphic novel/soap opera come to life. Simple.
And sometimes, it’s the simple things that work.
Until next week!!