Greetings Gothamites! Welcome to this week’s recap of this season’s 5th episode, Viper. Each week we seem to delve deeper and deeper into the Gotham underbelly and this week was no different. This week brought us another link to the Batman universe as we know it now. So without further delay, let’s get started. Oh yes, be warned, there are spoilers.
The episode opens with Bruce Wayne piecing together the mystery of his parents’ death. Specifically, he wants to know how Wayne Enterprises is connected to the Arkham Project and Gotham’s crime families. Bruce is definitely starting to show the powers of deduction that will make him a force to be reckoned with.
On the streets of Gotham, a panhandling guitarist is slipped a vile of green liquid from a stranger with a mangled ear. The vial says breathe me, obviously looking for his next fix, he opens the vial and inhales it. Instantly he turns pale and appears to be feeling its effects. The guitarist walks into a liquor and chugs a gallon of milk from the jug. When confronted by the clerk who is carrying a bat, he breaks bat with his bare hands and roughs him up. He then rips the ATM straight from the wall.
When nearby Gordon and Bullock hear the store’s alarms, they rush over, Bullock saying that they don’t need to chase every alarm. The entire incident was caught on the security tapes. After canvassing through Gotham, Gordon discovers the guitarist’s name, Benny, and where they can find him.
Bullock and Gordon locate Benny, still high on Viper and with dozens of empty milk gallons. He won’t answer any of their questions. He keeps saying he needs more Viper. Things escalate and Benny tries throwing the ATM at them. However, his skeleton breaks down and crushes under the weight of the ATM. While this is going on, the man with the mangled ear starts to pass out more Viper on the streets of Gotham.
After testing a sample of Viper, Edward Nygma concludes that Viper activates unused DNA but burns a person’s calcium levels. This explains the unquenchable thirst for milk, and the skeleton’s eventual disintegration. Tracing Viper’s chemicals, Gordon and Bullock hone in on Viper’s origins at the WellZyn chemical company, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprise. The creator is Stan Potolsky, an disgruntled ex-chemist who previously worked with them.
Meanwhile, the escalating turf war between Maroni and Falcone heats up. While Falcone and Fish meet with their Russian contact, Niko for ways to turn the Arkham deal against Maroni, Maroni hatches a plan with Oswald to rob Falcone’s casino.
Oswald, now being more frequently referred to as Penguin decides to come clean to Maroni about his past. As the only one who can confirm Oswald’s story, Gordon is forced into a sit-down with Maroni, who promises to kill them both if the story doesn’t line up. Gordon gives a truthful recount of his history with Oswald, thus saving them both.
Back at the Gotham MCU, Gordon and Bullock locate Potolsky’s former philosophy professor, Isaac Steiner. Steiner brings the two up to speed, explaining how Potolsky’s employers, WellZyn and Wayne Enterprises, were producing a serum for super soldiers. Viper was apparently the precursor for Venom. When Gordon and Bullock press Steiner on his involvement with the deadly drug, he reveals that Potolsky planned to exact revenge at that night’s Wayne charity event.
At the event, Bruce presses a Wayne Enterprises employee about the board and their involvement with the Arkham Project. He wants to talk to members of the board but she tells him that the board members never come and this is just middle management. Before he can press any further, Potolsky appears on the screen and exposes Wayne Enterprises’ involvement with the Viper project then begins pumping the room with Viper. Gordon and Bullock break through the locked doors and evacuate the building.
Gordon finds Potolsky on the building’s roof and is joined by Bullock. In an effort to stop the Viper from pumping into the hall, Gordon shoots the vat of Viper. Potolsky inhales it and is driven mad; he then jumps off the roof.
Hoping to locate more Viper at Potolsky’s temporary laboratory, they find that it’s scrubbed clean of all remains. Wayne Enterprise is watching their every move. They will let Bullock and Gordon’s investigations go for now, but it is clear that they will stop the GCPD if they unearth too much information.
The Penguin’s key intel for robbing Falcone’s casino proves successful, bringing him closer into Maroni’s inner circle. Falcone has to watch not only Maroni though, Fish and Niko are also plotting their own takedown of Falcone, starting with Fish’s “secret weapon,” Liza, the girl she hired to train and act as a lovable foreigner with an attraction to elder mob bosses.
The episode ends with Liza “coming across” Falcone in the Gotham City Park, while humming an aria that Falcone recognizes from childhood. The two share a moment and Liza’s earphones listening to it together.
Wow what an episode! I feel like I say this every week but there always is a lot going on! So we are left with the following questions:
- Is this the last we’ve seen of Viper or Venom?
- Was WellSyn involved in the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne?
- Just how high up will Oswald get with Maroni?
- Will Falcone get the last laugh?
I feel like there will be more and more conspiracy in Gotham. Everyone seems to think Falcone is weak and on his way out but personally I think that he is tougher than he looks. He might trip but I am not sure he will fall.
As I say every week, I love this show more and more. The continuing crime family saga keeps me engaged but what I really love is the story in each episode. Sure the underlying story is progressing and is awesome but each episode’s individual story is compelling and seems to bring in more of the world of Gotham we already know. The introduction of Venom and Viper is exciting for fans of Batman who know that young Bruce Wayne will eventually see it again in Bane.
That wraps up this week’s recap, sorry for the delay! Stay tuned for another recap next week!
Until Next Time, Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel!