This episode of Gotham was great, and I’m liking this show more and more. We got more mob boss development, a bunch more Bruce (in a way that works great) and even little hints of the Bat-universe that the comics eventually deal with when Batman becomes Batman.
The episodic element of the story revolves around some disgruntled ex-biochemist employee who is releasing this drug called Viper that uses the calcium in the body to make one super strong, and the uncontrolled emotions of being super-powerful and unstoppable. Let’s just say, when random people are taking it in the streets, chaos ensues. But this, inevitably leads to completely loss of calcium, crumbling of the bones and death. Detectives Bullock and Gordon are on the case, and the show does a good job showing their steps tracking this guy down as detectives (way better than the previous episodes, which makes the show more interesting). They finally track the villain down, as he’s about to release the chemical to a Wayne foundation gala, and stop him just in time.
The kicker here, and the reason Bruce gets involved, is that this villain is in fact an ex employ of WellZyn, which is a subsidiary company of Wayne Enterprises. And the bigger kicker is that, this villain (I forgot his name) wasn’t disgruntled, he was working against WellZyn/Wayne Corporation, because the whole Viper chemical was part of an experiment to enhance soldiers for war. And while Bruce is digging into how the whole Arkham deal went down (last episode), and Wayne managed to give both Maroni and Falcone a piece of the action (obviously, there is some internal corruption there), he now stumbles upon Wayne’s connection to WellZyn and what they’re doing. A final shot at the end of the episode also confirms one of the Wayne representatives completely involved in the whole shebang, and trying to cover things up.
Meanwhile, Maroni plans, and executes a robbery on one of Falcone’s casinos, as he tries to slowly show who the real boss is around town. This all happens while Cobblepot/Penguin reveals himself of who he really is (in hopes to get even higher up the ladder through Marconi), and Gordon gets pulled in and threatened by Marconi to confirm Penguin’s story (which he does). So we end up with the hit on Falcone’s casino succeeding, Penguin ranking up, and Gordon now treading lightly around Maroni, who knows the secret that he let Penguin live (if Falcone were to find out, he would have bigger fish to fry). And while Falcone is having meetings with his crew about all this, we later find Mooney and another of Falcone’s head family members actually having an affair and plotting together to take down the Mafioso himself… all the while Mooney continues to train her sexy “weapon/assassin” on what, as the last shot of episode shows, seduces Falcone in the most innocent of manners. This will clearly take its time, but so far, she’s doing her job well.
Wayne Enterprises being connected to WellZyn opens up a lot of avenues for the show, as we now can have a Bruce who’s active in the show, both showing interest in Gotham, and hints at him eventually becoming Batman, but mostly focusing on him cleaning up his parents legacy (through detective work I might add), which is something that makes sense and suits his character. This also adds a sort of weight to who Bruce becomes, because we’re seeing corruption from with Wayne Enterprises itself, unto Gotham. They also finally have Alfred recognize and agree with Bruce’s motivation to clean things up, so by the end of the episode, they’re a team. The escalation between Falcone and Maroni is definitely a good touch, and it’s nice to see Maroni add some bite to all his barking so far. And it definitely brought a smile to my face when they reveal that the drug Viper is the failed prototype of the successful “Venom” which, for those who don’t know the comics, is a drug actually used in the story – more notably by Bain (what makes his super strong and big), who eventually breaks Batman’s back (though they changed up Bain’s story in the most recent Dark Knight film). Also, good to see Barbara out of this episode, as I feel they were trying to complicate things for no reason with her.
Despite the lack of Barbara, for some reason they wanted to remind us Selina (aka Cat, aka future Catwoman) is around, by having her jump into a scene, where Gordon sees her pick pocketing some guy (though she gets away). This was one of those stupid cameos that was not needed… yes, we know she’s part of Gotham; Just leave her out for now unless she’s actually part of a story and it works. Another regular cameo, which still feels like “cameos” is the Riddler. I actually don’t mind him that much anymore, and his role with the police force kind of fits, but again… don’t put him in unless he’s really part of the story. I feel like they can keep him out until they decide to start making him a villain, which may lead to him getting fired. Then they need to leave him out completely, as he shouldn’t be back until after the Batman comes into play (which is post show storyline).
Despite the annoying “cameos”, this felt like the strongest episode yet, and I’m completely hooked at this point. It’s definitely one of those shows that can stray real easy and just go down the drain, but for now, it’s working, doing its thing correctly, and making me anticipate the next episode.