Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Review of Revenge's 4x05: "Repercussions"

Written by Ted Sullivan
Directed by Kate Woods

David: “I have come to learn that evil takes many forms, including those that we think we can trust the most.”

Actually the only think David has learned is to take the wrong end of the stick really. Even without Victoria and Charlotte feeding him misinformation and using him to get back at both Emily and Jack, David came to the wrong conclusion about who wronged his little girl at the end of this episode.

The trailer for next week saw him punching Nolan and when the latter tried to explain that he did everything David had wanted (money, infinity box etc), David didn’t seem at all convinced by Nolan’s sincerity. That to me is both annoying and understandable (given David’s current mental) but mostly annoying.

It’s frustrating to think that David might actually consider Nolan a traitor almost as it’s frustrating to see that Emily still hasn’t informed him that she’s really Amanda. At least with the latter storyline, Emily did manage to move David into their old beach house with Daniel and Margaux’s help but how much longer can Nayar and company drag this plot out?

I like that David is suspicious about Amanda’s death and even that he questioned Jack and Carl as well but I wish he would show a bit more mistrust and suspicion towards Victoria as well, even if both Emily, Daniel and Margaux managed to knock the wind out of her sails this week.

The confrontation scene at the hotel with Emily and Victoria was pretty good though. If this series does end with Victoria well and truly losing everything, then I’ll be happy but somehow even when David inevitably turns on her for lying to him, I still get the feeling that Victoria will somehow manage to get a last laugh of sorts anyways.

As for Daniel – when he wasn’t lording it over Victoria with his act of generosity, he was also getting further caught up in crazy Louise as well. I did like that he tried to keep things professional towards the end but it seems like Louise’s inane obsession with Victoria won’t be ceasing anytime soon and Daniel just fodder for the fire really.

On the plus side though, at least this episode finally gave us some decent Nolan moments. His scenes with Emily, Jack and David were all the highlights of this episode and if he can finally manage to convince the latter not to trust Victoria (which he did try to here), then it will feel like the character’s getting back on track. Provided David doesn’t kill him first, that is.

Also in “Repercussions”

How many more tedious scenes of Charlotte using and hooking up with assholes do we have to endure this season?

Victoria: “I’m afraid you won’t like the answers.”
David: “I don’t care. I’m gonna find out what happened to my girl.”

Charlotte’s little stunt with getting David to believe that Carl was his grandson was a new low for her.

Louise: “I’m from the South dear. If they’re not gossiping about you, you might as well be dead.”
Daniel: “Maybe I like to maintain a little mystery about myself.”

Margaux: “You should learn to govern your emotions, Emily. This is such an unflattering colour on you.”

In surprising news, Ben was actually kind of likeable this week but only because he seemed genuinely concerned about justice when looking into Conrad’s murder. The fact they kept him away from Emily probably helped too.

Emily (to Victoria): “You know what I see is a frightened woman about to lose the last person she could trick into loving her to his daughter.”

Charlotte (to Jack): “Wow, you are not a good cop. Terrible deductive reasoning.”

Victoria: “What are you doing?”
Daniel: “Atoning for my father’s sins.”

Standout music: Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talkin’”.

Daniel (to Louise): “Trust me I’m doing you a favour. You really don’t want to be a part of my family.”

Chronology: Five days since the last scene of “Meteor”.

“Repercussions” was a better episode than expected, maybe even better than last week but there’s still unengaging plotlines and still a sense that this show cannot go beyond this season. I don’t want to be harsh, but it’s kind of how I feel at the moment.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Review of Gotham's 1x06: "Spirit Of The Goat"

Written by Ben Edlund
Directed by TJ Scott

Dix: “He always thinks he’s the smartest one in the room.”
Gordon: “I know, right?”
Bullock: “That’s because I’m always in a room full of idiots.”

I’m not gonna lie – a Bullock themed episode wasn’t high on my list of things I was clamouring for with this show, even though I do somewhat like the character. However this episode was a great one for him nonetheless.

Not only did it give us a little bit of a back story on him but his former relationship with former partner Dix from a decade ago wasn’t that dissimilar to the one he has with Gordon, only back then the roles were reversed, until the titular villain managed to cripple Dix that was and the present day brought about a copycat killer.

I couldn’t have been the only one who got a little Batman Returns reminder when the Goat’s MO involved kidnapped the first born kids. Only unlike Oswald from that movie, the Goat targeted both sons and daughters and seemed to like disposing them in a rather clich├ęd ritualistic manner. Oh and did I mention the killer was a copycat?

I should mention it because a decade ago, the Goat was someone called Randall Milky and in the present day, a janitor named Raymond Earl. However what stopped this from being a typical case of the week with a side order of Bullock angst/memory lane shots was that the therapist to both men was really the one calling the shots.

While Marx’s motives were no different either Balloonman or Viper guy from last week, I did find her a lot more charismatic as a villain and I liked that it was Bullock himself who actually pieced everything together without Gordon’s help and actually solved the case. When Bullock makes the effort, he’s actually a decent cop and person.  Of course, that’s probably only something we’ll see sparingly though.

At the heart of things, he’s still massively intolerant towards Jim’s goody two shoes approach to police work and looked set to kill him when Oswald strolled into GCPD as well. Oswald’s simple little gesture has probably managed to wreck things for Gordon, Bullock, Montoya and Allen as well as Fish and Falcone too for good measure.

Oswald didn’t have as much to do in this episode as previous ones but even with the lesser screen time, he still made the most of it. The last scene alone, his actual scenes with his mother were just downright creepy. I’m not sure how Oswald is supposed to be in this series, but he’s definitely too old to be getting a bath from his mother and that’s probably one scene that managed to be more terrifying than anything the Goat did this week.

As for the rest of the episode – it was a good one for Edward Nygma. When he wasn’t helping with the Goat case, he was trying to be helpful with rearranging records girl, Kristen Kringle system, which only managed to annoy and creep her out in the process. It’s nice that Nygma finally got more than one scene this week but I’m still cool with him staying in the background for a little while longer though.

Also in “Spirit Of The Goat”

I’m hoping with Oswald revealing himself, both Renee and Crispus will actually give Jim a break now, but somehow I doubt it.

Dix: “Gotham’s golden rule, Harvey, no heroes.”

It seems that Bullock has been financially supporting Dix since his accident. The fact that he makes sure Dix gets his dirty magazines was a surprisingly perfect touch.

Nygma: “Are you alright, detective?”
Bullock: “No, I’m not alright. I already solved this case.”

Renee (to Crispus): “We got the son of a bitch. We got Gordon.”

Dix referred to Bullock as a white knight. Er, wrong Harvey but that one will be showing up fairly soon though. I also loved Nygma’s on the nose mug as well.

Nygma (to Kristen): “I want you to keep your job.”

This week in terms of Selina cameos, she broke into Wayne Manor, looked at Bruce’s detective work and then stole a box. As you do.

Renee (re Gordon): “He’s right not to.”
Barbara: “Why?”
Renee: “Because it’ll get you killed, okay?”

This episode was the first one not to feature Fish. Also both Falcone and Maroni were nowhere to be seen as well.

The Goat: “You will never stop the Goat. I will always come back.”
Bullock: “Quit saying that.”

Seeing as the Goat was targeting Gotham’s elite kids, I’m actually surprised that he didn’t go after Bruce. At least Alfred considered the possibility of it though.

Essen: “Bullock, look happier.”

Gordon (to Barbara): “Somehow they cornered me, they tied my hands.”

Chronology: Not long from where “Viper” left off. The ads for the episode almost implied it was supposed to be Halloween.

“Spirit Of The Goat” had some nice elements of horror to it, even if parts of the case felt a little too similar to most cop series. I did like the twist with the therapist and the last scene certainly made this episode as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, October 27, 2014

My Review of Doctor Who's 8x10: "In The Forest Of The Night"

Written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Directed by Sheree Folkson

The Doctor (to the children): “Class project – save the Earth.”

What a difference an episode can make. For the last two weeks, even the most ardent of critics towards the Moffat era were praising the ground that Jamie Mathieson walked on for his two contributions towards the show. However, it seems that acclaimed author; Frank Cottrell-Boyce wasn’t on the same receiving end with this offer here.

In some ways I can sort of see why this episode wasn’t so lauded. First of all, the fairytale aspect, whilst beautiful and thematically appropriate has already been something that was given so much focus on when Amy Pond was a companion during the majority of the Matt Smith era that perhaps certain fans didn’t want reminding of it. Of course, there’s also the other criticism as well.

Much as I love Moffat’s era, even I cannot deny that it’s often been too child centred for its own good and after having Courtney taking on a guest companion role a few weeks ago, I wasn’t exactly enthused about the idea of a class trip with Clara and Danny’s students going wrong. Perhaps this was finally one child centred episode too much for Moffat’s particular run but no doubt we’ll get another one in Series 9, which may be better or worse than this one as well.

There’s also the fact that while this episode looked stunning and lush, it also didn’t make a great deal of sense. Overnight London becomes one massive forest that cannot be burned down, except for a solar flare and it’s also somewhat brought about by a young girl named Maebh, who also can’t send the forest back.

Speaking of Maebh, out of all the children she was by far the most likeable and memorable with Abigail Eames working brilliantly with Peter Capaldi during most of the episode’s poignant scenes. Also like the previous two episodes, I’ve noticed that Capaldi’s Doctor has begun to soften a little without totally becoming unrecognisable towards his current incarnation as well.

I did get a bit of a laugh with his exasperation with Coal Hill Year 8 invading his TARDIS but I also liked that he admitted he was wrong not to listen to Maebh and that he also went out of his way to rectify the situation before realising that all he had to do was let the solar flares do their business and London would no longer be a forest. In a lot of ways I think that actually took away the danger the episode was attempting to portray in the first place.

As for the rest episode – last week the Doctor realised that Clara was lying about Danny and this week, Danny realised Clara was lying about the Doctor. It would be nice if somewhere in the finale, Clara sat both of them down and was honest about what she really wanted. Mainly because the whole hopping back and forth is clearly not working as well in her favour as she thought it would do.

As for the other bits of the episode – the Missy plot/Operation Cobra both felt horrible tacked on and the more I think about the way Maebh’s missing sister plot was resolved, the more terrible it actually was. Perhaps that was a subplot that should’ve been nixed at the early stages of this episode as it ended this one on a note too saccharine for its own good.

Also in “In The Forest Of The Night”

Despite the title, this episode was set during the day, even if there was an overnight stay at a zoological museum.

The Doctor (to Maebh): “You need an appointment to see the Doctor.”

The little girl who played the overly chatty Ruby actually voices Peppa Pig.

Danny: “Trees don’t just disappear, Ruby.”
Ruby: “They just came, why don’t they just go?”

The Doctor (re Maebh): “If a child is speaking, listen to it.”

This episode really could’ve been used as a chance for the Doctor and Danny to have actually resolved their issues instead of sniping at each other.

Clara: “I’m actually frightened. I never get frightened. Why am I frightened?”
The Doctor: “Just lost a little girl.”

The Doctor: “Those wolves are terrified.”
Clara: “What are wolves frightened of?”

The flashbacks with Ruby and Bradley somewhat prove that Courtney wasn’t the only ‘disruptive influence’ that Clara and Danny have had to deal with in their classes.

Clara: “This is the human race saving you. Make it worthwhile.”
The Doctor: “This is my world too. I walk your Earth, I breathe your air.”

Missy: “Now that was surprising. I love surprises.”

Chronology: Present day London.

“In The Forest Of The Night” isn’t quite as awful as some fans seem keen to stress out, but given the previous episodes that have come before, it was somewhat lagging in parts and to be honest, I think the trailer for the next episode probably left more of an impression than this episode did overall. Still though, I am going to rate this one fairly.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Recap/Review: How To Get Away With Murder's 1x01: Pilot

Yeah, I caved in and I have decided to do review/recaps for this series for the time being. This should be interesting.

Written by Peter Nowalk
Directed by Michael Offer

The Body: This episode opened with the death (by law trophy) of a mysterious person and four frantic law students - Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee), Wes Gibbons (Alfred Enoch), Laurel Castillo (Karla Souza) and Michaela Pratt (Aja Naomi King) mostly panicking, trying to get the body out of the place of their professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) before eventually getting to the woods (amidst a lot of arguing and almost being caught). Like Revenge, this is actually a flashforward but one that takes up a great portion of the opening episode as the body is burned and we learn that it actually happens to be Annalise's husband, Sam Keating (Tom Verica). I guess the mystery is why Sam was killed and can Connor, Wes, Laurel and Michaela get away with murder? However the most disturbing thing about those flashforward scenes wasn't the actual murder/body disposal itself but Connor's completely inappropriate singing of Jingle Bells during the episode. That bit seriously creeped me out more than anything else really.

Professor Formidable: If you love Kerry Washington's Olivia Pope on Scandal, then you'll probably have no problem with falling in love with Viola Davis's crime law professor/attorney, Annalise Keating, who is just every bit as interesting, if possibly not more so. She also seems a lot tougher than Olivia too, what with the way she challenged her students during a 'how to get away with murder' segment before she ended up picking four of them along with frat boy like Asher Millstone (Matt McGorry). Like Olivia too, Annalise has something of an interesting private life - her affair with detective Nate Lachey (Billy Brown) got uncovered by Wes and she seemed a little suspicious about her husband's concern for student Lila Stangard's mysterious death ("I bet you the boyfriend did it.") as well. Character wise, she certainly pulls no punches and you don't have to be a genius to predict that an Emmy for this role is clearly in Davis's imminent future as well.

Bad Boy: Out of all the students, only five were on screen to make an impression from Annalise's class. Asher was the only one from the five not to be involved in the murder and while likeable, he didn't really have a whole lot to do here. As for the others - Wes is clearly the nice guy of the bunch, even trying to help out his mysterious neighbour Rebecca (Katie Findley) who blew hot and cold with him, Laurel was implied to be sleeping with Annalise's associate, Frank Delfino (Charlie Weber) while Michaela seemed to be ultra competitive and the most in denial about the murder but it was Connor who stood out the most here. Aside from the bickering with Michaela and his creepy singing, it's nice to see a gay character on network television unapologetic about their sexuality and the scene where he seduced IT guy Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) for information was fantastic. Aside from Annalise, he's definitely the most interesting character of the bunch here. Cyrus Beene would be proud and a tiny bit afraid of Connor.

Frank & Bonnie: While Olivia has her Gladiators, when Annalise isn't scouting for students to hire at her firm, she's got both Frank and Bonnie Winterbottom (Liza Weil). In terms of first episode stuff, neither of them did anything that truly stood out as such, though it was implied that Frank had a habit for sleeping with students (here's looking at you, Laurel) and both Bonnie and Annalise seemed aware of that and not particularly cool with it either. While they were overshadowed by Annalise, her students and the two murder mysteries of the episode, I'm sure we'll see both characters fleshed out in no time.

Case Of The Week: I have a feeling the case of the week bits of this show will be fine but less interesting than the flashforwards to Sam's murder, the mystery of Lila's murder (which Rebecca and some other guy might be involved with) or the various interactions with the main cast. This week's one revolved around an attempted murder of a man with both his wife and mistress looking like they have been in cahoots at different points in the episode. The various jumping about with the case as each of the students (particularly Connor, Laurel and Michaela) all trying to find various bits of evidence on what really happened was fun enough to seen. Like Scandal, there are times when this show jumps so fast, it could cause you whiplash. It's fun in parts but it can also take you out of the story a tiny bit but other than that, this was an interesting start to a promising series.

Next week, there's a case about a millionaire bumping off his wife as the students in flashforwards buy supplies to clean up their murder.

Ryan Murphy's Other TV Projects

With The Normal Heart bagging plenty of awards, American Horror Story's fourth season currently airing on TV and Glee's sixth and final season waiting in the wings, it seems like Ryan Murphy won't be resting on his laurels just yet as I round up news on his other television projects.

Open: Bad news first. This show starring the likes of Anna Torv, Scott Speedman, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Michelle Monaghan will not be running after all. It was announced a while ago that HBO decided not to pick the series up, though they had wanted to redevelop the pilot. Of course with one new show not happening, at least two others will be.

American Crime Story: Enjoying the success of American Horror Story, FX have branched out with Murphy on another anthology series, this time focusing on real life crimes. The first season of this show, due for next year will comprise of 10 episodes focusing on the OJ Simpson case. While television is already overcrowded with crime dramas than it knows what to do with, I'm somewhat intrigued by this one. Filming will begin next year on this one.

Scream Queens: To be honest, this upcoming FOX series just sounds like a mash-up of Glee and American Horror Story (milder than the latter too I imagine) with Murphy, Falchuk and Brennan banding together on a comedy-horror anthology series that will have two different female leads every season. It'll debut in Fall 2015 with a 15 episode first season. Out of the two projects actually in productions, it's probably the one I will end up watching.

Open News:
American Crime Story News:
Scream Queens News:

Both Scream Queens and American Crime Story will debut on FOX and FX respectively in 2015. I'll post more information (casting etc) when it becomes available.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Freak Show - Edward Mordrake Part 1

It's Halloween time (well, in one week) but for the freak show residents of Jupiter, it's more or less now and like the first and third seasons, it's enough to warrant a two parter, a very interesting one too.

Written by James Wong
Directed by Michael Uppendahl

Aristocratic Evil: Before you ask, yes, the legend of Edward Mordrake is real ( and here, he's played with eerie charm and a tiny malevelence by American Beauty's Wes Bentley. The freaks along with Ethel tell Bette and Dot the legend of the two faced man, with the latter being dismissive, though the rest of them never perform on Halloween in fear of summoning his spirit. However despite Elsa actually breaking that rule, it was a dying Ethel who ended up with the visit from Mordrake. Oddly enough, Edward seemed more sympathetic as he got her to reveal a lot more about her past relationship with Dell. If you loathed Dell in the previous episode, you'll loathe him even more by the end of this one. Actually, aside from one scene, he's just loathsome in general. As for Edward, he's looking for a pure freak to drag to hell and somehow Ethel didn't make the cut.

Innocence Lost: I wasn't particularly blown away with Elsa's version of Life On Mars in the opening episode but her version of Lana Del Rey's Gods & Monsters, well I'm listening to it as I write this recap. It's certainly better and it's almost a shame that it's a performance that isn't being viewed by a crowd, though it was enough to trigger Mordrake into action. This episode continued to highlight Elsa's vanity with Dot being overconfident about her own vocal talents and fake spiritualist Esmeralda (really it's a woman called Maggie and Emma Roberts making her debut) exploiting Elsa's desperation in order to get closer to the freaks.

The Psychic And Mr Big: Welcome aboard, Emma Roberts and Denis O'Hare. It only took three episodes for them to show up this season and already they've made an impression in their mission to acquire freak (watch out Bette/Dot). With Roberts, she's playing a slightly less bitchier character than last season but at the same time while Jimmy was too easily taken in by Maggie, Dot took an instant dislike to her and Elsa had to be tempted in order for Maggie to get into the camp. As for O'Hare's Stanley, well he seems to be the nastier of the two but it's nice to see that he has something rather freakish downstairs as his sex scene with a not convincing Thor lookalike implied more than showed. Even cable television has it's limits but I am intrigued to see this devious duo cause chaos and get further out of their depth as the season unfolds.

The Clown Took Him: The residents of Jupiter are a tiresome and intolerant lot. We know this through their attitude towards the freaks and also down to one mother being utterly dismissive of her daughter's sightings of Twisty the clown, who later kidnapped her horrible older brother. As for Dandy, he's still in psycho spoiled brat mode, both taunting Twisty's captives and coming close to killing Dora. I love that Dora challenged the little Joffrey in the making, because Gloria's mother is a lot scarier than either Mordrake and Twisty combined. As for Twisty, even he seems to be exasperated by Dandy.

Separation Anxiety: Could Bette and Dot literally end up separated? While Dot found the idea more than appealing, Bette on the other hand was pretty horrified by it. I have to admit the dream/nightmare sequence itself was freaky enough and the increasing bad feeling between the girls is believable as well but this wasn't really the episode for the twins. Other plots took precedence and aside from the scene where Dot laid into the rest of the freaks, I do think she was a little too harsh and dismissive at times. I do like that she's smart enough not to trust 'Esmeralda'. I just hope it doesn't backfire on her, along with her barely concealed feelings for Jimmy as well.

Next week, the second half of this two parter will see Mordrake paying Elsa a visit as further chaos descends on the camp and Dandy continues to lose it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Review of Revenge's 4x04: "Meteor"

Written by Karin Gist
Directed by J Miller Tobin

Nolan (re David): “What just happened?”
Emily (re Victoria): “She got to him first.”

I honestly thought we would have another month before the entire world knew that David Clarke was alive and only after both he and Emily had a tearful reunion where he realised that she was actually Amanda all along. This episode had other ideas.

Namely the first one being David getting arrested and both Jack and Emily having to watch him in a police line up with horrified reactions before Edward became privy to who David really was and Victoria managed to sink her claws that tiny bit more into him. I really think this episode was Victoria at her worst.

The look of glee she had the end of the episode as she posed with David and Charlotte as Emily was helpless to look was pretty low, even for her. There’s no way this show can actually end with Victoria getting everything she wanted. David at least showed some suspicion towards her in this episode. Hopefully when both he and Emily are reunited, they take her down once and for all, unless Louise gets there first.

Speaking of Louise – I’ve had enough of her mother issues and the fact that she’s clearly using Daniel to get to Victoria is a bit bizarre too, isn’t it? Louise gave some pretty obvious signs that she was rather strange, which Daniel ignored because he was too busy trying to prove that he had some business savvy after all. Not sure why as I doubt most viewers are that interested in the first place.

On the other hand, at least Daniel’s nastiness towards Victoria was rather amusing to watch and I bet anything that he was positively sickened upon learning that David was alive and with his mother yet again. As for Margaux, she didn’t really do that much this week, but she’s still too good for Daniel.

The David elements of the episode kept this one afloat but it’s also these elements that are problematic too. I know I’ve said it in previous reviews (and will undoubtedly say it a lot this season), but I really don’t see how this show can go on for another year after this one. After David and Emily do reunite and hopefully take out Victoria, there’s nowhere else creatively the show can go, is there? The writers are even struggling to give Nolan anything to do and the less said about Charlotte’s drug habit the better really.

Also in “Meteor”

Ben is starting to annoy me as a character. I know a part of me should find him charming but he’s coming across as a bit of a stalker really.

Victoria: “I didn’t mean to upset you but this is a different world from the one you left. Your re-emergence must be carefully planned.”

David told the FBI and media that Conrad had been keeping him prisoner for the last few years.

Charlotte: “What do you really want from me, mom?”
Victoria: “Nothing but to see you happy.”
Charlotte: “The Grayson mantra: lie and deny.”

Margaux seems to have sorted her hair out this season. Nolan’s is still a bit of a mess really.

Daniel (re hex): “Did it work?”
Louise: “Oh no, darling, nothing can rid the devil. My momma and I will never fix things.”

That Edward guy seems like he could another problem for Emily down the line this season as well.

Emily (to Nolan, re David): “He deserved more twenty years ago. I can’t wait one more day.”

Standout music: “All I Want” by Sarah Blasko.

David: “I prayed for this moment, this freedom and today my prayers were answered.”

Chronology: From where “Ashes” left off.

“Meteor” is easily the best episode of the first four and I certainly can’t wait for the inevitable father/daughter reunion but at the same time, it’s hard to deny that this show is starting to really show that it’s had it’s day now.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Review of Gotham's 1x05: "Viper"

Written by Rebecca Perry Cutter
Directed by Tim Hunter

Stan: “I had hoped a demonstration using street people would’ve sufficed but it seems only bad things truly happen to important people like you.”

Did anyone else get a serious Smallville vibe off this episode? I know technically the antics of the Balloonman were the type of thing that made sure this series wouldn’t be seen as a generic crime series but the whole Viper/Venom super soldier plot courtesy of Stan Potolsky really gave off the vibe of the most famous prequel TV show in recent history.

It wasn’t actually a bad thing really but watching the effects of the venom working on mainly busker Benny and then a few other characters was definitely something I’ve seen before, TV wise. It was definitely interesting though.

The actual thing having to be breathed in and then watching as it gave people super strength before depriving them of calcium worked well enough. The actual death scene though of Benny after he stole an ATM machine however was more unintentionally funny than tragic though, even if a certain someone found the whole effects of the Viper “fascinating”.

As for Stan – like Gladwell from the previous week, I almost wish he had survived the episode, even if he did try to disrupt a Wayne Enterprises luncheon with his antics, only for Gordon and Bullock to stop him at the last minute but only because his actual demise lacked any spark itself.

As for the plot about a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises being involved in the making of the venom/viper – hardly a shocker, but it earned points for Bruce doing some actual detective work on his parents company and not being so easily fobbed off by middle management lady Mathis, who turned out to be a bad one by the end of the episode.

Of course when we weren’t dealing with super dangerous drugs, the mob war stuff with Falcone and Maroni continued. Falcone chose not to make a move on his potential usurper but the latter himself (when he wasn’t grilling both Oswald and Gordon) decided to rob Falcone’s casino for the hell of it. Of course, Fish was far craftier in her scheming against Falcone this week.

First of all, both her and Russian mobster Nikolai pretended to hate each other’s guts in front of Falcone while engaging in some bondage fun later in the episode. Like Liza, Nikolai is clearly being set up as a means to an end for Fish’s overall scheming but I have to admit, I do like that she isn’t solely relying on only one way to get Falcone out of the picture.

With Liza, she managed to group a somewhat tone deaf, Goth chic wearing girl into an opera loving, literally white than white young lady for Falcone to fall in love with. The strange thing is a part sort of feels bad for Falcone. He’ll clearly fall for Liza, she’ll end up reciprocating and Fish will probably have her killed when the whole thing goes belly up. Right now that’s exactly how I see this whole storyline actually playing out.

Also in “Viper”

Selina made a brief cameo as she stole some bloke’s wallet while Edward was fascinated by the effects of the venom.

Bruce (to Alfred): “I don’t want revenge. I want to understand how it all works. How Gotham works.”

The venom/super soldier mention this week was clearly an allusion to Bane, a villain I hope this series doesn’t bring in just yet.

Nikolai: “Ladies are in the kitchen or in bed, depending on their talents.”
Fish: “I bet your mother was a lousy cook.”

Edward: “Fascinating.”

Oswald has managed to piss off both Falcone and Maroni and it’s only been five episodes. He also managed not to kill anyone in this episode as well.

Oswald: “Everyone calls me Penguin.”
Maroni: “You don’t like that name? Well, you’re wrong. It’s a good name. It works for you.”

Maroni: “I try to be civil, Jim but I’m not the kind of man who asks twice.”

Missing this week included Barbara, Renee, Crispus and Butch.

Gordon: “Don’t shoot.”
Stan: “That’s considerate of you. I’m leaving now.”

Bullock (to Gordon): “You really can have too much of a good thing.”

Standout music: Gianni Schicchi: O Mio Babbino Caro. It was used quite pointedly in the episode.

Nikolai: “Untie me.”
Fish: “Say pretty please.”

Chronology: Not long after the events of “Arkham” I assume.

“Viper” was a fairly solid episode, good in parts but nothing too taxing but as interesting as the gang war stuff is, how much longer will we have to wait before a) everyone properly realises that Oswald is alive and b) Falcone and Maroni actually share a scene together? Other than that, not the best episode really.

Rating: 7 out of 10