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.”
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