GOTHAM Season 1 Episode 5 Recap – “Viper”
This week’s episode of Gotham, arguably fall TV’s best new show, entitled “Viper,” was heavy on the story and very light on the action. But with this being a show that is all about the early days of Gotham City as it begins it’s descent into utter chaos and crime boss-driven politics, storytelling is to be expected more often than not. And if Gotham can keep bringing us the information like they did this week, then this is a show that we will certainly see for a second season.
As the Gotham crime families continue to posture for the majority controlling stake in the Arkham redevelopment plan, underdog and sole female leader Fish Mooney begins her crusade to take the entire city over by playing both sides of her opposition. As she blindly lies to Carmine Falcone time and again, she also places bait right in front of him in the form of a newly hired femme-fatale who catches his eye by the episode’s end. In the meantime, Fish also begins sleeping with the Russian crime boss while her new girl toy gets inside Falcone’s head. This is an all or nothing move, as Falcone has ruled the organized crime in Gotham for years. If Fish Mooney falters in any way, Falcone will certainly have her killed. But Jada Pinkett-Smith is bringing her A game to this role, making Fish Mooney a sultry, seductive, and intriguing character: she’s a welcome new addition to the Gotham lore.
Meanwhile, Gordon and Bullock are investigating a new street drug called Viper, which gives Gotham’s drug addicts an incredible boost of super-human strength, before robbing the body’s bones of their calcium and ultimately killing the user. In the process of cracking this case, Gordon is taken before Don Maroni, who now has The Penguin in his employ. Gordon has now crossed paths with all the major criminal players in some form or another only 5 episodes into the show, so you can bet things will only pick up from here as Gordon tries to find secure footing amongst all the warring parties throughout the city.
And that’s a good thing. This show has been a decent crime drama from the outset, but by having it’s scene set inside the land of Gotham City has made it a must-see show. Never before have we been given access to how Gotham became such a vile, almost inhabitable place to live, and so far Fox is doing a nice job of setting up the stage for the city’s ultimate downfall.
Your Gotham Easter Eggs: Alfred referring to Bruce as the world’s greatest detective as he pursues knowledge on Gotham’s inner-workings – the debut of the Russian mob, for whom Black Mask works for – And the drug called Viper: this is an early form of the Venom formula that will be used by Bane in the future.