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"Viper" (Aired October 20, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

Like every good superhero or revenge seeker, Bruce Wayne has started a vision board to help solve his parents murder and how Gotham works. Alfred is worried that Bruce is wasting his time and isn’t dealing with his parents murder in the best way.


On the streets of Gotham, a homeless man plays his guitar with a sign saying he needs money for drugs. It’s a bit of refreshing honesty in this town. As homeless man is playing, a creepy ass dude places a vial of green liquid in the homeless man’s guitar case. The vial says “breathe me,” and our homeless friend does. He then walks into a convenience store, high on this new drug, and takes a gallon of milk to the face. When the store clerk reminds him he needs to pay for it, the homeless man refuses. The clerk approaches the homeless man with a bat, and the homeless man breaks it in half.


Meanwhile, Bullock is ordering Jim the best burger in town. Selina Kyle/Cat makes her first appearance in a while. Jim spots her and tries to chase her, but she’s too quick. This seems completely random, and considering we don’t see her again the rest of the episode, it seems entirely pointless. Jim then hears an alarm bell ringing from the convenience store. The clerk tells Bullock and Jim that the homeless man hauled out the ATM with his bare hands.


Jim and Bullock hit the streets to try and find their homeless man. They’re able to track him down to a warehouse where they find lots of empty milk jugs. The homeless man, Benny, tells Bullock and Jim that he needs more of the drug and tells them the man that gave him the drug had a mangled ear. As Benny lifts the ATM to throw it at Jim and Bullock, the rest of the drug leaves his system and he crushes himself to death.


At Wayne Manor, Alfred tells Bruce about the upcoming Wayne Enterprises luncheon. Bruce tells Alfred he wants to go and speak to the Wayne Enterprises Board Members. He wants to know how the Falcone and Maroni ended up with interest in the Wayne’s Arkham plan.


Ed Nygma tells Bullock and Jim that the drug uses the body’s unused calcium to create inordinate amounts of strength, thus the craving for the milk. However, this then results in the bones become brittle and crumbling, and the Viper user’s death. Bullock suggests that the “good citizens” of Gotham stay inside and let the criminals all die. How sweet. Jim asks Nygma who the best manufacturer is, and Nygma tells them it is WellZyn, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises.


Taylor Reece, the public counsel of WellZyn, shows up at the Gotham Police Station to tell Jim and Bullock that they do not develop the Viper drug, and any statements to the contrary will result in them being sued. Seems oddly defensive this early on, Ms. Reece. When Jim and Bullock ask Reece about any employees with a messed up ear, she tells them about Stan Potolsky. Reece tells them that Potolsky mainly worked on shampoos and was frustrated he wasn’t doing more important work. When Jim accuses Reece of knowing right away that Potolsky was behind the distribution of the Viper drug, Reece appears to be appalled at such an accusation.


At Maroni’s restaurant, Maroni tells his henchman, Frankie, that he wants to rob Falcone’s casino. Maroni wants to send a message to Falcone that he isn’t backing off. Oswald approaches and tells Maroni that he knows a janitor that works at Falcone’s casino and can get them in through underground tunnels. Maroni is interested in what Oswald has to say, and tells Oswald that the nickname “Penguin” is a good one. Maroni can tell that there’s more to Oswald, so Oswald tells Maroni his real name and that he used to work for Fish. Maroni then slams Oswald’s head against the table, unsure of the validity of Oswald’s story.


As Jim and Bullock head their separate ways sot investigate the case, Maroni’s henchman Frankie approaches Jim to tell him they’ve got Oswald and he needs to come along. Maroni wants Jim to tell him the same story that Penguin told Maroni. Jim confirms what Oswald already told Maroni, making Maroni very happy. Now he has a new weapon, Penguin, to use against Falcone. Maroni promises Jim to keep his story quiet, and Oswald is once again in debt to Jim for saving his life.


Jim arrives back at the police department, and Bullock questions Jim on his whereabouts, but Jim dodges the question. Bullock assumes it is problems with Barbara, and Jim lets him think this. (Barbara is THANKFULLY absent from this episode. I’m so annoyed with her after last week, I’m glad she wasn’t around this time to complain more). Digging through evidence boxes, Jim and Bullock find a picture of Potolsky with an old professor, so they’re off to see him.


Potolsky’s old professor tells Jim and Bullock that Potolsky was actually working on biochemical weapons to help soldiers with strength. Viper was actually the first iteration of the drug that becomes Venom, AKA the drug that allows Bane to get his strength. But Potolsky was concerned about the repercussions of the drug, so he went to Thomas and Martha Wayne who then shut the program down. WellZyn, after the Waynes died, decided to resume the program. Jim realizes the professor is in on the plan with Potolsky, and the professor inhales the Viper and goes after Bullock. The professor says that WellZyn and Wayne Enterprises must pay, and Jim realizes Potolsky’s next target is the Wayne Enterprises meeting.


At the Wayne Enterprises meeting, Bruce begins talking to Molly Mathis, a self purported mid-management type at Wayne Enterprises. Despite her mid-management status, she seems to know a lot about the workings of Wayne Enterprises, so I’m calling B.S. on her status. Anyway, Bruce is disappointed to find that the Board members don’t attend such luncheons. Bruce tells Molly that he wanted to speak with the Board about irregularities in the Arkham project. He asks her to arrange a meeting with the Board.


As Bruce and Molly are talking, Potolsky heads to the roof to send the Viper drug through the air system so that everyone is affected. As he’s doing this, a video of Potolsky appears on the screen in the ballroom where the meeting is taking place. He announces that he crated Viper while working for WellZyn, much to Bruce’s disdain.  Jim and Bullock arrive and Bullock tells everyone to leave. Alfred, seeing the fumes, wraps Bruce’s face to keep him from inhaling the drug.


On the rooftop, Jim confronts Potolsky. When Potolsky refuses to stop the Viper from going into the ballroom, Jim shoots the barrel containing the drug, causing Potolsky to inhale a large amount of the drug, but he seems fairly unaffected. When Bullock joins Jim on the roof, he tells Bullock not to shoot Potolsky. Potolsky says that he’s done, and tells Jim and Bullock to go checkout Warehouse 39. Potolsky then jumps off the roof killing himself, knowing his mission to attack the “important” people and make the issues known is complete.


Jim and Bullock go to check out Warehouse 39, but it’s empty. Bullock isn’t surprised, but Jim is disappointed. We see Molly Mathis on the phone telling someone that Jim and Bullock arrived, but that there’s nothing there to be seen.


At Wayne Manor, Bruce is digging through the files, and finds something on Molly Mathis. Alfred sits down with a couple of files and joins him. After that close call with Bruce, he realizes that something is going on, and he owes it to Thomas, Martha, and Bruce to figure out what it is. Though there is no dialogue in this scene, it is very important. It shows that Alfred now understands that Bruce needs to and should be taken seriously. Bruce doesn’t become Batman without Alfred, and this is the true start of that relationship.


Sitting in a car with Maroni and Frankie, waiting for the heist of the casino to be completed, Oswald confesses he’s nervous. But then, Maroni’s men run out of the casino, the heist successful. Maroni is thrilled with Oswald as his new weapon, and Oswald is relieved that his connection came through for him.


Elsewhere, Fish and Nikolai meet with Falcone. Falcone tells them that Maroni didn’t really when the Arkham deal. When Nikolai goes after Falcone, Fish jumps to his defense to preserve the image she’s still loyal to him.


Fish has been busy trying to train her new girl, Liza, in the art of seducing Falcone. She’s teaching Liza an aria that Fish knows Falcone likes, and she also instructs Liza on how to tell Falcone she loves him. Everything Liza does with Falcone will be 100% controlled by Fish.


We then see Fish in bed with Nikolai. We find out that Fish is backing Nikolai’s plan to take over Falcone, and that she has to paly nice to Falcone so he doesn’t suspect anything. Poor Nikolai, little do you know that Fish is going to betray you.


Falcone is sitting on the steps of a monument in a park when Liza walks up humming the tune Fish was teaching her. Falcone is immediately drawn to her. Not only is it Falcone’s favorite aria, but Liza now looks a lot like his mother. Looks like Fish’s plan is in play