With this week’s Gotham not too far away, it’s going to be a fast-paced full review once again.
First of all, let’s get some Easter Eggs/references off the table. Obviously, the crux of the episode centers around the drug Viper, a prototype for Venom, most famously know as the drug that powers supervillain and Batman foe Bane. There are some slightly more subtle references to Bane throughout the episode as well: the first person we see use Viper “breaks a bat” (albeit a baseball bat) during his encounter with the corner store clerk, and Bruce is seen watching The Count of Monte Cristo (early suspicion was that the movie was Zorro, a reference to that infamous night in Crime Alley), which is known as one of Bane’s favorite stories and also a parallel to his own. Next up is the Viper addict’s command “Do not vex me, mortal,” to which the clerk responds “Suit yourself, Zeus!” While this is most likely just wordplay, some (myself included) are interpreting it as a reference to Batman villain Maxie Zeus akin to the “4th and Grundy” reference in the pilot. One last reference/egg comes in the form of Falcone’s prized casino that Maroni hits up at the end of the episode– I can’t shake the feeling that either by a gift from Maroni or by his own guile and manipulation, Penguin is going to get a hold of that casino, and it’s going to become his infamous Iceberg Lounge.
As far as the episode’s actual content goes, I think that like last week’s “Arkham,” we’re looking at another episode that mostly serves to get the ball rolling. A lot of threads are set up (or strung further along with little reveals) in “Viper,” particularly Fish and Nikolai’s plot against Falcone, the subplot with Liza (while one could argue that they’re one and the same, I think Niko has no idea that Fish is working on her own takeover), the new revelation that Wayne Enterprises may be more corrupt than anyone knew before, and of course, Penguin’s ever-moving rise to power. I also think that we won’t gain much ground on a lot of these fronts tonight, as it would appear that the title character “The Spirit of the Goat” is going to be front and center for a lot of the new episode.
That said, I’m excited about what we’ve got moving forward. Ed Nygma is getting more twisted (his glee at the spread of Viper standing as a prime example), the Penguin’s getting even more influential (especially with his newfound position of respect within Maroni’s crew), Bruce is becoming more of a detective (and now Alfred’s finally come around to helping him out), and Fish is slowly tightening the noose around Falcone’s neck (though we know her plan will most likely fail, it’ll be interesting to see how.)
That’s all for this week– if there’s anything I missed (or that you disagree with) feel free to sound off in the comments or shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org! For more about S1E05: “Viper,” check out my First Impressions post and my review on Dark Knight News!
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