Gotham S1x05 “Viper”
WARNING! MAJOR SPOILERS!
So far, Gotham has been hit and miss. It’s been strong but there have been a few average episodes, but overall, it’s far more entertaining than Agents of SHIELD and Arrow were at their respective stages in the season. It’s got the disadvantage of coming to the comic book game late when our expectations have already been raised, and as a result it’s not entirely as satisfying as it would have been. Even if it did handle with something that wasn’t especially new (We’d seen a similar plot before in Arrow for example), with a new drug on the streets, the end result was pretty good for the most part, offering an entertaining episode that’s one of the better ones that we’ve had.
The show seems to be moving into a basic formula, much like The Flash has been. Harvey and Gordon will investigate a case of the week and there’ll be advances with the likes of the Penguin, and a visit to Bruce on the side. This week showed the corruption at Wayne Enterprises and was handled pretty well, The fact that it gives Bruce actually something that he can do makes the character feel all the bit more like a significant part of the series, and whilst he can’t quite don the cowl just yet it’ll be interesting to see how he can handle it. David Mazouz is certainly putting in a good portrayal of the character for one, making it interesting to see how he will evolve.
The scene with Gordon and Maroni was pretty cool as well, serving as a nice break from the normal case of the week formula. There’s still developments happening and power plays moving, and a refreshing break from the cases of Gordon and Bullock, which have been the weakest part of the series. I just wish they’d move more into serialised territory, which would be awesome to see. Then again, most shows don’t hit the serialization approach until the end of the season (Arrow and Agents of SHIELD being two examples of this) so it’ll be interesting to see how it’s handled on Gotham if it does happen.
Much like Arrow though, Gotham is suffering from its same weaknesses early on. The villains outside of the already established ones are forgettable and the bad guys of the week are dull. People like Trident Industries and so on don’t have enough weight when compared to the already established characters like the Penguin, and I’d love to have seen this show focus more on Robin Lord-Taylor’s character because he has just been fantastic so far. The only exception to that rule has been Fish Mooney, who has been fantastic to watch.
Sticking with the villains, David Zayas delivered as Maroni this week. I’ve briefly touched upon the Gordon/Maroni scenes above but for me they were my favourite part of the episode. He’s Gotham’s second highest mob boss behind Falcone, and it’s great that we’re seeing more of him in the picture, taking a calmer approach than the raving Mooney, which is always good to see, and it was good that the repercussions from him saving Cobblepot in the pilot were dealt with at last.
There were a few future teases this week as well, as there always is. Whilst it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see Bane in this show (unless Gordon happens to go to Santa Prisca on a case) it was great to see a reference to Venom. Also, an interesting development here was Sean Pertwee’s Alfred finally got behind Bruce’s hunt for answers come the end of the episode and going forward the momentum should be very good indeed.
Despite the fact that the case of Bullock and Gordon seemed to once again be one of the weaker parts of Gotham, the episode itself was pretty entertaining indeed. It was one of the strongest episodes of the show so far, and I’m already looking forward to next week’s episode.