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Gotham Recap: “Viper”

By Courtney Key

Welcome to our fifth Gotham recap! Lovely to see you today, please sit down and have a delicious, definitely not deadly cannoli while you read.

In interesting show-related news, the cast (and producer Danny Cannon) participated in a panel at PaleyFest in New York City, where we learned that Jada Pinkett Smith decided to go “Method” when auditioning for the role of Fish Mooney. She showed up in her Fish wig and an evening gown accessorized with a shirtless man on a leash and “LIAR” written on his forehead. Please, please, please let this be a DVD extra. Donal Logue then joked, “I did so well at that they made me Harvey Bullock!” I would not be at all surprised if this was the actual backstory of Harvey. You just know he and Fish have some weird business in their past. Anyway, you can watch the whole panel online. It’s worth it entirely for Robin Lord Taylor’s adorably flustered response to being called a “heartthrob.”

But now it’s time to get down the business of this week’s episode. We open at Stately Wayne Manor, where Bruce is engaged in the time-honored tradition of an adolescent boy, pinning up corporate memos and photos of the mayor on the wall of his library. Alfred interrupts him, throwing open the curtains, and asks if he fancies a stroll. “It’s a lovely day!” he exclaims as brightly as he can, though with Alfred you’re always kind of expecting whatever he says to be followed up with something like, “to bury a body!” When Bruce demurs – those push-pins aren’t going to push themselves into the wall! – Alfred says he has a question for him.

“What if all of this was a complete and utter waste of bloody time?” Alfred asks. “What if you never discover who killed your mum and dad? What if you never get to wreak revenge?” Once again, I feel the need to point out that Bruce is a twelve-year-old boy. These things are being said to a twelve-year-old. Bruce replies that he doesn’t want revenge, he wants to understand how Gotham works. How did Falcone and Maroni get such big shares in the Arkham deal? Why didn’t Wayne Enterprises do something about it? Alfred, resigned, acknowledges that Bruce’s new hobby is better than beating himself up, but says it’s still not healthy. Bruce, distracted by something in the file, promises he’ll take a walk later.

Over at Bamonte’s, Maroni is expositing all of his plans to Frankie, his number two who got Oswald out of the freezer last week, while Oswald verrrryyyyyyy slowly dries a glass in the background. He may have been the worst dishwasher Gotham’s ever seen, but he’s the best darn dish dryer there is!

There will be no water spots on Oswald's watch!
There will be no water spots on Oswald’s watch!

Maroni tells Frankie he wants him to rob a casino Falcone owns in order to mess with Falcone. Frankie thinks this is a stupid idea, but O.K. Frankie sees Oswald watching and asks him if he’s got something to say. Oswald replies “No sir, nothing at all,” with a wonderful mix of snippiness and malice.

On the streets of Gotham, a man is busking on a doorstep with a sign in his guitar case reading “Why lie: I need money for drugs.” A rather intense looking man with a wonky ear decides to cut out the middleman, walking over and placing a vial of some green liquid in his guitar case before disappearing down the street.

The busker picks up the vial. It has a caduceus on the front and a sticker reading “Breathe Me” down the back. Because blindly ingesting things with instructions like these worked so well for Alice in Wonderland, the busker breaks the glass and sniffs the green mist that emerges, instantly getting super high as his skin goes a weird color and black veins pop out underneath. He walks into a nearby convenience store and takes out a gallon of milk from the cooler, swigging it. The store clerk tells him he’ll have to pay for that. “Do not vex me, mortal!” the busker warns. O.K., apparently this drug turns you into a character in a Thor comic. The busker easily disarms the clerk of his baseball bat, breaking it in half. Milk really does do a body good, it seems!

Meanwhile, Jim and Harvey are getting burgers and malts from a food truck. I have never encountered a food truck that does malts and now I feel deprived. Jim does not like pickles on his burger. I’m with you Jim, pickles on the side only. Harvey insists that he must have pickles. Jim agrees to the pickles. Honestly I’d leave this out of the recap but then the show will probably have a villain named “The Pickleman” who literally pickles his victims in giant mason jars and the whole thing will be an elaborate callback to this food truck scene and I’ll regret not mentioning the pickles, so there you go.

A thump sounds on a nearby car as Selina lands and slides off the hood to the ground, steampunk goggles up on her head (Robin Lord Taylor also noted this on his Twitter – we’re twinsies!). She pickpockets a guy as Jim watches. He starts to chase after her but is blocked by a passing car. Harvey tells him to let her go and relax, it’s lunchtime! I gotta say, I’m with Harv. You wouldn’t like me when I’m hangry.

An alarm goes off nearby, which Harvey unsuccessfully tries to get Jim to ignore, but this time Jim is insistent upon them both doing their public duty. The alarm turns out to have come from the convenience store the busker burglarized. The store is trashed, with gallons of milk lying everywhere. The clerk, bleeding from a superficial wound to the head, tells them the guy drank all his milk and took his ATM. Harvey, pointing out that it’s still lunch, tells him to call 911 and they’ll take care of him. Jim, much to Harvey’s chagrin, continues questioning the clerk. He tells Jim what the busker said to him before he went crazy. Jim asks him for a description of the guy’s vehicle. The clerk replies that he didn’t have a vehicle. Harvey asks how it was that he was able to pull the ATM out of the wall without a vehicle and chains. The clerk says that’s what he’s telling them – the guy pulled it out of the wall with his bare hands. Cut to a shot of the busker running down the street carrying the ATM on his back.

This is the ecstatic face of a man who's realized he'll never pay ATM fees again.
This is the ecstatic face of a man who’s realized he’ll never pay ATM fees again.

Over at Fish’s club, they’re listening to a tape of a Maria Callas aria. Liza tells Fish she’s bored, and in response, she gets Fish-slapped. Liza’s like, WTF?, and Fish tells her she needs to learn the song. “I’m sorry, mama,” Liza apologizes. Fish says she’s not Liza’s mama. Liza might be her baby girl, but Fish is not her mama. “You have to earn that,” she says, pressing play again on the tape as Liza starts to sing. I feel like this scene was probably transcribed verbatim from something that happened backstage on American Idol.

Back at the station, Captain Essen, Jim and Harvey are watching a video of the busker ripping the ATM from the wall. Harvey tells the captain they don’t have an ID on the guy yet, but they think the vial they found in his guitar case has something to do with his “excessive joie de vivre.” Well, ooh la la, Harvey! Essen is amazed that a drug could enhance a person’s strength that much. Clearly she’s not a major league baseball fan. Our riddling friend Ed Nygma is looking into the chemical composition while Jim and Harvey try to ID the perp.

In an undisclosed parking garage location, the extended Falcone family is having an awkward reunion. Falcone says he knows the families are upset about the Arkham deal but everyone got a part of it. Maroni didn’t win. The extremely Russian Nikolai argues that Maroni thinks he won, so the families need to push back. In his country, he tells Falcone, they have a saying that “even a fool may bite the king if he has teeth.” This may come as a shock, but that’s not actually a real saying in Russia. Or in any country, anywhere. Wiki did however find a Russian phrase for me with the wonderful translation “If you called yourself a milk-mushroom — get into the basket!” Please feel free to use that on the show, Gotham writers. Fish tells him they’re not in his stupid backward country with its lack of indoor plumbing and abundant fungi, so just listen to Falcone. Nikolai shoots back that it’s not a crime for him to speak his mind, and anyway in his country they so too have plumbing, but back home the only difference is that ladies are either in the kitchen or in bed. Fish retorts that she bets Nikolai’s mother was a lousy cook. Nikolai tells her to shut up about his mother. Fish squares up to him, asking what he’s going to do about it, hit her? Oh, these two are totally doing it. Falcone finally puts a stop to their foreplay and tells them enough – he doesn’t want any bad blood, they’re family.

Back on the streets of Gotham, Harvey and Jim are on the case of the calcium-crazed crook, asking people on the street if they’ve seen the busker. They get no takers until a prostitute acknowledges knowing him. His name is Benny, she tells them, a strung-out guitar player, which is a pun she acknowledges. They pay her to find out where Benny is, although by the looks of it they could have just followed the string of empty milk cartons leading under the bridge to a freaked-out Benny huddling by the stolen ATM. Jim and Harvey are surprised when he immediately pleads for their help. He says he needs more of the drug, and they have to find the man with a mangled ear. Harvey tries to cuff Benny but he goes super-strength again and flings them both yards away before lifting the ATM over his head to throw at them. Suddenly his body just collapses and he’s crushed by the ATM. Hey, remember that episode of Breaking Bad where Jesse had to try to get his money back from the meth-heads who had stolen an ATM? Yeah, it’s kind of like that, but with more crushed junkie and less heart-wrenching peek-a-boo scene. “God help us if that drug gets out,” Jim says.

Cut to scene of it being given away freely on the street by the man with the Post-Impressionist ear, including to the working girl who just gave them the info on Benny. So, that will probably turn out well.

In the middle of the day at Stately Wayne Manor, Bruce is passed out on a couch in the study after a long morning of conspiracy theorizing. Alfred comes in to tell Bruce that Wayne Enterprises is hosting a charity lunch, and he’s accepted on Bruce’s behalf. Because that’s exactly the sort of thing to entice an adolescent boy out of the house, a charity luncheon. Both Alfred and I are surprised that Bruce wants to attend. Bruce explains his sudden interest in leaving the house; he has some questions he needs to ask the board. Alfred wants to know what kind of questions. It’s about Arkham. Bruce has figured out that the gangsters were given their shares in Arkham by Wayne Enterprises. Alfred seems very uncomfortable with this line of inquiry and urges Bruce to move on, but Bruce is convinced that his parents didn’t do business that way. He’s figured out there was lots of corporate subterfuge used in the Arkham deal, like offshore companies, shell accounts. Alfred is impressed by Bruce’s detective work, but he still wants to take all the files Bruce has been working on and chuck them in the fire. Bruce says nothing gets destroyed – “That’s an order, Alfred.” Again, this is where I feel the whole butler-as-legal-guardian thing really breaks down. Be a parent and set some limits, Alfred! You can have an hour of researching corporate malfeasance after you eat all your greens, rules like that.

Bruce’s attention is drawn by a breaking news report on the T.V. about the new drug, which has been nicknamed it “Viper.” Users get extreme power for a few hours, the reporter tells us, “then, without exception, they die a horrible death.”

At Gotham PD, cops are wrestling a criminal apparently high on Viper into a cell amidst general Viper-induced chaos. Nygma comes downstairs to the Captain’s office, watching it all. He seems amused. Once in the office, he explains to Jim, Harvey and the Captain that Viper activates unused DNA, which is an actual thing, so well done Gotham writers! The user’s body burns calcium from the skeletal system as fuel, which is why they crave milk and cheese. OMG, maybe I’m addicted to Viper. Excuse me while I go try to lift an ATM. Anyway, the users can’t consume enough milk and cheese (can you ever, really?), so their bones crumble, and then they suffocate and die. I feel like I’ve been given a horrifying glimpse into my future. Nygma says no one has seen anything like this before, and he’s TOTALLY EXCITED about being on this case, y’all!

Essen interrupts his glee – who would put this on the street? she wonders. And why give it away? Harvey suggests maybe it’s to create demand, but Essen points out that the drug kills you very quickly, so there couldn’t be that much demand. Jim says first it makes you the king of the world, so there will be takers. Harvey, ever the pragmatist, says to just keep the good citizens indoors for a couple of weeks and let the scum have at it, and then there won’t be any more crime. Essen is intrigued but unconvinced. Jim wants to know who could make this. Nygma says the drug’s manufacture requires a high level of sophistication and a state of the art lab. Jim asks who the best lab in Gotham is. It’s WellZyn, Essen replies, but she’s sure it’s not them, they’re a subsidiary of the incorruptible Wayne Enterprises. They’re interrupted by a crash through the window – it’s the girl who sold out Benny earlier. She lets out an ear-piercing scream, then her skin goes chalk white and she literally crumples to the ground. “Fascinating,” Nygma repeats, his face gleeful. “Fascinating.” You know, when we’re not being hit over the head with HE LIKES RIDDLES AND HE’S GOING TO BECOME THE RIDDLER, GET IT?, I rather enjoy Nygma. He’s good at being the creepily enthusiastic science guy. More of that please.

At Bamonte’s, we finally get to the scene I’d already watched like 20 times on the Gotham YouTube channel before the episode. No, you have an Oswald Cobblepot problem. Maroni and Frankie are watching the news, which is all about Viper. Maroni is still obsessed with the casino. He tells Frankie maybe he should take some Viper to give him the balls to take the casino down. Frankie says they’ll take the casino. It’s heavily guarded and they’ll lose a few guys, sure, but they’ll take it. Oswald comes over, saying he couldn’t help overhearing their conversation about the casino, mostly because he was standing three feet away listening. Frankie tells him to mind his business. Oswald is all, of course, of course, I’ll just go and continue my eavesdropping over here in the corner, but Maroni wants to hear what he has to say. Oswald tells Maroni he knows a janitor who runs the boiler room at the casino and can get them in through access tunnels no one knows about. Frankie is dubious.

Maroni invites Oswald to sit down. He asks Oswald what his name is again. “Everyone here calls me Penguin, sir,” Oswald replies with more than a hint of distaste. Maroni says he doesn’t like that, does he? Oswald shakes his head no, and Robin Lord Taylor makes the most amazing eyeroll/over it face ever. I’ve already had occasion to use it as a reaction .gif twice this week.

Oswald is 9000% done.
Oswald is 9000% done.

Maroni tells Oswald he shouldn’t feel that way – Penguin is a good name, it works for him. He asks Oswald how he knows the janitor. Oswald says he has connections. Frankie, dismissive, says that Oswald’s just a dishwasher in a suit, but Maroni waves him off. You can see Oswald mentally plotting Frankie’s demise, and it is so not going to be pretty. Maroni says he doesn’t think Oswald is just a dishwasher. “You come off as all humble, but you’ve got a little player in you.”

“That’s very perceptive of you, sir!” Oswald agrees with a laugh and grin. “I guess that’s why you’re the Don!” he enthuses. Frankie’s internal eye roll can be seen from space. While I love Oswald, I kind of adore how much Frankie is not buying any of Oswald’s shit. Oswald decides now is the time to confide his secret to Don Maroni. “I’m not a dishwasher,” he reveals. No kidding, we got that your first day on the job.

Oswald tells them his real name is Oswald Cobblepot. It says something about the bizarre names found in Gotham that Maroni just accepts this without question. He goes on to declare that once Maroni hears his story he’ll agree Oswald can be an asset to him. “It’s a long funny story, but – headline, just so you’re not surprised, I used to work for Fish Mooney,” Oswald begins. Maroni shares a meaningful look with Frankie, but Oswald continues on, certain he has Maroni’s attention now. He says he was privy to many of the Falcone family secrets – “until they tried to kill me,” he laughs. “Hello!” One of the things I love most about Robin Lord Taylor’s performance, besides literally every aspect of it, is the touch of humor he brings to the character. I feel like he’s having a ball with this role, and it shows. Oswald starts to continue with the summation of his resume but is cut short by Maroni slamming his head on the table twice. “That is a funny story,” Maroni says as Oswald groans in pain.

At Gotham PD, bodies being taken out on stretchers as the WellZyn general counsel/head of PR arrives. That is…usually not the same job. Anyway. She sits down with Jim and Harvey, telling them that WellZyn has no connection to Viper, and they will pursue legal action against anyone claiming the contrary. Jim and Harv are both taken aback. Jim says they’re looking for an employee – male, with a severely damaged ear. The blood drains from the lawyer’s face a bit as she admits that does raise a flag. He’s a former biochemist with WellZyn named Stan Potolsky who grew frustrated with his job and tried to cut off his own ear during a disagreement with his supervisor. Also, a big Van Gogh fan. She tells them he was terminated and then disappeared. Jim says she knew all along it was Stan behind the drug, and that’s why she came to the PD so quickly. He wonders if Stan was working out of the WellZyn lab to produce Viper. She replies that’s not true – Stan is a brilliant man perfectly capable of building his own lab, if somewhat prone to hacking off parts of his anatomy when upset. She tells Jim and Harvey they’re welcome to come visit the lab and see for themselves if they have the proper paperwork. Jim says they’ll get it started.

“Lawyers. Scumbags, the lot of them,” Harvey grumbles. “Yeah, some of ‘em,” Jim says. Thanks for sort of standing up for my profession, Jim! Harvey says he’ll put out an APB for Stan. Jim goes to check with the desk to see if Stan’s name has come up on any reports but is stopped by Frankie, who tells Jim he needs to come with him. Jim asks why. Frankie says they have a mutual friend – Oswald Cobblepot. Aw, it’s so nice our little Oswald is finally making so many friends! Frankie tells Jim if he doesn’t come with him they’ll put Oswald’s head in a bag and send it to Falcone, which would be embarrassing for Jim, to say the least. Resigned, Jim goes with him and gets in his car, where a bag is put over his head. No one on the street seems to react to this. I assume the people of Gotham are used to seeing guys being driven around with bags on their head. Maybe it’s even become a hipster fashion accessory in Burnside. Yeah, that’s right, I read Batgirl now, I can make references to places in Gotham mentioned in the comics!

The bag is taken off Jim’s head and he finds himself seated at Bamonte’s. Across from him are Maroni, eating lobster, and a much worse-for-wear Oswald staring, broken, at Jim across the table, realizing he’s completely screwed this one up.

I actually don't have a snarky caption for this because I find Oswald's sad, bloodied face so upsetting.
I actually don’t have a snarky caption for this because I find Oswald’s sad, bloodied face so upsetting.

Maroni introduces himself to Jim. Jim asks what he wants. Maroni starts to tell him, but Oswald interrupts with “Jim, just tell the truth.” It’s interesting and telling, I think, that Oswald uses Jim instead of James in his plea – he’s not trying to needle Gordon or put on airs here, he’s genuinely in distress and seeking help. Maroni gives Oswald a death glare, and Oswald shuts up. Maroni tells Jim he has a problem – Oswald has told him a fascinating story, but he can’t quite believe it’s true. Oswald cuts in again to insist his story is true, and Maroni yells at him to shut up, threatening to jam a lobster claw down his throat. If it’s chased with some drawn butter, it might not be such a bad way to go. This episode is really making me hungry. Anyway. Maroni asks Jim to tell him the same story Penguin told him. Jim asks what story that is. Maroni says he’d better know, because if Jim tells him another story, both he and Oswald will die.

Jim starts in with the facts of the Waynes’ death and subsequent investigation of Mario Pepper. Oswald, of course, just can’t leave well enough alone, chiming in that he didn’t know Jim then. Maroni has had enough of him, and instructs Frankie and Unnamed Henchman #2 to take him in the back and put his face on the meat slicer. If he doesn’t like what he hears from Jim, they’ll have Penguin prosciutto. IF YOU SLICE HIS FACE SO HELP ME I WILL COME THROUGH THAT TELEVISION SCREEN, MARONI. I WILL COME. THROUGH. THAT. SCREEN.

The slicer begins to whir from the kitchen as Jim continues his story, confirming everything Oswald had told them about snitching on Fish and Jim letting him live. Maroni asks if anyone – Falcone, Fish, the cops – knows Oswald is alive. Jim says if they did he’d be dead already. Maroni is thrilled! I’m thrilled! Oswald will live to plot his Machiavellian schemes another day! Maroni has Frankie bring Oswald back out, and tells Jim he’s done well. “A lot of guys in your situation, they’d freak out,” he says.

Oswald stumbles back in, as Maroni tells him “you gorgeous turncoat son of a bitch, I love you!” and kisses him on the cheek. He’s just got a new weapon against the Falcones. “It’s Christmas!” Maroni exclaims, to which Jim sarcastically replies “Happy holidays.” I know I give Robin Lord Taylor all the love in my recaps, but I’m actually really enjoying Ben McKenzie as Jim in these moments where he gets to show a little personality and wry humor too. It’s kind of a thankless part to play in a lot of ways because it’s such a stoic role, but I think McKenzie has started to find ways to make Jim less of a brooding stick-in-the-mud and more of a cop who is trying to do the right thing but is finding himself getting more and more sucked in to the cesspool that is Gotham.

Maroni tells Jim he can go, but to keep what just happened quiet. If he needs Jim again, he’ll call. Jim looks back at Oswald, who mouths “Thank you” to him. “You do that,” he tells Maroni, leaving as Maroni pats Oswald on the cheek and takes him to get cleaned up.

Over at Fish’s place, her stage mom seduction lessons have progressed to teaching Liza how to say “I love you baby.” She tells Liza to put less sex into it and say it “like a mother.” If she’s grooming Liza for Falcone, that old man has some severe Oedipal hang-ups. “Now about your hair…” she begins as the scene fades.

Back at the station, Harvey is wondering where Jim went. Kind of weird that suddenly Harvey is concerned about anyone’s work ethic, but whatever. Unable to say, “Saving my secret boyfriend’s face from Maroni’s meat slicer,” Jim lets Harvey believe it had something to do with Barbara. Jim looks though the box of belongings from Stan’s apartment and finds a photo of him with a professor at Gotham University.

The professor confirms at his office that Stan was his student, and they stayed in touch over the years. Biochemistry may have been Stan’s profession, but philosophy was his passion. He says the research Stan did for WellZyn led him into some “dark moral corners.” Harvey is confused – WellZyn said Stan worked on shampoo for them. “Where are the dark moral corners in that?” The professor explains that Stan was actually working on pharmaceutical weapons to be used by the military to produce super-soldiers. Viper, the drug Stan worked on, was the first batch. The second version, without the horrible death, was called Venom, which might be a drug comic fans recognize playing a part in the origin of a certain super-strong super-villain. One might even say he’s the bane of Batman’s existence. Get it? Bane? BECAUSE HIS NAME IS BANE! Can I get a job writing for Gotham now?

The professor says Stan tried to get his bosses to end the program, but they wouldn’t listen, so he went to the Waynes, he explains, opening a bucket with a vial of Viper inside. Thomas and Martha agreed to shut it down, but when they died WellZyn reinstated the program, with Wayne Enterprises’ blessing. Stan had to resort to more radical means to get his message out about the drug. Jim realizes that the professor planned the release of Viper with Stan. Harvey tries to threaten the professor to tell them where Stan is, but he says he’s dying and doesn’t care. Soon Stan will send another message that can’t be ignored. Jim remembers that the professor said he had another appointment, and asks where he’s going. The professor congratulates him on asking the right question. “It’s the first step on the path to enlightenment,” he says, breaking open the vial of Viper and huffing the green mist.

A fight ensues where the professor somewhat hilariously twists his walker into a weapon and tries to strangle Harvey, but Jim manages to shoot him twice. Before the old man dies, they ask him again where Stan is. “Those hypocrites,” the professor rants. “Empty altruism will not erase what they’ve done!” He tells them that WellZyn and Wayne Enterprises will pay. “Where’s Potolsky headed?” Jim asks to no avail as the professor expires. “What’s altruism?!?” Harvey shouts at the corpse in what may be the best line of the episode. Jim does a double-take to see if Harvey’s serious and explains that it means “charity.” Wait a second…charity? He knows where Stan is headed!

Why, it’s to the Wayne Enterprises charity luncheon, of course, where Alfred and Bruce have just checked in. Right now my DVR is paused on an overview of the lunch set-up, and I have to say it’s REALLY weird for a luncheon. Everyone’s at small tables with just two place settings each, not the big round tables seating 8 or 10 you usually get at these types of events. I call shenanigans! There’s a close-up of a waiter putting a centerpiece down on a table – again, this is usually done well before the meal begins, not while people are being seated, standards have obviously gotten really lax at Wayne Enterprises – and we see another waiter with a tray full of centerpieces in the kitchen. It’s Stan and his ear! He checks to make sure no one else sees him and uncovers a vat of Viper on a dolly, which he pushes out of the building.

On a screen at the lunch, a video is playing extolling the virtuous doings of Wayne Enterprises. Bruce notices a woman standing in front of the screen, and Alfred explains that’s a Ms. Mathis, who worked closely with Thomas Wayne. Bruce goes to introduce himself, while we get an ominous close-up of a vent. Up on the roof, Stan is rolling his produce towards the air conditioners, hooking up a hose from the vat. Back at the lunch, Ms. Mathis is delighted to meet Bruce. Bruce wants to know if everyone at the lunch is on the board, and Ms. Mathis laughs, explaining that they’re all middle management. “The board members don’t do this sort of thing.”

Bruce is disappointed, he had questions for them about “serious irregularities” in the Arkham project. “Irregularities?” Mathis repeats, acting surprised. She tells Bruce that Wayne Enterprises would never do business with criminals. Bruce says he’d still like to talk to the board, and asks Mathis if she can make that happen. She says she’ll try, though the board prefers to converse with minors via “the usual legal mediation.” She’s interrupted by Stan hacking in to the video feed. He announces that he’s behind Viper, and that he made it for WellZyn. Bruce wheels back on Mathis, asking her if this is true. “Of course not, this man is clearly insane,” she lies.

Stan turns on the flow of Viper up on the roof as Jim and Harvey run towards the ballroom. Onscreen, Stan says he’d hoped his demonstration of the drug’s effects on street people would suffice, but it seems people only notice when bad things happen to important people. I can’t say he doesn’t have a point there. Green mist starts to come through the vents. Alfred takes off his jacket and puts it over Bruce’s head as Harvey bursts in and yells at everyone to clear the room. Which they can easily do, because at no point in his plan did Stan ever apparently consider locking the doors.

Up on the roof, Jim yells at Stan to turn off the Viper or he’ll shoot. Stan says to go ahead, his work is done. Jim shoots the vat of Viper, releasing the green mist into the air. Stan gets a faceful of it, and we see his transformation. He punches the vat in anger, and it crumples. Jim is still set on arresting him. Stan tells him it’s all right – there’s no more need for violence. Harvey joins them on the roof, his gun drawn, but Jim instructs him not to shoot. “That’s considerate of you,” Stan tells Jim. “I’m leaving now,” he declares, with a final instruction to “look at Warehouse 39.” Harvey shouts at him not to go anywhere. “I can go anywhere I want!” Stan yells back. He raises his arms and looks up at the sky, smiling, then turns and runs to the edge of the roof, jumping off before Harvey and Jim can stop him. “You really can have too much of a good thing,” Harvey quips. I’m not entirely sure what he’s talking about being a good thing, surely not the drug. Maybe cheese? Jim is similarly confused as we head into the last commercial break.

Jim and Harvey decide to check out Stan’s Warehouse 39 tip, but when they arrive the place is empty. “What did you expect?” Harvey asks him. “It’s Gotham.” From a nearby parking lot Mathis watches them leave, talking to an unknown person on the phone. She informs them that Harvey and Jim didn’t find anything, so she thinks they should be left alone for now. “We’ll review that if they get close,” she finishes ominously.

In the library of Stately Wayne Manor, Bruce is continuing his detective work, having added Ms. Mathis to his list of suspects. Alfred comes in with files in both hands and sits across from Bruce to look through them himself, much to Bruce’s delight.

Nightfall, and Oswald, Maroni, and Frankie are sitting in a car down the street from Falcone’s casino awaiting Maroni’s crew. Frankie complains that it’s been 10 minutes, but Oswald assures him the janitor is reliable. Maroni asks Oswald if he’s scared, saying his voice is doing “that shaky thing.” Oswald laughs that he’s fine, but Maroni tells him it’s O.K. to be nervous. Oswald admits he is a bit jittery. Maroni says that’s good, because if his boys don’t make it, Oswald won’t either. Frankie shows Oswald a gun to make his point. Just then, a commotion across the street draws their attention. It’s the crew, carrying bags from the casino heist. Oswald sighs with relief. “I told you Frankie, the kid’s a player,” Maroni says approvingly. “He’s got a future.”

At Fish’s never-open nightclub, an Arctic Monkeys song (“I Wanna Be Yours” from AM, a brilliant album, you should go listen to it right now) plays in the background while she sexes up a tied-up Nikolai. I knew it! Fish apologizes for earlier, saying they have to look good in front of Falcone. He can’t know that she and Nikolai are working together. She tells Nikolai he has to be patient. Nikolai says he doesn’t have any more patience, the old man has to go. They need to strike soon. Fish agrees, “but softly.”

And here comes her weapon in kitten heels, strolling into the park where Falcone is feeding the pigeons with a new hairdo and humming the aria Fish beat her into memorizing. Falcone’s instantly enraptured. He stops her and tells her it’s his favorite aria. “Mine too,” Liza replies. Falcone apologizes for bothering her, it’s just that his mother sang that aria to him and she looks – He stops himself. Liza offers to let him listen to the aria with her. They sit on the steps, sharing earbuds, as Maria Callas’s voice soars into the credits.

Pretty sure this was the first time Falcone had ever worn an earbud in his life.
Pretty sure this was the first time Falcone had ever worn an earbud in his life.

Next week it’s a super spooky Halloween-themed episode with “The Spirit of the Goat.” I’ll be back to live-tweeting at 7 Central on my Twitter @Dachelle, and of course I’m happy to discuss Gotham and especially all things Oswald Cobblepot on my Twitter, in the forum or in the comments anytime!

Courtney is a returning reader to the world of comic books, drawn back in by the power of Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of Loki in the MCU and her attraction to broken antagonists with questionable hair. Favorite titles she's currently reading…

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