GOTHAM “Viper” Review

Can these mean city streets resonate with fanboys and fangirls that are eagerly seeking their Batman fix on Monday nights? Read on to find out.

The official description from Fox:

Gordon and Bullock search for the source of a new street drug that causes euphoria then death. Meanwhile, Oswald Cobblepot works his way deeper into Maroni’s (guest-star David Zayas) inner circle and Fish Mooney continues her plot against Falcone in the all-new “Viper” episode of GOTHAM airing Monday, Oct. 20 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

What resonates with me when I watch Gotham is the simple fact that the creative team behind it has found a way to take what I love about the comic lore and detail it. They’re not necessarily expanding or changing what we’ve all come to know, but for the first time, in my memory, we’re getting an up close look at the formation of both villains and heroes that re-define a town embroiled in a nightmare. As the various pieces move across a volatile board, it becomes clear that this latest entry scores in the right ways.

Gotham 105 A Widescreen

In “Viper” we see some stellar narrative progression as the burgeoning war between Carmine Falcone (John Doman) and Maroni (David Zayas) ramps up ever so slightly. You would think that intrigue alone would be enough to carry us through another episode but the writers instead introduce corruption at Wayne Enterprises via a subsidiary and a certain drug that gives people euphoria, enhanced strength but then ultimately death. In short: there’s certainly plenty of meaty material, as the dark future of this saga edges further towards the light.

Gotham 105 B Widescreen

The entire cast had plenty of noteworthy moments but it’s the steady growth and beginning understanding between Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and Alfred (Sean Pertwee) that really raises the bar. Add in the always engaging dynamic duo of Ben McKenzie (James Gordon) and Donal Logue (Harvey Bullock) and we have a show that actually offers protagonists worth rooting for. On the villain side I have to hand it to Jada Pinkett Smith (Fish Mooney), who right from the start left me with a confusing performance that now seems finely tuned. Robin Lord Taylor (The Penguin) is even more engaging, as the young talent effortlessly maneuvers Oswald Cobblepot toward his destiny.

Gotham is a well made hour of television that absolutely deserves to find an audience. Is there room for improvement? There’s no doubt that there is. Does it hurt without Batman? Surprisingly, not that much. All that in the end means that “Viper” turned out to be nothing less than stellar entertainment. So don’t be full of venom and spite, just find a nice quiet spot, que up the episode and enjoy. Recommended.

  • + Early shades of Batman.
  • Bullock and Gordon pop.
  • + Has compelling talents.
  • - Bits of plot didn't flow...