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REVIEW: Gotham 1×05 “Viper”

I think it is safe to say that this is (so far) the best episode of the series. I said the same last week and that was true as well. It is good to know that the series has been improving.

Gordon and Harvey search for a killer that has been drugging the people of Gotham City as Bruce investigates the same case. Meanwhile the Penguin finds himself in trouble with his boss, Salvatore Maroni, and Fish’s plans to usurp Falcone’s throne finally starts to show some promise.

Viper involves the villain with previously established elements of the story while also fulfilling the “villain of the week” style that the show has had so far, which makes the story better. Bruce (played by David Mazouz) starts to realize that the Wayne company is responsible for the killer, which brings Gordon and Bruce together in a way that feels genuine. Their stories work better together in this episode than they have in the past (except for their final scene together in Arkham) despite the fact that they don’t have their usual scene of meeting and catching up. Bruce no longer feels like he was placed into Gotham just to comment on the city’s events. His investigation into the illegal actions of the Wayne company is quickly becoming the most interesting part of the story, and unlike in previous episodes his actions will now affect more than just a few surrounding people. Bruce has solidified his place in the show.

David Zayas’s has truly delivered with his performance of Sal Maroni. The scene in which he meets with Ben McKenzie’s Gordon and Robin Lord Taylor’s Penguin was definitely the best of the episode. Zayas proved that he was worthy of playing the Don. I couldn’t look away when he threatened to cut off Oswald’s face; it was definitely the most gruesome scene of the series so far. I also just loved the cinematography in that scene, particularly the shot of Maroni sitting down with his guards behind him. Even though he looks calm he has his guards in back of him, who look very tall since they are standing, which creates a simple, yet effective, way of showing that Sal is a dangerous man.

I still enjoy Cory Michael Smith’s Nygma. Who would have thought that I would find humor in a scene in which a character suffers a horrific death? I’m sure that the scene would have been anything but funny if it had been through the perspective of someone that wasn’t the Riddler. I’m just wondering how long the show will be able to just tease famous characters without having them break out their bowler hats and question mark canes. I am dying to see a machine gun umbrella.

I am glad that Fish Mooney has finally initiated her plot to take down Falcone. I would not have been able to watch too many more episodes of her putting her workers through strange training sessions without any explanations. The end of this episode, with her “weapon” and Falcone, brings enough to the story to appease us fans that believe the show is progressing too slowly while also leaving plenty of questions left unanswered. I am hoping that Falcone knows of Fish’s plot…well…more so than he already knows. I quite like John Doman’s Falcone and think it would seem silly if Fish was able to take him down, but Gotham is it’s own thing. Maybe in this universe The Long Halloween never happens.

Viper, out of all the episodes so far, has the clearest tone and shows that the series has finally stepped into the right direction. The humor works well and the drama is actually compelling. I care about the characters now.

Donal Logue’s Bullock has not had that many significant events happen to him in the last few episodes. I loved the brief scene between him and Gordon as they got food from a food cart; it showed them actually enjoying each other’s company. Yes, Harvey is incredibly fun to watch, but I want him to be more involved.

The good greatly outweighed the bad in this episode. Actually, any other aspects that I was going to complain about have been forgotten. That is how insignificant this episode’s issues were.

Final Grade: B+

Did you like the tone of this episode? How did you feel about the plot points that were established? Do you think that any characters in particular should be focused on more or less? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

About the author

Nick Doblovosky


  • I would be annoyed if Carmine Falcone was taken down so easily by an amateur move on Fish’s part. I can’t imagine this man would become Godfather of Gotham City and have his empire town down because he got turned on by a chick who can hum his favorite aria. Her head will be sent back to Fish in a box, or she’ll betray Fish.

    • That’s what I am thinking, but it seems too obvious. Here’s to hoping that it develops into something more clever than either of those options.