A tweaker walks into a convenience store, gulps down as much milk as he can hold and after beating up the manager who is twice his size, pulls the ATM machine out of the wall with his bare hands. Let me repeat that last part — with his bare freaking hands. Either this guy had some seriously jacked mambo juice for breakfast or we have a major problem brewing in Gotham. Given where we’re at, I would bank on the latter.
It turns out the junkie was given a new wonder drug — one that gives you complete euphoria, super-human strength and a general feeling of being invincible. The only problem is it’s able to do that only by breaking down the calcium in your bones for fuel (thus, the insatiable craving for milk), which ultimately results in your bones crumbling and then death. On the surface, it appears we are looking for just another Gotham killer, the only caveat being he has a very unique way of taking out his victims. What it actually turns out to be is part of a much larger conspiracy and one that could involve Wayne Enterprises.
After racking up nearly a dozen more victims, the GCPD finally puts a name and a face to their suspect — Stan Potolsky (Daniel London), former employee of the biochemical company Wellzyn. He’s responsible for creating the drug known as “Viper” which is being used by the military as a biochemical warfare agent that can turn soldiers into instant killing machines in a matter of seconds. Potolsky disagreed with what the company was doing with the drug and releasing it to the public was supposed to serve as a wake-up call to inform people of what was actually going on at Wellzyn.
But when Potolsky doesn’t get the response from the public and the GCPD that he had hoped for, he steps up his plan. His thought is if no one will pay attention to a few junkies dying from the drug, then maybe killing dozens at a charitable event will do the trick. And it came very close to working too. The target is an annual event hosted by Wayne Enterprises, which Potolsky feels is quite poetic since the company supposedly is a major supporter of Wellzyn. And if it weren’t for Jim Gordon (Benjamin McKenzie) and a really good shot to puncture Potolsky’s tank of “viper,” everyone tied to Wayne Enterprises — including Bruce Wayne himself — would probably be dead.
So Gordon is a hero and Gotham is saved once again, but the real takeaway is Bruce is now clued in that perhaps Wayne Enterprises isn’t this pure, all good corporation that his parents had made it out to be. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean his parents were bad, just maybe the people who are really running the company are involved in some things they shouldn’t be. This is also where we got some really good character development on the young Bruce, which so far we have gotten next to none. We see now that Bruce is extremely intelligent for his age, very strong-willed and now borderline obsessed in finding the truth out about his parents. I think we are starting to get a very faint glimpse at the Bruce Wayne that we all know and love.
In the meantime, the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) is scheming and continuing to cause all kinds of trouble and mayhem as usual. Oswald must have been on a role from last week having stolen all of that money from Maroni (David Zayas). Because when Maroni mentions targeting one of Falcone’s (John Doman) casinos, he immediately offers up the information that he used to work for Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett-Smith). With this, comes all of the details of the frame job for the Wayne murders, Jim Gordon being ordered to kill him and not being able to go through with it. I swear when he first did this, I thought he must be the stupidest dumb-ass that ever came down the pike because now he’s just gotten himself killed. It turns out Oswald is the smartest person in the room because in the end it really worked out to his advantage. Of course initially Maroni thinks he’s full of crap, resulting in Gordon being pulled in and forced to tell his version of the story. Fortunately for Oswald, he tells the truth which immediately bumps Oswald up from lowly restaurant manager to Maroni’s “secret weapon” against Falcone. So a very good day for Oswald but no so much for Gordon. Now yet another person knows about Gordon’s secret and Maroni made very clear that he may call on him for favors if he should ever need them.
All in all, another good episode with lots of great character development for both Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon, but also more for Oswald Cobblepot who I still believe is the star of the show by a long shot. The case was also an interesting one which primarily served to move the plot forward by causing Bruce to take a long, hard look at his parents’ company and the people they entrusted it to. We are now at a mid-point of the season and I actually believe the episodes are getting better as time goes on. If that trend continues, then I think we can expect a very interesting compelling second half heading to the season finale.
Gotham airs on Mondays at 8/7c on FOX.
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