Viper Recap

At the manor, Bruce is pinning files to a board when Alfred comes in and tries to get him to take a break. Bruce refuses and Alfred warns that he may never get revenge for the deaths of his parents. Surprised, Bruce says that he doesn't want revenge: he wants to understand how Gotham works. He wonders why no one at Wayne Enterprise stopped Maroni and Falcone from buying enough shares to take over the Arkham project, and goes back to work.

At Bamonte's, Maroni orders his lieutenant Frankie to rob Falcone's casino. Oswald listens as Frankie warns that the security is too tight, but Maroni insists that he wants everyone to know that he isn't backing off of Falcone. Frankie has no choice but to agree and glares at Oswald when he notices that the new manager is listening in.

Stan Potolsky, a man with a mangled left ear, walks up to Benny, a street busker performing guitar for money. He puts a vial of a drug, Vial, in Benny's case and quickly walks away. Benny decides to try the drug and sniffs it, and his skin turns pale and his muscles swell. He walks into a nearby bodega and starts drinking milk out of the carton. The cashier objects and Benny calls him a mortal, saying not to "vex" him. When the cashier grabs a bat and swings at Benny, he easily catches it and breaks it with his bare hands.

As Jim and Harvey get lunch at a food truck, Jim spots Selina trying to pickpocket a man and yells at her. She runs off and before Jim can pursue, he hears an alarm go off nearby. He insists on investigating, ignoring Harvey's objections, and they discover that the bodega has been robbed. The battered cashier tells them that the robber drank his milk and then hauled away his ATM machine. When the detectives try to get a description of the vehicle that pulled out the ATM, the cashier explains that Benny carried it out on his back.

At the club, Fish is making sure that Liza can sing opera. Liza is bored and Fish slaps her to get her attention, reminding Liza that she's her secret weapon. She orders Liza to continue and singer reluctantly joins in.

At the station, Jim and Harvey show Captain Essen footage from the bodega's security cameras. They found the empty vial in Benny's guitar case and have turned it over to Nygma for analysis.

Falcone meets his underlings at a warehouse and assures them that everyone got a piece of the Arkham project. One of his lieutenants, Nikolai, doesn't believe it and insists that they need to push back against Maroni. Fish sides with Falcone and when Nikolai argues with her, she dares him to try something. Falcone stops them before things can turn violent, saying that they're family and that they need each other.

Jim and Harvey ask around and finally locate Charmagne, a prostitute who can give them Benny's address at an empty warehouse. They go there and find dozens of empty milk jugs scattered around. Benny is there, crouched by the stolen ATM< and begs them to find the man who gave him the drug so that he can take more of it. When they try to arrest him, Benny shoves them back with superhuman strength and then prepares to throw the ATM machine at them. However, his bones suddenly crumple and the ATM falls on him.

On the streets, Potolsky hands out drugs to everyone he passed in the poor part of town.

The next day, Alfred wakes Bruce up and tells him that he accepted an invitation on the boy's behalf to a charitable luncheon hosted by Wayne Enterprises. Bruce immediately agrees to go, and explains that he wants to question the board members about how Falcone and Maroni took over the Arkham project. Alfred suggests that Bruce drop the matter now that his parents are dead, and Bruce asks him if his parents did business with the mob. The butler assures him that they didn't, and Bruce admits that the two mobsters may have secretly bought the shares. Once Alfred leaves, Bruce watches a news report about Viper and how dozens of users are going berserk from the drug.

At the station, the police try to control their berserk prisoners. Nygma informs Jim and Harvey that Viper triggers unused DNA in the human body, using calcium in the skeleton to fuel the enhanced strength. The users drink milk to replenish the calcium but can't keep up, and their skeletons dissolve. Essen notes that there haven't been any new cases in a few hours and figures that the worst is over, and wonders what the person responsible hopes to gain by handing out a drug that kills the user in a matter of hours. Nygma tells them that it would require an experienced biochemist to create Viper, and that WellZyn has the most sophisticated lab in the city. Essen points out that they're a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises and wouldn't be involved in a criminal enterprise. As they talk, a berserk Charmagne kicks an office through Essen's window and then her skeleton dissolves.

At Bamonte's Maroni reminds Frankie to carry out the casino heist, and Oswald speaks up, saying he has a friend who can let them in through the access tunnel to the boiler room. Maroni has Oswald sit down and figures that Oswald is more than just a dishwasher. When Oswald admits that he worked with Fish until she tried to kill him, Maroni slams his head into the table.

Taylor Reece, the general counsel for WellZyn, hears that the GCPD are investing them and comes to the station. She warns that she'll sue anyone who claims that Viper came from WellZyn will face a law suit, but recognizes Potolsky's description. She claims that he worked in cosmetics and then grew unstable, trying to cut off his own ear during a disagreement. Potolsky left his things behind and disappeared, and WellZyn hasn't heard from him since. Jim realizes that WellZyn knew all along that Potolsky was behind Viper, which is why Reece arrived there so fast. Reece says that Potolsky could have easily built his own high-tech lab to manufacture the drug, but Jim says that he's going to get a warrant to search the company. As Harvey puts out an APB on Potolsky, Frankie comes into the station and approaches Jim. The mobster tells him that they'll kill Oswald and send his head to Falcone unless Jim comes with him immediately.

When they get to the restaurant, Jim finds Maroni eating lobster and a battered Oswald sitting next to him. Oswald tells Jim to tell the truth and Maroni yells at him to shut up. The mobster then explains that Oswald has been telling him a story, and he expects Jim to tell him the same story or he'll kill them both. Jim tells Maroni the truth, that he was set up to bring in Pepper as the fall guy in the Waynes' killing. And then Falcone ordered him to kill Oswald but he faked the snitch's death. Satisfied, Maroni hugs Oswald, laughing, and congratulates Jim on keeping his cool. He figures that he has a new weapon against Falcone, and tells Jim that he'll call if he needs him.

At the club, Fish first gives Liza instructions how to seduce Falcone, and then how to act in a motherly manner toward him.

Jim gets back to the station and avoids telling Harvey where he was. They go through a box of Potolsky's belongings and Jim finds a photo of the biochemist with his philosophy professor, Isaac Steiner. The detectives go to the university and meet with Steiner, who tells them a different story. Steiner explains that WellZyn was having Potolsky do weapon research, perfecting Viper as a battlefield steroid for soldiers. After he perfected a second batch called Venom, Potolsky finally refused to continue and went to Wayne Enterprises. They shut WellZyn down, but when the Waynes died, WellZyn started the work back up. Now Potolsky is going to send a message that the city can't overlook. Jim realizes that Potolsky worked with Steiner to release Viper in Gotham, and Steiner takes a dose of Viper and slams Harvey through the door. As he tries to choke the detective to death with his walker, Jim shoots him in the back to stop him. Dying, Steiner says that Wayne Enterprises can't make up for what they did with empty altruism, and Jim realizes where Potolsky plans to release the drug.

Alfred takes Bruce to the charity luncheon... unaware that Potolsky has taken a drum of Viper to the air conditioning unit on the roof. Bruce talks with a friend of his parents, Molly Mathis, who works at Wayne Enterprises. When he tells her that he's found financial irregularities and came to speak to a board member, Molly says that they don't attend the luncheon. However, she assures Bruce that the company would never do business with criminals. Potolsky hijacks the video display and announces that he created Viper for Wayne Enterprises. Molly hastily tells Bruce that the man is insane.

As Potolsky releases the drug, he says that he tried to bring attention to his work by handing it out, but that didn't work so now he's going to dose the rich and powerful. Vapor pours into the ballroom through the vents and Alfred gets Bruce toward the door. Harvey arrives and gets everyone out, while Jim confronts Potolsky on the roof and tells him to surrender, Potolsky says that his work is done, and Jim shoots the drum of Viper. The vapor bursts into Potolsky's face and he starts to transform. As Harvey arrives, Potolsky tells them that there's no need for violence and to look at Warehouse 39. He then leaps off the edge of the roof to his death.

Later, the detectives find the warehouse and discover that someone has cleaned out all of the equipment inside. Outside, Molly watches from her car and makes a call to her superior. She says that the detectives didn't find anything, and says that for now they don’t need to eliminate Jim and Harvey unless they get closer to the truth.

At the manor, Bruce reviews the files and Alfred, having seen for himself that something is going on, joins him in his research.

Frankie and Maroni take Oswald with them to the casino and park outside. As they wait, Maroni warns Oswald that if his men don't come out with the money, Oswald won't be leaving. The men run out with the loot and get in the car, and Maroni tells Frankie that Oswald has a future with them.

Fish is in bed with Nicolai, having tied him to the bedposts. He's eager to strike against Maroni, insisting that they have to strike soon.

The next day, Falcone is in the park feeding pigeons when Liza walks past, listening to an opera on her player and humming along. Falcone hears her and goes over. Liza says that she likes opera and Falcone tells her that his mother sang the same aria to him when he was a child. She invites him to listen with him and the two of them sit down together.

Written by Gadfly on Jun 26, 2019

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