Honestly, Gotham is a television show that I would like to punch in the face. I know this is a silly goal, I really do. I understand that television shows, for the most part, are not corporeal beings that can be punched in the face. But I can dream. And dream I will. I’m just going to pick through “Viper” piece by stupid piece, because really, it’s the kind of episode where you can wade through its every passing moment and start to understand exactly why this show is as frustrating as it is. “Viper” is an episode of Gotham that both seeks to deepen the show’s mythology a little bit, as well as broaden the political landscape, making each a bit more compelling and the city itself a more interesting place to live, as a result. It fails tremendously on each count: “Viper” is a silly mess of an episode, and Gotham is a silly mess of a show, one with less respect for its audience than it has for its own source material.

We’ll start with Baby Bruce. I get that Adult Bruce Wayne is a world-class detective. I get that he’s probably always been a sharp cookie, probably from the time he was in the oven. But holy fuck, does it just not work to have your 11-year-old character react to witnessing the death of both his parents at the same time with way Carrie Matheson would. Not only does he simply behave like a full-grown adult, but literally every single character in the show treats him like one, too. And I don’t mean that they treat him like they would treat an overprivileged child. No, the adults in this movie actually treat Baby Bruce Wayne like he’s one of their peers.

In once scene, Bruce snippily confronts a woman who’s on the board of Wayne Enterprises, righteously demanding to see some paperwork as part of his investigation into business discrepancies that he (as a small child) couldn’t possibly have begun to comprehend in the first place. Rather than politely tell this child to fuck right off, like any adult human would have, this woman gets visibly nervous, and actually promises to get Bruce what he asked for. On multiple occasions before this, both Gordon and Alfred have sat down and had honest discussions with Bruce about things like the mafia dealings, land development deals, and other lofty bullshit that adults would never discuss with some kid. And these people are like, seeking Bruce’s advice.

To wit: this incarnation of Detective Gordon is one who raps about his open casework with an eleven year old boy.

And then there’s Viper. When a homeless man playing a 12-string guitar (for real) immediately picks up and deeply inhales the green fumes of a mysterious drug that a stranger leaves in his tip jar (for real) because it has “breathe me” printed on the bottle (for real), shit goes down and the homeless man soon has an ATM strapped to his back as he sprints down the street. Which was actually a really awesome image. Gordon and Bullock are on the case, though, and their investigation lazily takes the form of yet another police-work montage. At one point, Bullock suggests that they let this drug simply decimate the city’s criminal population, a plan that involves having “regular folks stay indoors for a couple of weeks,” and that would culminate in “basically the end of crime.” That shit’s too stupid to even be a good joke. Anyway, things come to a close in the most anti-climactic way possible, and I actually mean that very literally. Bruce’s life is put in danger when the episode comes down to a ticking time bomb scenario. Unfortunately, this means that the way everything plays out is a completely foregone conclusion. We already know Bruce and everybody else are going to survive. This should super be something of which the writers are aware and are actively trying to avoid...right?

Guess not; this show is really goddamn lazy.

Lazy’s also the best word to characterize Fish Mooney’s current comings and goings on Gotham. She’s working with some obnoxious, bored high-school student, training her to become some vague, network television definition of a “weapon.” If this whole storyline isn’t the most half-baked bullshit in the entire world, I don’t know what is. None of what we’re shown between Mooney and her new recruit is well-staged or interesting, and its end result is maybe the most bafflingly frustrating thing the show’s tried to pull off so far when we learn that Mooney's bored teenager is actually some elaborately-staged honey trap.

At the episode’s close, Carmine Falcone is chilling out by himself somewhere, when Mooney’s new high school pal comes strolling along, humming a tune. Turns out she’s humming a song that Falcone loves, because his mom used to sing it to him. In fact...this girl kind of looks like Falcone’s mom. And they start chatting it up and OH SHIT THAT DEVIOUS FISH MOONEY, SHE’S MOLE-ING HER WAY RIGHT INTO CARMINE FALCONE’S HEART!!!

But I’ve got some questions. Like, a lot of questions. Questions that strike me as being a little to obvious.

So:

How the fuck could Mooney possibly have known about that song from Falcone’s childhood?

How did Mooney know what Falcone’s mom looked like?

Even if she knew what Falcone’s mom looked like, how would Mooney know what she looked like at that age?

And Falcone -- he’s just GOT to speak to this random woman because he recognizes that song he hears?

Super powerful mob boss, just hanging out in public completely by himself?

And he’s so bored and not-busy-running-a-criminal-organization that he’s down to just strike up random bullshit conversation with some stranger because of the song she’s humming?

And he’s THAT hard-up for love?

And Mooney knew he’d be attracted to that woman because she looks like Falcone’s mom?

This show makes no goddamn sense.

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