Warning: Spoiler Alert
Unless you’ve cut yourself off from society for the past six months, you’re aware that the new Fox series “Gotham,” revolves around Gotham City, before the days of Batman and the central character of the show’s the future Commissioner of the GCPD James Gordon’s, whose a young detective in this telling. However, although the man who’ll wear the cape and cowl one day, young Bruce Wayne’s gone through some major growth since the series debuted with the boy watching his parents get gunned down in the street, while he stood by their side.
Watching his parents die in front of him, traumatized the boy and if not for the promise from the young Detective Gordon, that he’d bring the killer of Bruce’s parents to justice, the boy could’ve fallen into an extended funk. However, he respected Jim so much, he followed his example and in the last two episodes, Bruce’s coming into his own as a very perceptive, boy detective. With his parents pet project, renovating the Arkham Asylum, now turning into a profit center for two Crime-Bosses, Wayne’s suspicion about the people running Wayne Enterprises grows, with every misfortune that affects the city. Bruce’s determined to speak to the members of the board that run the corporation, as he’s got a laundry list of questions to ask them. Wayne Enterprises, figures heavily in this episode, but there’s many more story-lines intertwined.
One of those plots involves our old friend Oswald Cobblepot, now managing Crime-Boss Sal Maroni’s restaurant. Maroni’s pumped he intimidated city officials to let him be involved in the Arkham project, a deep blow to his rival the more powerful Carmine Falcone, but he still wants to send Falcone a message. He talks with one of his henchmen Frankie, at the restaurant about robbing Carmine’s nightclub, but Frankie says the job will cost Maroni some soldiers. He looks up and sees Cobblepot listening and chews him out, calling him a dishwasher in a suit, but Maroni’s interested in what his restaurant manager’s thinking.
Cobblepot tells Maroni that his friend’s the janitor at the club and he believes his friend could get Maroni’s guys in the club via a tunnel-system that runs beneath the nightclub. Frankie dismisses the idea immediately, but Maroni’s intrigued and tells Oswald to sit at their table. Sal asks Cobblepot his name and he responds that his staff call him Penguin. Maroni realizes Cobblepot’s not pleased with the name, but he tells his employee its a good name and it fits him. He tells Penguin that he sees a bit of a player in him and Cobblepot’s ego gets the best of him. He tells Maroni his real name and that he worked for Fish Mooney, before she attempted to get him killed. Sal smiles and laughs, then takes his manager by the back of the neck and slams his head into the table.
A busker, sits on a doorstep with his guitar case opened and a sign that reads “Why Lie? Need money for drugs.” The musician either doesn’t know how to play the acoustic, or just being lazy as he’s just strumming out of tune chords. A guy puts some coins in his case, but this disheveled man watches him from across the street. He finally walks over to him, and drops a vial filled with green liquid in his case. The guitarist picks up the vial and sees two snakes etched on the vial, plus the words breath me. He tries yelling for the man to come back, but he keeps walking, so the musician opens the vial and breathes from it. He’s immediately effected, his body convulses with either pleasure or pain.
The next scene the busker heads into a convenience store and opens up the dairy case, pulls out a gallon of milk and starts chugging. The store manager yells that the guitarist will have to pay for the milk and he replies “Don’t vex me mortal,” and continues drinking. The manager whose three times the size of the musician, jumps out from behind the counter, with a Louisville Slugger in his hands, which the Busker grabs and then turns it into sawdust with his hands.
Gordon and partner Harvey Bullock, are getting some burgers off a “Roach-Coach,” when an alarm goes off and Jim gives chase, Harvey reluctantly following him. They enter the convenience store and see the floor littered with milk bottles, they shout to find somebody and they find the manager trapped in a hallway, that the musician blocked off. He tells the cops the guy had super strength and literally pulled the ATM off the wall and carried it above his head.
Gordon and Bullock canvass the neighborhood with a picture of the suspect and finally a young woman recognizes him as her friend Benny. When Gordon asks if she knows where he lives, she asks for twenty bucks, Jim gives her a ten and gets the address. They find the alley Benny lives in and the streets filled with empty milk bottles. Benny comes out and asks for help, he felt great, but now feels terrible and asks the detectives to find the guy who gave him the drug. They ask who he is and Benny only remembers that the guy’s ear’s mangled. Bullock approaches Benny and the busker’s instincts take over and he throws Harvey, then Jim like rag dolls. He picks up the ATM over his head and starts to throw it at them, when he collapses the ATM crushing him. Gordon says to Bullock he hopes the drug doesn’t hit the street.
Bruce’s setting up a time-line on the walls of the family library, starting with the death of his folks and including pictures of the Mayor of Gotham City, Falcone and Maroni. Alfred enters the room and tries to distract Bruce by suggesting a walk, but the boy’s too focused to leave his project. He then tells the family’s butler and his surrogate father, that he believes that Wayne Enterprises got involved in Falcone and Maroni becoming part of the Arkham project. Alfred replies that’s the way business’ conducted in this era and Bruce asks Pennyworth, if his parents did business that way? Alfred replies they did not.
Gordon’s worst nightmare comes true as the man with the green liquid hands vials out to people throughout the city, leading to dozens of people feeling god-like and possessing super-strength for a few hours, before collapsing and dying. A riots taking place at the precinct house that Jim and Harvey work out of, with groups of uniforms trying to subdue the victims and get them into cells. As the place gets even more frantic, Maroni’s henchmen Frankie, tells Gordon they’re taking a little ride to discuss Oswald Cobblepot. Gordon’s got to protect his reputation so he goes with Frankie into the back seat of a car, and a black hood’s put over his head.
When the hood comes off he’s at Maroni’s restaurant, Sal and a bloody and beaten Penguin sitting at a table. Sal tells Gordon that Penguin told him a story and that if his story matches, all’s well, if not they both die. After the Penguin’s hauled off to the kitchen, Jim recounts how Falcone set up a patsy to take the fall for the Wayne murders and Gordon called Fish Mooney on it. Cobblepot, told two officers from Major Crimes Unit about the setup and Falcone ordered Jim to kill Oswald and dump his body off the docks, but Gordon didn’t shoot him. Maroni’s all smiles now and tells his guys to bring Penguin back out, then kisses him on the cheek and says he’s their new secret weapon, someone from inside Mooney’s gang.
Gordon goes back to the station and Bullock starts busting his chops, but Jim says he had a personal matter to deal with. Harvey asks if Barbara’s broken up with him and Gordon acknowledges she did, but that happened in the previous episode, not in the last two hours. Precinct scientist Ed Nygma’s analyzed the drug from Benny’s remains and he’s fascinated with the results. The drug gives its users a euphoric feeling and super-strength, by tapping into the body’s calcium supply, which is why all the victims consume so much milk. Eventually the drug drains all the calcium from the victim’s body, their bones collapse and they suffocate. Jim asks Nygma if he’s seen similar substances and the scientist, tells him that the drug’s so complex, that it came from a state of the art lab, the best of them being WellZyn, owned by Wayne Enterprises. Ed says that Wayne Enterprises would never allow that kind of work at their facility, but Gordon says they might as start at the top.
Back at stately Wayne Manor, Alfred walks into the library in the late morning, finding papers scattered everywhere and Bruce passed out on the couch. Pennyworth opens the drapes, waking the boy then asks him what Bruce’s mother would think of the mess. He says he should throw the whole lot in the fire, but Bruce says no fire. He tells the boy, that Wayne Enterprises will hold a charity luncheon the next afternoon and Alfred took the liberty of putting them both on the guest list. The boy’s excited as he plans to talk to the board members at the function.
Carmine Falcone’s called a meeting for all the gang leaders that report to him, about the Arkham project, saying they didn’t lose anything. He then says Maroni’s gang didn’t make gains either, but one of his men, Nikolai whose a Russian immigrant says they have to strike back at Maroni. Falcone tells him they aren’t making any moves and that Maroni’s a fool. Nikolai says in his country they say even a fool can bite a king if he has teeth. Then Mooney rips him a new one for doubting Falcone and the Crime Boss ends the argument and the meeting.
Mooney heads back to her club and starts working with her “secret-weapon,” a young woman named Liza, she recently hired. She wants Liza to memorize an aria and learn to say things in a motherly tone. Mooney sees improvement and tells her employee it’s time to talk about her hair.
WellZyn executive Taylor Reece, comes to the precinct house and meets with Gordon and Bullock about the new drug and she denies any involvement from her lab. Jim then asks if a man with a mangled ear rings a bell and her face turns white. She tells him that’s former employee Stan Potolsky, whom they fired in April, due to mental-illness issues. He and a supervisor argued and Potolsky tried to cut his own ear off. He left without cleaning out his desk or taking any of his belongings and Reece tells the detectives she’ll arrange for a courier to deliver all his property to the station.
Gordon and Bullock search though Potolsky’s belongings and they find nothing of any meaning, until they find a framed picture of Stan with a philosophy professor from Gotham State, Isaac Steiner. They visit the elderly professor at the school and he tells them Potolsky’s his former student and the two are still friends. Jim tells the professor about the drug Stan’s distributing throughout the city and Steiner knows all about it. Potolsky’s job at WellZyn was producing a drug that gave American soldiers super-strength, so they could rip a combatant apart, with his bare hands. The first serum was Viper, the drug Stan’s passing in the city, that had a rotten side-effect, the user dies within hours. Potolsky then created a drug that worked Venom, but he started realizing how immoral the project was and refused to participate so Wayne Enterprises fired him.
The professor defends Stan’s actions as a way of calling attention to the evil people behind Wayne Enterprises, then grabs a vile of Viper from his desk, inhales it and throws Harvey across the office. As he goes to attack Bullock again, Gordon shoots him until he falls then asks where Stan’s heading that afternoon, but Steiner dies before responding. However Gordon quickly realizes that Potolsky’s heading to the charity lunch thrown by Wayne Enterprises.
Alfred and Bruce enter the event and after looking around, Pennyworth points out Molly Mathis, who worked closely with Thomas Wayne and Bruce goes to introduce himself. She tells him she’s happy he’s joined them and all of Wayne Enterprises feels his loss. Bruce then asks if she’s on the Board Of Directors and she laughs, telling the boy she’s middle management and the board doesn’t attend these functions. He tells her his suspicions of the board allowing Falcone and Maroni to get involved in the Arkham project and she dismisses his statement as impossible. He asks her if she could set up a meeting between him and the board and she smiles and says she’ll try her best.
Jim and Harvey arrive at the function, Bullock takes inside the building while Gordon takes the roof, where he finds Stan, connecting a huge tank of Viper to the buildings HVAC unit. (That seems to be popular this season, as “Forever” featured the same plot device last month.) Jim attempts to talk Potolsky out of it, but the scientist’s too far gone to deal with and tells Gordon to shoot him. Instead the detective shoots the tank which causes all the substance to escape from that hole dosing Stan, but Gordon shields his mouth and nose. Harvey arrives up stairs and Gordon tells him not to shoot, then tries to get Stan to give him info on Wayne Enterprises. He screams check warehouse 39, then jumps off the roof and dies amidst the traffic far below.
The two detectives check out Warehouse 39, but it’s empty, so they get in their car and drive away. As they leave we see Molly Mathis on her phone in a car across the street, saying the pair found nothing. She says they don’t pose a threat and ends the call.
Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce gets pleasantly surprised when he realizes Alfred’s now helping him in his search for corruption at Wayne Enterprises.
The Story Continues Next Monday at 8:00 pm on FOX.