Review: Gotham 1.17- “Red Hood”

This week, Gotham really ups the ante with some shocking developments near the end of the episode. Things that vastly change character’s circumstances or provide fan speculation and theorizing are two of the main reasons I enjoy watching television. And this week, Gotham did just that. Not saying it was perfect, but it was very enjoyable!

******SPOILERS BELOW*****

A gang of hooligans who walk in straight lines and hilariously banter amongst each other are gonna rob a bank! One of the men, a young man named Gus (Michael Goldsmith), sports a red hood as a disguise. The red hood gives him confidence and he takes over from older Destro (Jonny Coyne) as the leader in the bank. He dodges some bullets and thinks himself invincible. It’s all about that Red Hood. During their getaway, they get caught up, so Gus decides to throw money out into the street, attracting a crowd that helps block the gang from the police.

Gotham Red Hood copsJim and Harvey are called onto the scene. They review the bank tape and talk to the bank manager. His assistant seems to have admired the “Red Hood” for being nice. Jim does not like that one bit. The two detectives follow a lead and eventually find the gang’s hideout. Unfortunately, the gang has already moved on – but not with Gus. Destro ends up shooting him after he raves about the “power” of the Red Hood. During Jim and Harvey’s search of the hideout, Harvey oddly asks about Jim’s relationship with Lee. Is this the time or place? And why is Harvey so interested? They need to give Harvey a storyline or something, because now he is just sad and not relevant or interesting in the slightest.

The Red Hood, now worn by Destro, and his minions rob another bank and once again they end up giving some of the money to the poor, just like modern day Robin Hoods. These crooks are becoming more popular than cops, which let’s be honest, the GCPD already is the worst. An eyewitness named Chaing (Lee Wong) is brought in, claiming he saw the “Red Hood” without his hood. They bring in some perps, including Destro, who Chaing easily identifies, but Jim and Harvey decide to let him go and follow him back to his lair of crime.

Destro is met at his apartment by Trope (Peter Bresinger) who wants the “Red Hood” to impress his girlfriend. Dumb. He ends up shooting Destro and escaping. Jim and Harvey, who were sitting outside, rush up and discover that Destro was robbing specific banks out of revenge because they didn’t approve of his loans for a bakery. HA, what? Well, the third bank on their list is last to go….

Gotham Red Hood redhood2As the “Red Hood” and his now two minions attempt to enter the bank, they are greeted by Jim, Harvey, and the rest of GCPD. A shootout commences and all three criminals are shot dead. Yet, somehow the crime scene is left unguarded and some random passerby picks up the Red Hood, puts it on, and points his finger at the cops like a gun. NOW, if you know anything about the Batman Universe, you know that the Joker, who we thought we met last week, works with a gang called the “Red Hood.” Could this random guy turn out to be the Joker as well? This is just one of the nods to another potential Joker.

Gotham Red Hood fishOn a completely different show (just kidding, sort of), Fish Mooney passes through a terrible looking hospital/organ harvesting house before meeting a man who she assumes is the manager. She still retains her ferocity and bite and demands answers to her questions. The man keeps telling her to sit and that the doctor, Doctor Francis Dulmacher, can’t meet her. He then allows her to shower and change her clothes (and head scarf), which she does. When she comes back, she makes it known that she owns the basement and no one is going to do as they say anymore. The man, who is revealed to be Dr. Dulmacher (Colm Feore) aka The Dollmaker, himself, threatens to take her eyes and sell them on the black market. Fish’s solution? She grabs a spoon, scoops out her left eye, and then squishes it under her foot. WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED? That was disgusting and Fish is craaaaaazy! Wow. I am so into the Fish storyline now.

Gotham Red Hood sinisterOver at Wayne Manor,  in the dark and stormy part of Gotham (seriously why is it only raining and storming at Wayne Manor? Where is this creepy storm coming from and why is it only present at night?), a visitor arrives. His named is Reginald Payne (David O’Hara) and he is an old friend of Alfred’s from their time in the military together. It seems that Reggie is down on his luck and needs help. Young Bruce insists he stay with them till he can get on his feet.

Gotham Red Hood alfbruce

Later, Reggie helps train young Bruce in his fighting ways, telling him to continually punch and hit him, before Alfred stops it. Alfred tells him raising a child is the hardest job in the world. That night, Alfred and Reggie reminisce with Bruce about their old life. Reggie calls Alfred a “cold-blooded war dog,” but Alfred says he is no longer like that. Later, Alfred catches Reggie stealing stuff from the library. It seems Reggie is in “REAL” trouble, which means he decides to STAB Alfred. WHAAAT! Bruce finds a bleeding Alfred in slow motion.

Jim actually meets up with Bruce and Alfred at the hospital later. I don’t know why he’s so invested, since he has basically given up on the Waynes murders. But, Bruce ends up crying in Jim’s arms, saying Alfred is all he’s got! Aw, sad. And then, in a shocking reveal, we find out that Reggie was contracted by Wayne Enterprises, specifically Molly Mathis (Sharon Washington) and the Board that Bruce called out last week. Reggie tells them now is the time to make a move on the kid, whatever that means, but also adds that he is a good kid. Nice try, Reg. You dang sold out! What does this mean?!

Gotham Red Hood indaclubAnd then we two other completely separate and irrelevant plot lines, first we check in on Penguin and Butch at Oswald’s club. Apparently it is stand-up night (a nod to another potential Joker?), but Oswald’s has no liquor suddenly. Maroni controls the liquor and cut off Oswald’s. So, Penguin plans a heist, but all of this is trumped by Butch’s manipulations. First, he clearly drinks liquor at the bar (despite there not being any?), then he tricks Maroni’s men with some fake cops in his pocket, secures the booze for Oswald’s, and then shouts that he is done being a sidekick and that Fish got what she deserved. What that heck did Zsasz do to Butch, or is he just playing a deep game with Oswald? I don’t think he could ever abandon Fish like that. But maybe?

Gotham Red Hood catandbarbAnd then we get Barbara (ugh) who continues to hang out with homeless girls. She keeps complimenting the 37 year old looking Selina. She even calls her clothes ratty. UM, her clothes look designer and nice, not even for a street kid. She doesn’t even have dirt on her face, just make up. LOOK LIKE A HOMELESS KID IF YOU’RE A HOMELESS KID. Barb gives Selina and Ivy her clothes and then tries to tell Selina to use her beauty and sex appeal to her advantage, but Selina just insults her. Oh, Barbara… please disappear back to wherever you came from.

This episode was fun and fast paced. It managed to be episodic, yet further fueled all of the plot lines and character developments. I especially loved all the nods to the Batman world, including Red Hood, The Dollmaker, potential Jokers(?), and other little details. But, more importantly, I like that they are changing up the “safety” of the show. Fish’s eye stunt, Alfred’s stabbing, etc. We need more of that to make the show seem unpredictable and on edge. That’s what makes a show exciting and that’s the Gotham I want to invest in!

Gotham airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox. Watch full episodes on Fox.com, On Demand (check with your local cable provider), Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video.

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Post Author: Ben Fleck