Gotham, Season 1 Episode 17 Review: “Red Hood”

(Beware, spoilers below!)

As always, our Gotham recaps are hefty, so scroll down to the bottom if you just want to read the review. This week we’re introduced to a young Red Hood, who entertains the members of the bank and during a robbery and then manages to avoid being caught by throwing cash in the air. At Wayne Manor, one of Alfred’s old friends, Reginald Payne, shows up and Bruce insists he stays for a few days.

Elsewhere Fish is taken to the man in charge, who is managing the facility in place of the ‘Doctor’ in charge. The name of the Doctor is called ‘Dollmacher’ but she refuses to negotiate with anyone else. After trawling through security footage they find out where the Red Hood works. In Penguin’s club there’s no booze and the entertainers are less than good. With the advice of Butch he finds out that Moroni supplies the booze for the whole side of town, but he’s obviously not a fan of Penguin right now.

The Red Hood crew might have shot their previous leader but they’re still following the previous traditions of taking the cash and giving them to the poor, which makes it harder for the GCPD. Back at Wayne Manor Reginald helps Bruce practice his fighting. It gets rather heightened as Reginald attempts to get him to use more brutal methods. The Penguin tries to work out a different way to obtain booze but Butch manages to get there first.

In Barbara’s apartment Ivy and Selina are still hanging out as Babs mopes on the window sill. She tries giving Selina and Ivy her old clothes and then tells Selina her appearance can be a powerful weapon but Babs rejects her. Jim finds out who the leader of the Red Hood gang is with the help of a witness and Jim decides to tail them to be able to catch the whole gang. Fish has been cleaned up but the manager eventually tells her that they want to take her eyes and if she resists they’ll kill everyone in the basement. She instead scoops out her eye and stamps on it, much to the dismay of the manager. In Wayne Manor Bruce has a nice evening with Reginald and Alfred regaling old war stories but once again the evening ends a little tense.

On the other side of town Jim is tailing the leader of the Red Hood gang. In his apartment the current leader is shot by a member of his gang that desperately wants the hood. Jim discovers the third target of the bank robberies and manages to take down the rest of the gang the following morning. In Penguin’s club him and Butch celebrate the continuation of the club but Alfred’s in greater trouble in Wayne Manor. He goes downstairs to find Reginald stealing from them but when he tries to get Reggie to leave the man stabs him instead.

Jim visits Bruce in hospital where the young boy is devastated over the stabbing of his friend. In Wayne Enterprises we discover that Reginald was working for the board all along and that now Alfred’s out of the way they can finally make a move on Bruce.

This episode of Gotham is one of bits and pieces, where the writers are obviously trying to push forward all the storylines but can’t help avoid compromising some of them. Notable in this category are whatever on earth Babs is doing with Selina and Ivy, Penguin’s deal with Butch and Fish and the Dollmaker. The latter two seem certainly half-baked this episode, but there’s at least enough potential there for the storylines to turn interesting later down the road … as long as that comes sooner rather than later. As for the Barbara story (if you can even call it that), her taking in of the girls and calling Selina beautiful comes off as creepy at worst and just an excuse to keep the three characters in the show at best – I hope we discover there’s a purpose to it. So it comes down to the Red Hood story and Bruce story to keep us entertained. The former keeps the whole ‘crime of the week’ idea going and exploring the symbolism behind the Red Hood was a good way to go, even if it seemed a little careless that they didn’t keep the hood securely for further evidence. The Bruce storyline gave us a relevant insight into the slow development of young Bruce. Reginald was creepy from the beginning but the stabbing of Alfred heightened the stakes for the young man and gave the writers a reason to finally unite Bruce and Gordon again. All of these put together made the episode a decent one, even if it was the weakest from Gotham for a while. With more ‘setting up’ than resolution it was inevitable that this wouldn’t be a perfect episode, but at least the show has proven it can deliver a killer episode when it wants to and I look forward to that coming up soon.

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