Episode Title: Red Hood
Original Airdate: 2-23-15
If my opinion of Gotham was like dating, then we would definitely be in a rollercoaster on-again-off-again relationship. One week it’s great and everything’s clicking, and the next week it feels like I got slapped in the face. But I think I’m starting to take this metaphor a little bit too far. What I’m trying to say is that while last week’s episode was one of the episodes that I liked the least, it turns right around and this week’s episode was one that I liked the most. Where I hated the way that they teased the introduction of the Joker as a little kid, I really loved the way they handled this Red Hood gang that is yet another possible hint at a future early Joker in more ways than one.
I’ll start off by going a little bit more into the way the show handled the Red Hood Gang. While I don’t know much about the comic book origins of the Red Hood Gang, as my only experience with the Red Hood was a completely different version that was ultimately Jason Todd. Here, it had hints of the opening of the Dark Knight where we have a gang doing a well-oiled bank heist, and members of the gang slowly get picked off by each other one by one. It doesn’t go exactly the same way, but I did like how it felt like an actual subtle nod to another version of the continuity where the show often treats the references with a sledgehammer. It also introduced a much better version of Gordon’s detective skills, where he lets the perp go in order to have him lead them to the rest of the gang instead of just miraculously figuring out the entire crime by himself. It also ended with the hood moving on to yet another kid, one who I thought for a second was going to be Jerome from last week, but instead was a completely different kid. In short, it was handled excellently.
Meanwhile, there was quite a bit more with Baby Bruce after last week’s run in with the board of the Wayne Corporation. There’s a nice nod to Alfred’s backstory in the form of one of his former colleagues from Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It’s one of those typical blast from the past where Reggie clearly hasn’t fully recovered from their past and moved on in the same way that Alfred has. Quick note: I had recently watched David O’Hara in a small role in Wanted. Reggie does have some brief bonding moments with Bruce where he shows him some dirty tactics and also shows that he clearly has something a little wrong with him. It also ends very smartly with Alfred getting a knife in the chest, and Reggie running off with a bag full of stolen goods which turn out to be the bulk of Bruce’s detective work against the Wayne board of directors. I just don’t understand why this show can’t pull off more episodes like this one.
But while most of the episode was really great, it wasn’t all spectacular. We get a bit more with Fish Mooney in what I correctly guessed was the Dollmaker’s holding cells. She gets a meeting with the manager of this place, but still wants to talk to Dahlmacher or however it’s spelled, basically “Dollmaker” pronounced in a foreign way. And just when she thinks she has the upper hand, he gives her an ultimatum which she responds with ripping out one of her own eyes that he wanted with a spoon making the other one useless to him. It’s over the top, it completely fit with her character, but it was just so overblown compared to the rest of the episode that it was a little bit jarring. There’s also a few quick moments catching up with Penguin and reformed Butch. I will say that he is played down a bit from the episode where he was introduced, and now he’s much more sympathetic to Penguin without feeling completely brainwashed. I actually am starting to like where they’re going with him and I’m glad that he wasn’t just killed. He is a much better character than Fish Mooney was. And finally, there was a little bit more with Barbara and the girls which I don’t really have much to say about. It was just ok.