Gotham “Red Hood” Review Season 1 Episode 17

Gotham Red Hood Episode 17 01

On the latest episode of “Gotham,” we got a weird one, which is not to say it wasn’t pretty entertaining, with “Red Hood.” In it, we had a group of guys who went around robbing banks, wearing hoods over their faces, with one of them wearing a more distinctive red hood, hence the title. Feeling oddly empowered by said hood, the first one to don it basically takes over the entire affair, grandstanding to the people at the bank, miraculously managing to evade six bullets fired at him from near point blank range, “Pulp Fiction”-style, and later tossing out some of their ill-gotten gains to a crowd in the street to help cause a ruckus to aid in their getaway.

However, whether out of plain jealousy, or because he wanted the guy to shut the hell up for one freaking second, another member of the gang, Destro (Jonny Coyne, “Mom”) does manage to kill him and take over the mask, leaving him behind in a refrigerator for Gordon and Bullock to find when they get wind of where the gang works via video footage of the robbery. Later, another man, Chaing (Lee Wong, “Taking Woodstock,” in an amusing turn that tickled me for some reason), identifies Destro, but rather than arresting him, G&B follow him back to his place, hoping he’ll lead them to the rest of the gang.

Instead, yet another member of the gang insists on wearing the red hood, saying it will help him hang onto his antsy girlfriend (!), and when Destro refuses, he shoots him, too, and takes the hood, anyway. Interestingly, the hood does seem to empower whoever wears it, most notably with this man, who stops stuttering altogether when wearing it, and manages to evade the cops up to a point when he leads the gang to their final bank job, only to find the cops waiting there for them, as G&B figured out where the next heist was going to be, and have staked it out accordingly. As the rest of the gang is killed, he brazenly steps up to them after not getting shot for some time- only to end up shot in the end, as he does have a lot more guns aimed at him than the first guy, after all.

The episode ended with yet another kid snagging the hood to wear in his stead, so I guess it won’t be the last we see of the wondrous red hood, magical or otherwise. (I’m guessing otherwise, seeing as how everyone that wore it ended up dead, after all.) In the comics, the Red Hood and the Red Hood Gang have both made appearances, most famously, perhaps, in Alan Moore’s “The Killing Joke,” where the hood in question was worn by the Joker himself.

However, I’m guessing that the show will be going with one of the alternate versions: either Jason Todd (aka one of the characters who would go on to become Robin, Batman’s sidekick- but was also, at one time, the vigilante Red Hood, who, unlike Batman, would use lethal force when necessary); or in another incarnation of the Red Hood Gang themselves. In one comic storyline, a young Bruce Wayne goes undercover to infiltrate the Gang, so that would certainly work here, given the young age of the kid who ended up with the hood- maybe he goes on to form his own Red Hood Gang, and things go from there to follow the comic storyline’s lead, if not necessarily to the letter.

Indeed, one of the chief pleasures of “Gotham” is how it makes common villains and storylines its own. Though it was a bit too heavy on the whole “guess who this character is going to be!” factor early on, it’s settled nicely into eking them out at a much slower pace than it did early on. It’s also gotten more subtle with things, as I discovered when someone pointed out that I completely forgot to mention in last week’s review that we met John Grayson, who will, of course, go onto be the father of Richard “Dick” Grayson, aka the other, better-known incarnation of Robin. That would also mean his girlfriend in the episode, Mary Lloyd, would likewise go on to be Dick’s mother. As in the comics, both were circus folk, so it was a perfectly natural place to put that little nod to what will come later on in the “Gotham” version of the Bat-verse, as last week’s episode revolved around the circus, after all.

Also cropping up again from the comics was Dr. Francis Dulmacher, aka “The Dollmaker,” who was previously mentioned on the show as the person behind the trafficking of kids that Gordon and Bullock put a stop to earlier on in the season. Here, we discover that he’s also the one responsible for the organ trafficking ring that Fish was apprehended and thrown into a few episodes back. We basically resume where we left off with her character being escorted to see the head honcho of the place she’s in. Instead, she gets saddled with the so-called “office manager.”

Given that The Dollmaker is described as using some of the body parts that are being harvested for various experiments; it was an amusing bit of casting to have the “office manager” be played by none other than Jeffrey Combs, of the “Re-Animator” films fame. If you haven’t seen this absolutely bonkers series of films, I can’t recommend them enough, especially the first one, which has a climax that has to be seen to be believed.

Also of note is a flick he made called “Would You Rather,” which co-starred none other than The Penguin himself, Robin Lord Taylor- not to mention the aforementioned Jonny Coyne. I guess the casting department definitely saw that one…can a Sasha Grey appearance be that far behind? (Imagine the possibilities…)

Anyhoo, in a scene right out of one of the illustrious Mr. Combs’ many horror flicks, after he threatens Fish that she better restore order down in the basement or she’ll be relieved of her eyes, she offers up a third option: she plucks out one of her own eyes with a spoon and plops it down on the floor and promptly stomps on it. Yikes! FOX is really pushing the boundaries on what a show that airs this early can get away with, to be sure. Also, remind me not to say anything bad about Fish Mooney anymore, because that was definitively bad-ass, albeit completely nuts. I guess she’ll be getting that meeting with the not-so-good doctor after all.

Finally, speaking of not-so-good meetings, there was also a visit from Alfred’s old Special Air Service comrade, Reginald Payne (David O’Hara, “The Tudors”). Posing as a down-on-his-luck bum who’d fallen on hard times after the death of his wife turned him into an unemployable drunk, he got into the good graces of Bruce, helping him with his fight training, until Alfred got wary of his presence- and potential to be a bad influence on Bruce- and tried to send him packing. Alas, he caught him trying to steal stuff on the way out, and Alfred ended up with a knife in his gut for his troubles.

As if that weren’t bad enough, it turned out that he was actually a gun-for-hire by Bruce’s own company, specifically Molly Mathis (Sharon Washington), who had him infiltrate Bruce’s mansion to determine how much he really knew about the dirty dealings going on in his company. The answer was not much, but now they know what he knows, thanks to Reggie. This real piece of work even had the chutzpah to say Bruce was a good kid, after selling him out to his own company’s people. Eeesh. Bruce really needs to learn not to take in any more strays, especially given his track record in that regard.

That was about it, besides the revelation that Barbara had taken in some strays of her own, letting Selina and Ivy continue to stay there and even offering them clothes and the like, and trying to teach Selina that beauty can be as affective a weapon as any knife. Leave it to Selina to point out that it didn’t exactly do Barbara any favors. Biting the hand that feeds you- how very cat-like. Meow!

This was another solid episode, in a show that’s finally starting to get into a groove, which makes me sad that the season’s almost over, just as things were genuinely starting to get interesting. Still, we’ve got a few more episodes to go, so we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully, the show will end strong, and leave us wanting more. So far, so good, for the most part, despite a few bumps in the road along the way.

What did you think of the latest “Gotham”? What did you think of the show’s take on the “Red Hood Gang”? Looking forward to seeing what they do with it next? How about the impending appearance of The Dollmaker? (Who also cropped up on “Arrow,” BTW.) How insane is Fish now? Will Selina be a bad/worse influence on Barbara than Montoya was? Do you care at this point? Sound off down below, and see you next time, same Bat-channel!