Gotham Red Hood Review- Spoilers Ahead…
Gotham bounces back from last week’s disappointing Joker story with a compelling tale of bank robbers fighting over an empowering red hood. What’s great about the main story is that it seems less like a Batman comic and more like a modern Aesop fable about the power of greed and how a mask can change the person underneath. Add a few intriguing subplots to the mix and a surprise ending, and you have one of the better episode of the season.
Kicking off with a Tarantino inspired bank robbery, a few lowlife criminals get away with a sizeable amount of money. Things hit a slight snag when a particularly energetic robber, wearing the titular red hood, is spared six bullet holes in the chest. This “divine intervention” drives the red hooded member toward bold actions such as throwing a bag of the loot to the clamoring people of Gotham in order to facilitate a getaway. Once back in the hideout, tempers flare and the red hooded robber is shot dead by the boss, who then picks up the red hood to claim it as his own. Cue the greedy eyes from around the gang, and one by one members kill each other off to claim the seemingly magical red hood. This plot provides many great moments, but the best is that the writers are finally exploring the common criminal side of a Gotham. By going deeper than the beat cops and the warring mob bosses, this city just became a whole lot bigger and nuanced.
Meanwhile, Bruce and Alfred welcome a mysterious figure into their home by the name of Reginald Payne. Payne goes way back to Alfred’s army days, which is too far back for Alfred, though young Bruce is fascinated by the gruff visitor. Turns out that Alfred may not have been the best kind of guy in the past, and this Payne fellow is a living reminder of that. These scenes paint a much needed portrait of Alfred’s past, which are full of regret and shame for his past life. It answers the question of why such a skilled man would devote his life to being a butler. The answer, it turns out, is a quest for redemption. That quest hits a rough patch when Payne, having been caught stealing Bruce’s Intel on Wayne Enterprises, stabs Alfred in the stomach and leaves him bleeding out on the floor. Bruce rushes into the room, crying and calling the police as the episode closes out on the best cliffhanger of the series so far.
The Fish Mooney subplot rears it’s ugly head this week, but this time it actually manages to thrill. Confronted by one of the Dollmaker’s lackeys, Fish Mooney finds that she won’t be able to meet the head honcho unless she make a bold move. That bold move turns out to be grabbing a spot and prying out her own eyeball,only to then stomp her precious organ into the ground. I may not like Mooney as a character, but the eye gouging alone has revved up my interest in her journey. Now that she’s willing to really make large sacrifices at the drop of a hat, there’s no telling what will happen next.
The best part of this episode is that all three major plots leave the viewer wanting more. What will become of the Red Hood? Who is this mysterious Dollmaker and what is he planning? How will Bruce be able to cope now that both of his parents are murdered and his only friend and guardian is in critical condition?
I’m betting that Next week’s episode will detail Bruce’s attempts to track down Payne, in effect having the worlds greatest detective out in the field for the first time. Fish Mooney will most likely meet the Dollmaker,but not without losing a few more body parts to appease the madman. As for the Red Hood, I see it finding its way into the hands of more criminals, before finally landing in the bloody, manic hands of Jerome from last episode.
“The Red Hood” succeeds not only as a solid episode, but as a setup for what may be the biggest wow moment of the season so far. Time will tell, but hopes are riding high after this entry.