Gotham Episode 17 Review: “Red Hood”
***As always, this review will contain spoilers. You have been warned.***
This week’s Gotham was bloody brilliant and yes, that’s heavy emphasis on the bloody part. Let’s just say it’s hard to believe that this show airs on a network at 8:00 in the evening. Not that I’m complaining, but I definitely wasn’t expecting to see anyone dig out their own eyeball with a spoon today. That was just one of the many shocking moments that happened in this hour of Gotham. The episode begins with a gang of criminals preparing for a bank robbery, with one of them donning a red hood that will be familiar to any hardcore Batman lover. The gang almost makes off with the cash, but has to leave some behind in order to make a clean getaway. With the mask giving him a new sense of confidence, the “Red Hood” throws the remaining money down to the citizens of Gotham and a new symbol is born. This is particularly important because this is the first time the concept of masks being used as symbols has been introduced on the show. Not bad for a little foreshadowing, huh? The members of the crew kill each other off one by one, each of them fueled by their desire to wear the hood. It’s sort of like that episode of Drake & Josh where Drake and Josh argue over who gets to wear a shirt that they believe is lucky, except with way more guns involved.
It’s a story arc that takes a few surprising, violent turns, but all of those pale in comparison to what happens with Fish Mooney. Remember I mentioned that someone gauged their own eye out with a spoon? It wasn’t just some random extra. It was one of the main freakin’ characters! It might be the most graphic and unexpected thing that has ever happened on the show. Was it a bit too much? Possibly, but anything that makes me audibly gasp and scream at my TV is a win in my book. Unfortunately, there was another scene that made me want to scream for a different reason. If you’ve read any of my past reviews, then you know how much I dislike Barbara Kean. The future Mrs. Gordon is written so stereo-typically that it’s borderline insulting. We’ve seen her plan her life around Jim and become a damsel in distress, but tonight it was time for some makeovers! Selina Kyle and Ivy are still living in Barbara’s apartment for some odd reason, so Barbara decides to let them play dress-up with some of her old clothes. She gives Selina a speech about how she can use her beauty as a weapon, but it just seems strange and misplaced coming from Barbara. It’s no secret that Catwoman uses her looks to her advantage, but wouldn’t it make more sense for Selina to learn that lesson on her own? The whole conversation was very out of place.
This episode also did a lot to further the Wayne Enterprises story line, which didn’t become apparent until the very end. An old friend of Alfred’s comes to visit Wayne Manor and Bruce immediately becomes enamored with him. Reggie is very similar to Alfred, but much more rough around the edges. We find out that he fought alongside Alfred in the war, which gives us a chance to dive into the butler’s back story a bit more. If they ever decide to do a Gotham prequel series, it definitely needs to center around Alfred. We later discover that Reggie is stealing from the mansion, but things take an even darker turn when Bruce’s beloved caretaker makes this discovery. Alfred straight up gets STABBED. As if that weren’t enough, we find out that Reggie is working for Wayne Enterprises and this is all part of an elaborate scheme. I guess that’s what happens when you go poking into the affairs of multi-million dollar companies. These were two more twists that I’m sure no one saw coming, but they were pulled off excellently thanks to the chemistry between David Mazouz and Sean Pertwee.
It’s an exciting time to be a fan of Gotham. This episode alone threw out so many curve balls that it’s hard to believe there are still 5 episodes left in the season. What else could possibly happen? I’m happy to say that I have no idea and that’s what makes it so much fun to come back to Gotham every week. They’re able to take a familiar story and somehow make it completely unpredictable, which is a feat that deserves to be applauded.