In Review: Gotham, Episode 17 “Red Hood”

Incredibly cool Red Hood Gang storyline dragged down by boring mobster machinations.

Gotham, Episode 17, “Red Hood” Broadcast February 23, 2015

Written by Danny Cannon

Directed by Nathan Hope

“Previously on Gotham,” Bruce asserts himself into his family’s business, Barbara Kean returns to James’s apartment to find it occupied by Selina Kyle and Ivy, and then discovers James passionately kissing Dr. Leslie Thompkins at police headquarters, Penguin is forced from the rule of Fish’s club, Mooney raises an uprising with those undesirables in the basement, and Bruce asks Alfred to teach him how to fight. In the present, a gang makes its way to rob a bank. It’s youngest member, Gus Floyd, places a red hood over his face, prompting their leader, Destro, to comment on his choice of facial concealment. In the bank Floyd jokes with the fearful patrons until an older guard produces a hidden gun and fires at the thief six times–missing every shot. Outside, Floyd claims the hood saved his life. With the sound of approaching police cars, he grabs a bag of money and throws its contents at those walking the streets, creating a shield of bodies that allow them to escape. Cue opening title sequence.

Later at the bank, James and Harvey learn an alarm was sounded a week ago by a fire started as a prank. They request to see the video footage from that time. At Wayne Manor, Alfred’s war buddy, Reggie, arrives unannounced. It’s been twenty years since they’ve seen each other, with the old friend fallen on hard times. Bruce proclaims he must stay for a few days. Meanwhile, Fish is being taken upstairs to meet with an office manager who tersely orders her to sit before him. Back at Gotham P.D., James finds the footage of Floyd starting the fire, and the uncouth youth was wearing a work shirt showing which garage he works at. As they leave for this destination, the setting changes to that location, where Floyd is boasting about the power of the hood. This causes Destro to shoot him in the chest–killing him. The boss takes the fallen man’s hood, places it over his own head, and turns to the gang saying, “He’s right. Any objections?” Cue first commercial break.

There were a lot of highs and lows in this episode. Anything involving the Red Hood Gang was fantastic. To reveal what happens to the gang and Destro would spoil the best parts of the show, so I’ll have to just tease that it was awesome. The banter between Gordon and Bullock was also superb. They trust each other, yet each obviously knows the other’s weaknesses. Reggie was a rote character until a short scene with Bruce changed the way he’s viewed. He instantly became interesting, and ended this installment in high fashion. I didn’t care for any of the scenes between Reggie and Cobblepot. I’m done–been done long ago–with the gangster part of this series, move it on, Gotham writers. I’m also done with Fish, although she does the most incredible thing she’s ever done on this show–it’s not something you’ll soon forget seeing. Opposite her is the “office manager” played by Jeffrey Combs. He is a fantastic actor who consistently steals scenes from actors on other shows and films, and he does the same here. I would love to see him as a regular cast member. Barbara Kean’s one scene with Selina is great, and teased at a future angle for the cat-girl.

The good: David O’Hara, Jeffrey Combs, Michael Goldsmith, Jonny Coyne, David Mazouz, and Sean Pertwee. Alfred and Fish have two major scenes that will impact them for some time.

Fun lines: “It’s a hood. Though it would, ah, spice things up,” “Great. This bank robber’s a Communist,” “Idiot,” “You forgot Option Three,” “They find me,” “I’m so sorry,” and “He’s just a kid.”

The bad: Butch, Fish, and anything gangster related outside of the Penguin.

The final line: Incredibly cool Red Hood Gang storyline dragged down by boring mobster machinations. Overall grade: B

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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