Episode 17: "Red Hood"
by Dan Tomasik
A new gang begins a series of deadly bank robberies.
Like the show presents, there is no single definitive “Red Hood”. A variety of heroes, villains, antiheroes, and low-level thugs have worn the signature cowl. Among them the pre-Joker Joker and a former Robin. Whatever the identity, the title “Red Hood” carries serious weight in Gotham’s criminal underworld.
This week featured an overwhelming surge of pure badass. So much goes so right, it’s as if Gotham has turned on a switch for its final episodes. From here on out, it’s all going to be the cream of the crop. Please let this be the case.
A robbery crew that combines fresh blood, sheer nerve, deception, and a self-destructive hunger for greatness. All caused by a lucky break when one criminal flunky put on a red hood and escaped death. Such flukes have been the genesis of more than one legend. What’s great about the Red Hood is that it can inspire so much, both exciting and dangerous, without requiring the more fantastic elements of other villains. The Red Hood may become like a local legend, a symbol of both great criminal prowess and great madness. What a cool villain.
Butch, it has been too long since we saw your gorgeous mug. You are flawless, you are amazing, you are everything a Gotham criminal should be. What is the secret to Drew Powell’s amazing turn as Fish Mooney’s loyal number 2? Maybe it’s charm, maybe it’s confidence, maybe it’s just an inherent knack for crime. As much fun as Penguin’s brief tenure as club owner has already been, Butch deserves that position a thousand times more.
Barbara, when did you become awesome? Not just telling Selena she can be a princess, but telling her that her beauty can be a weapon? Is this the same Barbara who was so easily dismissed the showrunners forgot she was in an episode? This Barbara is more interesting, more engaging, and a dozen times more suitable for Gotham. More Barbara, Selena, and Ivy!
Fish, welcome to Club Boss. In honor of your inauguration, I will be eating those words about you being immune to struggle or hardship. Standing your ground against a sicko straight out of Hostel? It seemed funny, until Fish proved how far her conviction went. Fish Mooney proved she has the grit to play with the big boys. This is a crime lord worthy of fear and respect. As a fervent and repeated detractor of Jada Pinkett Smith’s performance, I willingly admit to my great anticipation for next week’s episode specifically for the chance to see more Fish Mooney. Bravo, Jada. Bravo, Fish.
As for Alfred and Bruce, the more said, the more risk of spoiling such a jaw-dropping shock. So much evil goodness is on the rise. Can it be next week, right now? Please?
There’s Jerome, the red herring. There’s the Red Hood, still out there and with endless possibilities. There’s the struggling stand-up comedian at Penguin’s Club. Any one of these could be the Joker who will become the centerpiece of Gotham’s season one finale. And no matter which one it may be, the results will still be promising.
Episode Score: 9.6