Review: Gotham Episode 17 “Red Hood”

Content Guide

Sex & Nudity – “Red Hood” has an unusual, by pleasant absence of sexual content.

Violence & Gore – “Red Hood” contained the standard gun fights common to the series, one gun fight is particularity brutal. A character gouges out their own eye in desperation, using CGI for special effects.

Profanity –  Less than five expletives were noted in “Red Hood”; two B****’s, one D***** and one H***.

Drinking and drug use – A large part of the storyline in “Red Hood” involves trying to procure alcohol for a club and alcohol is consumed by various characters.


” Call me old fashioned but when crooks become more popular than the cops, that’s anarchy.” – Harvey Bullock


“Red Hood” starts with four masked men ready to enter a bank, one of the men pulls on a freshly made red hood. Despite the chiding of his comrades, especially the older man who is ostensibly in charge,  the young man in the red hood is positive the hood will bring good luck. Inside the bank the Red Hooded bank robber pushes past his boss and jokes as if on stage at a comedy club while his allies rob the bank, up until an elderly guard empties a hidden revolver at him. The elderly guard refuses to wear glasses (we later learn) and ends up missing the red hooded man who is further encouraged about his lucky headpiece. The bank manager manages to trip the silent alarm before the robbers leave and they exit the bank to see numerous GCPD cars closing in. The red hooded young man climbs on top of a parked car and throws stolen money to the pedestrians nearby. The Gothamites corwd around the money blocking the GCPD from the bankrobbers who getaway.

Inside the bank manager’s office Detectives Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock work with the bank manager and a teller. The female teller reveals that the bank robbers had tripped the alarm earlier in the week to check the cop’s response time. Gordon asks for the surveillance tapes from when the alarm was previously tripped.

At Wayne Manor Alfred Pennyworth descends the stairs, racking the slide of a pistol, in order to answer a door. An old friend from the British SAS is at the door, looking for “Alfie”. The two reminisce until Bruce Wayne comes in. The young Wayne offers for Alfred’s friend, Reginald Payne, to stay at the mansion for a few days.

At the prison, now shown to be some sort of diabolical hospital, Fish Mooney is escorted to meet the manager of the establishment. While walking to the manager’s office Fish discovers numerous people missing limbs. Inside the managers office Fish and the Manager discuss the owner of the facility, a Dr Dulmacher (German for Dollmaker! see my guess that this would happen last week’s review of “The Blind Fortune Teller“). When Fish refuses to speak with the manager he offers her a shower and a set of clean clothes so that the two can start over again in their conversation.


“Evening boys” – Butch

At the GCPD Jim Gordon discovers the young man that set off the fire in the bank previously to set off the alarm. Gordon and Bullock notice the bank robber has a work shirt on in the initial visit, a mechanical shirt to a garage.

At the Garage Gus Floyd, the red hooded bank robber, shows off a newspapaer to his buddies. Excited about the noteriety he has garnered. Gus demands that “whoever wears the hood should lead”. Only Gus doesn’t get to finish the word “lead” before the older bank robber shoots Floyd in the chest and takes his red hood.

At Oswald’s, the Penguin’s club a horrible comic struggles to get out a punch line. Two of the very few patrons leave in disgust. Oswald Cobblepot notices his bartenders whispering and when he approaches them he is told that the bar is out of alcohol. Butch Gilzean explains to Cobblepot that Don Salvatore Maroni is keeping the Penguin from getting anymore booze for the club and that none of the many alcohol suppliers will refuse to work with him out of fear of the Mafia Don. The Penguin storms off in search of alcohol for the club.

Detectives James Gordon and Harvey Bullock arrive at the garage, but everyone is gone. Harvey Bullock discovers the deceased Gus Floyd in the garage’s refrigerator. When Jim Gordon identifies Floyd as the Red Hood Bullock quips that they shouldn’t hear anymore from the Red Hood gang now that the leader is dead.

In another bank the robber barge in the door, this time with the older bank robber wearing the red hood. The older robber struggles to make jokes like Gus Floyd had but when some bank customers ask about him sharing some of the stolen money he obliges. The bank customers chase down the money and the bank robbers flee with no trouble. While looking into the second bank robbery, Harvey Bullock and James Gordon discuss that anyone can wear the read hood, and take on the personality. The Red Hood gang could go on forever. Another detective introduces the two to a Gothamite witness, Chaing. Gordon mentions having Chaing ID the older bank robber if they get a lineup.

At Wayne Manor Bruce returns from a run and puts on boxing gloves. Reginald Payne sees him and offers to spar with the young Bruce. After knocking Bruce over a couple of times Reginald give him free shots to hit the former British soldier in the face. The sparring escalates until Alfred Pennyworth steps in and dismisses Bruce. Pennyworth mentions to Reginald Payne that Bruce is the best thing to happen to the British soldier turned Butler, stating he is a better person for knowing the Wayne’s.

OC (P)

“Perhaps it’s not our friends but our enemies that define us– The Penguin

At a unknown alcohol supplier Oswald and two mobsters prepare to attack the supplier’s workers before GCPD arrives. Oswald is distraught to see the GCPD also interfering with the suppliers. Butch Gilzean pops into the Penguin’s car and when Cobblepot mentions the cops are also straining the alcohol supply Gilzean explains that the corrupt cops are working for him. Gilzean shows that he is able to obtain the alcohol without bloodshed.

Selina Kyle and Ivy Pepper are still staying att Barbara Kean’s penthouse, with Kean’s consent. Barbara mentions that Selina could be very pretty if she cleaned up and the former debutante offers the two teenage delinquents free reign to her wardrobe. Barbara grabs a black dress and shows it to Selina Kyle in a mirror, explaining to Kyle that she can use her beauty as a weapon. Selina Kyle retorts hatefully to Kean before walking out of the penthouse.

At the GCPD a lineup is created for Chaing, the witness to the bank robbery to point out the correct robber, Clyde Destro. Destro, the older bank robber who shot Gus Floyd is very different from the other suspects in the lineup and Chaing recognizes him instantly. Jim Gordon decides to let Destro go and use him to find the other members of the Red Hood gang.

At the prison/hospital facility Fish Mooney returns to the manager’s office clean and in fresh clothes. When Mooney refuses to work with the manager he threatens to take her eyes and throw her back into the prison to see how long she lasts. In a desperate attempt to avoid such a fate Fish grabs a tea stirrer spoon and gouges out her left eyes out before stomping it on the gound. The Mafia Caporegime passes out as her blood splatters on the manager.

At Wayne manor Bruce Wayne interrupts Alfred Pennyworth and Reginald Payne to offer some of his father’s wine. Reginald insists and Alfred relents, inviting Bruce to join the two soldiers as they reminisce. Reginald proves to be the exact opposite of Alfred, after the Butler suggests letting the wine breathe Payne gulps a glass easily. Reginald recalls being a great soldier with “Alfie”, remembering a time when the two were captured in a war. Alfred skirts the story, adamant it is time to turn in. When Bruce leaves Payne questions Pennyworth for hiding his true state, Alfred dismisses Reginald telling him that he should leave Wayne manor tomorrow.

Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock tail Clyde Destro. Destro returns to his apartment to find another one of the bank robbers who demands the red hood. When Destor refuses to give the other bank robber the hood he shoots Clyde. Jim and Harvey rush to the apartment to find the mortally injured Destro. Harvey tries to manipulate the bank robber refusing to call an ambulance until Destro helps the two detectives find the other gang members. Jim Gordon finds loan refusal letters, where Clyde Destro tried to get a loan to open a bakery and was turned down. The older bank robber was targeting the banks that turned him down and a final bank’s loan refusal letter reveals the last bank job the gang has planned.


You’re a war dog” – Reginald Payne 

 At Oswald’s the Penguin and Butch Gilzean share a drink of alcohol. Butch reveals that his loyalty lies not with Cobblepot but the club itself, knowing that if the club fails Don Carmine Falcone will have no use for him. Cobblepot asks if Gilzean misses Fish Mooney and attempts to toast his old boss, but Butch Gilzean dismisses the toast and Fish.

At Wayne Manor Alfred Pennyworth walks in to discover Reginald Payne stealing from the mansion. He confronts his old friend and asks him to leave, but Reginald stabs Alfred and flees. Bruce finds his Butler and calls for help. The young Bruce Wayne puts pressure on Alfred’s stab wound and tries to get him to respond.

At the third bank the new Red Hood encourages his last two allies that the heist will go fine regardless of their dwindling numbers. The bank robbers approach the bank before the entrance is surrounded by GCPD cars, led by Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock. The three remaining Red Hood gang members confront the police and end up dying in a gunfight. When Jim Gordon removes the red hood to identify the last leader of the gang Harvey Bullock quips a one liner but Jim ignores it to answer his ringing cell phone. He is told about Alfred’s fate and rushes to the hospital. At the unnamed hospital Detective Jim Gordon oooo Bruce Wayne, who mourns the very hurt Alfred. Reginald Payne is shown at the Wayne Enterprise board room, showing the board members what evidence Bruce and Alfred have accumulated. The crooked board members pay off Reginald Payne and dismiss his suggestion that Bruce Wayne is a good kid.

“Red Hood” ends when a young teenager finds the red hood at the final bank’s crime scene and puts it on. The teen makes a finger gun at the police and forensics officers.


“He’s just a kid…a good kid” – Reginald Payne


“Red Hood” seemed to focus on character building for two characters, Alfred Pennyworth and Butch Gilzean (Fish Mooney’s former right hand man). I like both characters and I think Sean Pertwee and Drew Powell bring interesting new perspectives in Gotham, so focusing on these two was fine by me. The third story line, the Red Hood being no one villain but a headpiece – a personality changing one – worn by many criminals was interesting.  The fourth and final, Fish Mooney in the care of the Dollmaker’s men, was compelling if not excessively gruesome.

Sean Pertwee’s Alfred Pennyworth is different from any representation of the Character I’ve seen to date, and it is magnificent. The closest depiction would be Michael Cain’s version in the recent Christopher Nolan trilogy. Cain’s Pennyworth was also ex-military and there were plenty of scenes in the trilogy where the British actor’s portrayal was of a Butler that wouldn’t pander to orphaned billionaire. Michael Cain’s quips  and rejoinders re-endeared the character to many and I for one was hesitant to see how well Sean Pertwee would  do, afraid that he wouldn’t compare to Michael Cain. My hesitation slowly faded during the first few episodes, and in “Lovecraft” it disappeared completely. The ex-military Butler showed his capabilities in fending off multiple assassins, his loyalty in his adamancy to join Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock in their search for Bruce Wayne and his love for the boy when the two finally reunite. Seeing Reginald Payne , portrayed by David O’hara, a fellow soldier come in and show his admiration for “Alfie”  (was that nickname a nod to Michael Cain’s 1966 film?) further endeared the Butler, and the turn to attacking him later on all but guaranteed devotion to Batman’s batman. (See Wikipedia article for the British word Batman which is older than ge comic book character) Spoiler alert he was shown in the near final hospital scene in the trailer for “Red Hood”, do better next time FOX!

Drew Powell’s portrayal of Butch Gilzean is no less impressive. Powell has a different hurdle. While many men have stepped into the wingtips of the billionaire’s butler, Butch Gilzean is a brand new character. While Drew Powell doesn’t need to compare to other iterations of the same character, he has to try and ingratiate the audience to one that’s hopefully going to be added to the Batman mythos. Fish’s appearances in “Red Hood,” few and far in-between as they were, definitely exemplified her attitude that she will not lose again. I briefly, and maybe a little callously, tweeted her new villain name “Fish Eye,” but in all honesty the pluck she showed is unmatched. Fish Mooney and Butch Gilzean are great additions to the Batman story, and regardless of their ultimate fate in Gotham, I hope to see them in future iterations of the Caped Crusader.

The Red Hood story is as good as it can be. The idea that there is no Red Hood villain, but that many criminals don the hood was a perfect way to keep from aging another enemy while adding anonymity to the role for Batman’s future. The idea that the bank robbers saw the hood as a lucky charm, and in turn murdered each other for it seemed almost allegorical. It reminded me of The Brass Teapot, an underrated movie about a magical item that twists the fate of those that discover it.

Overall, “The Red Hood” is pretty good—not the best but far from the worst. Fans should be eager to see Alfred recover and see what Fish Eye Mooney does next!


You will take nothing from me” – Fish Mooney

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Cody Hahn

Lover of Jesus. Husband. Daddy. Geek.

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