So far, ‘Gotham’’s freshman campaign has been generously sprinkled with villains and antiheroes whose origins we’ve watched play out on the small screen. Despite the differences in their origins, these characters have all been individuals. This week’s episode, “Red Hood,” changes all of that, giving us a mantle for future criminals. An idea that, similar to the icon that becomes Batman, is not so easily destroyed.
It begins simple enough. Gus Floyd decides to don a red hood when he and his compatriots rob a bank. When a security guard misses Floyd with six point-blank shots, the young thief believes the hood makes him untouchable. Adding to it is the acclaim he receives when tossing money on the streets for the regular Joes of the city (a brilliant tactic that delays the arriving police officers) and some likening him to Robin Hood and Floyd is riding high. Unfortunately, his partners in crime aren’t quite so enamored with his new take on things. It’s not until he proclaims himself leader, due to the hood, that Floyd is given his walking papers via a bullet to the chest by Clint Destro, the old hat of the group. Hood in hand, Destro leads the second robbery, one where, after a bit of cajoling by one of the bank’s patrons, mimics Floyd’s “giving to the poor” as they exit the bank. They’ve gotten away, scot-free.
Or so they think.Gordon and Bullock take down the Red Hood gang
Called to the scene of the first robbery, Detectives Gordon and Bullock analyze surveillance from a previous call to the bank (seems like the robbers had tested officer response time by setting the alarm off the prior week). The footage leads them to Kleg Auto where they find Floyd’s corpse in the fridge but no other useful pieces of evidence. Luck be with them though when Mr. Chang arrives at the station, a witness to the man who donned the red hood. Calling in a lineup that includes Destro, the detectives pinpoint their guy but, instead of arresting him, Gordon believes tailing Destro will reap greater rewards. Namely, taking down the rest of the gang in one fell swoop. They follow Destro to his apartment but are unawares of another of the gang’s members awaiting the recently released hood. He wants the red hood to impress his girlfriend and ends up shooting Destro, fleeing the scene before Gordon and Bullock can get to the apartment. Their sting isn’t without merit, though, as Gordon finds loan rejection letters for Destro from three banks, two of which have already been robbed.
The detectives arrive to bank number three seconds before the new Red Hood and gang enter. The ensuing shootout leaves all three members dead and after Gordon removes the hood from the last of the hoods, he gets a call from Bruce. Alfred is in the hospital after being stabbed…
Rewind time…Reggie’s pointer to Bruce of using his environment is reminiscent of Ra’s Al Ghul’s teachings
As Gordon has taken on the Red Hood case, Bruce and Alfred have been entertaining Reggie Payne, a former member of the SAS and Alfred’s former comrade. Seems like Reggie has fallen on hard times and Bruce offers to take him in for a few days. During that time, Reggie gives Bruce pointers on fighting (“use whatever’s around you”), sheds a bit more light on Alfred’s former life and makes a pretty good connection with Bruce. Unfortunately, Reggie has an ulterior motive, one he admits to Alfred when the latter catches him stealing the silver. Alfred offers to help but Reggie, after apologizing stabs his former friend, leaving him to bleed out on the floor.
Later, we find that Reggie’s been hired for the job by those trusty members of the Wayne Enterprises board. “Now’s the time to move on the kid,” he advises…
And at the bank crime scene, another young man picks up the Red Hood mantle…
The Big and Small of It
- Though not presented in the way I first believed and, at first thought, saw as the most powerful of statements, thinking back on the final shot of the nameless kid picking up the red hood is more powerful than detective Gordon taking down any of the two bit villains like Dr. Crane. Yes, we’ve seen the introduction of several well-known villains but, as mentioned above, they are individuals. There’s something ostensibly more powerful when a mask represents an idea rather than a person. It’s the same line of thinking Bruce Wayne uses in ‘Batman Begins’ when he dons the cape and cowl for the first time.
- There has rarely been occasion to, when viewing ‘Gotham,’ for me to admit being surprised. When Fish Mooney took back control from the Manager by gouging her eye out with freaking spoon, I was left speechless. My thoughts on Ms. Mooney has been up and down this season but after such a display of will, there’s no denying the power she exudes. I can only wonder if Dr. Dulmacher will share in such a sentiment when he returns.
- Oswald continues to struggle with his club but has found an uneasy ally in the ‘rehabilitated’ Butch Gilzean. He recognizes the precarious position he and Cobblepot are in. Fail at the club and they will forever lose Falcone’s trust. Gilzean has been number two to Fish and tells Cobblepot that he’s through being a sidekick. The statement hits the proper cord with Oswald and he toasts Gilzean. “To no longer being a sidekick.” One can only wonder just how solid this new partnership will turn out to be.
- Oh, yeah, Barbara’s on the drink again and is trying to turn Selina into her own personal pet project. If they don’t do something with her soon, interest in Barbara Kean’s character may be forever lost in the ‘Gotham’ ether…