By: Darryl Frisbie
We open to a bank robbery and the last man to follow puts on a red hood. His other comrades look at him like he is an idiot but he is very jovial and nonchalant over the matter. In fact, the mask makes him feel empowered and he becomes their arrogant leader. He lets everyone know he is stealing from the bank and not from the people. I wish I knew who the actor was under the red hood because he’s not only amusing and hilarious but carried that Joker vibe to him. A security guard attempts to shoot him many times but misses every time. The man under the mask is not frightened but laughs hysterically in the face of death. When they make their escape, The Red Hood tosses the money to the people in the streets. These actions seem all too familiar and remind me so much of Joker’s manic nature. This was probably intentional since we know Joker inevitably takes on the persona of the Red Hood.
Meanwhile a friend of Alfred’s, Reggie Payne, shows up at Wayne Manor drenched from the storm. He tells Alfred of his plight and poverty and we discover that Reggie once served in the military with him. Bruce insists that he stays until he can get back on his feet. Mr. Payne is played by David O’ Hara who has such a fantastic presence playing the gruff and rugged drifter. He’s had such great parts like in The Departed and Wanted.
Later Gordon is tipped off by a security camera that shows the bank robber was wearing a Kleg’s Auto uniform. Meanwhile at the auto shop, the robber with the red hood gloats about the mask setting them apart and being a symbol. He feels utterly invincible with it on until he is shot by one of his comrades. Gordon and Bullock arrive too late at Kleg’s Auto where they find his body.
Fish Mooney is held captive by Dr. Dulmacher with his own ulterior motives while she tries to bargain her way out. They are in the business of taking body parts from the people in the basement and they want her eyes. Fish, who feels threatened, makes a desperate move to rip her eye out with a spoon in order for her life to be spared. Back in Gotham Butch helps Penguin steal back shipments of booze. Another small subplot is Barbra tries to counsel Selina that her beauty can be a weapon but Selina shuns her help.
Meanwhile at GCPD, Gordon has a witness identify one of the bank robbers whose name is Destro. Rather than arresting him they decide to let him go and trail him back to his place. He is shot by one of his own and they discover that the reason he was robbing banks is because he was denied bank loans. They find out the location of their next bank and the police take the gang down. It seems that whoever wears the Red Mask embodies this relentless nature and crazed laughter which resembles Joker and the anarchy he ensues. This will not be the last time we will be seeing the Red Mask.
Meanwhile, Reggie sheds light on Alfred’s darker nature, calling him a cold-blooded lethal war dog. He finds it amusing that he puts on such a prim and proper persona. Alfred catches Payne stealing and in a shocking moment Alfred is stabbed by his best friend. In an emotionally stirring moment, Bruce tells Gordon that he can’t lose Alfred and that he’s all he has left. We later discover that Payne was hired by Wayne Enterprises to conspire and find out what corruptible evidence Bruce had against them. By far the best episode I’ve seen yet. Excellent!
Overall Grade: 10/10