A shifty looking crew is walks into a bank…I think you know how this goes. Except one of them decides he should wear a red hood and perform his unfinished standup routine. A guard grabs a gun and unloads at Red Hood, missing him like the broad side of a barn. Once outside the gang realizes they cut their escape a little close because the cops are en route, so Red Hood lets loose a few stacks of the gang’s stolen money for the public, effectively barring the GCPD’S path.
As Jim and Harvey review security footage after the robbery it’s obvious they’ve fallen into a really nice groove as partners. They check a bank clerk on the difference between Robin Hood and Robber with a Red Hood and notice that one of the crew had been keeping time during the robbery, meaning they knew how long the police would take to show up. “Hmm, when was the last time you guys needed the GCPD?” Jim asks the bank employees. “Well, remember that time with the smoke bomb last week?” Ding ding ding, we have a winner! Pull those surveillance tapes, stat!
Over at Wayne Manor, an old war buddy of Alfred’s shows up in the pouring rain. Reggie, now blanketed and comfortably seated in front of the fire, begins to tell Alfred how he came to be the embodiment of an all too familiar story: the homeless veteran. Reggie is a little surprised Alfred has been shacked up in a place like Wayne Manor and Alfred is clearly haunted by the experiences these two share. “It’s good for me here,” Alfred says by way of explanation. “Now what are you doing here?” Reggie says his wife died 11 years ago and he lost his house soon after, then moved back to Gotham and couldn’t get himself together because of the booze. Bruce walks in and offers to let him stay for a few days on account of his recent run of bad luck. Alfred clearly wishes Bruce had consulted him privately before extending that offer.
And Fish. Well, she’s being taken upstairs to meet the people in charge. As she walks down a creepy hallway, she gets glimpses of even creepier bandaged people in cells for lack of a better term. They’re obviously healing from having some part of them harvested, and one poor fool is sitting in a bathtub full of ice. Fish is understandably concerned: “What in the hell is going on here?! Who are these people?!” This scene is giving you some Girl, Interrupted and The Shining and tingles down your spine. Then she is brought into a room with peeling walls and furniture grabbed from an insane asylum estate sale where a man in glasses tells her to sit.
Back at headquarters, Jim is reviewing the bank footage from the incendiary incident and fingers Red Hood. Even better, with Harvey’s glasses Jim sees that this bank robbing Mensa member wore his work shirt to case his own robbery, leading Jim and Harvey to Kleg’s Auto. In the garage, Red Hood is loving his celebrity. Maybe a little too much because his crewmates aren’t feeling him right now. His adrenaline is clearly informing his behavior but he makes a good point: “Whoever wears the hood should lead.” So the actual leader shoots him and becomes the second Red Hood.
Fish: Are you the person in charge?
Office Manager: No, that would be the doctor.
Fish: You don’t hold any power. Get me the doctor.
Office Manager: He’s not here.
Fish: What’s his name?
Office Manager: Dulmacher.
Fish: Tell him that basement is MY territory and he can’t take anyone until he looks me in the eye.
Office Manager: You know, I bet you want a shower. Go take a shower and get some linens and then we’ll talk.
Penguin still hasn’t gotten the hang of talent scouting. He’s got a terrible comedian on stage and the bar has run dry so people are leaving. Enter Butch Puppet! “Hey man, the reason you don’t have any booze is because Maroni hates your guts. You can’t get anything on this side of town without his say so, and he is not going to say so.” Penguin thinks Butch is reveling in his failure but Butch actually doesn’t want to see the club sink. “I took this place with Fish nine years ago and put my blood, sweat, and tears into it. No, I don’t want to see you drive it into the ground, dumb dumb.” Since none of that helps him, Penguin heads off to plot.
Jim and Harvey arrive at Kleg’s Auto and instead of the Red Hood Gang they find a Dead Red Hood in the refrigerator. Harvey thinks since he’s the leader we’ve seen the last of the Gang, but just then the remaining four crew members rob another bank. New Red Hood bungles the act a little but the effect is the same: people love the Red Hood Gang because they share their spoils with the little guy.
It dawns on Jim that as long as someone is willing to put the hood on, the Red Hood Gang could go on indefinitely. A witness comes forward saying he saw the leader of the gang so Jim and Harvey decide to hold a lineup to identify him.
Reggie decides to give Bruce a combat lesson and it’s amusing to watch Bruce punch the crap out of him. But as Alfred observes, Reggie is clearly getting a little too into it and Bruce is horrified at drawing blood, so Alfred breaks them up. Bruce isn’t happy about not being allowed to learn dirty fighting, though. Reggie apologizes and Alfred’s all, “Look, keep our past in the past. I’m happy now.”
Penguin has decided to rob a Maroni crew to obtain liquor, but just as his team is about to move in the cops show up and confiscate everything. And then Butch shows up! “Oh those cops are my cops. That’s your booze now. You’re welcome.” It’s clear Penguin realizes what an excellent asset Butch is, and what a good team they make.
Over at Chez Babs, Ivy is comfortable, Selena is guarded, and Barbara is day drinking. Drunk Barbara is like, “Hey Selena, you’d be pretty cute if you took a shower and got rid of those nasty clothes. *gasp* I have an idea: MAKEOVERS!!!” She brings out tons of her clothes and tells the girls they can have whatever they want. Ivy grabs a green blouse, of course. Barbara pulls Selena aside and tells her, “Girl, you have to learn how gorgeous you are and how to use that to get what you want. It’s gonna get you ahead in life.” And Selena’s like, “Oh yeah? What do YOU have to show for it, hmm?” Burn!
After the robbery witness, Mr. Chaing, IDs the second Red Hood, Jim and Harvey decide to let him go. There’s clearly already some dissent among their group, so they’re going to let him lead them back to the rest of the group to stop them before they can commit another robbery.
Fish is fresh, clean, and covered in white but has lost none of her resolve.
Fish: Look, what the hell are you trying to pull here. I don’t want what you’re selling.
Guy: You have pretty eyes. I think we’ll take them.
Fish: You’re not taking my eyes, jackass! There’s always another option!
And she grabs his teaspoon, gouges her left eye out, and stomps on it. SHE GRABS HIS TEASPOON, GOUGES HER LEFT EYE OUT, AND STOMPS ON IT! She’s like, “I know you’d need two of my eyes, jerk! Now I’m going to pass out.” Maybe she could have just said she had astigmatism or something?
Bruce brings Alfred and Reggie a really nice bottle of burgundy and Reggie being a true fan of the booze drinks his first glass in one gulp. Two bottles in, the group is jolly and telling old stories. Then Bruce began to ask probing questions about his combat days and Alfred is getting uncomfortable. But Bruce needs to know more and Reggie goes on. When they served together, Alfred had been captured during a sandstorm and had to kill 12 guys. Alfred’s gone off this conversation and wants to tidy up which Reggie finds HILARIOUS and Bruce goes to bed. Reggie wants to know why Alfred isn’t being a murderous monster while he’s trying to raise a traumatized child, so Alfred’s all, “Yeah, look. You’re leaving in the morning. I folded up your crap and packed you a lunch for tomorrow because I’m a butler, but you’ve got to go.”
The second Red Hood arrives back at his apartment under the watchful eyes of Jim and Harvey and he has a visitor. A third member of the Red Hood Gang wants to borrow the hood to impress his girlfriend and boy is he desperate. So desperate that he shoots the leader twice and absconds with the hood, becoming the third Red Hood. Jim and Harvey hurry in and find evidence that the banks that the gangs are targeting had all denied loans to the second Hood. So they know who’s next.
Butch is done playing the sidekick and Penguin likes the cut of his jib. They have another drink and Penguin asks Butch about Fish. “Do you miss her? I do. Perhaps it’s not our friends but our enemies that define us.” And Butch is like, “She got what she deserved.” Brainwashing hard at work.
Alfred comes downstairs to find Reggie stealing from Bruce’s office. Alfred’s like, “Really, Reggie? We fed you and sheltered you, dude. You couldn’t have just asked for some money?”
Reggie: I’m in trouble with some bad people Alfred.
Alfred: Put the bag down and tell me what’s going on.
Reggie: I’m sorry.
And he stabs Alfred in the chest. HE STABS ALFRED IN THE CHEST. Poor Bruce runs downstairs to find Alfred losing blood and calls an ambulance immediately.
Red Hood v. 3 is about to enter a bank with the remaining two crew members and are stopped by the cops. A firefight ensues and the last two members are killed. Jim tells Red Hood to put his gun down, but he pulls another gun instead and gets positively lit up by police bullets. Harvey needs a danish and I think I do, too. Jim drops the hood when he gets a call that Alfred is in the hospital and takes off.
Bruce is distraught and cannot lose Alfred. This poor kid is so alone and activates all of my Batman feels. Then we hear Reggie’s voice, talking about what Bruce knows. He’s with the board of Wayne Enterprises and it’s clear that he was approached by them as an old acquaintance of Alfred’s to infiltrate Wayne Manor and steal Bruce’s investigatory evidence. Reggie tries to assure them that Bruce hasn’t gotten any counsel and really doesn’t have anything concrete, but mainly that he’s just a kid. The board is like, “Yeah, whatever. We won’t be seeing you again.”
Back at the site of the shootout, a kid is somehow able to come into a crime scene and steal the Red Hood.
The Questions: Could this be a hint as to the Red Hood’s future incarnation? What is going to happen to Fish when she goes back to the basement? Do we need to start shipping Butch and Penguin? Putch? Benguin?