Actor Sean Pertwee has continued to make Alfred a standout character on Gotham.
His version of Bruce Wayne’s butler has been such a fresh take by making him a badass fighter with plenty of clever wit and a mysterious past that makes you want to know more. Plus, you can tell he truly cares about Bruce’s well-being.
So, it was no surprise that the best parts of Gotham Season 1 Episode 17 included Alfred.
With a friend from Alfred’s past appearing at Wayne Manor, we were bound to get snippets of the days before he became Bruce’s butler.
I liked that Alfred was willing to help even if, at times, he felt a bit uneasy. It seemed pretty clear that Alfred has changed over the years, putting his (violent and dangerous?) past behind him.
It was especially interesting to see his friend teaching Bruce some alternative fighting methods rather than just some boxing practice. Even the chat as the men drank and told stories revealed much more insight into Alfred.
It’s great that he really is a character on this show rather than a cartoon (and I’m talking about you, Fish).
So I was shocked when his friend stabbed Alfred. He can’t die, right? Not only is he one of the better characters on the series, but he’s around when Bruce is Batman. Maybe Gotham will change up some of the history?
The reveal that it was the Wayne board that sent the friend on the mission definitely puts Bruce in much more danger. Maybe he will have to leave Gotham by the end of the season and that further propels him to start training?
The real focus of the hour was more on Jim and Harvey tracking down the silly bank robbers who fought over a red hood.
Unfortunately, I didn’t care about any of the criminals, but I did enjoy Harvey’s one liners while on the case.
Yes, I know that the Red Hood in the Batman comics is associated with the Joker, but are we to believe that the kid who picked up the hood at the very end might be the future Joker?
We just had a great Joker-like performance in Gotham Season 1 Episode 16, so is Gotham trying to keep viewers on their toes? A nod here and there is fun, sure, but I’d much rather have a solid villain with some substance in each episode, not a bunch of guys killing each other over a mask.
I could have done without Barbara hanging out with Catkid and Baby Poison Ivy.
The whole thing with Fish still feels like an aside that I’m not interested in. I know the name Dollmaker was referenced which ties into Gotham Season 1 Episode 2, so maybe something promising will turn out from it.
I still have no clue why negotiations were even made with Fish. She’s a prisoner. Why didn't they just kill her when she started causing problems rather than chatting and giving her clean clothes?
And then for her to rip out one eye (in graphic manner) made me laugh at the pure ridiculousness of the situation. Good for you, Fish. You got one up on them… I guess.
At least Oswald got out of his failing club to go on an alcohol run. I like his growing relationship with Butch, but Oswald was far more interesting when he was scheming and moving his way up the ladder. I hope we can get back to that again.
Gotham is still a mixed bag that continues to lean towards the campy and cartoonish even with some of its more violent scenes. Alfred once again proved why he’s such a highlight, but I continue to wonder when the series will move away from the crutch of referencing future Batman stuff and find a way to stand on its own.
What do you think of Alfred? Did you enjoy the Red Hood Gang? Sound off below, and if you want to see more of Bruce's butler, watch Gotham online.
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.