Tough Love| Gotham “By Fire” Review
When Gotham was pitched, it was a show that was all about Detective Jim Gordon. The PR for the show made sure that it wasn’t about Batman, a point on which I was not too keen. However, this season has done wonders for the show and its future. What better way to roundup the traits and virtues of Jim Gordon than to completely flesh out the rogues gallery in Gotham?
I’ve never been a big fan of Selina Kyle; yet in this episode, that has completely changed. Selina has always seemed a bit… catty. She never really seemed to elevate any scenes and has just always seemed like that awkward character. But, her relationship with Firefly really made this one of my favorite episodes of the season.
Firefly is a product of her environment so much so that when she did get free from her brothers, she didn’t know what to do. Her entire livelihood was dictated by them. She was simply a slave to their desires, but now she’s “free,” whatever that may actually mean. With her newly found freedom, Selina and Bridgit are having a night out on the town to “acquire some money” to get Bridgit out of her situation once and for all.
The duo go to a sadly popular Gotham hangout that, of course, sells women, a pretty typical joint for the seedy Gothamites. While Selina is dead set on just getting the money, Bridgit feels for the women because they are essentially in the same situation that she was. They are just as trapped. During the robbery, there are some great fire effects, and you see a hint of craziness in Bridgit. Her character is not as comic-booky, until she puts on her suit, which is interesting in the over-the-top world of characters like Nygma and Penguin.
Shortly after the robbery, Bridgit was kidnapped by her brothers. Selina tried to fight back, but there was little that she could do. So, in just one episode, Bridgit was essentially a slave, free and then turned back into a slave to the brothers. Joe has her handcuffed to a pipe and is throwing firecrackers at her. You know, nothing like brotherly love. Luckily, the brothers highly underestimated Bridgit. At one point, she quietly walks away and returns in her Firefly get-up. They taunt her saying that she won’t do it, and not only does she light both of them up, she thoroughly enjoys it. These aren’t her only victims for the night either. She makes her way back to the rooftop where she was with Selina last episode, and she emphatically states that she is finally free. Her goal is to go after all those people that went after people like her and Selina. I honestly loved this scene because Selina actually gave her a hug, and it’s really her first true friend in Gotham. It’s an insane day when Selina is the level-headed one in Gotham.
At the start of the episode, Gordon is hot on Bridgit’s tail and decides to use some alternative interrogation methods to find her. The task force isn’t too keen on his methods, and he has a meeting with the Captain. It goes as expected as GCPD has completely turned a corner from their former law-breaking selves. Shortly after Bridgit is kidnapped, Selina pleads for Jim’s help, and he makes a promise to bring her in safely.
There’s something about promises and Jim Gordon because they always turn out awfully. Jim and the task force finally find Bridgit as she is freeing the slaved women and lighting up those that need be, but things don’t turn out so well. She is showing her power with her flame thrower when another deputy shoots toward her direction and severs the line. In her angst, she keeps trying to get the flamethrower to work, and when it does the gas is spilled all around her, and she burns herself to a crisp. But, she doesn’t die from the burns. The end scene shows her being wheeled into a place, “where they send the rest of the monsters.” Indian Hill, Cell block 3, a division of Wayne Enterprise. Oh how the plot thickens…
As for the other absolutely huge storyline in this episode, we finally have a chilling conclusion to the Nygma/Kris Kringle relationship. Earlier, he overheard Kris talking with Leslie Thompkins about how Nygma is a little too nice. Of course, he more assertively says that she must come over for dinner. Nygma’s alter ego takes hold after she continues to talk about Officer Dougherty. She’s worried that he will somehow come back, but Nygma emphasizes that won’t happen because he killed Dougherty. Awkward silence ensues, and she laughs it off. Then he explains, in detail, exactly how killed him and why. Of course, this freaks her out. She goes to leave, but Nygma holds her throat and explains that he did it for her. Naturally, Nygma just strangled his love to death.
Wow. I figured something like this would happen, but I didn’t think it would happen so soon. I am deeply interested to see how this affects him, and if he’s able to avoid the likes of Thompkins and Gordon.
To round out the episode, we have Butch and Penguin’s attempt at getting him on the inside. Of course, this works terribly and Galavan is onto Butch. Tabitha beats him up good with her whip. But, we do get some good humor with his short stay with Galavan. Tabitha and Barbara are throwing out ideas for his stump and and one of them says, “how about a chainsaw,” nice little easter egg for Evil Dead Fans. They opt to go with a steel mallet. Hm… interesting. Butch was able to learn the location of Penguin’s mother, and they are arming up for a huge war.