GOTHAM S2 EP6 "BY FIRE" REVIEW!
By Jarrett Kruse
If there is one thing that we can depend on in season 2 of GOTHAM: RISE OF THE VILLAINS, its that things are dark in Gotham. Really dark. Like Vin Diesel PITCH BLACK. The street lamps are barely lit and daytime seems to last just a few hours. But to be honest, I like it that way. The deeper we get into the sludge of Season 2, the more these new characters make Fish Mooney look like a socialite debutante. One thing I know I can depend on on my Monday night TV is that no one knows who to trust and even a boy scout like Jim Gordon can be corrupted just to keep his city clean. Its a heavy burden for one man but he almost relishes the idea of being the one man that can bring a giant broom to Gotham and sweep up the mess.
After last week when Penguin decided to take his #1 thug Butch's hand so that he could infiltrate the Galavan campaign/gang, you can't help but feel sorry for the big lug. As he tries to sell his story to Galavan on how Penguin went nuts and now wants to work for Galavan is flimsy at best. But the new Mayoral candidate lets Butch on his team knowing full well that he is a mole for Oswald. Galavan's sadistic sister Tabitha sees Butch's stump where his hand used to be and decides that it would be fun to put some kind of apparatus where the hand used to be, like a knife or even better, a mallet! Its right out of an INSPECTOR GADGET episode but here is Butch walking around with a mallet as a hand! LOL.
Bridgit and Selina are on the lam after she killed a cop last episode and the guilt is overwhelming. She needs to get out of the city and fast but is without any funds. However, with Selina at her side and Bridgit's Firefly suit, they rob what looks like a charity ball of some sort but it is actually, young women locked in cages being bid on by wealthy Gothamites. Selina and Bridgit make a good team and fleece the event for everything they can and are now flush with cash. Clearly, getting a taste of the power of being Firefly is something that, pardon the pun, Bridgit is warming up to. However, she has to get out of town because every cop in Gotham is looking for her.
We finally catch up with Bruce and Alfred who are practicing some old school hnd to hand combat. However it is with those old style boxing gloves and they are doing it outside. That is one of the things that I dig about GOTHAM, you have no idea what era we are in with the long black cars and lack of computer trickery and such. Bruce is invited to a dinner with Galavan where Ms. Silver will be and takes a wicked punch from Alfred at the thought of dining with the lovely young blonde. Who she is and what her role is is something I have yet to figure out. Right now she seems just to be bait to keep Bruce under Galavan's thumb should he need to take a meeting.
It was clear what was going to happen after the heist when Selina is guiding Bridgit how to get out of the city....AMBUSH! The Pike Brothers, professional arsonists and Bridgit's "brothers," However, emboldened and different now at the Pike Brothers hideout, and this part I don't get, Bridgit excuses herself (I figured to use the bathroom) and when she comes out she is in full Firefly gear and takes out the Pike Brothers with fire until they are extra crispy. Selina tries to talk some sense into her but Bridgit has clearly gone over the edge. Seeing those girls in cages being auctioned off had an effect on her. Selina had cleverly made a deal with Gordon that no one is to hurt Bridgit if she gives him her location. Sure enough, Bridgit goes back to the "auction house" where she frees all of the women but is surrounded by the GCPD when she gets back on the street. With the Strike Force surrounding her led by Gordon and Barnes, Bridgit does not come quietly and so much fire is expended from her gun that she herself catches fire burning alive. Selina is at Jim's apartment when he gets home and tells her what happened, that Bridgit is not likely to make it. Frustrated and angry, Selina slips and alludes that Penguin is responsible for the five Wayne property fires. However if you remember, it was Galavan who was really behind that by ordering Oswald to set those properties ablaze.
While at dinner, Galavan talks to Bruce of the deceased Bunderslaw as if he knows nothing about his demise. Theo wants assurances from Bruce that should he be voted Mayor, he wants Wayne Enterprises to be a big part of term in office. Bruce seems almost confused at this and not nearly mature enough to understand the implications Galavan is implying. To be honest, I think the kid that they cast as Bruce seems like a bit of a dullard sometimes possibly because of his flimsy 100 pound frame or his timid voice, he's just does not seem to have that anger I was hoping for.
Last we checked, Nygma's love life was doing great and he was wooing Ms. Kringle with his old school charms. Well he brings her home and they do the deed only for Ms. Kringle to divulge that she is concerned about Officer Tom Dougherty. He always threated her that if he ever saw her with another man, he would kill her. Nygma proudly provides proof that he killed Dougherty and Kringle flips calling him a murdering psychopath and that unspeakable things will be done to him in jail. While trying to calm her and keep her quiet, he almost gently strangles his love crying uncontrollably and Ms. Kringle takes her last puff of air. Nygma's body count is now at two and the two are easily connected so I don't know what his next move is. Maybe do the jumble in the newspaper, I don't know. Clearly he is in over his head.
Finally, we see a very burnt Bridgit alive in some sort of Cuckoos Nest facility where everything is that blinding white. Intercut are shots of strange images and Bridgit's eyes moving and the orderlies talking about ghost stories of the facility. Just then we see where they are; INDIAN HILL: A DIVISION OF WAYNE ENTERPRISES. Whaaaat?!?
All in all, "By Fire" packed a lot of information for the narrative into one episode. It almost felt like a two-parter. On a side note, I am really hoping that they make a FIREFLY action figure because for the brief period we saw Bridgit as the villain, she looked really cool! I think that the Galavan/Penguin feud is getting a little annoying because they have a hold of Oswald's mother so he has to do anything the Galavan camp says. To be honest, in a scene I forgot to mention, Butch escapes after being toyed with by Tabitha and runs right back to Penguin with a location of Mrs. Cobblepot. Penguin and his men gear up for a gang war at the dock warehouse where she is being held. However the whole time I am thinking, "Why doesn't Butch just take his mallet-hand and knock Penguin over the head a few times and just take him out of the equation?!?" Lots of balls in the air right now for GOTHAM but I give it a solid 3 & 1/2 stars for nicely moving along the narrative.