In the latest Gotham recap, Firefly spreads her wings, Butch gets reconditioned and Edward Nygma takes things one step too far….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Gotham promised a ‘rise of the villains’ and while it seemed like a rather hokey title when the sophomore season of the Batman prequel began this year, the show has largely delivered especially in the latest episode with a slew of new bad guys emerging.
Of course, Theo Galavan remains the wizard hanging out behind the curtain, quietly pulling everyone’s strings as the real villain this year but Penguin has started to come into his own, a flame starting Firefly took flight last week and even The Riddler aka Edward Nygma began to feast on his own murderous rage, far away from the quirky and annoying version that decorated our TV screens a season ago.
Even Jim Gordon got a little frayed around the edges following the death of a cop last week as he beat up a couple suspects trying to find out some information. Of course that only ended in a reprimand from his new boss Captain Nathaniel Barnes, who only plays by the rule book these days (and it’s still strange to watch Michael Chiklis walk the straight and narrow after seeing him live in the muck for seven seasons on The Shield).
All told, ‘By Fire’ was one of the better staging episodes thus far in Gotham season 2 with a few more plots developing and a couple criminals coming into their own as the real story begins to unfold with Galavan going after the Wayne family.
With that said let’s recap the latest episode….
Fire It Up
Gordon and his alpha squad are trying to root out every known arsonist in town to find out who was responsible for the cop that got burned alive last week while they tried to stop the latest building from being torched. As much as Gordon wants to know why on Wayne Enterprises buildings were targeted, he’s more concerned about finding the cop killer.
Little does he know at the time that Bridgit Pike, the woefully underappreciated and terribly abused younger sister of the fire happy Pike family, was responsible.
Selina tries to help her friend escape Gotham City by pulling a crime of their own to give her the money to get out of town. Selina leads Bridgit and her fireproof suit/flamethrower combo to a local meat market where the people inside are auctioning off human flesh in some kind of underground sex trafficking ring. Once they get inside, Selina starts the robbery and Bridgit backs her up with a lot of fire to do her talking.
Selina’s only interested in the money despite Bridgit actually wanting to rescue the girls in captivity, but when it’s all said and done they make out with more than $10,000, which is plenty enough for Gotham’s Firefly to get out before the cops find her.
Unfortunately, Bridgit gets captured by her abusive older brothers and pulled back into their life of crime.
When Jim sees a tape of the girl with the flamethrower outside the warehouse that was attacked, he doesn’t know her but he sure knows her accomplice Selina Kyle. Jim rattles a few cages but it’s Bullock’s conversation with Ivy (remember her?) that yields a location for her friend’s new hideout.
Meanwhile, Bridgit is being tortured by her brothers before they finally welcome her back to the family business. Her present for returning home is an order to make them dinner, but Bridgit has plans to cook something else entirely. She loads up her suit and weapon and burns her brothers to a crisp. After Gordon and Bullock find the crime scene, they know this was Bridgit’s doing after years of abuse and they need to find her before somebody else does.
Jim tracks down Selina and asks for her help and the fact is with Bridgit having a cop kill on her head, she’s got a mighty big target wherever she goes and if anyone with a loose trigger finger finds her first, she’s dead. Selina opts to believe that Jim is on her side so she tells him where Bridgit is likely headed next — the same place they robbed the night before and her firefly friend is going back to finish what she started.
Jim and the cops race there to stop the Firefly, but by the time they arrive, she’s already torched anyone and everyone in sight before threatening the police as well. Jim tries to talk her down, but Bridgit already has it in her mind that the cops are there to punish her just like her brothers used to do, so she opens up both barrels and unleashes a flame as bright as the north star.
The cops are forced to open fire and in the process, Bridgit’s fuel take gets hit and ignites, causing the poor girl to burst into flames. While all signs point to her death, we find Bridgit later in the episode strapped to a gurney and orderlies explaining how her fireproof suit melted to her body and while she’s not dead, she’s not exactly alive either. They dump her in a room for safe keeping and as the camera draws back we see the name — Indian Hills – A Wayne Enterprises company.
A Family Affair
After having his hand hacked off by the Penguin last week, Butch shows up as a Trojan horse to attempt to get into Theo Galavan’s good graces. The new crime lord gives Butch a job, but after busting him looking at the close circuit feed of Penguin’s mother in captivity, Theo figures out that he’s not actually working for them and is instead still loyal to his old boss.
Butch explains that he’s loyal thanks to mental conditioning so whatever Penguin says, he must do. Theo has a solution and it involves his sister Tabitha, a whip and some new commands that his brain will soon accept.
When Butch shows back up at Penguin’s place — with a mallet sewn onto his bloody stump courtesy of the Galavan gang — he tells his ‘boss’ that he found his mother and they have to hurry to find her. Penguin rallies the troops, but Butch is leading him right into a trap after spending a few hours with Tabitha and her powerful forms of persuasion.
Meanwhile, Galavan continues to push for his new job as mayor after threatening a congressman for his endorsement and now his next mission is to get Bruce Wayne on board.
Bruce is spending most of his free time in boxing class with Alfred while waiting on Lucius Fox to fix the computer that once belonged to his dearly departed father. The only thing that distracts Bruce from practice is hanging out with Silver St. Cloud — and of course she’s Galavan’s niece.
At dinner than night, Galavan toasts to family and then tells Bruce all about some missing Wayne employee named Sid Bunderslaw and the rumors that have been swirling about Wayne Enterprises. Galavan promises once he’s mayor, he’s going to use ever resource at his disposal to root out the evil doers at Bruce’s company while restoring his family’s good name. Obviously he’s lying his ass off, but it’s a good sales pitch.
The Alpha Male
At work, Edward overhears Leslie Thompkins and his new girlfriend Kristen Kringle discussing their relationship. It doesn’t go as well as expected, however, after Kristen expresses how she wishes Ed would get a little more aggressive with her and stop hiding whatever he’s keeping from her. She also mentions that she’s glad her asshole ex-boyfriend is missing in action and she’d actually celebrate it if he were dead.
Edward takes that as a sign and later that night at his place over dinner, he finally gets the balls to take Kristen into his bedroom — well technically she made that suggestion, but the deed gets done either way. Afterwards, Miss Kringle is explaining how jealous her ex-boyfriend was about her seeing anyone else and that Edward should be careful because he’s no match for big bad cop Tom Daugherty.
Edward decides to finally show how alpha male he really is while also explaining that Officer Daugherty is no longer a threat to him or them as a couple — because he killed him. Edward even kept his badge as a souvenir.
Well, Kristen freaks out and tries to run away while calling Edward a monster, but he stops her and wraps his hand around her throat to keep her quiet. In the process of telling her that he’s no animal and what he did was for the good of their relationship, the last breath of air escapes Miss Kringle’s delicate throat and when Edward lets her go, she crumbles to the ground already dead.
Edward is pained with remorse that he just killed the woman he loved, but it’s more evident than ever that the Riddler will be coming out to play sooner rather than later.
Requiem for a Friend
Jim returns home to find Selina pointing a shotgun at Leslie asking for answers on what happened to her friend Bridgit. Jim explains that he tried to help her, but Bridgit had no interest in being helped and now she’s gone (but not really gone).
Selina is devastated and lashes out at Jim, regretful that she ever trusted a cop and she wouldn’t make that mistake again. Jim says he still needs her help because he needs to know why the Pike brothers torched a bunch of Wayne buildings and put their sister up to do the dirty work. Selina refuses to give up the name because she’s sure Gordon wouldn’t go after his ‘little friend’ anyways.
A light bulb clicks on in Jim’s head as he realizes that the person behind all of this is the Penguin and Selina was there the moment they struck their deal earlier this season before he took someone’s life as a debt to the Gotham crime lord.
Selina can’t trust Jim because the fact is after what he did for Penguin, Jim can’t be trusted.
Gotham returns for a brand new episode next Monday night at 8pm ET!