Episode Title: By Fire
Original Airdate: 10-26-15
It’s getting old hat to say how much I’m up and down on Gotham so instead of going through it all again, I’ll just skip to the end and say that I rather enjoyed this episode minus a couple characters that I’m not feeling very much anymore. It has a strong turn for Cat as well as the continuation of a turning point for Gordon. It also furthers Nygma’s plot, and while it does once again go much further down the rabbit hole than I would have expected considering the show’s timeline, I’ll go along with it for now. And as far as Bridgit’s Firefly, she had a nice bit of a tragic villain story with a twist at the end that I rather enjoyed.
I think the strongest character in this episode was Cat and her interactions with Bridget and Gordon. Firefly went on her descent into murderous pseudo-vigilante as she sought vengeance for those who had wronged her and those like her and was ready to go down in a literal blaze of glory before all was said and done. Unfortunately, this also ended up leaving a rift between Gordon and Cat as Gordon gave out yet another promise that he wasn’t able to keep when he said that he wouldn’t harm Bridget. But the real question is the teaser at the end when she is dragged into Indian Hill, a division of Wayne Enterprises. The reveal of this Indian Hill appears to be the set up for a whole cadre of Batman villains which leads to the question of why this show isn’t just Batman in the first place? All of this would make much more sense if Bruce Wayne was at least five years older than he currently is in the show. But taken outside of that context, it does make things a bit more interesting for Gordon’s future.
Unfortunately, with the good also comes a bit of the bad, and I am so disappointed with what they’ve done to poor Butch. He had a couple of the best moments in season one and he’s been stuck with this twitchy conditioning through most of season two. Not to mention that he’s lost his hand and been given a mallet by a Barbara who is continuously more like Harley Quinn with every passing episode. There is a hint that he’s actually trying to play both sides against each other, but it’s still a little too early to tell. I have a sneaking suspicion that he won’t survive much longer which is a shame because he could bring this show up quite a bit if he was allowed to. Galavan has also been a bit of a thorn as he plays up the crazy like a fox role. He is just so all over the place with his schemes and how many people he has kidnapped and tortured, it’s really frustrating to see how blatant he is with all his dealings and yet there’s apparently not even a twinkle in anyone’s eye to oppose him just yet aside from Penguin who is stuck under his thumb with his mother as leverage.
And then there’s Gordon who is walking the edge between right, and the grey area just to the left of being right. He’s starting to butt heads with the new police Captain over his headstrong nature as he is starting to lean on his ability to bend the rules whenever he needs to. I actually like this Gordon as it gives him a little bit more personality than he has had in a while. He’s not just boring old Gordon butting heads against a corrupt police force, he’s been neck deep in corruption and now that the force is starting to get cleaned up, he’s on the grey side of the law more than they are and it’s too late for him to change his colors.
And to wrap up this discussion with the next step in Nygma’s tale. This is another instance where I enjoy the performance and the intrigue, but it also feels too far out of any Batman continuity I’m aware of. So once again, I will try and push continuity out of my head which is really the only way possible to enjoy this show, and take it at face value. Even without him going full supervillain, it’s tough to see how he’s going to get himself out of this mess. With his first victim, it was a bit easier since he didn’t technically have any personal involvment, but the death of Miss Kringle will be much more difficult for him to cover up. It felt a little bit too soon for his character to go that far, but the way it was presented within the episode was a nice piece of work and an eerily believable performance from Cory Michael Smith during the assault, if the pained grief afterwards was a little overly theatrical.