This week’s episode of Gotham finally brought the fire, pun intended. After last week’s lackluster episode, my expectations for Gotham were at an all-time low, which is why perhaps, this episode, “By Fire,” really worked for me. It was exciting, evenly-paced and featured some great developments for (almost) all of the characters. Barbara, Harvey, and Lee still need MORE to do! Bridgit Pike’s antics lead us to an introduction of all sorts of new intriguing mysteries. Plus, we finally see Ed’s inevitable descent into madness come closer than ever.
***** SPOILERS BELOW****
Last week, Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) cut off his servant Butch’s (Drew Powell) hand in order for him to infiltrate Theo’s (James Frain) lair and find his mother, Gertrude (Carol Kane). What a terrible, terrible plan and the fact that Butch blindly does what Penguin’s says is a plot device that I can’t get my head around. Anyways, Theo, Tabitha (Jessica Lucas), and Barbara (Erin Richards) clearly don’t believe Butch. They give him a mallet for a new hand and then Tabitha tortures him with a whip. At the end of the episode, Butch appears to have escaped and knows where Penguin’s mother is. He tells a happy Penguin, but do we really believe him though? I sure don’t.
Meanwhile, Jim (Ben McKenzie) is hell bent on catching the girl who burned that rookie cop, whats-his-name, alive last week. He’s so mad that he is violent with a witness, which makes the other rookie cops report him to Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis). And since Barnes is the worst, he criticizes and yells at Jim to be a “good cop.” But, to be honest, I like the “less good” and morally grey Jim. It makes him more real and interesting as a character. Luckily for Jim, footage of Brigit Pike aka Fire Girl (Michelle Veintimilla) and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) in cahoots gives him a lead.
Speaking of young Selina and Bridgit, they are doing what they do best, robbing an underground sex-slave club. Wait…WHAT THE HELL? So, apparently there is an underground sex-slave club in Gotham, where gross-ass pervs and pimps sell chained up women. What is this place and why haven’t the cops shut it down? Just…what?! Anyways, Selina and Bridgit just rob the place, though Bridgit wants to save the girls. Selina tells her to leave town with the money, but before she can move a step, her terrible brothers kidnap her.
But this time, Bridgit isn’t to be messed around with. She burns her brothers alive and is now a changed girl. She’s mad and she wants to take down all the bullies and the pervs of the world, rescuing the slave girls. Selina tells her not to because she’ll probably get hurt, but Bridgit doesn’t listen. She goes to the club and starts burning people left and right. The cops arrive and Jim, who promised Selina he would protect Bridgit, tries to reason with her, but she fires off anyways and ends up blowing a cop car and herself up! Whoops!
During this investigation, Jim has been wondering why the Pike brothers would target Wayne Enterprises. He is slowly getting on to Theo’s plan, especially after a gun-toting Selina inadvertently gives up Penguin as the man behind the bombings. Selina also holds up Lee with a gun and cries about not trusting cops after Bridgit’s accident. Excuse me Selina, but why would an adult male cop ever trust you? All you do is lie, steal, and look out for yourself!?
And speaking of Bridgit, she isn’t dead. Her suit melted to her body, making her fireproof (allegedly). Two doctors wheel her body down an underground corridor, past a bevy of other weird and possibly sinister characters. This is Indian Hill – a division of Wayne Enterprises. Hmmm, interesting things to come. I wonder if young Bruce knows about this place.
Speaking of young Bruce (David Mazouz), he is busy “sparring” with Alfred (Sean Pertwee) in his new, fun underground cave. Alfred punches him in the face. I love Alfred! He has now physically assaulted two young children in the face. Amazing! Bruce gets invited to have dinner with Theo, Tabitha, and his ward, Silver St. Cloud (Natalie Alyn Lind). Bruce is super into Silver and Theo is definitely pimping that out. Tabitha is sufficiently creepy, showing up to dinner with a spatter of blood on her cheek. Later, Theo tightens his grip on malleable Bruce. Good things are not coming out of this…
And in an unrelated, but still very exciting storyline, Ed and Kristen Kringle’s (Chelsea Spack) relationship takes a turn. After he overhears Kristen telling Lee that she wants a man with a bit of danger, who will open up to her, he invites Kristen to dinner at his place. At this moment, I am totally shipping them. They have a fun chemistry and apparently Ed is good at making mashed potatoes. So much so that they head back to his bedroom.
After doing it, Kristen brings up her worries about Tom and then Ed stupidly tells her he killed Tom. NO! She takes a few moments to process it, but when she does, she freaks out, calling him a murderer and trying to leave. Ed tries to explain he did it to protect her, but he happens to explain it while choking her to death. NO! RIP KRISTEN! I really wanted them to work, but this is definitely interesting (though not altogether unpredictable). What will Ed do now?
What did you guys think of the episode? Let me know in the comments below. I must say, it was one of the better ones this season (post-Jerome). The stuff with Ed-Kristen was exciting and the Indian Hill introduction was cool. It was fun to see Ivy Pepper (Clare Foley) again. We still need more for Barbara, Lee, and Harvey. Hopefully good things are to come! Please don’t let us get bogged down by the over-the-top Theo or Barnes’ do-gooder cop attitude. Give us the dirty, meaty, fun character stuff.
Gotham airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox. Watch full episodes on Fox.com, Hulu Plus and On Demand (check with your local cable provider).