Martin Carr reviews the sixth episode of Gotham Season 2…
This lights a fire under you in more ways than one. ‘By Fire’ sees the transformation of Bridget into one nasty piece of work. Geared up with a flamethrower and goggles, we see a young lady losing her grip on reality. That she finally snaps and turns her brothers into toast has been a long time coming, but the wait is worth it. Now sought by Gordon and Barnes for crimes against the department, she has no options beyond Selena Kyle. Someone who not uses the situation to her advantage, but also witnesses and warns against the path Bridget is set on.
Meanwhile Butch is quickly revealed to be the puppet we knew he was. What Galavan has done in retaliation for Penguin’s scheme remains unclear, but there will be a price to pay. Galavan’s continued influence on Bruce Wayne through teenage manipulation remains a thematic thread worth exploring. While the fact that we know Wayne is for the chop only adds to our inherent interest. Beyond this pubescent love interest comes the much more sinister affair between Nygma and Cringle.
This burgeoning love affair has now advanced into the bedroom, where Ed feels confident enough to share some secrets with his new beau. It is here in these moments that Gotham crosses a line I thought mainstream shows steered clear of. Not since Constantine has there been any example on prime time which I considered contentious. Surprisingly what this action has done is renew my faith, as it really is a ‘what the hell’ moment. Nygma then is showing us something of the darkness which Smith had failed to even hint at. Split personalities and talking reflections are no sign of insanity for me. You need something which truly pushes your character over the edge. Thankfully Gotham has achieved just that. What Nygma is destined to become pokes its head out in these minutes, but more importantly supplies the character with human motive.
Moments before we see the manhunt for Firefly continue, culminating in confrontations after the fact over shotgun barrels between Kyle and Gordon. This episode has so many strands that it feels like a conclusion of sorts, even though we have a good number left to run. Alongside the roasting and survival of Bridget in those final moments. We get shots of a research facility and surgical theatre as closing gambits. Narratively speaking Gordon and Barnes remain at logger heads, the city is in turmoil and crime bosses no longer hold all the cards. Gotham season 2 is ripe with opportunities for a continuation into a third run. Things started well, continued improving and look to carry on in the same vein.