Review: ‘By Fire’ Is the Best Episode Yet of Gotham Season 2

Tuesday, 27 October 2015 - 12:36PM
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DC Comics
Gotham
Tuesday, 27 October 2015 - 12:36PM
Review: ‘By Fire’ Is the Best Episode Yet of Gotham Season 2
Gotham has been on an upswing ever since the third episode of the new season. While it's still got a long ways to go and consistently seems to suffer from certain problems that have become intrinsic to Gotham, it's still good to see that it seems to finally have gained the potential necessary in order for it to transform into a show that's really worth the watch.

This week's episode, 'By Fire,' continued with the story of the new Firefly, Bridgit Pike. The GCPD is irrational and understandably irate over the death of their brother in arms while meanwhile, Pike meets up with Selina and later gets kidnapped by her abusive "brothers." No longer able to contain her anger, she burns them both alive and then decides to take on other criminals with her flamethrower as well. The GCPD finally catches up with her, and though Gordon tells her that he knows she was forced to do what she did because of her brothers, giving her every chance in the world to come peacefully, Pike simply will not listen. She then unleashes her flame on a nearby cop car, and due to a gas leak in her suit, ends up setting herself on fire in the process.

During all of this, Bruce is invited to dinner with Galavan and Silver St. Cloud. The two kids noticeably like each other, and it's hard not to agree with Tabitha's sentiments regarding their cuteness. Elsewhere, Nygma and Kringle take their relationship to the next level. When Kringle mentions how scared she is of Officer Dougherty potentially returning, however, Nygma finally fesses up to killing him. When Kringle expectedly freaks out, Nygma then tries desperately to calm her down but ends up accidentally killing her instead, which will no doubt serve to drive the Riddler even deeper into the madness.

This episode was a lot of fun for a variety of reasons. First of all, the show finally focused on the characters who are actually fun to watch. Bullock repeatedly kicking a smoking corpse after the dead man briefly woke up and grabbed his leg was a lot of fun to watch, and a few awkward laughs for Nygma when he tries to act sly and fly simply can't be helped.

Likewise, Pike became a whole lot more interesting character since last week. Her story was tragic, and fans have to feel some amount of sympathy for her. Watching Selina was also a big highlight of the episode too, as it becomes increasingly apparent that Camren Bicondova has got the core of Catwoman's character down to a tee. Street savvy, smart, not afraid to get her hands dirty but yet keeps a clean heart; it's exactly what fans want to see from her. Just as well, the fact that she acts like she doesn't care when it's clear that deep down she does is one of the things that defines Selina Kyle most. Bravo, Bicondova. Bravo indeed.

It's also immensely entertaining to see Sean Pertwee's version of Alfred. Fans of the comics who are familiar with Geoff John's Earth One version of the character can see quite clearly that Pertwee is basically that Alfred brought to life. Having Alfred be Bruce Wayne's personal trainer for a time might not be what many are used to, but it really seems to work and it's a lot of fun to watch. Finally, the issue the show has had with pacing wasn't nearly as apparent in this episode. So it would seem that progress is definitely being made.

In the end, Gotham still has some problems that are so deeply ingrained in the show at this point that they're probably not going to go away throughout it's lifespan. However, episodes like 'By Fire' are a good reminder that the show runners can still make it work if they try. Due to this, episode 6 of season 2 was by far the best episode to air yet this year. So at least for this week, Gotham scores a 7.7 out of 10.

Catch Gotham again next Monday on Fox at 8 p.m. ET.
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