In one of DC Comics most prominent graphic novels, The Killing Joke, the Joker wished to prove that “one bad day” could turn anyone, even the most honorable of heroes…into villains. Well, while a hero may not have turned, “By Fire” showed the ramifications of having “one bad day”.
The Firefly arc concluded here in both amazing, and heartbreaking, fashion. What really sold this story to me was the relationship between Bridget and Selina. You could tell that despite her saying she didn’t care, Selina honestly did. She does care for people, despite not wanting to desperately. Her repeated attempts to help, guide, and save Bridget was not lost on me, especially since at times Selina was very wooden in her performances in Season 1, here though, it was a totally different story.
This of course led to Gordon, who started off on a tear because of the loss of one of his Strike Force because of Bridget. Gordon had his own mini-arc of sorts here. As both Strike Force and Barnes noted how he can’t cross in order to get justice. This was telling, as Barnes proved to be a man of his word (and one with a past of possibly crossing the line) and that he holds both him and Gordon responsible for the actions they take. Thankfully, the true Gordon returned when he found out Selina was part of the act in a way, and he wanted to protect her, and then Bridget.
But…in a twist I appreciate, Bridget didn’t get to be free, as her “dear brothers” returned for her. True…I’m not sure exactly how they found her…but let’s ignore that. Because their return, and subsequent abuse was the “one bad day” scenario that Bridget needed to truly become the Firefly. I noted in the last episode that it was good that we were seeing the abuse her brothers did to her, cause if we didn’t see them until this episode, it would’ve felt force, but with two episodes, and constantly berating, harassing, and torturing her, and then threatening to kill Selina!!!…it all fell into place for Firefly to truly be born.
Her final act may have been a bit predictable (see: burning herself alive), but the fallout was felt. From Gordon’s remorse, to Selina’s hating of him, and then the reveal of Indian Hill! If you don’t recall, in the mob war last season, Falcone was “rewarded” with Indian Hill from Maroni, who thought it was a “toxic dump”. But instead, it’s apparently an even bigger freak show than Arkham! With possible HUGE Batman characters coming from it. Oh, and Bridget is alive still…could she return?
The other plots here were also fascinating. From Bruce’s training with Alfred, and further being lured into Theo Galavan’s web of lies and deceit. To Nygma trying to be what Kristin wanted him to be…only to reveal he killed her former boyfriend…and then she killed her…yeah, it was tragic. And then of course with Butch and Penguin, the former of whom got caught and possibly “reprogrammed”, and given a mallet hand, that’s interesting. Then Penguin is truly losing it now, and most definitely walking into a trap, it was all well played.
This episode could’ve easily gone another direction, but instead it stuck to its guns (and flamethrowers) and focused on the characters that are making Gotham truly great. Every episodes seems to be as good or better than what came before. And the setup for the next episode is looking pretty epic. Let’s see what happens…and who burns next.