In this episode of Gotham, “Rise of the Villains: By Fire,” Selina turns to Gordon for help as the GCPD closes in on Bridgit, Butch goes to work for Theo Galavan, Gordon learns that Penguin is behind the fires set by the Pikes, and Nygma reveals a secret to Miss Kringle.
Butch, sporting a new bloody stump where his hand used to be, goes to see Theo Galavan. As Penguin instructed, Butch paints a picture of a man coming completely unraveled. Where Penguin is concerned, it’s not a short trip to Crazy Town.
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Penguin’s Plan is Put into Action
Theo is dubious at first, especially since he has several capable two-handed thugs in his employ already. Butch points out that nobody knows Gotham as well as he does; he’s got smarts.
Tabitha and Barbara see potential in Butch. They are in extreme makeover mode. They brainstorm a series of weapons they could attach to what used to be Butch’s hand.
Theo decides Butch could be an asset to the team and decides to welcome him to “Team Galavan.” Whether or not he truly believes Butch has gone rogue remains to be seen.
Theo continues to kidnap and torture government officials. The latest addition to his menagerie is a congressman, whose head is in a noose. The only thing preventing the guy from suffocating or snapping his neck is his ability to balance precariously on a stool. Once the congressman agrees to support Theo as a political candidate, Tabitha cuts him down.
Selina and Bridgit Combine Their Talents
Elsewhere in Gotham, Gordon and his Strike Force, down Luke Garrett, are trying to find out who the mystery girl was who set Luke Garrett on fire. Gordon roughs up another firebug, Nino. Nino’s never heard of a female firebug, saying, “It’s made rare. Like a unicorn or something.”
Bridgit is bunking down with Selina. Bridgit’s options are limited. She can’t go home, and since she killed a cop, she can’t exactly go to the police either. Selina says Bridgit’s best play is to skip town. There’s only one problem: Bridgit is broke. Selina hatches a plan to secure the funds her friend needs to leave Gotham.
Gotham has a seedy little human trafficking deal going on. The scum of the city gather together in a warehouse and auction off women for profit. Selina has really stepped up her game because instead of picking pockets, she’s graduated to full-on armed robbery. And with Bridgit and her trusty flamethrower as backup, the two score a nice chunk of change from all of the event’s attendees.
Gordon Gets a Lead
The remaining members of Gordon’s dream team narc their superior out to Captain Barnes. Gordon gets a reprimand for beating a suspect. Barnes is sympathetic to the fact that Gordon wants to avenge the young cop’s death, but he reminds Jim that war results in losses, and they are at war.
Barnes proves it is possible to get leads through legitimate means. A bodega owner’s surveillance cameras caught Bridgit and Selina exiting the auction. Being new in town, Barnes doesn’t recognize Selina, but Gordon does.
Bullock questions Ivy as to Selina’s whereabouts, and the tangle-haired, waifish ginger is easily bought off with a candy bar and a promise that Bullock will make sure she’s back on the street instead of being handed over to child protective services.
Selina is saying goodbye to Bridgit, who she has instructed to hop on the first bus south and ride until the end of the line. Bridgit’s escape attempt is aborted by her brothers, the Pikes, who have decided to welcome her back into the family fold by force. Selina puts up an impressive fight, managing to take down the younger Pike and get his gun, but Joe still manages to abscond with Bridgit, and when Selina returns to her hideout, Gordon is waiting for her.
But Selina is armed, and she’s not going to just roll over. Gordon warns Selina that Bridgit is bad news, but Selina tells Gordon that Bridgit is being forced into a life of crime. Gordon switches into protective mode. He lets Selina know there are a lot of angry cops looking for her friend, and Bridgit will get shot on sight unless he gets to her first.
Selina gives Gordon the 411 on the Pike brothers, Joe and Cale. She tells him how horribly they’ve treated Bridgit and how it’s their fault Garrett died. Gordon questions why the Pikes would be targeting buildings owned by Wayne Enterprises, but Selina isn’t wise to Theo’s grand plan.
Gordon promises he will do everything he can to keep Bridgit safe but warns Selina to stay out of it.
Bridgit Fights Back
Joe Pike isn’t happy that little Bridgit tried to skip town. As punishment, he and Cale chain her to a radiator and throw firecrackers at her until she agrees to stay put. Joe swears if she ever tries to flee again, he’ll not only kill Bridgit but Selina as well.
Not realizing they helped to create a monster, the Pikes have underestimated just what their little sister is capable of. Bridgit suits up and sets both the Pikes on fire.
Butch’s Cover is Blown
Butch returns to Penguin with an update. Barbara and Tabitha have installed a mallet on his stump. Penguin is eager for information about Gertrude, but Butch is empty-handed. Penguin isn’t pleased and threatens to chop off Butch’s other hand if he doesn’t find his mother.
Butch does some snooping in Theo’s office and finds some video footage confirming that Gertrude is still alive. He doesn’t have a chance to do much more before he’s interrupted by Galavan. Theo praises Butch’s loyalty but reveals that he knows Butch is still Penguin’s bitch. Theo’s known all along. Theo’s impressed that Butch let Penguin cut off his hand. When Butch says he’s Penguin’s servant and has to obey Penguin in all things, Theo figures out that Butch has been brainwashed and calls on his sister, Tabby, to help try and rewire Butch.
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Up in Flames
Gordon and Bullock discover the Pike brothers’ charbroiled bodies. Gordon’s got eyes everywhere, including on Selina. Gordon tells Barnes about the abuse Bridgit suffered at the hands of her brother and that they forced her to set the fires.
Barnes reminds Gordon about how hell-bent he was on making sure Garrett’s killer was brought to justice. Barnes doesn’t care about the circumstances surrounding Bridgit’s new persona; he just wants her brought down and wants Gordon to be the one to do it.
Selina, smart enough to know that her place is being watched, finds Bridgit on a rooftop they used to frequent as kids. Bridgit is reinvigorated after turning her brothers into toaster strudel, and Selina notes the change in her old friend’s demeanor. Bridgit is on a mission. She wants to light up every perv and lowlife in the city — the kind that have hurt herself, Selina and countless others.
Selina warns Bridgit that her only concern should be herself, otherwise Bridgit is going to get herself killed. But Bridgit is determined, and realizing she can’t talk her friend out of whatever she’s got planned, Selina gives her a hug and the two part ways.
Selina tips off Gordon about where she thinks Bridgit is headed. Obviously, it’s to the warehouse where women were being auctioned off like chattel. Bridgit is toasting pervs like marshmallows, and she lets all the women go.
Bridgit emerges and the place is surrounded. Gordon is desperate to keep his promise to Selena, so he orders everyone to hold their fire. He tries to reason with Bridgit, but to say she’s got trust issues would be an understatement. She sends a little heat in Gordon’s direction, which causes one of the officers to shoot, putting a hole in Bridgit’s flamethrower, specifically where her combustible liquid is stored. This doesn’t stop her from torching a bunch of police cars, but despite Gordon’s warning, Bridgit doesn’t stop and she becomes engulfed in her own flames.
Villians may be rising this season, but they sure don’t last long.
Galavan Gains Bruce’s Trust
Theo invites Bruce Wayne to dinner, using his lovely ward as added motivation for the young billionaire to attend. Theo also tells Bruce that Sid Bunderslaw has gone missing. Bruce questions how Theo got his information, and Theo says he has friends in high places and has been keeping his ear to the ground when it comes to Master Bruce’s family business.
Theo says he knows Bruce’s dad was a good guy, but despite the elder Wayne’s efforts, bad things happened at Wayne Enterprises. Theo Galavan knows Bruce wants to clean up the company, but he’s going to need help and Galavan wants to be Bruce’s go-to guy.
The Plot Thickens
Gordon arrives home to find Selina holding Lee at gunpoint. And this is before she finds out the bad news about Bridgit. Gordon tries to reassure Selina that he did his best to help Bridgit, but the young firebug seemed determined to go out in a blaze of glory.
Gordon pushes Selina to tell him who was behind the fires, and she finally gives him Penguin’s name. A teary Selina says she’s done trusting a cop, and Gordon is left wondering what would motivate Penguin to set those fires.
A Deadly Affair
Things are heating up all over Gotham. Edward and Kringle are very hot and heavy, but Kringle is worried. She tells Nygma how Tom Dougherty would kill her if he saw her with another man. She’s terrified of what could happen if he comes back. Nygma reassures her that she’s got nothing to worry about. Nygma confesses to killing Kringle’s ex. She thinks he’s joking, but he assures her this is no joke. He shows her Dougherty’s badge as proof.
Kringle flips out; she may like those bad boys but not quite that bad. She calls him a psychopath and promises that Nygma will go to prison where a horrible end will befall him. The lovers’ quarrel takes a deadly turn, and Nygma accidentally strangles his true love.
Butch Escapes and Bridgit’s Future Looks Bleak
Butch escapes the clutches of the lady Tigress. He tells Penguin he knows where Gertrude is being held prisoner. Penguin rallies his troops and readies to embark on a rescue mission.
As for Bridgit, she’s alive but not well. The suit melded to her body and now she’s apparently fireproof. Someone has handed her off to some nefarious someone or someones, where it looks as if she’ll become the subject of some rather nasty scientific experiments.
Gotham airs Mondays at 8pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)