Spoiler warning: Do not read on unless you’ve seen “Gotham” episode 206, titled “By Fire.”
In the Oct. 26 episode of “Gotham,” we saw Cory Michael Smith’s Edward Nygma take another step towards his dark destiny as The Riddler by accidentally killing his girlfriend, Kristen Kringle (Chelsea Spack), after he confessed to murdering her abusive ex and sent her running for the door. As a forensic scientist for the GCPD, Nygma probably has a few ideas about how to cover his tracks, but the emotional ramifications of his impulsive act are likely to reverberate for the rest of his days — and perhaps even contribute to his future penchant for green spandex.
Elsewhere in the hour, Selina (Camren Bicondova) went to Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) for help with her friend Bridgit Pike, aka Firefly (Michelle Veintimilla) — a previously meek girl from The Narrows turned badass vigilante.
Her decision to kill her brothers and take control of her own destiny “really does ignite a fire inside her, because she’s seeing the real world for the first time, she’s seeing all these injustices and all these women in cages, and that infuriates her,” Veintimilla said of her character’s more assertive transformation in this week’s episode. “She feels like she has to do it because she escaped her brothers and because she got out of her circumstances, she feels like she needs to take matters into her own hands, and I think she feels completely justified in what she’s doing. It’s frustrating for her when Selina denies that she’s suffered injustices – Selina is a really strong, independent women, but people underestimate her all the time, so I think they teach each other a lot.”
Alas, Jim and the GCPD were unable to keep the rebellious thief from coming to a fiery end… or so they thought.
In the episode’s final scene, we saw a severely burned Bridgit being wheeled along the clinical corridors of an underground facility known as Indian Hill, previously mentioned as a toxic waste dump that was traded between mobsters Don Maroni and Don Falcone in season one. Located underneath this prime piece of real estate, the mysterious lab was apparently a division of Wayne Enterprises, where all manner of grisly looking experiments were taking place. After her flamethrower accident, Bridgit’s suit was said to have melted to her skin, making her fireproof — “that’s why they sent her down here with the rest of the monsters, for testing,” according to one of the men accompanying her.
Veintimilla admitted she has “no idea” what’s in store for Bridgit when she makes her return, but she predicted that Bridgit’s somewhat unhinged mental state will mean her next appearance will be “very similar to what happened this time around. They’ll let me know when I get to set.” Despite the burns Bridgit endured, the actress was confident that her next costume upgrade will be “awesome — since the first costume came out the way that it did, I think her real villain costume will be even cooler.”
Variety also caught up with Bicondova to discuss where Selina goes from here, having lost her oldest friend (or so she thinks) because of Jim’s failure to protect her, and having been warned to stay away from Bruce (David Mazouz) by Alfred (Sean Pertwee).
We’ve gotten to see a more vulnerable side of Selina thanks to her friendship with Bridgit in the latest two episodes – why do you think that relationship is so important to her?
They grew up together, so that’s one thing that’s very important to Selina – having someone with her – especially after Alfred told her to stay away from Bruce. Before Bridgit came around, she felt very lost… They understand the struggle of growing up in a chaotic place like Gotham.
In this week’s episode, she tells Bridgit “no one’s ever gone after me or hurt me” – does she really believe that?
It’s definitely a cover-up. She not only tells herself that to survive but she’s telling Bridgit that to stop Bridgit doing what she’s about to do. Yes, Selina has been gone after, like last season in episode 10, assassins were going after her, but nobody has gone after her specifically – they’ve always gone after her regarding Bruce. That’s the complex part of what she’s saying, but it’s a cover-up, definitely, because her mom hurt her; her mom left her. She’s been growing up on her own — a teenage girl with no mom, that’s not a positive subject.
Alfred telling her to keep away from Bruce (and slapping her) seemed to really affect her – how is she handling that?
She’s bitter, because Bruce promised her that he wouldn’t tell anybody about what happened, and he told Alfred, and so when Alfred confronted Selina, not only was she surprised by the slap, she was surprised that Alfred knew about what happened. So she’s bitter about that, and she’s bitter about the fact that she can’t see him. So she’s lost and, especially after she finds out what happens to Bridgit, she doesn’t have anybody to turn to anymore, so she’s like “I don’t know whether I’m a good guy or a bad guy. Where do I fit in?” She’s definitely struggling.
Does that lack of companionship nudge her closer to the dark side?
I think it would be easy for her to turn to the dark side, I don’t think she necessarily wants to. That’s where she’ll be struggling… She’s going to have to turn to herself – at this point, she’s going to need to remind herself that she has raised herself and taught herself things that adults don’t even know in Gotham, so she’s going to need to remind herself that she’s gotten this far on her own and she can go further on her own, because she is very independent for her age.
She doesn’t usually take no for an answer – is she actually planning to stay away from Bruce for long?
I think she’ll come around; I think she’ll figure out a way to see Bruce again, because at this point, she’s iffy about Gordon. What she doesn’t realize is that the GCPD is changing with Captain Barnes in charge, so when the GCPD changes, that affects Gordon. So he can’t necessarily do the things he used to be able to do, and in turn, he can’t help Selina the same way he used to. So when he promises her that he’ll watch out for Bridgit, and he doesn’t deliver, she’s upset.
At the end of the episode we see that Bridgit ends up at Indian Hill – Selina was obviously devastated at the thought of Bridgit being dead, but how do you think she’d feel to find out she’s still alive, but in such a changed state?
I think it would be a mix of both. Shock would be the main word to describe it if Selina were to find out, because she would be glad that she’s still [alive], but to be in Indian Hill, which is not a good place for anyone to be, she would kind of wish she’d died at the same time… She would feel terrible that she didn’t help Bridgit like she initially wanted to, so she’d regret a lot of things.
She’s been pretty useful to Penguin so far this season, but is she planning on sticking around with him, or is she just waiting for a better offer?
Selina does whatever she wants to do, whenever she wants to do it, so if Penguin works out then it works out. If something better comes along, maybe she’ll go somewhere else – business is business to her; she doesn’t really take things personally as much as everybody else that she knows.
What else is coming up for her in the next few episodes?
She starts doing some really cool things. There’s this controversy of the character of Catwoman where is she a villain or is she a hero, and for me personally, I think Selina and Catwoman are both antiheroes. Lately, within the season so far, we’ve seen Selina change and see emotions we don’t normally see, so you’re trying to figure out “is she going to the dark side, is she going to the good side?” And in the next couple of episodes you’re going to see her trying to figure that out for herself, but she’s going to be doing some things that are kind of twisted, but for very good reasons, and I’m just very excited and I’ve been getting to do some really cool scenes. She’s a teenager and she’s reacting to emotions she hasn’t felt [before].
“Gotham” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.