By Lauren Linhard –

Fans of “Gotham” have been waiting months for the first female version of Firefly to take the screen this October. The meek villain turned rogue hero has only been portrayed by men – until now.

“We decided to make Firefly a woman because we wanted to describe how even a warm, loving and compassionate person can turn to the dark side when life pushes him or her that way,” said show Creator and Executive Producer Bruno Heller. “She’s not driven by testosterone-fueled aggression, but by a burning sense of injustice.”

Bridgit Pike, known as Firefly, first appears in “Scarification,” enslaved by her brothers, all of whom have banded together as a gang of arsonists.

While the rare gender swap is to be commended, especially in a genre known for depicting women as sidekicks in scantily clad costumes or overly sexualized villains, the motivation behind the change is insulting to men and women.

Heller not only implies that men are incapable of acting in a non-violent way when confronted with a moral transgression, he also hints that women are not able to take on life’s challenges without responding emotionally.

Perhaps what saved the role of this “new” Firefly was actress Michelle Veintimilla, who saw the opportunity as a chance to create discussion.

“I will say, there are some people who were not happy about it, but I think that’s good,” Veintimilla said. “I think it’s really good because it got people talking. I think things like this need to happen. And hopefully people that don’t like it will end up liking it in the end, and see that girls can kick ass too.”

Click to see clips from the Firefly episodes.
Click to see clips from the Firefly episodes.

Exposing this character’s ability to be non-gender specific also demonstrates the similarities at the core of being human – the raw emotion and struggle each person experiences, regardless of gender, when learning and coming to terms with their true self. Sure, not everyone turns to giant guns that spout fire during such a time, but the point still stands.

What did you think of the “Scarification” and “By Fire” episodes?