The Batwoman Season 2 premiere answered two pressing questions: “What happened to Kate Kane?” and “Who is Ryan Wilder?”
When Ruby Rose announced that she was leaving the show, many fans questioned how the series would move on without its main heroine, especially when all the plotlines leading up to season 2 were heavily revolved around her.
Those questions only intensified when it was announced that Javicia Leslie was cast as Ryan Wilder, a woman who embraces the cowl and cape of Gotham’s masked crusader.
Though my hopes weren’t high for the series, it seems that hitting the “reset” button during the premiere episode was in the show’s best interest. Seeing all the familiar faces brought a sense of familiarity, but introducing Wilder’s backstory into the existing narrative still gave the series a fresh vibe. It may look like the same show, but things are shifting in the right direction. All the series needs to do is ensure that it continues on that trajectory and doesn’t fall into the same manholes as the freshman season.
Ryan’s character brought me to a realization I hadn’t had prior — I didn’t care for Kate Kane. Despite being the titular character, Batwoman can and did exist without her; the series didn’t feel incomplete without her likely because the supporting cast has always done much of the heavy lifting while Rose coasted by.
Rebooting a series, however, always posed the question of how they were going to write Kate off. While death by plane crash wasn’t exactly what I expected, it’s a sure-fire way for the series to move on permanently while providing fans with much-needed closure. (As I said to myself during the episode: “that’s one way to do it.”)
Some in Gotham may think that Kate’s still alive somewhere out there, and usually, I tend to err on the side of caution because the rule of television is no body = no death, but considering the batsuit was on the ground at the scene of the crash, it’s safe to say Kate wasn’t wearing it and didn’t survive the impact of the crash. Realistically, it wouldn’t make sense to have the audience hoping for her survival when Rose made it very clear she’s no longer interested in the role.
Ryan was at the right place at the right time and was the first at the scene of the accident, which meant that she found the batsuit and immediately saw it as an opportunity to turn her life around.
Amid the grieving and mourning of Kate’s death and the tying of loose ends, the series never lost sight of Ryan’s story, and the way they factored her into the narrative felt believable.
There’s not much that make Ryan your all-American hero; she’s a victim of a broken system, she’s been let down, and she’s flawed. But she also has a good heart and a passion to change the world for the better, which already makes her the perfect choice to carry the mantle, not to mention compelling and way edgier than Kate.
She doesn’t exude Kate’s level of entitlement and even acknowledges that she doesn’t deserve to wear the suit if her only goal is revenge. She realizes that being a hero is more than the outfit, and while it’s unclear if the show will take its time to properly carve out a heroine with Wilder, she already seems to have the spunk and fire that Gotham needs.
Through flashbacks, we learn that Ryan’s biological mother died while giving birth to her and her adoptive mother, who kept her grounded, was killed by a group of squatters that ran with Alice.
Right off the bat (pun intended), she already has it out for Alice, which gives her something in common with Kate. She’s also impressed with all that Kate’s done for the LGBTQ community.
And there’s no one who understands the anger of losing a mother to Alice than Mary, which may be why the latter is silently rooting for her by the end of the episode.
Ryan’s desire for revenge reveals how Alice will remain an integral part of the story without Kate around.
A concern that surrounded the introduction of a new lead was that there would be no use for certain characters anymore or ways to fit them into the story organically, which would be a huge loss with Alice, who is one of the strongest parts of the series. It would be damaging to lose her, so I’m glad that there’s still someone in Gotham who she’ll be able to bump heads with.
And with Kate out of the picture, we’ll at least get to see a different side of Alice’s deliciously unhinged mind. Kate always had a soft spot for Alice despite everything she did, but that won’t be the case with Ryan. Consider Alice enemy number one.
Referring to Alice as “unhinged” is a bit of an understatement. We’ve seen her in some pretty deranged moments, but she truly spiraled after Kate’s death, which is hilarious if you think about it considering her whole plan with giving Tommy Elliot Bruce Wayne’s face was to kill Kate.
She wasn’t upset by the fact that Kate was dead so much so as she was upset that she wouldn’t be able to execute her psychotic plan. And I’d have to agree, it is a shame. I would have loved to see the Commander shoot Batwoman with the Kryptonite only to find out he killed his daughter.
With Kate gone, Alice wasn’t going to let all the plotting be a complete waste, so she clued her dad in on Batwoman’s identity by simply spelling it out for him. And crushing him with the realization that his daughter died as he was waging a war against her will have to suffice for Alice (and me).
Somehow, I feel like he always knew the truth deep down inside. As did Sophie. Come on, learning that Kate was Batwoman in the goodbye letter couldn’t have been such a shocker or much of an “aha-moment.” If it was, that’s the series dumbing down an agent we know is highly intelligent and skilled.
I guess that was the only way to bring closure to the Kate and Sophie relationship with Kate off-screen, but I just wish it was a more impactful moment on Sophie’s part.
Also, it’s a bit of a low blow that her final interaction with the love of her life is Kate confessing that she’s been lying to her this time. Sorry, my bad.
Hopefully, this allows Sophie to embrace her feelings for Julia fully because they make a good couple and could really do some damage in town with their badassery. And they’ll need each other if they’re going to go after Saifya.
Safiya introduction doesn’t just give Julie and Sophie a new purpose, but it also gives Alice a new arch-enemy – aside from Ryan – as she has taken responsibility for Kate’s demise.
Alice will want vengeance for not getting to kill her sister, and we know how dedicated she becomes when she sets her sights on something…. or someone.
Also, yeah, she was totally cuddling up to Mouse’s dead and decaying body as if it was completely normal. That’s our Alice!
Tommy Elliot’s arc as “Bruce Wayne” was short-lived, which I’m pretty content with. Kate’s disappearance gave Bruce Wayne a legitimate excuse to return after all these years, but Tommy should have been better prepared if this was meant to be a long-term ruse.
I was curious who the first person to figure out that Bruce wasn’t as he seemed, and let’s be honest, Luke should have caught on when Bruce didn’t know how to get into the batcave. However, I’m willing to give him some slack because he did just find out about Kate’s death.
But it made sense that Julia got to the bottom of it almost immediately. She is a spy of the Special Reconnaissance Regimen… it’s literally her job.
Not only did she follow her gut feeling, she acted on it by running his prints and wrapping up the whole case.
Tommy/Bruce’s showdown with Ryan/Batwoman was interesting and paralleled each other as they were both pretending to be someone they weren’t. The only difference is that Ryan proved in that moment that she has what it takes to be Gotham’s new hero. And though she may not have had the suit down pat — it’s not like it came with instructions or anything — but her martial arts skill sure came in handy.
And that wound from the kryptonite, well, it’ll bring Ryan right back to Wayne Enterprises to continue her journey.
Batwoman Season 1 tried and tried again to find its footing, and while there were some gems, it always remained the least liked of the DC/CW shows.
Rose’s exit as Kate offers the series a much-needed clean slate. And if the premiere episode is any indication, that’s for the best.
What did you think of the Batwoman Season 2 premiere?
Batwoman Review – Rebirth (2×16)
Roman Sionis, Circe, Kate Kane, and Safiyah are all connected.
On Batwoman Season 2 Episode 16, Safiyah makes her return as it’s revealed that she worked with Roman aka “Black Mask” to deliver him Kate.
But when she finds out that “Circe” and Alice came into contact, she informs him that Alice is Beth Kane. Safiyah knows that Alice would be able to identify her sister even if her mind was been wiped.
By the time Roman’s people get to Circe/ Kate, Alice and Commander Kane have made impressive strides with forcing her memories back.
Considering there was so much focus on the keyword to trigger Kate’s memories, I feel like they returned a little too easily, but I won’t complain too much cause the team-up between Alice and her father, albeit short-lived, was such a treat.
Alice may no longer be the Beth she remembers, but she’s still in there somewhere.
Jacob seems grateful to get any time with Beth at all, plus, he’s learning more about what led to her Alice persona and he’s surprised that it wasn’t all Cartwright’s doing and Enigma played a huge role in pushing her over the edge.
I feel like Alice will always be Alice, but they’re at least on their way to having some sort of relationship, especially after it was publicly revealed he is the father of one of “Gotham’s most notorious monsters” and he came to her defense.
Alice has done her fair share of terrible things, but she is a victim of her circumstances. She’s a victim of a kidnapping, of trying to forge a new path on Coryana, and of Enigma’s brainwashing. It doesn’t make all the things she’s done right, but it helps to see her in a new light.
With Jacob arrested for aiding and abetting Alice/Beth, he asks Mary to save both of her sisters, who he believes can become who they once were again. It’s a huge ask of Mary considering Alice/Beth killed her mother, but if there’s anyone who has the heart and will to do it, it’s her.
After Roman’s people captured Jacob, Circe/Kate was able to escape to the Batcave where she endured an inner struggle between the two entities inside her mind.
At times, Kate was able to recall things. And while she doesn’t have any memory of her sister, Mary, she does recognize Sophie.
Honestly, Mary always gets the short end of the stick. I guess the point is to showcase how deep Kate and Sophie’s love was, but it’s a low blow not to recognize the sister who was always in your corner!
After Circe resurfaces, she manipulates Sophie in order to escape and confronts Roman about who she really is
Safiyah then tells Roman to tell her the truth and allow her to decide for herself. Roman’s plan is to re-introduce Circe into society as the face (ha, get it?) of his Rebirth line of cosmetics (and even had the perfect millennial story about Malibu and rehab to explain her disappearance), but will Kate/Circe be interested in that.
Or will she try to become part of the #BatTeam again?
Safiyah created a world of chaos when she visited Gotham and made sure that Alice paid the price for burning down her entire field of dessert rose.
She didn’t even attempt to look the other way when Batwoman gave her the only remaining plant to rebuild her empire.
When it came down to it, she took what mattered most from Alice — Ocean. Is he dead for real this time?
Aside from actually enjoying his character and what he brought to the story, I enjoyed his dynamic with Alice.
Who would have thought we’d ever see Alice introduce a man to her dad? And how sweet was it that Ocean wanted to make a good impression?
Plus, I don’t want to see what happens to all the progress Alice has made if the love of her life is taken from her permanently.
We saw how she spiraled by losing her family, and Ocean was one of the few people who accepted her and loved her for her; he didn’t try to change her into something she wasn’t.
Roman may have revealed Alice’s true identity to the world, but it’s time someone reveals him as Black Mask. He’s done enough damage in Gotham.
The episode also focused on Luke’s recovery post-shooting. He was looking for trouble by confronting Tavaroff, who proved that he’s quite the tool who can’t even play poker without cheating. And he’s a sore loser to boot.
Luke may have lost his way temporarily, and it was interesting to see his “bad boy” side come out, but he’ll come around eventually.
While he wanted to reconnect with his father, he’s needed in Gotham. In a city full of bad men, they need all the good guys they can get. We know this is going to lead to Luke becoming Batwing, which was ushered through a guest appearance from Arrow’s John Diggle (David Ramsey). Yay for a mini-crossover! I wouldn’t mind if he stuck around to become a mentor for Luke!
Luke’s always been a superhero to his friends, but with the Crow’s dismantled, the city needs another vigilante more than ever.
And I love that Ryan gave him the space he needed while refusing to apologize for saving his life.
No one should ever have to apologize for that.
What did you think of the episode? Can Alice/Beth truly be redeemed, especially now after Ocean’s murder? What will trigger Luke’s decision to become Batwing? Will Kate return or will she go to the dark side and become Circe?
And does Kate’s return mean a Ryan and Sophie relationship is out of the realm of possibility?
Share your thoughts below!
Batwoman Review – Does Luke Survive? (2×15)
And that’s a wrap on The Crows.
After multiple attempts, Batwoman, Sophie, and Mary were able to show Commander Kane the error of his ways — that the agency he started to protect Gotham from monsters was filled with monsters instead.
The takedown of the soulless and corrupt Agent Tavaroff was beautifully executed, but sadly, it came at the expense of Luke Fox, who was shot and framed for crimes he didn’t commit.
What kind of system turns a blind eye and lets the actual perpetrator run off simply because he’s white?
Tavaroff had no qualms about using violence on those he deemed “less than.” We saw it when he disobeyed Sophie’s orders and shot the cannibals that were high on Snake Bite in the church, and we saw it now with Luke.
Not only did Tavaroff shoot Luke for pulling out a cellphone, but instead of owning up to his mistakes, he had his lackeys doctor the bodycam footage and placed a gun at the scene of the crime.
Tavaroff wasn’t about justice, he was all about self-preservation, and he was willing to get rid of anyone who stood in his way.
We saw him turn on Sophie, attempt to leak Batwoman’s identity, frame Luke, and finally, attack the Commander and essentially try to kill him.
Tavaroff had a vision for the Crows, and when Kane’s didn’t align with it, he tried to eliminate him by injecting him with a lethal dose of Snake Bite.
Tavraoff is the worst of the worst. He’s the kind of villain who hides his true colors behind a suit and justifies his actions, unlike Alice, who may be deranged but always owns it and never shies away from it.
Thankfully, Batwoman wasn’t interested in letting Tavaroff get away. She hoped that by saving Kane, he would finally see that his team was corrupt and that they were on the same side — the side of justice.
And then, she hoped he would do the right thing.
In this case, it was disbanding The Crows and stopping them from doing any more harm, which he did without hesitation. He finally “drained the swamp.”
I think the Commander knew that The Crows weren’t fulfilling their purpose for a long time, but he didn’t want to admit it to himself because that would mean he had to admit defeat.
He knew that things weren’t adding up because he knew Luke to some degree; he knew that he wasn’t a criminal, and he knew that he would never be guilty of the things he was being accused of.
It’s great to know that in the end, Kane did what was right while also giving Batwoman, his biggest opponent, credit for helping him see the light.
And by taking Tavaroff down, Batwoman proved that you can fight even the most deadly of criminals without using lethal force.
Color me shocked!
If only the solution to the problem was so easy in real life.
The Crows were an added layer of protection to a city that already has the GCPD and its own vigilante. It’ll be fine, or even better off, without The Crows.
The demise of The Crows is a good sign for Gotham, but it’s a better sign for the series.
The storyline had run its course, especially with Sophie turning in her badge and joining Team Bat. Is that official yet?
Commander Kane was also boxed in when it came to possible storylines, but his departure opens up the door of possibilities.
Namely, it allows for the ideal team-up between Alice and Jacob. Isn’t it hilarious how absolutely no one is scared of Alice anymore?
She’s off her rocker, sure, but she also has a soul, so she’s not going to kill her loved ones.
Kane never could’ve worked side-by-side with Alice while running The Crows because the optics wouldn’t be good, but now, he can finally reconnect with her and have some kind of relationship without using Snake Bite and living in the “what could have been.”
This might be how Jacob makes amends. It won’t be with the daughter he once knew — she died when the car went off that cliff, but it’ll be with a new version of her that has a little wiggle room to improve.
And their team up to save Kate Kane may allow Jacob to redeem himself and save at least one daughter from going down a dark and twisted path. He’s always carried that guilt, but this is his second chance.
Jacob is the only person that Alice told about Kate, which is interesting considering she tried to convince herself that she wanted nothing to do with that family.
Again, deep down, Alice wants nothing more than to be on good terms with her dad and her sister — that’s why she fought Ocean so hard when he told her to forget about Kate and move on.
Alice knows what it’s like to be forgotten, and despite all that Kate and Jacob put her through, she’d never turn her back on her sister.
Ocean is to Alice as Catherine Hamilton was to Jacob.
Alice is also pleased that this is one of the only decisions she’s been able to make for herself.
But how do they plan on getting Kate back? Alice doesn’t have the trigger word that would revert Kate’s memories, so is she hoping that their love is strong enough to fight through the hypnosis in the same way hers did with Ocean?
Maybe teaming up with Jacob is necessary because she knows he’s the only one who could jog Kate’s memory?
I’m eager to see how her plan pans out.
This might just be Alice’s redemption arc.
Luke Fox spent the episode fighting for his life in the real world and chatting up Bruce Wayne in his subconscious.
My first thought when Luke saw Bruce was that it was the show’s attempt at confirming that Bruce is actually dead.
I’m glad Luke posed the question, but Bruce gave an ambiguous answer that I’m guessing purposefully leaves the interpretation up to the audience.
If the series never intends to bring back Bruce Wayne, it explains why no one has heard from him since. Or we could go with Luke’s explanation that working tirelessly every day to make the world a better, safer, and more positive place while getting spat on is depressing as hell.
Pick your own adventure, I guess.
Either way, Bruce was a figment of Luke’s imagination, which is sweet as it shows us just how much Bruce meant to him.
We may not have seen their relationship in action, but the two of them had us convinced.
Bruce was also the gatekeeper allowing Luke to make a decision about whether he lives or dies.
It was a tough decision considering crossing over meant he would finally get a chance to reconnect with his father, which is something he’s always wanted.
It’s a tough crossroads to be at.
What was even more heartbreaking was Luke’s decision to die after acknowledging that the world was a broken place, particularly for a Black man.
“No matter what good we put into the world, it’s still a world where it happens, and I don’t want to live in that world anymore,” he told Bruce right before voicing his choice.
Luke flat out chose death because spending day-in-and-day-out trying to change the world and the way the justice system works is tiring; it’s a tiring battle that doesn’t seem to have a light at the end of the tunnel.
But the thing is — the world is a much better place with Luke in it.
Ryan and Mary would agree, and they went to great lengths to ensure his survival.
Mary fixed up a serum with Desert Rose that Wolf Spider then snuck into Luke’s room.
Normally, I’d be thrilled that he woke up, but the fact that he willingly chose to die left me kind of conflicted. Why go through all that trouble to give him a choice if he was going to wake up?
The moment gave me all the feels, but was it ever really Luke’s choice? Will he be grateful that his choice wasn’t honored?
What will Luke be like on the other side? From next week’s promos, we see a rougher side of Luke that swapped in his pristine suits for a beanie and a leather jacket.
I’m while all here for an edgier look, but it makes me nervous that he’s going after Tavaroff who clearly doesn’t hold back when it comes to violence.
Shouldn’t the guy be behind bars anyways? What happened to Blackgate?
Batwoman returned from its brief hiatus without missing a beat and providing compelling storylines which offer commentary and an introspective look into real-world issues in the context of a superhero drama set against the backdrop of a fictional city.
And dashed in between is an improbable storyline about Kate Kane with a new face. I don’t hate it, but if this season has proven anything, it’s that we didn’t need Kate then and we don’t need her now. I might be on Team Ocean to just let Kate be!
Are you excited for Luke’s arc? Are you glad The Crows are no more? Are you excited about a team-up between The Commander and Alice? And why is Black Mask so obsessed with the Kane family?
Batwoman Review – Different Minds, Same Heart (2×14)
A zombie apocalypse broke out in Gotham on Batwoman Season 2 Episode 14 that felt like a crossover with The CW’s former hit series, iZombie.
And yes, it did make me miss the Rose McIver-led series all too much.
But back to Gotham — the city was crawling with flesh-eating drug addicts thanks to a faulty batch of Snakebite.
That’s what Roman Sionis gets for being unable to replicate a “winning” formula, but he, sadly, didn’t have to deal with the consequences of his faulty product.
That responsibility and honor fell on the GCPD, the Crows, and Batwoman.
Now, with so many lives at stake, you’d think that they would all team up in a coordinated effort to put an end to the madness, but that was far from the case.
After Ryan, Luke, and Sophie were released from prison — they were arrested after being racially profiled under the guise of a “noise complaint” — Batwoman jumped into action with an antidote that Mary provided.
The GCPD was so quick to label Ryan a criminal, but they were the ones sending up the bat signal in their time of need. How ironic and typical.
Sadly, Ryan never got to inject the cure into the cannibals and save them because the Crows stormed into the church and began firing away despite Sophie’s direct orders to stand down.
Tavarrof’s direct words were that the homeless addicts were a “lost cause”… and he didn’t mean that just because of the tainted drug.
Tavarrof is the worst thing to ever happen to the already corrupt Crows.
He never respected Sophie, so when she became acting Commander in Kane’s absence, he completely disregarded anything she said and did his own thing knowing the rest of the white men would follow him instead of a Black woman.
This was Sophie’s final straw. After peace was restored in the city, she informed Luke and Ryan that she was leaving the Crows for good.
Her arc has been building to this moment as she constantly felt conflicted and torn between her character and her job.
She was working for an agency that lacked empathy; her vision no longer aligned with theirs as they don’t stand for anything positive. They don’t want to better the community or be more inclusive or bring about change.
Sophie learned that the hard way despite sticking around for so long because she wanted to be the change she wished to see.
She explained it so well in the jail cell when she said that she felt it was important to see Black people in uniform working to restructure the current policies.
Unfortunately, there are some lines that you just can’t cross, and Sophie found her line.
And she wasn’t just disrespected by Tavaroff either; For several episodes, she’s been treated as less than by Commander Kane.
To echo Ryan — Sophie was too good for the Crows, but she’ll be a great addition to the Bat team.
We’ve seen her collaborate with the trio and it’s given us some of the best episodes.
With the first Black Batwoman taking on the vigilante role, the series has tackled some profound storylines involving race. The most recent one hit the hardest as the cliffhanger involved Luke’s shooting at the hands of police.
I knew it wasn’t going to end well when Luke decided to convince Eli to stop stealing cars, but I assumed that they would get caught and the police would profile Luke and arrest him instead.
What happened was so much worse.
After the GCPD pulled up, Eli threw Luke under the bus. When Luke reached into his pocket to take out his phone and provide the cop with irrefutable evidence that Eli, a man with a lengthy car jacking record, was responsible, the cop assumed he was taking out a gun and shot him.
This is the kind of stuff that happens daily in the United States, but it was still disturbing to see it pan out on screen.
Watching Luke go down after he did absolutely nothing wrong and always tried to make himself look less threatening was heartbreaking.
We know he’ll survive, but that doesn’t make this situation any better. Gotham’s residents of color aren’t safe from the criminals or the people that are supposed to protect them.
I hope Batwoman makes the GCPD pay for what they did — all of it.
Elsewhere in the episode, Mary and Commander Kane worked together to treat victims of the tainted Snakebite.
Considering the Commander’s addiction, he should feel lucky to have been spared from the cravings of human flesh.
As someone who was always against Mary’s underground clinic, he finally saw just how important and necessary it is when he ended up working on the frontlines.
Unfortunately, it didn’t help their relationship at all considering Mary realized that he was addicted to Snakebite because he was trying to see Kate and Beth again instead of dealing with reality and confiding in the only daughter he had left.
Kane’s actions have officially alienated the remaining few people he had in his corner.
After giving Circe her face back, Roman granted Alice her freedom, but only after she realized that Circe was actually her sister Kate.
She confronted Dr. Rhyme, who admitted to brainwashing Kate and basically destroying her psyche.
Alice retrieved an item of Kate’s to help jog her memory — keys to her motorcycle, which conveniently symbolized “freedom” for her.
The fact that she still kept a little box of Kate’s belongings meant that she was never actually ready to erase her sister from her memory.
Before Dr. Rhyme could give Alice the password to “reset” Kate, Ocean snapped her neck in hopes of actually freeing Alice from her sister’s control.
While Alice’s anger was justifiable since he destroyed one of her only chances at getting her sister back, Ocean’s motivations made sense and came from a place of true love.
He didn’t want to see her invest all this time into saving someone who never made her a priority and never chose her. Alice’s life has been consumed by Kate, but Kate never put her first.
It was a painful truth, but also the first time anyone has ever cared enough about Alice to stick up for her.
Ocean is a keeper… sorry, Kate.
I know the series is determined to bring back Kate Kane, but I’m just over the storyline. She can remain Circe for all I care because the new Bat Team is better and stronger than it’s ever been.
Ryan also ended things with Imani, but when were they ever a thing? Did I miss something?
We all know the series is setting up a relationship between Sophie and Ryan, let’s not kid ourselves otherwise!
What did you think about the episode? Are you glad the series is joining the conversation about racial profiling and police brutality?
Let us know in the comments below!
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