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 Season Finale Review – Goodbye Kate Kane, Hello Batwing! (2×18)
Batwoman wrapped up its second season with two Batwoman’s, Batwing, Alice, and the #BatTeam aligning for a common goal. Who would have thought?
Much of the season was building up to the very moment where Roman Sionis aka Black Mask declares war on Gotham and orders its citizens to overthrow the government.
It was essentially the PG-13 version The Purge.
While there were plenty of people who were more than happy to wreak havoc, the city was also filled with scared souls hoping to give Batwoman the faith she needs to continue fighting for them.
And so she did.
Ryan wasn’t confident to take on Circe without the Batsuit, and who could blame her? Without the suit’s protection, she was a mere mortal who could get seriously hurt.
But the fire that she had to protect the city from the bad guys never came from the suit, and thus, she found it in herself to step up for all of those who were relying on her.
In order to make any real progress, she needed to join forces with her sworn enemy: Alice.
I know there’s beef between them since Alice and her Wonderland Gang killed Ryan’s adoptive mother, but they make such a great team. It’s truly enjoyable to watch them work side-by-side.
The goal has always been to save Kate, so when Mary managed to snag an aerosol of Snakebite, they needed to get close enough to Circe to spray her with it and hopefully trigger some permanent memories.
And it worked… but not before Alice and Circe went overboard into the river in what seemed to be a repeat of Beth’s death.
Was Alice hoping that Kate’s memories would bubble up to the surface and she would get a second chance at saving her thus bringing Kate back permanently in Circe’s body?
Instead, Alice pulled Circe/Kate to the surface where she and Ryan performed CPR. Kate recognized Beth immediately just as she was pulled away by the cops.
For a night that was supposed to destroy the GCPD, they managed to lock up the leader of The False Face Society and the Wonderland Gang at the same time. I’d call that rather successful.
Kate realized the irony of always wanting to bring Beth out of Alice and having Alice bring Kate out of Circe instead. It didn’t matter how much Alice did or sacrificed to bring her sister back, however, as Kate determined that until she wanted to be Beth again, she couldn’t be saved. I’m going to have to agree with Ocean that Kate never deserved Alice’s love.
While I’m not too happy that Alice is back in the orange jumpsuit and behind bars just as she was making a sliver of progress, I know she isn’t going to stay there for long. Alice always gets out, especially since she has a key piece of information that Ryan is going to want.
In the final moments of the episode, Alice informed Ryan that her biological mother, the one Ryan thought died during childbirth, was actually alive.
Alice always has a card to play — it’s impressive. Is Ryan’s mom in Arkham?
Or does it have something to vines growing, which would indicate the appearance of Poison Ivy! Safiyah did mention that Ivy helped with the creation of the Desert Rose, so could this be connected somehow?
And the floating top hat and black-and-white umbrella that has belonged to Penguin wasn’t lost on me either!
I don’t know about you, but this makes me super excited for season 3!
Hopefully, the revelation about her mother, while jarring, isn’t going to undo all the progress she’s made to better herself.
In the season finale, Ryan finally found her power — she no longer saw herself the criminal she was painted out to be, she was released from parole, and Kate handed over the reins to Batwoman officially.
I didn’t mind the new Batwoman, but I’m glad the whole Kate Kane debacle is over. As I’ve said, she’s overstayed her welcome. Not to mention, Ryan made a much better Batwoman.
It seems almost pointless that the series would waste so much time on flip-flopping between having Kate missing, dead, and alive again, but I guess it does give her storyline closure in a way that doesn’t cheapen the character. It was a solid farewell that allowed her to say goodbye to her team, her sister, and Sophie while passing on the baton to someone who is more than worthy.
As Kate embarks on a mission to find Bruce Wayne, Ryan and the team will stay behind to protect Gotham, give the youth a community center, and provide free healthcare to those in need. It’s all coming up Millhouse!
And who knows, maybe one day she’ll come back to assist with the Bruce Wayne story. He’s such a presence in the series despite being off-screen.
Prior to having his face permanently burned with one of Joker’s acid flower and seeing his plan to become the city’s hero fail, Black Mask pumped Tavaroff full of Snakebite. His body seemingly gave out as he flatlined, and Roman didn’t hesitate to dump his body in a dumpster. They bring him to Mary’s clinic, where she notices the Snakebite and steals it to save Kate/Circe.
This, however, triggers Tavarrof, who goes into full rage mode. He’s beefed up and honestly, looking really Hulk-ish. It’s scary, but Mary manages to fight him off (looking truly fashionable, I might add) as he pursues her in the alleyway before Luke suits up and rises to help her as Batwing!
Luke has always been part of the action, but now, he’s going to be in the thick of it!
Two vigilantes in Gotham? Yes, please!
Since Ryan didn’t have her suit and was preoccupied with the Kate situation, it was awesome that Luke could’ve stepped in. There’s no one that knows more about this operation than he does, plus, his father specifically designed the suit based on his imagined renderings of a Black Batman.
Also, that suit is much more impressive than Batwoman’s!
Batwing, Penguin, Poison Ivy… it’s truly shaping up to be an exciting third season.
One person that won’t be coming back in Commander Kane. Dougray Scott will not reprise his role in the upcoming season as showrunner Caroline Dries admitted that his character has “run its course.”
I’d have to agree considering the Crows have been dismantled and Kate’s continuing on with her journey. I’m sure they could still find ways to involve him in Alice and Mary’s lives, but even towards the end of the season, it felt as though they were running out of storylines for him.
Overall, it was an action-packed finale that changed the trajectory of every major character for the better. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for them!
What did you think of the finale? Were you a fan of this rebooted second season? Are you rooting for Ryan and Sophie to become a couple? What about Mary and Luke?
And what’s the situation with Ryan’s mother? Sound off in the comments, and see you all next season!
Batwoman Review – A Storm Is Brewing in Gotham (2×17)
Thought Kate Kane was back?
On Batwoman Season 2 Episode 17, the Bat Team welcomed Kate — with a new face — with open arms, but in their desperation to have her back, they didn’t consider the possibility that it wasn’t her at all.
Honestly, Sophie even mentioned that they didn’t know what state Kate would wake up in after her hangover, so why didn’t they even stop to think that it might be Circe pretending to be Kate?
Luke basically handed her the blueprints that she needed to infiltrate the Bat Cave, lock them up, and steal all of their weapons.
They also needed to get Ryan Wilder out of the way, so the GCPD rounded her up by framing her on a drug possession.
Once again, the drugs weren’t Ryan’s, and thankfully, this time she was able to convince her parole officer that she was being wronged by spilling the secret that she’s Batwoman.
While it was a hard sell, Ryan was able to back up her claims by taking down several officers. It takes a lot of skill.
Ryan may have been able to break out, but she’s now a woman on the run. She’ll be limited in what she’s able to do, which will usher in Luke as Batwing. Two vigilantes are better than one! Does this also mean she’s getting a new batsuit!?
It was always possible that Circe was still working with Roman Sionis, but the betrayal still blindsided me.
Sionis is ruthless, however, so it wasn’t surprising that part of his plan also included rounding up ex-Crows to do his dirty bidding.
Those guys are so desperate to fit in. Plus, the fact that they were so easily swayed to join the bad guy means that they were always corrupt from the getgo; they never had the people of Gotham’s best interests at heart.
And of course Tavaroff is going to be Roman’s right hand man!
Circe made off with bioweapons that Bruce snatched up from Gotham’s most dangerous villains, but what does he intend to do with them? Build a superweapon?
And where does Circe fall into the plan? She obviously has no interest in being Batwoman, but there’s a part of Kate Kane inside of her that I have no doubt will bubble up to the surface.
If there’s anything we know about Kate it’s that she’s persistent, especially if her friends are dedicated to saving her.
We know the Bat Team won’t give up on her, but the person that’s most motivated is Alice.
After losing Ocean, Alice has no one left, which means she can fully invest herself into saving Kate.
I’m just as heartbroken about Ocean’s death as Alice is. He was the one person that was able to ground her and proved to her that she was worthy of love. He made her a better person — as good as Alice could be.
She’s already lost so much, and she continues to keep getting pushed to the edge.
Sure, she may have burned down Coryana, but Safiyah deserved it for what she did to her and Ocean.
And she more than deserved getting stabbed with the dessert rose dagger. Alice ripped that play right out of Safiyah’s playbook.
In order to weather the storm, Alice is going to have to work together with the Bat Team.
Thankfully, she’s starting to make some real progress with everyone including Mary.
Will the inevitable faceoff between Ryan and Circe lead to Kate’s demise? I can’t see Circe’s storyline continuing on for too long and there’s clearly not enough room for two Batwoman’s.
Plus, who’s to say that Kate would even want to take up the mantle if she were to come back?
All this Gotham drama would make me want to escape to a deserted island… no, not that one!
I hated how Ryan felt as though she were pushed to the side with Kate’s return. She’s proven that she’s worthy of wearing the cape, while the series proved that they can tell incredible stories without Kate. Even Ryan and Sophie’s connection is more convincing than Ryan and Kate’s at this point, so really, Kate’s return would just be messing up tons of personal and professional relationships.
What did you think of the penultimate episode of Batwoman?
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!
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