Kate had quite the birthday on this week’s Batwoman as she got her sister back and almost lost her within the hour, which is the most poetic example of “have your cake and eat it too.”
The episode found its stride following the crossover and capitalizing on the cliffhanger of Beth’s return, which is where the action picks up.
Her return is an exciting byproduct of the crossover as it allows the series to really dig deep into the bond between Kate and Beth, the sister she’s always wanted.
It didn’t take long for Kate to deduce that the sister she assumed was Alice and attacked was the result of the multi-verse collapse, and from there, she embraced Beth with open arms.
Beth was understandably confused by the situation at first, but it also didn’t require much explaining as she’s a major in astrophysics and has a firm grasp on the concepts that could have led to this moment even without the superhero explanation.
Evidently, she’s Alice’s polar opposite, which on this Earth is a damn good thing.
Beth’s appearance led to a wonderful redemption arc for Kate, who will no longer have to bear the guilt of not saving her sister the first time around.
On the parallel Earth, Beth never went down the rabbit hole because Kate risked her life and pulled her out of the car crash that killed her and her mother on the current Earth.
And after Beth, who valiantly offered to repay the gesture by posing as Alice and saving Kate, got caught up by Alice’s goons, Kate redeemed herself by saving her sister’s life.
She may not have been brave enough when she was a child, but she didn’t let this second chance go to waste.
Everything about Beth and Kate’s reunion was perfect, which by TV standards means that something is going to go catastrophically wrong.
The rules of laws and physics, I assume, would never allow the same person to exist on the same Earth for too long, and thus, both Alice and Beth are suffering from it.
With Beth and Kate connected (and Beth seemingly not having any other world to return to), the wedge between Kate and Alice has been driven even further.
Despite Alice’s misdeeds, Kate has always maintained a soft, forgiving spot for her in hopes that her sister was buried somewhere deep inside.
But now that she has Beth, she no longer has anything connecting her to Alice or motivating her to save her. All bets are off, which makes this an insanely dangerous situation for both Alice and Beth.
What’s Gotham City without its best villain, though?
Alice’s presence is so strong that it seems unlikely the series will get rid of her.
There’s a slight chance Lucas will find a solution to keep them both, but that is if The CW wants to keep paying Rachel Skarsten for double-duty. As much as we don’t want to admit it, budgets do drive storytelling.
Kate proved that she’s just as much of a hero without the cape, despite the lack of tech making things slightly more difficult for her.
It’s the first episode where she didn’t don the bat suit, which was a change of pace that allowed us to continue to explore who Kate is when she’s not hiding her alter-ego.
Speaking of hiding, it’s easy to hate Alice based on her present-day actions, but it’s heartbreaking to see what she went through after being trapped by Cartwright and Johnny.
Sophie’s interrogation allowed the audience to get more of Alice’s story, which included the moment Beth made the switch to becoming Alice.
It’s chilling to see such a little girl forced to make such decisions. The child actors on this show are out-of-this-world.
Flashbacks reveal that Beth held out hope that her father would come and save her, but that hope flickered day-by-day and eventually, she was forced to acclimate to her new reality.
The change happened after Cartwright took her beloved cat, Chesire, and well, we can only guess he smothered it to death.
It’s also the day she learned how to make faces out of human flesh, essentially the trigger for Beth’s transformation where she compartmentalized her real self in her brain.
It didn’t help that she saw a paper magazine clipping of her father’s new family and was manipulated into thinking they’d moved on and forgotten about her.
This tragic moment explains why Alice has villainized both Catherine and Mary. In her mind, they’re the two women who replaced her and, in her mind, caused her all this suffering.
Beth was forced to live in a false world of her own making and it’s been her reality for so long that it explains why no one, not even Kate, has been able to get through to her.
She might never with that kind of trauma haunting her sister.
Getting to know Alice’s past proves that she shares a lot in common with Sophie, who has also been forced to hide who she truly is and live a fake like, though, this one is of her own making which makes it more unbearable.
We see how much hiding her true self from the world burdened Batwoman and now, Sophie, so it’s not entirely surprising that the daunting effort has created a monster out of Alice.
It’s also what allows Alice to connect with Sophie, get into her head, and manipulate her.
Alice gave her a sob story (sure, it was real but it was still manipulative on her part) so she could get her hands on the book and thus, the fishing cord she knew was holding it together.
Alice’s analysis of Sophie will likely encourage her to come out, so all was not lost.
While it’s clear she didn’t do so at the academy because she didn’t want her career to be threatened, it’s weird that she’s continued living this lie for so long.
Owning up to who she is and what she wants doesn’t pose a threat to her anymore, but I guess that in itself helps us understand Alice even more.
You get so used to this world you’ve created for yourself, a different one is too scary to embrace.
Other Batwoman Musings
- Mouse is in the ICU and if he doesn’t make it, Batwoman will reign hell on Gotham City.
- It’s 2020 and a hero’s sexual orientation shouldn’t be this important and yet, there are still people in this world who would rather lose their child than to accept the help of someone who’s different. Thankfully, Batwoman doesn’t pick and choose who she helps. And it’s reassuring to know she has the backing of the city that acknowledges that being gay isn’t a flaw.
- Mary is a genius who figured out the multiverses all on her own. At this point, she deserves Kate’s honesty. And if Kate wants a squad much like Supergirl has, she’s going to have to come clean to them about her identity. Being a hero doesn’t have to be lonely.
- Kate needs to be more careful when it comes to Alice’s goons. They know Batwoman’s identity, so the ambush was almost too easy.
- Alice wanted Kate to feel like she did — that no one was coming to rescue her. The difference between the sisters is that Kate never needs to be rescued, and yet, that’s Alice biggest gripe with her whole family; she’s mad that no one ever came to help her.
What did you think of the episode?
Who will survive — Alice or Beth?
Sound-off in the comments, Cravers!
Batwoman Review – Bat Attack (2×02)
Bats are attacking Gotham City and the only person that can stop them is Batwoman… the new one, who is deathly afraid of bats.
Alice’s plots are always so poetic, you have to give her credit for bringing the creativity and keeping the town on its toes.
We already know Alice is deranged, but Batwoman doesn’t waste a moment trying to remind fans just how next-level she really is. The way she strapped that rat to Mouse and then unleashed bats onto his body was, well, disturbing. And we’ve come to expect nothing less.
But the remainder of the episode fell flat since she unleashed a plague and delivered the cure in one fell swoop. Sophie and Mary know that Alice is too cunning and must have a larger motive, which we learn involves triggering Safiya, so while her “master plan” was just the opener to something bigger and badder, it felt wasted in the context of the episode.
Also, was it Alice’s plan to make Hamilton Dynamics look like the heroes by delivering the cure? Or was it just an unforeseen outcome of “doing the right thing?”
Or will the Desert Rose eventually prove to have some undisclosed side effects that will take a toll on Mary and the rest of Batwoman’s supporters who suffered bat bites? Because then, she’d be exacting revenge against Safiyah and taking down Hamilton Dynamics at once, which is, well, bloody brilliant.
Alice’s plan isn’t entirely clear at this point, but she seemed to achieve part one which was getting Safiyah’s attention. Why was she so upset about the Desert Rose being used? What does Alice hope to gain from their meeting? Does she think that Kate is still alive and Safiyah has her?
Ryan Wilder stepped in to save Gotham from Alice’s wrath, and while wanting to be a hero surely played into her decision to step into the batsuit again, she was also ecstatic over the opportunity to throw some punches Alice’s way. Plus, she now knows that Alice is responsible for killing her mother and Mary’s mom, so she has a lot of rage inside.
And I definitely enjoyed someone confronting Alice who actually has the guts to kill her. Yes, Batwoman’s M.O is “do not kill,” but isn’t it just a little fun when Alice knows that the new vigilante won’t hesitate to kill her?
Ryan once again proved that she what it takes to wear the suit. She put the people of Gotham first and chose to save them instead of pursuing Alice when push came to shove. She also thwarted the danger by successfully luring all the bats into a bus using the frequency that was attracting them to the rally.
And she provided us with a pretty cool Batmobile scene. Not to mention she did all of this while still being affected by her kryptonite wound. She might want to take care of that sooner rather than later.
However, taking on bats as an enemy is not like taking on Gotham’s worst criminals. And despite her desire to kill Alice, Ryan proved that she may need a little more training.
She has martial art skills and a firm understanding of the bad guys having spent most of her life around them, but the dangers looming over Gotham, like Safiyah, are a little above her pay grade. As Luke mentioned, Kate was at the top of her class and still struggled sometimes.
Ryan can definitely handle it — plus, it’s all they really have at the moment — but she’s going to need to lean heavily on Mary and Luke as they help craft her into the hero that can handle whatever and whoever comes her way.
As Mary helps Ryan get the ropes of this Batwoman thing, maybe Ryan can return the favor and give Mary some self-defense training? Mary has put herself in some dangerous situations over the years, and as she comes face-to-face with Gotham’s worst, like Alice, who seems drawn to her to replace Kate, she’s going to need to know how to fight back and protect herself!
The Commander was mostly in the shadows this episode, but he did grill Mary and Luke about Kate Kane being Batwoman. Obviously, neither of them talked, but if he wants to avoid history repeating itself, he needs to focus less on trying to find Kate and bonding with Mary, the one daughter he still has left.
While the Crows clearly use Mary’s clinic, he still has no idea about her work there or her involvement with Batwoman, which once again makes him the father that’s out of touch with his own daughter. And isn’t that a huge chunk of the issue in the first place?
Unlike Alice, who was just a child when she was kidnapped and tortured, Kate is a grown woman who is more than capable of taking care of herself. If she’s alive — and big “if” because obviously, Ruby Rose has left the building — she doesn’t need to be saved the way Alice needed it. And holding out hope instead of embracing the present isn’t any way to move forward. It’s dangerous for the city.
Also, is it me or does he still seem to hold resentment for Batwoman? Even the new one. Maybe he should try to work with her this time around to truly right the mistakes of his past.
Sophie is logical 75% of the time, but then she goes and pulls a stunt like ambushing Alice alone without any backup. I can understand not wanting to bring all of the Crows along, but why wouldn’t she at least bring Julia?
They may have had a personal falling out, but professionally, Julia is still her best and biggest ally. Also, it’s petty of Sophie to hold it against Julia that she kept Kate’s secret. If the roles had been reversed, Sophie would have kept Kate’s secret from Julia in a heartbeat. Why? Because they both loved Kate and wanted to protect her.
It wasn’t Julia’s secret to tell, and she shouldn’t be faulted for it. If anything, Sophie should be wondering why Kate never thought she could trust her enough to tell her the truth? Maybe it was all about protecting Sophie, but her anger should be more directed at Kate for lying.
Unfortunately, Kate is not around so Julia is Sophie’s punching bag. I’m eager for them to get past this and work together again cause I actually like them as a couple.
Hitting “reset” with a new caped crusader gives Batwoman a chance to right the wrongs of season 1, which alienated a huge chunk of the audience. However, these weak plots simply aren’t cutting it, and the series is still repeating the same mistakes instead of elevating and taking the show in a new direction.
My suggestion: spend less time talking about Kate and what Kate would do (she has her chance to do plenty) and embrace the new administration. Change is inevitable and also exhilarating. Ryan offers a new perspective and a new way of doing things, which may take some getting used to, but it’s necessary. She has a new skillset, a past that influences her decisions, and a new approach. The series needs to let her do it her way!
What did you think of the episode? Hit the comments with your thoughts!
Batwoman Premiere Review – What Happened to Kate Kane? (2×01)
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?
WATCH: Javicia Leslie Suits Up in Powerful New ‘Batwoman’ Season 2 Trailer
A new hero has arrived as Javicia Leslie is officially putting on the batsuit.
The CW gave fans a look at the upcoming second season ahead of its 2021 premiere.
Thursday’s trailer shows the God Friended Me actress as Ryan Wilder, suiting up to protect Gotham City.
“Time to be powerful,” she says in the 10-second clip.
Wilder is described as: “She’s likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the batsuit before her. With no one in her life to keep her on track, Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the GCPD and masking her pain with bad habits. A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical All-American hero.”
Leslie replaces Ruby Rose’s Kate Kane, who announced her exit back in May.
The transition is exciting because Leslie will become the first-ever Black Batwoman!
Leslie stated: “I love the fact that Ryan is becoming her own Batwoman — it’s her style, her swag, and her moment! It was an honor to be able to collaborate with Caroline and Maya. I felt it was important that viewers could tell by the silhouette that Batwoman was a Black girl. With the form-fitting suit and beautiful Afro, we definitely nailed it!”
Watch the trailer below:
Ahead of the January 17, 2021 premiere, read our review of the Batwoman season 1 finale now.
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