When it comes to superheroes gracing our TV screens on Sunday night, we’re not talking about Batman or Superman anymore.
It’s 2019, and joining Supergirl is the latest masked crusader protecting Gotham City from those that mean to do it harm.
Kate Kane suited up for the second time (the backdoor pilot of Batwoman premiered during the Arrowverse crossover) in the iconic black superhero suit.
As a premiere, it was shaky; it wasn’t bad but it didn’t prove that it has what it takes just yet.
Kane narrated the whole episode which provided us with plenty backstory.
Here’s the gist of it:
- She’s been away from Gotham training in hopes of joining the Crows, her father’s security force protecting the people the Dark Knight left behind 3-years-ago.
- Her father is the Commander and she also has a step-mother and a step-sister, Mary, whose character initially comes off as vain until it’s revealed that she runs an illegal medical clinic.
- Kate’s real mother and sister, Beth, died during a tragic accident. Their car was hit by a bus hijacked by the Joker. Kate escaped but her sister and mom were trapped in the car which fell off the cliff.
- During her time in the military academy, Kate fell in love with Sophie.
- The two were caught breaking the “homosexual conduct” and forced to sign a denial. Sophie did because she needed and wanted to continue her studies while Kate stepped away.
- To ease the break-up, Sophie told Kate that she didn’t love her but anyone who has ever seen a TV series knows that’s a lie.
When the series began, the Commander ordered Gotham City to turn off the Batman call sign after years of hoping that he’d return as the cities savior.
The ceremony is interrupted by Alice, a Harley Quinn-like villain, who kills a few of the Crows, taps into the feed, and has her goons in animal masks kidnap Sophie.
It seems unintentional at first, but Alice’s plan has two purposes: she wants to get the attention of the Commander and of Kate.
Alice may be deranged, but she knows a lot about Kate, who believes the Crows aren’t doing enough to save her former lover and tasks herself with getting it done.
In fact, she knows Kate’s weak spot as she explains that she took Kate because the Commander cares more about his solider, aka the daughter he always wanted, than his own daughter, whom he shipped away.
Kate is tough and has her wits about her but for some reason, she falls victim to Alice’s taunts.
Hoping to call Batman and convince him to help her save Sophie, Kate breaks into Wayne Enterprises for a second time, but this time she stumbles into the bat-cave filled with all of Batman’s toys and his retired Batsuit.
Oh, and she also learns the secret that her cousin is Batman.
Luke, Batman’s right-hand man, tells Kate that her cousin tormented himself for years after not being able to save Kate’s mother and sister.
Kate realizes that, just like her cousin, she needs to carve her own path.
Once Luke retailors the suit to fit her, she shows up at the construction site where Alice is dangling Sophie in front of the Commander and threatening to blow the movie’s in the park event to smithereens.
A fight ensures between the villainess and the new superhero with Alice escaping as Batwoman plunges to break Sophie’s fall.
Sophie is stunned to see that Batman isn’t a “he.”
There were a few questions that kept popping up throughout the course of the premiere.
Why did Alice have such a bone to pick with the Commander?
Why did it matter so much if we knew about Kate’s sister, Beth?
Eventually, I put two-and-two together shortly before Kate did: her sister Beth never died in the accident.
Alice is Beth.
As Kate makes the realization by seeing the gemstone in Alice’s blade, Alice is looking over a picture of the two as children and musing about her plan to turn Kate so they could rule Gotham together.
Oh, if she only knew.
The twist first presented itself in the “Elegy” comic books when Alice lamented “you have our father’s eyes” before stabbing Kate and plunging to her death.
However, having the Kate in on the twist so soon is unexpected so early on in the season.
You’d think they’d at least leave that for a mid-season cliffhanger.
That in itself reassures me that it’s possible the series will deliver more than we’re expecting as we’ll surely learn more about what makes Alice tick in time.
Other Gotham Moments
- Sophie and Kate’s reunion is cut short when Kate learns that Sophie is married to a man named Tyler. It won’t be long before Sophie’s forced to face her true feelings, and it’s important for the series to underline that being shamed into becoming somebody you’re not is not okay.
- These superhero TV shows always irritate me because it’s so obvious who is under the mask. At least it’s better than the Supergirl/Kara situation since Kate’s face is partially covered.
- Kate slamming Alice’s henchmen with a frying pan was hands-down the best part of the episode.
The series, much like Kate, still has some work to establish itself and not feel like an imposter, but there’s potential.
The characters all serve a purpose that brings something valuable to the storyline, and Kate will redefine what it means to be a heroine while the addition of her sister as the villain creates necessary conflict.
What did you think? Do you “batlieve”?
Or is this not worth your Sunday evenings?
Batwoman – The Rabbit Hole (1×02)
If you weren’t convinced by the pilot episode of Batwoman, the second episode surely sold you.
The storyline dug deeper into the “Alice is Beth” theory as Kate Kane explored the possibility and even tried to sell her father on it.
Alice may be Beth biologically, but she’s not the girl Kate remembers.
Alice is a liar, a manipulator, and a murderer.
And Kate’s “but she’s your daughter” argument is going to lose steam fast, even if she does somehow prove it to her father.
The Commander most likely believes Kate, but it’s easier to remain in denial than to admit that your daughter is deranged lunatic wreaking havoc on the city that you’re supposed to keep safe.
And still, there’s a level of understanding for why Kate feels like she has to protect Alice/Beth.
There’s even some sympathy for Alice/Beth, who Kate argues just needs help.
Alice/Beth’s purpose is to make her father pay for giving up on her, but that’s not necessarily the case.
Memories reveal that both the Commander and Kate looked for Alice/Beth until they were told skull fragments matching her DNA were found.
Or maybe, that’s just what the Commander wanted to believe.
Either way, Alice’s vendetta is personal, but she’s interested in forging some kind of relationship with her sister.
In fact, she’s “jealous” of Kate’s new sister Mary and orders her hunky henchmen to kill her.
Alice is electric and the complete opposite of Kate, which makes their toe-to-toe thrilling.
Kate even attempted to redeem herself by pulling Alice out of the water and saving her in a way she wasn’t able to when they were children marking a very powerful moment for the series.
It’s surprising that both of them are onto each other so early on in the season, and it’s even more surprising that Kate’s informed the Commander.
The series is shaping up to be a cat-and-mouse game between the sisters with the dad stuck in the middle.
However, there’s also the possibility that Alice is so deranged, she’s not actually Beth instead, assumed Beth’s personality.
I doubt that’s the way the series wants to take this storyline, but Alice’s mention of “maybe I just read all of this in the paper,” could definitely be a villain’s way of messing with her victims.
Aside from all of that, there’s also the issue of the Commander’s wife, Catherine, who paid off someone to destroy the knife linking Alice to Beth.
How far will she go to keep them from finding out the truth?
And what is she covering up?
Batwoman is seeing all the signs that the city needs a hero, so it won’t be long before she permanently assumes the role.
She’s been learning the capabilities of the suit and seems to be finding her way around this hero thing.
As for Kate’s relationship with Sophie, it’s not entirely over as her “we’re done” wasn’t even convincing enough for her to believe it.
But Sophie broke Kate’s trust, and it’s best if she’s out of the picture while Kate sorts her life out as the daughter of the Commander and the masked crusader of Gotham.
Favorite moment from this episode: when Sophie gave Kate the “you have our father’s eyes” note, a subtle hint to the original comics.
Favorite line: Kate responding “you wish” to Alice’s boyfriend’s obvious observation that Kate isn’t Batman.
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