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?
Crisis on Infinite Earths 3-Part Review: Can The Multiverses Be Saved?
Tuesday’s installment of Arrow wrapped up the first three parts of the DC Comics “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover, with two more parts coming to finish the story in January 2020.
If you didn’t pick up on it from all the times the superheroes reiterated the word, the multiverses were in a crisis.
By the end of the third installment, all of the multiverses had been obliterated including everyone Supergirl, Superman, Black Lightning, Kate Kane, and more love. Poof, gone.
However, there was no sense of loss when Supergirl continued to remain hopeful and the episode hitched on the idea that there has to be a way to undo the damage that’s been done.
Maybe not with the book as Kate shut Kara down on that real quick even threatening to use Kryptonite, but odds are, it’s possible.
Otherwise, how are any of these shows going to continue forward?
Without the threat of permanency, there is no sense of urgency about the crossover.
Sure, we can be sad about those we lost, but in the back of our minds, we know that they’re coming back. Death is never permanent on shows like this.
By the end of the hour, though, all the universes and parallel Earth’s are wiped out and Paraih spared a handful of the heroes, the Paragons, and transported them to the vanishing point, a point outside of space and time that cannot be reached by the Anti-Monitor.
This is the real test for our heroes. Can their virtues of hope, courage, and more lead them out of this darkness?
And can they figure out a way to work alongside Lex Luthor, who rewrote his destiny using the book and hitched a ride as Superman? Isn’t it ironic he’s become the Paragon of Truth. Not to mention he replaced the most powerful hero on the super squad. No biggie.
The question posed at the end – so what do we do now? – will be the heroes’ and Lex’s ultimate mission.
How do they restore the planets? How do they bring everyone back? And how do they stop the Anti-Monitor?
Compared to last year’s crossover, Crisis is undoubtedly bigger and there is a role for every single superhero.
They were able to cross into planets and explore Earth’s we didn’t know existed, which was a lot of fun.
There was an alternate version of Gotham where an elderly and jaded Bruce Wayne killed Superman and evoked an anti-heroic mentality. Also, Luke walked around with his shirt off.
The Smallville Earth that allowed us to visit Tom Wellington’s Clark Kent, who had given up his powers to have a family, much to Lex’s disgust. It was a nice little addition, but admittedly, I wish Wellington played a bigger role. I guess he really did hang up the cape.
Diggle, Mia, and Constantine even paid a little visit to Earth-666 to visit Lucifer Morningstar played by Tom Ellis. The trio was desperate to get Oliver’s soul back into his body and needed a little help from the devil himself, you know, pre-detective days. Again, the inclusion of Lucifer was awesome, but the moment was dull and anti-climactic. They made their way to purgatory and found Oliver, but he chose to stay behind thus thwarting their rescue mission.
Separately, these scenes wouldn’t have made much of an impact, but together, they were fun little moments of hope and nostalgia in a time of death and chaos.
90’s Barry Allen even made the ultimate sacrifice in an attempt to reverse the anti-matter and prevent the destruction of the last remaining Earth, Earth-1. As his body and soul disintegrated, fans were treated to a memory of a younger Jay Garrick and his beloved, Tina, flashing right before his eyes. It also paralleled a recent deep moment between present-day The Flash and Iris. True love, y’all. Sadly, Barry’s efforts, while successful, were for naught because the Anti-Monitor still prevailed and destroyed Earth-1.
Which again, brings us to this final moment where all the heroes and paragons are tasked with their biggest challenge yet. They’ll have to rely solely on themselves to figure this out as the D.E.O, Star Labs, etc. is no longer around for guidance. How do you think it’ll play out?
Other Stand-Out Moments
- Even baby Jonathan got to play a part in the crossover. As Argo was the first planet to get hit by the anti-matter, Clark and Lois put their son in a pod and set the course to Earth, much like Kara and Clark’s parents did when Krypton was being destroyed. The Monitor saved Clark and Lois as their services were needed for the Crisis, but Alura perished. Meanwhile, baby Jonathan bounced to 2046 where we met a broken version of Oliver, who saved the child.
- Heat Wave being the only person to calm baby Jonathan is hilarious. As is his desire to read him romance novels… his own!
- Poor Lyla forced to become the enemy.
- We finally got more intel on Nash’s transition into Pariah. Even though he’s responsible for freeing Anti-Monitor are is now forced to sit back and watch the destruction of Earths, he still managed to help his friends!
- I couldn’t help but get reminded of Harry Potter throughout the crossover. The paragons are like the Horcruxes that Harry needs to find in order to defeat Voldemort (the Anti-Monitor) in this case. And those Shadow Monsters, you guys, those were straight up Dementors!
- Are we supposed to believe that they were able to evacuate billions of people in a speedy manner in the Legion’s ship? I’ll let it go for the sake of storytelling, but come on.
- Oliver passing the Arrow torch to Mia before sacrificing himself to save his friends and the people of Earth is the start of that female-led spinoff the CW has been teasing.
- Cisco is Vibe again.
- Kate’s strong-arm tactics are really cringe-worthy at times. Loosen up, girl.
- The Spectre, the divine spirit of vengeance, made an appearance as Oliver embraced the new role.
The cameos have been great, the crossover is doing the comics justice, and it’s entertaining, but now, we have to wait a month to see what happens and how they manage to undo all the damage, which you know they will.
Could the “Dawn of Time” mention in the below trailer mean that they will all have to go back in time to kill the Anti-Monitor thus rewriting history so that none of this ever happened?
What are your thoughts?
Check out the promo for part 4 and 5 returning on January 14th with The Flash entering the Speed Force.
Batwoman Fall Finale Review – Alice’s Mad Tea Party
Kate could have put an end to this mess a long time ago.
Instead, she chose to believe the good in people and had hope that somewhere tucked deep down inside of Alice’s deranged mind was a sliver of Beth.
While the Supergirl fall finale proved that people can change, the Batwoman finale did the complete opposite — it made it clear that true villains are incapable of becoming better.
Kate’s decision to spare Alice time and time again cost her her family for the second time.
The saying is true: when someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them.
Kate should’ve never given Alice a second chance.
Catherine paid the ultimate price dying a slow and painful death simply for existing, Mary lost her mother, and Jacob was framed for killing Catherine thanks to Mouse’s impeccable impersonation of the Commander that fooled his own wife and daughter.
And while the attacks were rather personal, Kate’s decisions also put Gotham City in danger. It may not have been on Alice’s agenda this time, but what’s to stop her from committing more crimes and adding to her body count?
These people might not have been innocent, but who is? Alice surely isn’t even when she’s dosing out punishments she believes are fitting. (And I can’t argue… they are fitting, but more on that later.)
Kate’s excuse for thinking that Beth was still in there was the fact that Alice saved her life, didn’t kill Sophie, and kept some photographs from her past.
But none of that proves that Alice isn’t just toying with her.
Serial killers love to keep memorabilia from those that they’ve killed, and that could very well be the case with Alice.
She hasn’t forgotten her past, and she keeps them around to remind her of why revenge is necessary. There’s also her desire to turn Kate on her father and make her just as mad as both she and Mouse are. It could explain why we’re seeing Beth peek out here and there.
Kate wanted so badly to believe that her sister could be her sister again that she failed to see what was happening right in front of her.
The fall finale also made me question Kate’s ability to serve as Gotham’s hero.
Even when Kate figured out that her father was not her father, she didn’t act on it in time.
Mouse as Jacob was able to pull his plan off without a hitch. (How was he able to nail the Commander’s movements so breezily?)
She warned Sophie by texting her, but she couldn’t extend the courtesy to Mary, who at the very beginning of the episode told her she was going to attend the gala with her mother and Jacob?
I mean, why not warn the people that aren’t trained to take care of themselves?
If you ask me, Mary’s the true victim here. She has been questioning Kate’s decision to protect Alice since the get-go, she’s been put in the line of danger on more than a few occasions, and now, she lost her mother, who made the ultimate sacrifice to save her by giving her the cure.
Batwoman cannot shove this into her “win” column.
Alice and Mary came face-to-face for the first time and it as electric. Both of them are the show’s strongest, most-fleshed out characters, and their performances never fail to provide that emotional depth necessary for a scene.
Mary continues to think she isn’t good enough while Alice remains jealous of Mary’s relationship to Beth, and seeing that play out subtly was deeply rewarding.
Catherine was never painted as a good character — she switched out the DNA, she lied to her husband and Kate, she created a weapon to kill Batman/Batwoman, etc.
Catherine also wasn’t fleshed out enough to make us care about her; she barely had a relationship with Kate and she spent most of her time lying to her husband.
The only reason her death resonated was because of how deeply we care about Mary and because it underlined the relationship between a mother and a daughter that most of us can understand and gravitate towards.
Her last moments were selfless, she knew more about Mary than we previously believed, she felt truly sorry about the role she played in Alice’s demise, and she admitted to switching the DNA to ease Kate and Jacob’s pain.
She was redeemed because it was necessary for Alice’s transition into a full-fledged villain.
Yet, I found myself wondering who the true villains were on more than one occasion during the fall finale.
We’re inclined to say Alice and Mouse because they are the ones doing the “bad things” and doing so in an unapologetic manner, but are they the bad guys?
Alice is getting revenge because she was abandoned, forgotten, and lied to.
She wasn’t wrong when she called out Catherine for aiding the criminals in Gotham, or when she called out the Commander for protecting the rich and wealthy for committing crimes.
Alice may be going about getting justice wrong — it’s her own twisted version of justice — but she what she’s fighting against makes sense: injustice, lies, and corruption.
Maybe Jacob isn’t a “bad guy” in the technical sense, but we can’t say he’s a “good guy” all the time either.
The line is hazy.
But even if Alice’s reasonings are justified, her motivation is becoming stale.
How many times have we heard her say that she’s doing this because she was abandoned? Because no one came looking for her.
The tug-and- war between sisters is tiring and it’s losing its potency.
They’ve stretched it for a total of seven episodes, but there needs to be something else guiding Alice aside from her heartbreak and resentment.
She wants to make her family pay for not continuing to look for her, but no one acknowledged that it wouldn’t make sense for her to survive such a fall.
They keep explaining it, she keeps questioning it, and thus, a vicious circle that we somehow cannot break.
And there needs to be something else motivating Kate from putting a bullet through her sister’s head other than hope and the “family” bond.
The latter half of Batwoman needs to return stronger if it wants to stand a chance at surviving past a second season. Or else, I’m afraid it will meet the same fate as poor Catherine.
Alice is mad, and while she may have won with the “mad tea party” she’d been teasing for a while now, she also made enemies out of the people that have been there for her.
By the end of the episode, everyone was a different headspace than which they started, but will they find a way to harness it in a way that’s effective?
Does Kate have what it takes to kill her sister?
Other Gotham City Musings
- Was anyone upset that there wasn’t an actual tea party? I would have loved to see Alice force Jacob to sit down at a table and sip on tea while she ruined his life and destroyed his new family.
- Sophie, you have to figure out what you want. For a series that continues to walk both sides of a thin rope, it was nice to see Tyler make a concrete decision about his relationship with Sophie. She’s not 100% in, why should he be?
- The best line of the night: “this is vintage, bitch.” Honestly, that’s my response to someone trying to steal my jacket, too.
- Rachel Skarsten is such a joy to watch and yeah, I know she’s the villain but she was radiant in that ball gown!
- Lucas was so underused.
The fall finale may have set-up the war between the Crows and Alice’s rabbits, but the backend of the episode set-up the upcoming 5 episode crossover, “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” the same teaser that played at the end of Supergirl.
The scene cuts to Central City, as Nash Wells, presumably as another DC Comics character Pariah, was seen in the sewers standing in front of a door as he uncovers a secret passageway.
He reveals he traveled multiverses to kill the Monitor, but now that he was here, he couldn’t bring himself to do it since The Monitor saved his life.
Nash then submitted to The Monitor, punched in some old symbols, and a golden light illuminated the screen.
Where did he go? Who will he meet? What will he become?
All those answers are coming for you when the crossover kicks off next Sunday!
What did you think of the Batwoman finale?
Are you team Alice? Team Kate? Team Mary?
Batwoman Review – I’ll Be Judge, I’ll Be Jury (1×06)
Batwoman is finding it hard to keep her identity a secret on “I’ll Be Judge, I’ll Be Jury.”
Two characters found out her secret, and it was a close call for two others.
Sophie’s had her inklings from the get-go, but now she knows for certain that Kate’s the Caped Crusader.
Kate can thank Mary for talking her out of telling the Commander the truth.
She changed her mind with the gut-punching line: you did this to Kate.
Sophie’s role in all of this remains kind of questionable. She’s the weakest character next to Mary’s strongest character only because she’s constantly injecting herself into Kate’s life for selfish reasons.
And all of this after she told Kate to move on.
Stop trying to sabotage Kate’s plan to save Gotham City and worry about your husband or something, Sophie.
Last week we saw drunk Mary (a hit!) and this week we see protective Mary. Even when she doesn’t know the full extent of what’s happening, Mary is 100% your girl.
But she was so close to finding out the truth, which leaves me slightly surprised that someone with her intelligence level hasn’t pieced it all together.
Kate knew about her clinic and now, Batwoman has brought her Dodgson (connected to Kate’s sis, Alice) and Sophie (Kate’s ex-lover). Kate’s almost beginning Mary to figure it out.
The other person to find out Batwoman’s identity was Mouse, which is more dangerous for Kate.
Mouse is jealous of her, he’s off the rails, and he easily imitated Kate’s voice to pry the truth out of Alice.
When the villains begin to know who’s behind the mask, that’s when you begin having problems.
The episode teetered on redundant with almost every character.
Alice and Mouse played mind games with each other, though, he was able to use his new face to steal Catherine’s new toy and the only thing that can penetrate a bat suit.
There’s a possibility that Alice wants the tool so that no one can kill her sister because she cares about her, but seeing how her deranged mind works, I’m more concerned that she wants to use it on her sister instead.
Alice reveals she has a plan for Kate that involves her becoming part of Alice and Mouse’s makeshift family, but we know there’s no way in hell Kate’s going to allow that plan to come to fruition.
Kate’s back-and-forth with her father about Alice and how they let her down was a snooze-fest.
We get it, you guys blame yourselves.
And while the guilt is going to keep eating away at them every time Alice makes a move on Gotham, they need to let it go.
Both of them searched for Alice until they were convinced, either because they truly believed it or they wanted so badly to believe it, that she was dead.
It’s an impossible situation, but pointing fingers will not change the past nor will it bring her back… well, at least, her mentality.
The Commander’s distaste for Batwoman was also striking considering his team hasn’t been able to police the city well at all these last few weeks.
Wouldn’t it be easier to work alongside Batwoman?
He’s turned off by the caped vigilante because he blames Batman for imploding his life, but it’s just a reflection of how he feels about himself.
Batwoman isn’t the problem. In fact, she was the solution for this episode as she nabbed the right suspect and made sure that the law was restored.
The one-episode villain was the Executioner, who was hellbent on making people pay for their corrupt actions, and while it was a noble cause, it fell kind of flat.
Though, I’ll admit, having the killer in the executioner hood as the actual executioner from Blackgate was meta.
Despite the comparisons from the Commander and Eldon himself, Eldon and Batwoman were not one and the same despite fighting against the law.
Eldon wanted revenge on the people who had been rigging the system and turning him into a murderer of falsely accused minorities.
Unfortunately, while death by execution styles may seem like the proper punishment for corrupt law enforcement, it didn’t restore justice or teach them any kind of lesson.
Batwoman’s approach was to do the job that she didn’t think the GCPD and the Crows could do while still allowing the law to handle the punishment.
The only way justice would be served to Judge Calvarick is if he was put on trial, locked up at Blackgate, and told to wait for his execution just like the other innocent inmates.
The DA reopening every case and looking into it once again is a good thing for every wrongfully accused inmate, but it’s the stuff of nightmares for Luke, who personally trusted Gotham’s finest to find and put away his father’s killer.
Is this going to be a storyline moving forward?
Will Luke have to relive his father’s death as they look for his rightful killer? I’m willing to bet this could bring in a rather entertaining villain into play as it becomes personal not only for Luke but for Batwoman.
Ridding Gotham of corruption is messy. If Gotham is anything like Chicago, it runs in the city’s veins and is engrained in its politicians and law enforcement.
But, with people like Batwoman, there’s hope for the city after all, just as long as someone doesn’t blow her cover first.
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