More Fang For Your Buck
With the return of Batwoman this week, I’m gonna try something new with with formatting. Instead of a hard recap with minimal opinion, I’m gonna attempt more analysis and less rehash. Mainly to avoid ruining the episode for those who still want to watch it. Hopefully that’s a popular change, but feel free to sound off in the comments and I promise to read all constructive criticism. That said, I’m gonna be honest and say this episode was a bit of a letdown in some ways. Especially after an episode with the delightfully morbid Victor Szasz. Things started with a montage of the False Face Society making more of the new drug, Snakebite. As this happens, Vesper Fairchild talks about how the Society is making a killing with the addictive new drug. True to its name, it’s dual pronged. Each needle has a different drug it delivers. One provides the fantasy of fentanyl, while the other is fear toxin. And like any popular drug, it’s highly addictive. Then action cuts to Ryan as Batwoman catching and interrogating a new Snakebite junkie. We then see her chasing his False Face dealer. I will say, I had a lot of fun watching Batwoman grapple multiple foes in this episode. It shows Ryan is growing into the role, which is encouraging.
Quick warning, if you don’t want any big spoilers, skip this paragraph and head to the next one. All done? Great. So there’s also flashbacks to the first episode when Ryan got shot by Hush’s Kryptonite bullet, which managed to pierce the Batsuit. It’s been made clear the Kryptonite is affecting her physiology, and the skin around the area doesn’t look healthy. I suspect this is part of CW’s plan to make this Batwoman more of a threat to Supergirl, especially if she radiates Kryptonite. I’m not sure why they would take that approach, but I’m officially paying attention. Okay, let’s move on to the non-spoilery parts of the episode now.
Who Else Loves Grappling Hooks?
After dealing with the False Face dealer, an alarm goes off. We naturally suspect another crime in progress, but that’s not the case. A young black boy pulled the alarm to get the new Batwoman’s attention. He and his brother live in a group home, and now his brother has gone missing. Actually, young Kevin has been missing for months, and nobody had noticed. Unsurprisingly, Ryan investigates, and in the process we learn more about her ever complicated backstory. Before she was adopted, Ryan spent years in a part of Gotham called Wayside Heights. Or Wasteside, as she refers to it. She was a young and impressionable kid at the group home, and her first friend was a young white girl. They agreed to watch each others backs, and it turns out this girl was Angelique. The same ex girlfriend referenced in the last episode.
As Ryan investigates the current kidnapping, past and present mesh as we get another flashback showing young Ryan outside a comic shop. She’s looking for her favorite comic, something called Ghost Kid. Which is probably a heavy handed symbol for a young black child feeling invisible to society at large. What’s unfortunate is Ryan gets kidnapped by a creepy old woman, offering jelly beans and comic books. This is the villain of the episode, the Candy Lady. She’s a wretched witch who preys on young children of color, making them feel unwanted and selling them to gangs. There’s a whole sequence where she puts a jar of jelly beans down and says if someone comes for Ryan before she’s done eating one bean a day, she’s free. It’s all to break these children down, and Ryan isn’t having it. But it’s put to the test when a group comes looking for a missing girl. Young Ryan gets hogtied, but still tries to get their attention. To her shock, they’re not looking for her, but for a girl with “fair skin, blue eyes”, which is this episode’s title. Turns out that child was a Young Alice, but more on that later.
Young and Impressionable
Speaking of Alice, she spends the episode tormenting Sophie and saying they should work together to find Kate. To do so, she needs help finding someone called Ocean. I am not sure I like this pairing, since I don’t believe someone that upholds the law would be so easy to co-opt as Sophie appears. Granted, things don’t work out and Alice kicks her out cold later, but it’s still frustrating. Also frustrating is how when Alice does find clues leading to Ocean, she suffers some weird flashback of apparently suppressed memories. I’m not sure what’s happening with Alice this season, honestly. I get she lost the anchor of Kate, and I know she spent a long time missing, but I didn’t think she went full Ollie Queen on a mystic island. Hopefully her memory issues get addressed and clarified, the sooner the better.
Using the knowledge that the young missing white girl was Alice, Ryan teams up with Mary to go through Kate’s old effects. Turns out, Mary is living in Kate’s loft atop the lesbian club now, and together they find the location of the Candy Lady by cross referencing. Oh and Mary offers that Ryan can live with her, so yay team I suppose.
I admit, I was worried there were too many plot threads here, but they tie most of them together in the end. Turns out, the Candy Lady is connected to the False Face Society, but that’s all I’ll say. Since the FFS is filling in the place once held by Alice’s Rabbits, I suspect they might become a serious problem for the new Batwoman. In any case, it was fun watching Batwoman beat the hell out of a group of them later in the episode. I’m still not sure why they decided to kidnap Jacob after he offered a cash reward to help find Kate. Maybe they’re working with Safiyah, maybe not. But I do hope the writers get things gelling a bit more in future Batwoman episodes. Overall a pretty solid episode, though. Thanks for tuning in, and check back next week!
Final Verdict: 3.5/5