Before I begin this writeup of the latest Batwoman, Survived Much Worse, a quick mea culpa. I had thought the mystical island where Safiyah reigned supreme was spelled Coriana. I just found out it’s actually spelled Coryana. So apologies for that easy mistake. Overall this was a great episode, and did some things I really enjoyed. For one, it finally resolved the Kate storyline. It also served to make Safiyah much more villainous. Hell, it even managed the impossible – it was an episode where someone finally broke through Alice’s emotional walls. And though I had some minor complaints, such as how most of the action in the episode took place off screen or in an office building, it mostly lived up to my expectations. The episode starts out with a juxtaposition of Ryan and Alice both writing letters to Kate. Ryan to show how grateful she is for the opportunity to be Batwoman. Alice writing how she’s eager to kill her sister.
From there, Luke sets things off by going to the Crows. He provides the tracker info to Sophie, hoping she’ll grab some Desert Rose after going to Coryana to save Kate. That storyline goes askew quickly, as Sophie and Jacob get intercepted by Safiyah’s goons (in the freaking parking lot, no less) and taken down. Later in the episode they wake up on the island as captives. My big concern is the show explaining the reach of a despot who is stuck on a distant island. But that aside, the confrontation does the job of putting some players on the board.
I’m Dead Already
After watching a feed of the kidnapping, Ryan decides she can’t wait on them. She puts on her Batwoman suit and takes a shot of adrenaline to boost herself long enough to get to Coryana and back. The downside is that the adrenaline will shorten her potential lifespan from a few days to 24 hours. Regardless, Ryan is convinced she has no choice, so she decides to take a plane to the island. First she addresses the elephant in the room – what happens if she succeeds and there’s two Batwomen? Mary says Kate will do the right thing and not to worry, but it’s clear Ryan feels she’ll lose her place. The only thing Ryan asks in return is that Mary take care of the plant she’s been nurturing since she was homeless. It was a gift from Angelique, and Ryan intended to give it to her mom. Right before Alice’s Rabbits killed her, of course.
This Would Be A Lot Easier If We Had a Batplane
Afterwards there’s a pretty hilarious scene where Ryan understandably freaks out about a HALO jump over coms with Luke, especially since she’s never been on a plane. Regardless, Ryan finds her courage and dives to the invisible (from radar, anyhow) island. Upon landing she marvels at the beauty of the Desert Rose, right before a bunch of white clad ninjas take her down. So much for that adrenaline.
Meanwhile Jacob and Sophie are prisoners of Safiyah for all of a few minutes. Tatiana goes and foolishly monologues to them. Apparently Safiyah still wants to recruit Sophie to her cause. At first the Crow laughs it off, but Tatiana makes some good points. It’s clear Sophie is mulling it over, at least momentarily. Not that it stops her from knocking Tatiana out with Jacob’s help. It just goes to show Sophie might not be a Crow for that much longer. Hell, later in the episode she muses about how the Crows shouldn’t be above the law. Should be interesting to see where that storyline takes us.
As for Alice, she is still trying to pass off the corpse with Ocean’s face to Safiyah so she’ll be taken to Kate. At first it’s working, but Safiyah finds out that Alice was bugged. When a beaten Batwoman is brought before them, Ryan quickly ruins Alice’s plan and yells that the island monarch should check Ocean’s body. The hideous flesh mask is found and ripped off, and Alice is imprisoned, at least for a moment.
One thing I didn’t expect from this episode of Batwoman was all the psychoanalysis. First Safiyah head-shrinks Alice and talks about how she wants all the love Kate has drawn to her, and believes killing her sister will bring that love to her. Later in a cell, Ryan and Alice grudgingly talk. Ryan tells Alice she doesn’t want her sister dead, she just doesn’t want to be responsible for becoming a villain. To my surprise, this actually gets through to Alice, and it’s clear she has changed her mind about murdering Kate.
Back to Jacob and Sophie, they’re wandering the forest. Despite Jacob being a grouch and not trusting Sophie’s sudden willingness to work with Batwoman, they do discover something important. Safiyah grows her Desert Rose using ammonium nitrate to boost it. I instantly knew where that detail was going, but that comes later in the episode.
Luke and Mary have a quick and terrifying encounter with one of Safiyah’s Many Arms of Death. The assassin somehow finds the building that the Batcave is housed in, and nearly kills them both. Luckily, Luke distracts her and Mary KOs her with a glass to the head. Luke wants to run, but Mary promised to take care of Ryan’s plant. Unfortunately that’s being weighed down by the unlucky assassin. Though they do manage to get it loose eventually and start running, the assassin quickly wakes up. Thankfully, Julia appears and saves the day by daggering the would be killer. Unfortunately, she has bad news. Body parts were found near Bludhaven and the DNA shows they belong to Kate Kane. Turns out, she didn’t survive that plane crash.
The Flower or the Girl?
Back on Coryana, Alice is given a chance to redeem herself. The real Ocean is brought in, and she’s ordered to kill him to get to Kate. She takes Safiyah’s special dagger and does the deed, right in the heart. Ryan is offered a deal, and she picks the Desert Rose over Kate. Her belief is that Alice wouldn’t kill her sister. Little do either know said sister is long gone. When Alice is brought to a cell where Kate supposedly resides, Safiyah reveals it was all a sick game to break her spirit. Understandably, Alice is furious, and her moment of solidarity with her sister is gone. As she’s carried away by goons, the crazy woman gets free, takes them out and grabs a torch. And being chaos incarnate, the torch is thrown directly into the huge garden of Desert Rose, seemingly marking Ryan a dead woman walking.
The episode ends with some surprising revelations. Don’t read this section if you don’t want to be spoiled. When all hope seems lost for Ryan, Luke and Mary make a startling discovery. Ryan’s plant is blooming and it’s apparently growing Desert Rose. Which makes me wonder where Angelique got it, but that’s a question for another day. Point is, Ryan has her magic cure once she gets back to Gotham on a plane found and piloted by Jacob. More surprising was when Safiyah ripped the dagger out of Ocean and he suddenly started breathing again. Her special dagger is coated with Desert Rose, and it lets her effectively put people into comas. Not unlike the Vampire Diaries. And it’s revealed that the fake letter from Safiyah which started this whole season was thanks to Tatiana. She had a misguided notion to bring closure to her mistress by letting Alice get drawn back into her life. Safiyah’s not pleased, and Tatiana gets night night time with the magic dagger. Lastly the episode ends with a creepy man in a sewer. It’s not clear who that is, but I think it might be Tommy Elliot. In any case, a good episode of Batwoman, and hopefully the beginning of a new arc not obsessed with Kate Kane.
Final Verdict: 4/5