I’m Not In Your Shadow Anymore
Much as I enjoyed last week’s Batwoman finally tying together a few dangling plot threads, this week was even better. Though not a perfect episode, it does a lot that I can appreciate, such as bringing the Bat Team (Ryan, Luke, and Mary) together and giving Ryan a real sense of purpose as a hero. It also introduces a great new villain that I probably should have seen coming for weeks now. But let’s not spoil it all in the intro paragraph. Keep reading to see what happened in Batwoman Rule #1!
The episode starts with Kate’s funeral. Admittedly we’re only going on Julia’s report from last week, but it seems a fair assumption Kate Kane is long dead. There’s a lot of reminiscing by Ryan about who Kate was, and how she opened the door to Wilder becoming the new Batwoman. There’s also information conveyed that Julia actually spent months searching for Kate in the background, finally finding a parietal skull bone that matched her DNA. It’s all quite touching and sets the tone well for the new adventures of Batwoman, until we cut to the ominous sewer shot from the end of last week. Someone in a creepy skull mask is talking to someone else that’s disfigured, and referring to them as Kate…
One month later, Ryan and her team is really coming together. Ryan specifically is helping Mary cope with the loss of her sister, and makes a delicious sweet potato pancake breakfast. It’s all going swimmingly until Angelique comes knocking at the door. After some fun awkwardness between Mary and the ex, Angelique tells Ryan she wants her back. Better yet, she’s willing to leave the drug-selling business behind to be with her. She says she has a way out, and then they can be together. This despite her getting an offer from the False Face Society to become the new Walter White of Gotham, making Snakebite in Ocean’s absence.
Then we cut to the GCPD commissioner being asked about if Batwoman is helping GCPD remove Snakebite and the False Face Society from the streets. He’s cagey about it, but says GCPD has worked with vigilantes before and will deal with Snakebite. Then he’s questioned by a young black woman about how the GCPD is responsible for the death of 4 black people. The commish gets snarky with her, and tells her Gotham is more concerned with her graffiti than anything else, and that she can run for his office if she cares so much. Not much later he gets murdered by men wearing masks, and the young black woman is a witness, tagging Defund the Police nearby. Though she escapes, the False Face Society is now on her trail.
The Crows Don’t Keep People Like Me Safe
Now while there were some fun developments with Alice last week, today she’s a bit of a mess. She starts out talking about Humpty Dumpty and putting Kate back together again, when someone knocks at her door. Thinking it’s Safiyah’s assassins come calling, she whips out her knife only to find a young girl. Not just any young girl, but her dead sister as a young girl. Turns out, losing her sister broke Alice’s fragile sanity, and she spends most of the episode talking with hallucinations. She even has a vision of digging up her buried cat, who is magically alive, and realizes her imagination is her superpower. So her new goal? To convince herself Kate never existed. Which I’m sure will be totally healthy and not make her any more psychotic at all. In all seriousness, I’m curious where her new story will take us, and hope it leads her to a better place. I just kind of doubt it.
An impromptu press conference happens with a reporter and none other than Roman Sionis. The moment I heard that name, a few things clicked into place. Such as who really runs the False Face Society and who was talking to the disfigured person in the sewers. Best of all, Sionis AKA Black Mask is portrayed by Peter Outerbridge, who is an amazing actor with a huge body of work. Recently he’s been in everything from The Umbrella Academy to The Expanse and even the 12 Monkeys TV adaptation. He’s an incredible actor, and his take on Black Mask might even be better than Alex Morf’s Victor Szasz earlier this season. As for what Black Mask is up to, he offers to help the GCPD, which is funny since he’s behind the commish getting murdered.
The Crows and Bat Team are both checking CCTV of the murder and find the body disappears. Turns out, someone scrubbed 5 minutes before and after the attack. The only key detail Ryan notices is a half-finished Defund the Police tag. Mary does some social media magic, finds who the artist likely was, and turns out it’s none other than Jordan Moore, Sophie’s little sister. Sophie gets surprised by her as she steps into her car later, and their talk is interrupted by False Face goons come to murder the only witness. Luckily Batwoman saves the day, and finds out that the getaway driver wore a key bracelet. Just like the one Angelique always wears. Ryan tries to convince Angelique to testify but she’s terrified for her life. Even knowing Jordan is a target until she does, Ryan’s ex is certain talking will mean her death. When Ryan tells Mary and Luke about the situation, they both feel it’s unlikely Angelique will do the right thing.
You and Your Comic Book Heroes
In the interim, Sophie and Jordan visit The Hold Up to stay off the radar. There’s a lot of fun energy between them and Ryan, and Jordan even tells her sister she should date Ryan. Which would be a good fit, other than the whole “you’re dating Batwoman and have no idea” arc repeating itself. One thing I liked was that when Sophie phones Luke to ask who the getaway driver is, since she could tell Batwoman knew something, Luke stays quiet. The Bat Team is really starting to close ranks and act like a team, which is a great development. While she’s bartending, Ryan gets a call from Angelique, who has decided to testify. Unfortunately, when Ryan gets there dressed as Batwoman, she finds Black Mask already abducted her ex.
Jacob has a small story this episode, and at first, I was frustrated by it. Here I was hoping that Kate’s story was all over, but Jacob believes it was no accident that her plane crashed. Julia agrees to prove him wrong and investigate. When she calls about the plane, something odd happens. The guy she’s talking with has talked to her before, but she has no recollection of that happening. Which means she has missing memories, which points to the hypnotist on Safiyah’s team, Enigma. This arc doesn’t go much further, but it’s definitely creating some drama to come.
It’s Gotham That’s Sadistic, Not Me
The last big scene of the episode involves saving Angelique from Black Mask. Luke tracks her to an old sawmill, and though Ryan does well initially against a gang of masked goons, one surprises her and knocks her out. She wakes up strapped to a conveyor belt, which is a great nod to really classic Batman comics. She watches in horror as Black Mask buzzsaws one of his one men in half for failing him, and turns his attention to Batwoman. Ryan tries to reason with him, but he blames Gotham for what he’s become after it failed him. Apparently, the previous Batwoman is responsible for his daughter’s death, after the Crows locked her up. Ryan is moments from getting a new haircut when Sophie saves the day, shooting the goons and turning off the saw.
Sophie and Batwoman agree to help protect Angelique so she can testify, but that doesn’t work. Sionis threatened Ryan’s life, and Angelique takes the fall for murdering the GCPD Commissioner. Sophie breaks the news to Ryan, and the whole thing serves as a call to action. Especially since Jordan is apparently a young crusader, and is trying to make Gotham a better place. Sophie agrees to start helping Gotham more, and Ryan, Luke, and Mary come together to heal the city by helping with Jordan’s proposed community center. And the last part of the episode involves the disfigured woman. Apparently, it’s Kate, who was beaten horribly by Black Mask’s men. Now he intends to use Enigma to hypnotize her into being someone else, with her convenient disfigurement allowing the show to cast a new actress. I have mixed feelings about Kate not being let go, but hopefully, this will be an interesting arc. Overall a very good episode of Batwoman. Be sure to join us in two weeks for the next one!
Final Verdict: 4.5/5