He’s Not a Monster, He’s My Son
One of the more pleasant surprises for me in Batwoman Season 3 is how much it’s leaned on horror elements. As much as Batman is generally about detective work, the series has also dabbled in horror before. I guess I should have noticed the trend when the new Mad Hatter did some legitimately horrific things with his mind control hat last week. And if you think that was bad, then just wait until you see Batwoman Season 3: Loose Tooth!
For whatever reason, when Batman’s trophies were stolen, I was only considering the dangerous tech. And while there was plenty of that misplaced, it stands to reason not all the trophies would be technological in nature. After all, Poison Ivy’s cuttings were taken (more on that later), so I should have seen the possibility of viral or other nuisances coming. Which brings us to the trophy the entire episode is centered around – a tooth from Waylon Jones himself, AKA Killer Croc.
A Violent Reign of Reptilian Terror
The episode does a good job of explaining the complicated lore of Killer Croc. In this iteration, Batman was trying to find a cure to Croc’s condition before GCPD reduced him to bloody paste with thermite. All that was left of Killer Croc was a lone tooth added to Batman’s trophy case. And unfortunately for this week, it finds its way to a new owner, who foolish manages to scratch himself with the tooth. Thus imparting him with the same undiagnosed viral condition that turned Waylon Jones from a mere man into a reptilian nightmare.
Now, when you hear about a giant lizard man, normally you don’t consider them as a pacifist. But somehow I never really considered the truly horrific implications of Killer Croc. Maybe it’s because I grew up with the Animated Series, which couldn’t go into all the gory details. But whatever the case, Loose Tooth fully embraces the horror of a lizard man driven by the primal impulse to feed. First thing in the episode he devours a young couple in a pool, paralyzing them with his bite first. And soon after, he adds a young girl to the menu.
That Uninvited Guest is Your Birth Mother
But Croc’s not the only problem for Ryan in this episode. After Sophie hacked the identity of her birth mother, they manage to draw her attention to Wayne Enterprises. And unluckily for Ryan, she has to meet with her negligent mother unexpectedly. Luckily for us, her mother, Jeturian Industries CEO Jada Jet, is played by none other than Robin Givens. If you don’t know who that is, watch more television and movies. But suffice to say, she’s perfectly cast to be a cutting, imperious woman with haughty demeanor. Not to mention a fierce fashion sense.
I love how strong Ryan is meeting a woman that’s thrown her entire life into disarray. They’re both incredibly proud and unwilling to show fear or weakness. Interestingly enough, Jada knows Bruce professionally, since he apparently took an employee from her. Luckily she isn’t aware he’s Batman, so she’s more than happy to meet with the acting CEO of Wayne Enterprises, AKA Ryan. What we don’t know yet is if Jada knows Ryan’s identity and is just playing dumb. But I’m sure that will be revealed in time.
You’re Tying My Fate to a Psychopath?
Ryan’s other problem in Loose Tooth is Alice. Because of the deal Alice made with Montoya, she’s let out of Arkham. And though they put a ankle bracelet on her, that won’t work for long against a psychopath that determined. Worse, Montoya ties her fate to Ryan’s. So if Alice so much as steps out of line or hits someone, Ryan is going to jail along with the criminal blonde. Which is totally unfair, but adds some nice stakes to Batwoman Season 3.
Overall I thought this episode had great atmosphere and effective build up. But unfortunately, when Ryan finally confronts the new Croc, the fight is a bit underwhelming. Just cause it takes place in a dark sewer, so it’s hard to see everything that’s happening. Frankly what occurs earlier in the episode with the Croc’s father was more exciting. Especially since Alice uses daddy’s taser to get out of her ankle bracelet, before Luke manages to track her down and pump her full of nano trackers.
You’re Keeping Fit
Another interesting angle in Loose Tooth is the potential budding romance between Luke and Mary. I know, I was surprised too, but they had good chemistry. Mary was trying to help him diagnose what tripped the Batwing suit’s failsafe. Apparently it thought Luke was in danger last week, and thus shut down. But when she takes off his shirt and starts checking him out (in more ways than one), the only abnormality she detects is a rapidly beating heart. It’s possible the Batwing suit has been mistranslating PTSD Luke suffered from his near death experience as physical trauma. On the plus side, Luke might have a fallback girl in Mary if his relationship with Cluemaster’s daughter from Season 2 doesn’t pan out.
I Was That Little Girl
In the end, Alice tries to escape, Croc is captured and Ryan saves the young girl. The most heartbreaking moment is when Alice has a chance to save the kidnapped little girl, and instead leaves her, saying only she can save herself. And then Montoya finds that the supposed Poison Ivy cutting they recovered last week isn’t the real deal. Which means the real one is still out there, likely causing chaos. And Ryan decides to confess her identity to Jada, which is sure to cause all sorts of complications. Overall a really solid episode, other than the disappointing fight scene.
Final Verdict: 4/5