Well, the good news is that Antifreeze is a better episode of Batwoman Season 3 than last week’s Freeze. The bad news is, it’s only a bit better, and still leaves a few huge unexplained mysteries in its wake. But I’m gonna strive to focus on the positive, since I do think all these scraps of plot are going to be woven into a more cohesive whole in weeks to come. While Ryan and the Bat Team did manage to secure Mr. Freeze’s cannister last week, that doesn’t mean there’s no freezing craziness this week. In fact, there’s a new villainous group in town, and they’re trying to perfect the formula stolen last week into a stable form. Unfortunately, they’re also leaving bodies in their wake. It all starts with the first attempt by this group to reanimate a body. They tell the frosty customer they’re free to leave, and when they stand up their legs shatter, and they crash into bloody pieces on the floor.
What the Hell?
Meanwhile Mary wakes up on a park bench entangled in vines. Once they let her loose she comes to, and finds a nasty thorn in her arm. But when she tries to tell Ryan and Luke about it, they’re both too busy to listen. Or rather, Ryan is too busy with her 30 Under 30 nomination. Luke’s just being salty because last week Mary outed his suit problems to Ryan. Which is unfortunate, since it means we’ll have to wait until next week or later to discover why Poison Ivy’s vines kidnapped and possibly infected her with something.
Wayne’s Young, Hot CEO
The main story is about Ryan doing a PR blitz as the CEO of Wayne. She got nominated thanks to her cheerfully manipulative bro, Marquis. Nevertheless, Ryan shines in the spotlight, and the event lets the show introduce PR guru Charlie Clarke. Despite it being years since I last watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I quickly recognized Andrew, and fervently hope he’s a recurring character. His snarky wit is a breath of fresh air.
Things are going well, despite Ryan trying to avoid being seen with her brother. She’s worried, rightfully so, that Jada will lash out. And she does just that the moment someone takes a snapshot of the brother and sister duo. Jada is so infuriated she finds damaging information about Wayne Enterprises and leaks it to Vesper Fairchild, tanking Wayne’s stock price. But before that happens, we get to see more Ryan and Sophie flirting. See, Sophie’s little activist sister Jordan was also nominated for the 30 Under 30, and she’s supposedly there to get donors for her civic center. In reality she’s up to mischief, and gets punished for it by the same man that was trying to reanimate the icy body for his client at the beginning of the episode. Unfortunately for Jordan, he freezes her.
Once Ryan and Sophie, with Marquis’ help, find a frozen Jordan, they start putting the pieces together. Turns out Jordan was investigating a shady secret society called the Black Glove Society (or BGs as Alice tries to coin them). They do dirty jobs for money, on the understanding they never reveal their methods or identity. And they have been freezing anybody that could have outed them, including poor Jordan. I strongly suspect the unnamed mercenary bitch from last week was either working for or with the BGS, but that’s never clarified. What I hope is that the BGS serves as the new focus of this season, since Black Mask and the False Face Society did such a good job of making trouble last season.
Stop Trying to Make BGs Happen!
Speaking of problems, Alice is getting crazier. Her hallucinations are getting stronger, if that’s indeed what is afflicting her. First she thought she saw nanobots coursing through her veins. Now she sees and hears actual people, and even interacts with them. Which isn’t great. She freaks out, and gets Montoya to let her loose, supposedly to help with some made up Batman villain. She hoped her issues were isolated to Arkham, which sadly isn’t the case. Later in the episode she teams up with Sophie to find out more details about what Jordan knew about the BGS, and she’s so distracted by phantasms that both women get knocked out and tied up. Mostly because the hallucinations have Alice off her game in a big way. On the plus side, her and Sophie interacting is one of my favorite things in this show, since the women are so diametrically opposed.
The Silent Treatment’s Getting Old
The other main arc this episode is Luke and his malfunctioning Batwing suit. He tinkers with it, and finally gets his AI father’s voice talking with him again. The problem is it’s tied to the failsafe, and so Luke can’t avoid his PTSD anymore. He asks his father if he’s ready for the suit, and sadly it says not.
Thankfully, Mary has a revelation that helps her introduce a natural plant-based antifreeze into Jordan’s bloodstream, which does save the day. The only tricky part is that the BGS aren’t stopped, and they manage to fulfill their contract. Turns out it’s none other than Jada Jet herself, and she wants to use the now perfected Freeze serum to put her son Marquis on ice, and then thaw him later.
Overall a pretty decent episode of Batwoman Season 3. I like the potential of the Black Glove Society, and how the villain wore a dapper hat. It was also nice seeing Sophie reveal to Jordan she has feelings for Ryan, albeit unintentionally. And it should be interesting to see whether Ryan caves to pressure to step down as Wayne CEO, or if her new alliance with Marquis bears fruit. Hopefully the next few episodes answer some of our lingering questions and start taking Batwoman Season 3’s plot to more interesting places.
Final Verdict: 3.5/5