Luke and Mary tackle a literal life or death situation. Meanwhile, Mouse and Jacob fall victim to familiar faces.
On Batwoman Season 1 Episode 12, Luke and Mary are tasked with finding the cause behind Beth’s debilitating headaches; Sophie takes her new role to the extreme. Alice makes a devastating discovery. Kate makes a decision that has major consequences.
There Can Only Be One
Emotionally devastating doesn’t begin to cover the events of ‘Take Your Choice’. I feel like the 2-3 week hiatus that came after Episode 11 should have come after this one. A lot that happened in this episode that stuck with me in terms of emotional impact. As far as first-time episode writing experiences go, Ebony Gilbert did a standout job taking the lead on this one. Batwoman continues to get better with each passing episode, and I cannot wait to see what these writers have in store for us next. We’re only about half-way through the first season and there has already been so much action – and with real stakes too. I caught myself genuinely wondering more than once whether certain characters would make it out of this episode alive.
Mary discovers that their earth (Earth-Prime) can’t sustain two Beth Kanes. This means that if they don’t save Beth or Alice, they’ll both die. Then Luke calculates that Beth has about seven hours to live and the stakes are suddenly sky-high. Kate is understandably in a bind. While the choice is obvious for Luke and Mary, it’s not so clear for Kate. Alice may not be the sister she remembers or wants her to be, but she’s still her real sister. This new Beth is everything she’d hoped for in a sister, but at the same time, she’s essentially a stranger she just getting to know.
The scenes between Kate and Beth last episode were good, but the scenes this episode are even better. As are the scenes with Kate and Alice. I can’t say enough about Rachel Skarsten’s performance here. She blew me away. Alice’s desperation while pleading with Mary for help, and the realization that Kate has chosen Beth over her is crushing.
The manhunt for Alice has escalated to new heights as Sophie commands the Crows to hunt with extreme prejudice. If there’s one thing that we’ve learned about Sophie, it’s that she takes her responsibilities very seriously. Sophie doesn’t deal with failure well – especially when caused by her own perceived emotional failings. But she follows her gut. Her sympathy for Alice allowed Alice to escape. Her feelings for Kate prevent her from taking a kill shot on “Alice”. And it’s a good thing that she hesitates because Kate would never forgive her for killing Beth.
Loss is a compelling motivator. So many heroes (and villains) are born from losing people that they love. Kate gains motivation from the family she lost. Mary finds her strength because of who she lost. Luke is compelled to do right because of his loss. To see all three of them be dealt with another loss so soon is rough because Beth fit into their group perfectly. Beth and Luke especially seemed to have been hitting it off, so to have her die in his arms is heartbreaking. Luke will no doubt blame himself again for losing someone he cared for.
Undoubtedly no one feels worse than Kate. She decided to save Beth’s life and still loved Alice enough to be there to comfort her when she was dying. A part of Alice knew that Kate would choose Beth over her. She still hoped that Kate would somehow not let her die, but seeing Kate there drove home the point that Kate’s given up on her. It’s a profound sense of loss for them both.
The less exciting parts of this episode for me involved Jacob and Mouse. Jacob being attacked by criminals he helped put away is a given. I’m not sure if we were supposed to be surprised that Alice’s ex boy-toy would try to kill him? Mouse, however, does get a slightly more interesting plot. The plastic surgeon that meets with Jacob earlier in the episode turns out to be Mouse’s father. That was surprising to me I think because I assumed either Alice or Mouse had killed him and that’s how they were able to get away from him. I still want to know what happened there.
Dr Campbell is out for revenge. He wants to make Alice pay for taking his son away from him. The next sequence of events was sudden and confusing. How did Sophie find Luke and Beth so fast? And then, how did Dr Campbell find them at all? It’s all too convenient. Suspension of disbelief aside, it makes for some neat, suspenseful directing.
The scenes where Kate visits both Alice and Beth on their deathbeds were also well done. They were set up in a way where you weren’t sure who Kate chose because there was no guarantee what we were seeing wasn’t a hallucination. Ultimately, as Alice dies, Kate grabs her sister and breaks down harder than we’ve ever seen. But the real highlight is when Beth gets shot and Alice is revived. The shock/horror on Kate’s face versus the look of hatred in Alice’s eyes? It feels like their entire dynamic has shifted. And if Alice was evil before, imagine what she’ll be like now.
What did you think of Batwoman Season 1 Episode 12? Where will Alice and Kate’s relationship go from here? Share your thoughts in the comments below.