Things get bloody in Gotham as Kate celebrates the opening of her new bar. Jacob discourages Sophie’s growing connection to Batwoman.
On Batwoman Season 1 Episode 13, A new villain sinks her teeth into Gotham as The Hold Up opens in grand fashion. Sophie reluctantly requests that Batwoman keep her distance, knowing their interactions could compromise her. And Mary makes a major discovery.
I’ve Always Wanted to Slay A Vampire
We start this episode with what is probably one of the most intriguing ‘Villain of the Week’ (VotW) cold opens so far. A vampire in Gotham? Yes, please. Luke says Kate could use a distraction and he’s right. I didn’t realize how much I needed an episode like this after the traumatic events of Episode 12 (RIP Beth), but it’s a welcome relief. This episode strikes a good balance between some delightful humour and complex emotions. Pace-wise, the writers have been able to maintain a good mix of action and drama since the mid-season finale. Beth’s death has adequate emotional weight where Mary and Luke have been affected.
Luke capably provides Kate with backup as usual. It was great seeing him join Mary at the party, albeit briefly. I’m looking forward to seeing more of their dynamic and learning more about Luke as a character. It would also be nice to see him get in on the physical action as Mary has in recent episodes.
I’m a big fan of Villains that are straight from the comics. Kayla Ewell does a fine job as Nocturna. I was a bit disappointed with what the writers decided to do with the character though. The Nocturna involved with Batwoman in the comics is a literal vampire with a very controversial romantic relationship with Kate. While I understand why the writers would not want to go that route due to the consent issues involved, I personally would have liked to see some actual vampire action. Here, Nocturna’s attacks mostly serve to progress both Mary and Alice’s story arcs. Her fangs are sadly just dentures.
A Slippery Slope
Alice and Sophie are more alike than you would think. They’re two polarizing characters who have largely been shaped by their circumstances and upbringing. Their relationships with Kate are pivotal as Kate’s recent return to Gotham has been a major catalyst for them both. Kate drives Alice’s development, while Batwoman drives Sophie’s.
Kate willingly bares herself to Alice even when she is being Batwoman. When Kate comes to free Alice from Nocturna, she does so in her suit but without her mask. I expected Alice to be more upset with Kate. But perhaps reaching the brink of death has caused her to reflect. The deliberately tilted camera movements and close-ups during the scenes of Alice talking to herself show that all is not well. A sign that she might be losing her sanity? Or a representation of her internal struggle? Mouse has been the one poisoning Alice’s mind. Without him there to influence her, for the first time, Alice verbally admits that she doesn’t want Kate to give up on her.
Alternatively, the anonymity Kate has as Batwoman -through changing her voice and demeanour – has allowed her to get around some of the walls Sophie would otherwise put up around her. Sophie can be honest with Batwoman. She tells Batwoman that she doesn’t know who she is outside of her job, which is true. And sad. She was literally married to her co-worker and she valued Jacob’s guidance too highly. Until Batwoman. Now that she’s been suspended from duty, Sophie’s in a better position to really evaluate her values and what she really wants. I can’t help but notice that this sets up a similar situation to what happened with her and Kate at the academy. Clearly, the real villain here is the rigid Patriarchal ideals running the institutions.
Connecting the Dots
Alice can’t seem to find Mouse anywhere, but she does know who saw him last. Based on the information her gang gathers, she quickly figures out that Dr Campbell is actually Arthur Cartright – Mouse’s father. Something happened six years ago to force him into hiding. The writers are taking time with this particular plot reveal and I suspect all this is building toward a pivotal moment for Alice.
Elsewhere, Mary is recovering from Nocturna’s attack when she pieces together the strange events of the night and concludes that Kate is Batwoman. Mary is arguably the most brilliant person in the Arrowverse, so I’m glad she did it so quickly. The fact that her suspicion is cemented by Batwoman’s CATCO magazine feature is laugh-out-loud brilliant. Luke warned Kate that something like this would happen! Logically, there are only so many lesbians in Gotham with the kind of resources to be a well-equipped vigilante.
At the end of the episode, Sophie and Kate share a long-awaited kiss. My inner #Batmoore shipper was ecstatic, but I can see where this could be messy. I mean, Sophie has to know that that’s Kate right? Sophie saw Kate cut herself on purpose to draw out Nocturna. And she already figured out Kate’s secret way before Mary did. On the other hand, if Sophie thinks Batwoman is someone else, then Kate is wrong to get romantically involved with her again under false pretence. Something’s gotta give.
What did you think of Batwoman Season 1 Episode 13? Is Alice a lost cause? Does Sophie know Kate is Batwoman? Share your thoughts in the comments below.