A new villain is on the hunt for social media influencers. Meanwhile, Jacob discovers things are not as they seem among the Crows, and Kate navigates Batwoman’s growing relationship with Sophie.
On Batwoman Season 1 Episode 14, Sophie gets an unexpected visit from her mother; Batwoman and Luke track down a villain targeting social media mavens. Mary offers her expertise to assist Kate. And Alice focuses on her plans for retribution.
Batwoman continues to simultaneously thrill and devastate as it delivers the kind of nuanced storytelling other DCTV shows could stand to employ more. Yes, there’s another ‘Villain of the Week’ (VotW) this week. But the writers continue to find ways to seamlessly weave them into the larger plot. One thing that’s been noticeable is how many of the villains so far have been women. And they’re not just villains for the sake of being evil. They all have rationales stemming from how they’ve been treated by men, by society, by the rich, and by their families. We can sympathize with them. This is a stark contrast to our first VotW – Tommy Elliot – who was purely egotistical.
The cold open this episode highlights something many in today’s image-obsessed world struggle with. Body Dysmorphia. Duela Dent (Harvey Dent’s niece) was forced to have reconstructive surgery done after cutting her own face open. Now she’s carving the same smile inflicted on herself into other women who underwent plastic surgery. In her mind, how is she any different than these girls who repeatedly willingly get their faces slit open and their bones shaved to look like someone else?
Elsewhere, Jacob is slowly coming to the same realization as Sophie regarding the Crows’ conduct. There’s corruption among the Crows and frankly, he should have been warier because Alice herself had her gang members infiltrate the group. Who knows what else is going on under his nose? This plot seems to be pointing to further investigation into what really happened to Lucius Fox. Hopefully, this means Luke will finally get some more character development beyond being a supportive friend to Kate and Mary.
Sophie is floating on cloud nine after kissing Batwoman, and it’s really cute. She’s literally glowing when she tells Mary what happened. She doesn’t even care that she doesn’t know who Batwoman is! She’s THAT smitten. Mary and I are suitably scandalized at this because we all know who Batwoman is and how messy this situation is. What is not cute, however, is Sophie’s homophobic mother Diane.
Meagan Tandy’s acting this episode is nothing short of fantastic. Sophie is a character that persons have a love/hate relationship with. But after this episode, I don’t know how anyone could not empathize with her character. It’s clear that her mother’s expectations and values have weighed heavily on Sophie her entire life. Diane thinks so highly of her that Tyler clearly must have lost his mind to end their marriage. Sophie couldn’t possibly be in the wrong. Still, it’s even more painful to know that although she wants Sophie to be happy, it’s only on her terms.
Sophie feels safe tucked away with Batwoman away from prying eyes. But it’s just another instance of hiding – just like at the military academy. Batwoman offers her some perspective: any relationship they pursue won’t stay a secret forever. Sophie can’t be with her, without knowing who she is. And once she does, then this is no longer something bordering on fantasy. Batwoman will still be a woman and their relationship won’t work if Sophie isn’t prepared to handle everything that comes with publicly being with a woman. The interesting juxtaposition here is that in hiding her identity, Kate got Sophie to stop hiding hers.
People are so quick to be dismissive and say “It’s 2020, nobody cares about your sexuality” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality of many minorities is that they are unable to be honest with their family members – people they love and think very highly of- because they know they’ll react negatively. It’s heartbreaking to see Sophie’s mom reject her. But it’s even more triumphant to see Sophie overcoming her fear and coming out anyway. Much love to the writers who have decided to write Sophie’s story this way. This is the kind of thoughtful and genuine representation that is needed – and wanted by fans of shows of this nature.
Mary, Kate & Alice
Mary may know Kate’s secret now, but she’s not about to broadcast or blatantly confront her. She’s able to connect the dots so much faster now. So when Kate comes to ask her about the recent slasher attacks, Mary immediately knows that Kate is doing Bat-work. She’s eager to help, but Kate doesn’t bite. Nicole Kang does a great job emoting how earnest Mary is in wanting to be closer to Kate. At the end of the episode, Mary gives Kate the “There’s nothing you can’t tell me. I’m here if you ever want to talk,” speech which I felt veered dangerously close to telling her without telling her. Kate doesn’t realize that Mary knows yet, but she seems to be considering letting Mary in more. It’s a really lovely scene.
Speaking of sisterly bonding, Mary and Alice have developed an interesting dynamic. They begrudgingly allow each other to live purely for Kate’s sake and are a lot like bickering sisters? It’s even weirder now for Mary because Alice has technically saved her life twice now, despite killing her mother. There’s also the added layer of Alice knowing Kate was Batwoman before Mary did. Mary could have acted hurt. Considering how strongly Kate advocated for Alice before, it would seem like Kate trusted her more.
It’s a testament to Mary’s empathetic nature that she doesn’t resent Kate for allowing Alice to know. She understands and accepts that she and Kate aren’t as close, even though they basically grew up together. She also knows that Alice says things to get a rise out of her on purpose. I really can’t wait to see Kate and Mary’s bond grow stronger as the season progresses.
What did you think of Batwoman Season 1 Episode 14? Share your thoughts in the comments below.