Mary and Luke do some sleuthing together while Kate interrogates August Cartwright about Alice’s whereabouts.
On Batwoman Season 1 Episode 15, Alice’s dark past is further revealed when Cartwright shares a twisted story with Kate. Jacob goes searching for Alice while Mary and Luke follow a lead on Beth’s killer.
Justice for Beth
I’m sure these reviews must sound like a broken record at this point. But the Batwoman writers have done it again. This show just keeps getting better and better, and this episode did not leave one minute wasted. First, we know it’s not another Villain of the week plot because instead of an arbitrary attack or murder, we begin with a flashback. Flashbacks mean it’s a Kane family centred episode. We’re also treated to more scenes of Luke and Mary together while all the family drama is happening.
Mary and Luke are quickly shaping up to be a dynamic duo with their sarcastic banter. I appreciate that they aren’t thrown together just for the hell of it. Them interacting builds their individual character development beyond expository purposes. Luke’s a bit full of himself and his intelligence. And Mary has a bit of a saviour complex, but they complement each other. Mary – who was prone to flying into dangerous situations alone – now has someone she can rely on for help outside of Kate. Mary humbles Luke by being just as, if not more, intelligent and resourceful than him.
Together they track down a lead that points them toward Beth’s killer. Sure, they didn’t know Beth long, but they’ve both lost parents to targeted attacks which have unresolved cases. In terms of seeing death firsthand, Catherine died in Mary’s arms and Beth died in Luke’s. That’s not something you get over quickly. They both have someone to confide in about their trauma now. And if Mary holding his hand at the end of the episode is anything to go by, I’d say we’re about to see them get even closer very soon.
Off With Her Head
August Cartwright is no longer my most hated character. His mother, Mabel is right up there with him. We discover more about what happened to Alice during her time with him through flashbacks and dialogue and I’m very happy the writers finally answered some of my questions. What did Alice do to escape Cartwright over six years ago? What happened to Alice to make her the way she is? I will say one thing: I wasn’t ready.
Persons were concerned that this show wouldn’t be dark enough and boy were they wrong. This episode gets dark. Mabel Cartwright, aka the Queen of Hearts, is downright awful and abusive. With someone like August, you always wonder how they got that way. If anything is clear by the end of this episode, it’s that the impact of abuse spans generations. Its effects linger. Mabel treated August similar to how August treated Johnny and Alice. It doesn’t excuse their actions but it certainly sheds light on why they are the way they are.
While exposed to the fear toxin (from Batman villain Scarecrow), Alice relives the worst moments of her time with the Cartwrights under Mabel. Rachel Skarsten delivers another emotionally devastating performance as Alice struggles with her hallucinations. Interestingly, August believes his mother is Alice’s greatest fear but as the audience, we see that this assertion is wrong. Alice’s worst fear is Kate turning her back on her and being left completely alone.
Overall, this episode is in my top three of the series so far. We continue to delve further into Kate’s journey as a hero; the compromises she is willing to make for the greater good. There’s a lot of narrative symmetry in this episode which I really liked. We begin at Alice and Beth’s bat mitzvah where their mother teaches them about what the colour red represents. Love, passion, courage, and war. What defines your character is how you balance them. This leads to a scene where Kate gets annoyed with a thug that pulls a gun on her. She points it to his head but opts not to shoot. It’s quick and seemingly unimportant – but it informs where Kate ends up at the end. In fact, her mother’s words are echoed at the end.
It’s fitting because bat mitzvah’s mark the age of accountability. From that day on you’re accountable for your actions. Kate spends most of the episode proclaiming to August that she’s not like Alice. She’s not a killer. She even talks Jacob out of killing August. But there’s nothing to Kate like her family. The angriest we’ve seen Kate has been over losing loved ones. To the point where she nearly choked Alice. And so finding out that August killed Beth and also defiled her mother’s dead body? He was never leaving there alive. I almost thought Jacob and Alice would have reached just in time. A lot of superhero shows opt for this contemplative “what if” route. However, the Batwoman writers made the decision to have Kate go all the way. It’s bold and exciting territory for the episodes ahead, and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.
What did you think of Batwoman Season 1 Episode 15? Share your thoughts in the comments below.