Alice seeks out the smartest codebreakers in Gotham to decrypt Lucius’ journal. Kate discovers that Reagan isn’t the only one keeping secrets. Meanwhile, Julia and Sophie grow even closer.
On Batwoman Season 1 Episode 19, when members of Gotham’s intelligentsia begin disappearing, Cmdr. Kane, Sophie and the Crows go searching for the newest homicidal threat to the city; Kate starts questioning the loyalty of everyone around her just when she needs them most.
Things take a troubling turn this episode as Alice begins searching for anyone in Gotham that can decode Lucius’ journal. I could tell the writers had a field day dropping in quite a few Batman comic references through the journals and at Arkham. It makes me very excited for could possibly happen in Season 2 and beyond if the show continues. Tommy Elliott has fully stepped into his comic villain persona – Hush. Gabriel Mann is doing a fantastic job in this role so far. Especially with the cadence and menacing tone to Hush’s voice. Now that Tommy’s had a taste of what it’s like to work for Alice, I don’t think he’ll want to do so much longer.
Kate is in a bit of a rough spot with her team too. Luke is mad at her for losing his dad’s journal and storms off leaving Kate without her usual wingman. Since neither Mary nor Kate possesses Luke’s tech-savvy expertise, they find themselves in need of a way to find the kidnapped codebreakers. Enter Parker Torres; the teen hacker from early Season 1 to whom Kate revealed her identity. Parker and Mary together provide a lot of the comic relief this episode. I wouldn’t mind seeing her pop up again at some point int the future. Mary’s utter confusion when Kate brings Parker into the Batcave is hilarious. Like why does this random teenager know Kate was Batwoman before she did?
If Mary’s chance to prove herself was the last episode, this one was Luke’s. Luke always puts himself down because he doesn’t feel he lives up to his father’s genius. But he really was the only person who could manually decipher Lucius’ code. Luke is not only smart but he’s incredibly selfless. When faced with life or death situations, he would readily sacrifice himself if it meant the villains don’t win. Here, he refuses to interpret his father’s notes for Alice, because once he realizes what it says, he knows what she’ill do with that knowledge. He doesn’t want Kate to die and likewise, Kate will do anything to get Luke (and Julia back safely). Their friendship continues to be one of the bright spots of this show.
All’s Fair in Love
Sophie’s journey of self-acceptance and being able to express her true sexuality continues to be a beautiful one. She comes to Kate when she can’t find Julia and Kate confronts her about their sudden closeness. Normally, plots like this aren’t my favourite but Batwoman is giving the audience a different spin on it. First, there is not a single man involved in this triangle. Second, it hasn’t really been something that came out of nowhere or is happening to sideline Sophie or Julia.
I applaud the way the writers are handling this so far. Even though Julia and Sophie both have their own separate romantic history with Kate, it’s clear that their interest in each other is not about Kate. It also helps that Meagan Tandy and Christina Wolfe’s chemistry gives the chemistry each of them has with Ruby Rose a serious run for its money. Sophie is willing to keep things strictly professional with Julia if it makes Kate uncomfortable. It does, but Kate wants Sophie to have the experience of openly seeing another woman, even if that woman is not her. She graciously steps aside and encourages Sophie to go for it.
Parker encourages Kate to fight harder for Sophie. But Kate ends up walking in on Sophie and Julia kissing for the first time and it’s pretty awkward. Going all the way back to the pilot, I think this is the same passageway where Kate got her hopes up only to find out that Sophie was married to Tyler. Now she’s come again hoping to win Sophie back but Sophie’s moving on to Julia. Given that this is standard for ‘Will-they-Won’t-they’ main couples, I’m sure at some point Sophie and Kate will reunite. The question is, when will Sophie finally know the truth? With Julia in the mix, that’s another person keeping Kate’s secret who will have to lie to Sophie. I feel like Sophie won’t take Kate hiding it from her too well either.
After Kate confronts Reagan about stealing the journal, Reagan confesses that Julia also found and interrogated her – at knife-point. This sends Kate reeling at the possibility of another betrayal. Kate rightly deduces that Julia must be working for someone off-the-record. Julia confirms that she’s working for the mysterious Safiyah Sohail from Coryana. Kate says she doesn’t know who that is but it seems Safiyah knows all about her. Earlier, Julia tells Luke that he doesn’t know everything about Kate – which would imply Kate has something to hide. I’m intrigued by this since Safiyah was Kate’s ex in the comics. It’s possible that Kate does know her but under a different name.
Alice’s obsession with killing Batwoman in some grand dramatic fashion is frustrating Mouse especially. He rightly points out that they know who Batwoman is, why can’t they just shoot her when she’s not in the suit. It feels to me though that Alice is fixated more on killing the Bat persona and not necessarily Kate herself. Maybe a little of both. But killing Batwoman would certainly plunge Gotham back into a fearful state where Alice would be Queen. Now that she has her hands on the journal and the tool to decode it, I expect she’ll be drawing up her plans soon.
Alice further creates a wedge between her and Mouse when she releases all the inmates so they can escape the Crows. Mouse was really settling into his role as Dr Butler and having the run of the place so I can definitely see him turning on Alice soon. It’s a pity that the season is ending prematurely due to Covid-19. With only one episode to go, I hope they’ll be able to keep up the momentum of the past few episodes and deliver a finale that leaves us wanting more for Season 2.
What did you think of Batwoman Season 1 Episode 19? Share your thoughts in the comments below.