There’s still no sign of Batman as the citizens of Gotham grow restless for their hero to return. An equally restless acquaintance of Bruce’s stirs up trouble for Kate that forces her to take matters into her own hands.
On Batwoman Season 1 Episode 3, Alice continues to terrorize Jacob for abandoning her fifteen years ago. Sophie volunteers to be Mary’s personal security guard, producing some enlightening results. Elsewhere, Bruce’s old friend Tommy Elliot orchestrates a series of elaborate attacks to force Batman out of hiding while Kate decides to forge her own path in Bruce’s absence.
Where is Batman?
“Batman” is the name on everyone’s lips now that glimpses of someone that appears to be him has been seen around the city. Radio personality Vesper Fairchild (voiced by a pitch-perfect Rachel Maddow) repeatedly beseeches the caped crusader to come out of hiding and stop toying with people’s emotions. Little does everyone know that Bruce Wayne has left the building – possibly permanently.
You would think that more people would link the fact that both Bruce Wayne and Batman both disappeared from Gotham at the same time. But given the class dynamics at work, I’m sure the average Gothamite doesn’t care about whatever’s going on with Bruce Wayne. One person who does get this connection though, is Tommy Elliot. In addition to being Bruce’s alleged best friend and rival, he’s also kind of the worst. He’s a rich white man with nothing to do but constantly try to one up the only other rich white man on his level. Totally egotistical. Completely out of touch with reality. He wants to kill Batman because he foiled his plan to kill both his parents for inheritance money.
Now that Kate has been wearing the suit, she’s given people a lot to hope for without really considering for herself what it would mean if Bruce really never came back. There are real lives at stake here. And of course, more villains who will predictably come out of the woodwork. While I’m very interested to know why Bruce is gone, I think this episode effectively lands in a place where we should no longer care whether or not he’ll be back. Kate Kane is here now, and she’s here to stay.
Keeping Up Appearances
Batwoman shines when the ladies of the show interact, and this episode delivers on all fronts. Kate interacts with Alice and a new love interest while Sophie and Mary spend some enlightening time together. Mary continues to be a standout character. For someone who would appear to be a ditzy Instagram influencer, she’s incredibly genuine. She’s intelligent and capable and shuts down every one of Sophie’s attempts to imply otherwise. She’s also appears to be a big Sophie/Kate supporter. Intuition tells her that Sophie only became her body guard to keep tabs on Kate, which she immediately calls her out on. Mary also adds some much needed levity during the awkward elevator scenes at Tommy’s party. In one of them, she says she forgot Sophie was married. I can relate because I can’t even remember her husband’s name.
Sophie’s having mixed emotions. She wants Kate to take her advice and move on but she still has feelings for Kate. I’m also pretty sure she knows that Kate is the new Bat vigilante. The episode also establishes that Sophie hasn’t mentioned anything about her past with Kate to her husband of three years. That’s a huge red flag. Even though she eventually admits she and Kate trained together, she doesn’t tell him they were girlfriends. It leaves me wondering what Sophie’s reason behind that is. They’re not together anymore and Kate is looking at other options – so what’s the problem?
I anticipate that things will get even more awkward the longer Kate and Sophie are around each other. As Sophie watches Kate connect with Reagan, a bartender from Tommy’s party, she nods to herself as if it’s for the best. But Mary and the audience can see she’s pretty sad about it too. How long before jealousy rears its ugly head?
The episode opens with a nightmare of Beth wandering around an old barn(?) where she finds a tub with a peeled off face in it. Is it really a nightmare or is it a memory? Was she experimented on? The mystery of what really happened to Beth after the accident is one I can’t wait to get answers to.
Rachel Skarsten continues to chew scenery like no other as Alice. Alice tells Kate that Beth has gone “down, down, down” the rabbit hole and isn’t coming back (Side-note: Tommy also dropped three elevators? I’m not sure if this was intentional but it was a nice touch). But there are subtle moments where her Alice persona slips and there’s a clarity in her eyes and in her voice that seem like there’s still some Beth left in her. For example, the way she almost reverently handles the crumpled map Kate used to search for her versus her smashing Jacob’s family photo with Catherine and Mary. It’s positively engrossing to watch.
Equally as engrossing is the cat and mouse dynamic between her and Kate. Alice tries to adhere to Kate’s “no killing for 24 hours” stipulation to get her boyfriend back, but fails miserably. She later has a perfect opportunity to kill Kate, but chooses to save her. The tension is just right. As much as Kate leans on her belief that their sisterly bond protects her, watching them interact is akin to watching a lion interacting with puppies. There’s a constant underlying feeling of danger.
Interestingly, Alice leaves three playing cards on Catherine’s powder table at the apartment: A two of hearts, an eight of clubs and a three of diamonds. Based on Catherine’s reaction and her quickly hiding them from Jacob, she must have some idea of what that means.
It took three episodes to get to this point, but we’re finally here: Batwoman has arrived. I won’t lie, I cheered when I saw the red bat symbol. Kate’s big moment is powerful. There comes a time in a vigilante-turned-superhero’s journey when they realize that the circumstances are much bigger than themselves and their personal agendas.
Kate originally donned the suit to save Sophie, and fight Alice’s goons. She ends up wearing it again to save Alice, then Mary, and to go after the Wonderland Gang. This episode forces her to come to terms with a fact that she’s been shying away from: Batman is gone and Gotham needs a hero. It goes beyond just Alice and the Wonderland Gang. Batman’s absence has left a void that the Crows can’t fill. There are people who will terrorize the citizens of Gotham for the simple fact that she’s been out in the suit. There will always be more innocent people caught in the crossfire.
She didn’t want to claim Bruce’s mantle because she felt inadequate and ill-equipped to take up that responsibility – especially if he were to return. But after Luke affirms that he doesn’t think Bruce is ever coming back, Kate decides to step up and be the hero Gotham needs right now. And like all those years ago at military academy, she won’t be hiding behind false appearances. Kate’s going to be true to herself and forge her own path. And I for one cannot wait to see where she goes.
What did you think of Batwoman Season 1 Episode 3? Will Sophie and Kate ever reunite? What do you think Alice wants with Catherine? Share your thoughts in the comments below.