This week’s episode of Batwoman begins with a nightmare, but luckily it’s not the nightmare that is Kate Kane’s (Ruby Rose) voiceover (that comes later). Instead, it’s Alice having a bad dream where she’s still a kid, walking around a creepy basement and finding a sink with someone’s face floating in it. Yep, Beth Kane definitely has a lot of unresolved issues.
We don’t get much more when it comes to that dream, but this episode is largely about the complicated nature of Beth/Alice and Kate’s relationship. At the top of the episode, Kate has all but sworn off being Batman. It’s been 10 days since Gotham saw the caped crusader, and Kate simply can’t deal with the pressure. She feels like she gave the city false hope, and now she’s backing away from the responsibility. But, she is still trying to save her sister, or what’s left of her. She negotiates with Alice: no killing for 24 hours, and she can have her boyfriend back. Just 24 hours, Kate? What kind of deal is that?
Anyways, we’re introduced to a new character this week, and his name is Tommy Elliot. He’s apparently Bruce’s best friend, but he also has a weird fixation on outdoing Bruce in every way possible. He delights in having bought the one building in Gotham that’s taller than Wayne Towers and is very excited to leave an invitation for Bruce to attend a party in his penthouse. Kate doesn’t quite understand why Tommy is so sure that Bruce is back in Gotham, despite him all but saying “I know he’s Batman, Kate.”
Kate still doesn’t figure it all out when it becomes clear that somebody is going after Batman. There was a break-in at Wayne Tech, and someone stole a rail gun that uses an electromagnetic pulse to shoot bullets. It’s the only weapon that can pierce the Batsuit, and Bruce designed it as a fail-safe against anyone evil ever getting hold of the suit. In downtown Gotham, an effigy of Batman is put on display. Someone is coming for Batman, and that someone had to have known about Bruce Wayne being Batman in order to know to steal the gun. Hmmm, if only there was someone that seemed to know about Bruce’s superhero identity?
Eventually, Kate does start to put the pieces together, suspecting Tommy of stealing the gun. But she can’t understand why he’d want to kill his best friend. Luke urges Kate to don the Batsuit and confront Tommy, but she refuses; she’s not ready yet. That brings us to Tommy’s party, where Kate shares a very awkward elevator ride with Mary and Sophie, the latter of whom has been assigned as a personal bodyguard. While all of Gotham’s socialites mingle, Alice calls Jacob and threatens him. He can tell that she’s in their home, but he’s still refusing to believe that Alice is really Beth. She keeps telling him over and over again, but he thinks it’s all mind games.
It’s at the party, after flirting with a bartender while Sophie watches, that Kate confronts Tommy. She sees the gun and tries to take it from him. But he’s having none of it. He goes on a rant about how Batman saved his mother, and that cost him his inheritance for 13 years. Now, he’s getting his revenge. He’s not mad at Bruce, but he wants to kill Batman. Ummm, sure?
So, Tommy hacks into the elevators and uses them as hostages in order to get Batman up on the roof. While Mary helps out some truly clueless EMTs, Kate heads back to the Batcave and gets Luke to change the suit. She can’t be Batman; she has to be better, and she has to be honest with Gotham. She gets her suit, complete with red wig, and heads back to the party where she beats up Tommy and stops the elevators from falling.
Tommy has the upper hand though. While she’s saving the people trapped in the elevators, he recovers and tries to send her down the elevator shaft. He’s only stopped when Alice shows up and saves Kate. Back at the Kane household, Alice stumbled across a box of Kate’s things, including a bunch of maps that prove Kate was always searching for her sister. There’s still some of Beth in there somewhere, but she refuses to show it to Kate. She says she only saved her so that she can torture her in the future and that she has special plans for Gotham’s new hero.
For the most part, the Kate/Beth/Alice stuff here is pretty good. It’s the most interesting dynamic on the show so far, and the introduction of another love interest for Kate, in the form of the bartender, is promising too. Everything else is still very clunky, but this episode at least crafts some compelling stories without going into exposition overdrive.
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