Warning: The following contains spoilers from Sunday’s series premiere of Batwoman. Read at your own risk!
In the Arrowverse, the dead really never stay dead — and that’s a trend Batwoman is following, too.
In the final moments of the CW superhero drama’s series premiere, Gotham’s new hero Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) came to a shocking realization: Big bad Alice (Rachel Skarsten), the loony leader of the Wonderland gang who kidnapped Kate’s ex-girlfriend Sophie (Meagan Tandy), is her long-lost twin sister Beth. For years, Kate and her father Jacob (Dougray Scott) believed Beth perished in the car crash that killed Kate’s mother, even though they never found her body — and now they know why. This will have major implications for Alice’s reasons to terrorize Gotham and her dynamic with both Batwoman and Kate.
“Alice’s main objective is to be reunited with her sister, and it’s a very twisted idea of what that reunion looks like,” Rachel Skarsten told EW’s Christian Holub at 2019 New York Comic-Con. “Ultimately, they’re twins and she really loves Kate. I think it also provides a very interesting basis for them being foes, because obviously they’re twins so they’re intellectually equal, they’re physically equal, and they can’t kill one another because they’re sisters.”
For DC Comics fans, Kate and Beth’s familial connection wasn’t entirely surprising because it’s at the core of Batwoman’s mythology, thanks to Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams’ run on Detective Comics (collected in Batwoman: Elegy). It’s so essential that Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries felt it was imperative to reveal that as soon as possible.
“It was important to get to that in the pilot for two reasons. One is because the people who are fans of the comics know that,” Dries recently told EW. “They know it very well and I just didn’t want it to seem like we were hiding something from the audience for too long that they eventually figured out too soon.”
She continued, “Also, I wanted to let the audience know by the very end of the pilot [that], ‘Hey, this is actually what the show is going to be about: These two sisters.”
Even though Dries kept that part of Alice’s comic book history, she’s taken the rest of the character’s backstory in another direction. “It’s incredibly dark and it will help answer the question of why she’s taken on Alice from Alice in Wonderland as her persona, and why she’s so detached from reality,” said Dries. “I’ve completely done my own spin on Alice. The comics never really talk about what happened to her [after the accident], why she became this way, and that to me is the important thing to know about her and that’s what Kate wants to know.”
“It’s been really satisfying for me, even, to really get to know what made her Alice,” said Skarsten of delving into her past via flashbacks. “There’s a very specific sequence of events that’s happened over the last 13 odd years that has made her into who she is today.”
Thanks to the photos from next week’s episode, we know it won’t be long until Kate and Alice come face-to-face again and you can expect “fireworks,” according to the super-villain actress.
Said Skarsten, “Those two can’t be in a room together without a lot happening on both sides of the spectrum of love and hate. It’s been really, really fun to explore that with Ruby and I look forward to doing it more.”
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
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