How Queer Everything Is Today!
Credit: Colin Bentley/The CW

Warning: This article contains spoilers about Sunday’s midseason return of Batwoman.

Batwoman‘s first post-“Crisis on Infinite Earths“ episode just shook up Kate Kane’s life in a couple of major ways.

In the fittingly titled midseason premiere “How Queer Everything Is Today!” Batwoman (Ruby Rose) came out as a lesbian to Gotham City. Even though coming out could jeopardize her secret identity, she did it anyway after meeting a queer high school girl whose parents refused to accept her sexuality and realizing what it would mean to others to have an out and proud superhero (Plus, the city started ‘shipping Batwoman with a Chris Evans-looking cop, which is the last time Kate was interested in). So, Kate had her friend Kara break the news in a CatCo magazine cover story.

For Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries, this was something she’d wanted to write since she started working on the series, and she thought now was the best time given what Kate went through as the Paragon of Courage in the crossover.

“For me, it was so important for this character to stand in her truth,” Dries told EW. “The girl underneath the costume is so comfortable with who she is and so comfortable with being truthful, and she never really has been in the closet. So there was this automatic dramatic issue for me as a writer to be writing a story about a girl with such confidence putting on this costume and disguising everything about herself. So, I thought it was a cool character moment for Batwoman to say, ‘Not only do I represent hope for the city, but I represent hope for a lot of people out there who are struggling with their whatever.’ In this case it’s being accepted for sexual orientation, but I think it’s a metaphor for bigger things [like for] people who just feel marginalized or uncomfortable in their skin. It kind of just made her a bigger hero.”

Catco Batwoman 01
Credit: CW

In some ways, not having Batwoman come out would’ve been like keeping half of Kate in closet. “That was sort of the issue. I never quite felt comfortable saying like Kate finds her strengths in putting on this suit and being someone else in hiding who she is. She’s so strong as Kate, and so in a way, the suit was limiting her. As I was kind of looking at the season from the very beginning before the pilot, I knew that this is something we wanted the character to go through. I think it resounds more coming now than if she had done it in episode 2 because she has earned the respect of the city and now she’s saying, ‘Okay, I have their attention. What am I going to do with my popularity?'” said Dries.

Okay, but how is Gotham going to respond to this big news? “The city has a tough reaction to Batwoman coming out because all of a sudden now Batwoman has like layers of her personality that everyone is not necessarily comfortable with,” said Dries. “So when you turn on the Bat-Signal now it’s sort of like you are making a statement of acceptance and the GCPD who are saying is in charge of the Bat-Signal might not be 100 percent comfortable with that.”

Of course this wasn’t the episode’s only big development, because Kate received a truly shocking birthday present: Her sister Beth (Rachel Skarsten). When Kate returned from blowing out her birthday candle in the Batcave, she returned to her office to find Beth waiting there, much to her surprise. At first, she thinks it’s Alice, who was arrested for trying to blow up a school, playing dress-up to mess with Kate’s head, but it turns this is actually Beth — which makes no sense. How are there two of them? Is Kate hallucinating? (Scarecrow was name-dropped earlier in the episode). Is this a fallout from “Crisis on Infinite Earths” rebooting reality?

Alas, Dries wouldn’t reveal what the answer was. “We will find out next week why Beth has suddenly appeared,” she said. “The audience will experience who Beth is at the same time our on-screen characters do as we learn more about her. How long she’ll be back is also something we will discover later.”

Dries went on to tease what this means reappearance means for our heroine. “Kate is confused, thrilled, and ultimately very conflicted to have the person she’s longed for her entire life finally show up unexpectedly. Having both Beth and Alice — what is and what should have been — results in a lot of ambivalence for Kate who will probably never heal from what happened the day of the car accident.”

Batwoman airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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