Are we in store for the mother of all twists?

By Sydney Bucksbaum
July 06, 2021 at 05:24 PM EDT
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Has Batwoman found Ryan Wilder's long-lost mother?

EW has confirmed that Robin Givens is joining the CW superhero drama in a major role for season 3. She has been cast in the series regular role of Jada Jet, the powerful CEO of Jet Industries who "isn't bossy — she's the boss." Described as "passionate and hard-working," Jada is "a woman who has worked her way through life's ups and downs to climb her way to the top — all while being extremely protective over her impetuous son."

But perhaps the most important part of Jada's character description is the revelation that she has "a deep past that forced her to give up her first-born child." As Batwoman fans know, Ryan (Javicia Leslie) was thrown a huge curveball in the season 2 finale when she learned, thanks to a newly imprisoned Alice (Rachel Skarsten), that her biological mother is actually alive. (Ryan had always believed her mother died in childbirth.)

Robin Givens
Robin Givens
| Credit: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

It can't be a coincidence that Givens' major new character who has an adult child somewhere out in the world is being introduced at the same that Ryan will be searching for her birth mother. Jada's character description also reveals that she is "a woman with a good heart, but will do whatever it takes to protect her family." Will that protection extend to Ryan if or when Jada and Ryan reunite this season? Or will Jada's "impetuous son" take priority over her (presumptive) long-lost daughter?

Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries previously told EW that she had plans beginning at the start of season 2 to "expand Ryan's world slowly but surely" with her biological mother. But "it was that delicate dance of trading off leads at the beginning of the season, so we didn't want to overpopulate the show with Ryan's personal world while we were still transitioning to a new Batwoman," Dries said. "Of course, we really wanted to get to know Ryan and use this notion of a biological mother as a point of drama or an obstacle for her moving forward into the next season."

Fans can expect this potential mother of all twists to take center stage when Batwoman returns for season 3. "I did want to explore just that maternal love and what Ryan is missing in her life, or has never experienced fully," Dries said. "She had it with her adoptive mom, but that was ripped away from her. So if you're a child that's been through the foster system your entire life, I think there's always this question mark hovering over you of, 'Where did I come from? Who gave me my looks? Who gave me my interests?' For Ryan, that's something she's going to grapple with — how much does she want to know? — in season 3."

Batwoman star Leslie previously told EW that she "always had a feeling when we started this season that we never addressed Ryan's biological parents and that would always end up being something that gets addressed in a very tricky Gotham way… Now that we know that there is a possibility or maybe just it is the truth that Ryan's mother, her biological mother is still alive, I just am so excited for season 3 because this is just a whole [new] world that we'll be able to enter."

Givens is of course a veteran TV and film actress with many credits to her name. She got her start on ABC's '80s sitcom Head of the Class and also had roles on Diff'rent Strokes, The Cosby Show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Women of Brewster Place, Sparks, and The Game, as well as in films such as Boomerang and Blankman. Most recently she's appeared on Riverdale, Katy Keene, Step Up: High Water, Chuck, and Tyler Perry's House of Payne.

Batwoman season 3 premieres Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the CW.

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Batwoman (TV series)

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