After a month-long hiatus, Batwoman finally returns this coming Sunday with a fresh episode directed by The Vampire Diaries alum Paul Wesley, and EW has your exclusive look at him working behind-the-scenes.
In the episode, titled “A Narrow Escape,” Kate (Ruby Rose) hangs up the cowl for a bit because she’s still dealing with the trauma of murdering August Cartwright. Unfortunately, an old Batman foe named the Detonator chooses this time return and terrorize the city by strapping bombs to Gotham's everyday heroes to see if they're willing to sacrifice themselves to save others. "What I really enjoyed about this episode is that it’s quite grounded in the sense that it is a 'race against time' main plot. So it’s quite fast paced and energetic but of course there is a lot of character development," Wesley tells EW via email.
Meanwhile, Alice goes through hell after being imprisoned in Arkham Asylum, which is where Kate left her at the end of the previous installment. This was Wesley's "favorite portion of the episode to shoot" because it felt like "One Flew Over the Cuckcoo's Nest meets Prison Break meets Clockwork Orange," he says. For a taste of what he's talking about, check out the image below.
"This is a scene where the Arkham warden is essentially trying to perform a lobotomy sorts to 'cure' her of the fantasy world she is living in. But more than anything, to try and break her down and make her a prisoner of the system/ facility. It had a Clockwork Orange meets Cuckoo's Nest feel to it, making it very uncomfortable to shoot," he says, adding that working with Skarsten was one of the best parts of helming this episode. "She's an absolutely brilliant actor, and I don't say that lightly. I have worked with a lot of people over the years and it was such a joy to watch her on the monitors because I had no idea what she was going to do next. She’s spontaneous but always in complete control of who her character is, emotional but also adds a sense of irony and humor, not to mention so easy and nice to work with. She is really just a joy for any director and I hope to work with her again."
At this point in his career, Wesley has directed episodes of The Vampire Diaries, Legacies, and Roswell, New Mexico; however, his Batwoman gig stands out because it was his introduction to the DC Universe.
"I have directed and worked on a lot of supernatural/heightened series but I had never done anything in the DC world. There is something quite exciting about being a small part of such a massive franchise. I am actually not a big comic book type of guy, but I love Batman, particularly Christopher Nolan's version. I also thought Joker was one of the best films of last year, I watched it several times. So to be involved in this world, so to speak, was extremely appealing and very humbling," he says. "I have also been wanting to work with [executive producer] Greg Berlanti and his team for a while, so I was thrilled to have the chance to do so. I have known Greg for many years, back when I had a part on Everwood well over a decade ago. The [Batwoman] showrunner Caroline Dries is also a good friend of mine from the The Vampire Diaries days, very talented, and we have always had a great relationship. The first episode of television I ever directed was actually a script Caroline wrote and we had a great experience together."
Batwoman returns Sunday at 8 p.m. on The CW.