Batwoman unmasked! Boss, stars unpack the consequences of Ryan's shocking decision
Warning: This article contains spoilers from Sunday's Batwoman, titled "It's Best You Stop Digging."
Alice and Ryan's long-awaited rematch finally happened in Batwoman's latest episode — and it will have important consequences for the season going forward.
The archenemies first faced off in season 2's second episode; however, Ryan (Javicia Leslie) was forced to let Alice (Rachel Skarsten), whose gang murdered her mother, escape in order to save the victims of the toxic bat attack. Now in Sunday's episode, "It's Best You Stop Digging," Ryan — who was on death's doorstep because of her Kryptonite poisoning — set out to get her revenge and kill Alice before she died, which led to the two women clashing once again.
Ryan came very close to ending Alice's life, but she ultimately stopped herself because a vision of her mother convinced her not to cross that line, especially wearing the Batsuit. Instead, she let her go — but not before putting a tracker on Alice so she could follow her to Coryana and get a Desert Rose to cure the Kryptonite poisoning. However during the showdown, Ryan did something drastic: She ripped off her cowl and revealed who she was to Alice.
Naturally, this raised some questions: What will Alice do with this new information, and does it affect Ryan in a threatening way? On the one hand, it's never good for a villain to learn a superhero's secret identity. On the other hand, unlike Kate Kane or, say Arrow's Oliver Queen, Ryan is just a bartender and isn't a public figure. So, is this situation similar to the hilarious Justice League Unlimited episode "The Great Brain Robbery" in which Lex Luthor was disappointed after learning the Flash's secret identity because Wally West was a nobody? For answers, EW turned to Skarsten and showrunner Caroline Dries.
"[Alice] knowing the truth of her identity does come into play in the story, and the big question becomes: is Alice going to spill the beans or not?" Dries tells EW. "And that's something we'll see deeper into the season. But in that moment, Ryan doesn't care. She thinks she's going to die in a couple hours. Yeah, it does come back to haunt her a little bit."
"It puts her in this precarious position because now Alice knows exactly who she is. And like we saw before with Kate, Alice manipulates that to her own advantage," says Skarsten. "But unlike Kate, Ryan is not Alice's sister. So yeah, I think it's going to be interesting going forward to see what Alice does with that information. And I definitely think this episode, at least to me, was important because it developed that relationship between the two of them, which for the show and having the hero and the antagonist is really important. And I think Alice now has newer investment in Ryan and Batwoman."
Even though Alice knows Ryan's secret identity, Leslie is still glad that Ryan didn't go through with killing Alice — and not just because she loves working with Skarsten.
"I'm a huge fan of The Flash and there's this moment [in season 2] where Zoom and Flash finally fight, when we went through a whole season of waiting for them to fight. And I think anyone that's a fan of any superhero show, that's what you're waiting for, but you can't kill them because Batwoman doesn't kill," says Leslie. "I do believe that coming to this moment is Ryan realizing like, 'Okay, you're right. Batwoman doesn't kill.' Because if Batwoman kills, it takes away from the one thing she can stand on. You can have a bunch of villains and superheroes within Gotham, but there has to be someone that stands on some type of morality, and some type of stance that never changes no matter what the circumstances are. And I think that it's really important that Batwoman stands on that, you can beat down the bad guys, you can beat them down to a pulp, but they have to live. And yeah, I think that if she kills, then she's no different than the Crows. Real talk."
Of course, this wasn't only the major bombshell dropped on Alice in episode 7. Before her rematch with Batwoman, Alice learned from Tatiana (Leah Gibson) that Safiayh (Shivaani Ghai) not only wiped her memories of Ocean (Nathan Owens) but also turned her into the murderous villain she is today in the process.
"I don't think it gives her an identity crisis," says Skarsten of how this shocking discovery affects Alice going forward. "I think it just makes her angry. I think a normal person's reaction to having their memory wiped would probably be a lot larger than Alice's, who already lives in this other worldly dimension. It's kind of another Tuesday for Alice, it's just another reason to be angry with Safiyah and the world. But I do also think that Alice, again, when I speak about resilience, will take what happened to her and actually in episodes coming up, use it to hurt, in multiple ways."
Despite what Safiyah did to her mind, is there hope that Alice can find love again? Says Skarsten: "I think that there is absolutely hope for her to find love again, whether it be with Ocean or someone else, because she was having these flashbacks. So, obviously even though her memory was taken away, there are still some parts of her mind and her memory and her heart that exists and that stayed. And I think we'll possibly see those continue to grow, and as she remembers more and as she is in the presence of people from her past more. Personally I'd love that love story to stay, because I just honestly really have a great time working with Nathan because he has such a good sense of humor. He's like my favorite. We just prank each other all day."
Watch the latest installment of EW's On Set with Batwoman above.
Batwoman airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET. on The CW.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.