The news is out… as is Kate Kane on Batwoman season 2. The former leading lady will disappear, leaving her disappearance as one of the mysteries pushing the season forward. What does this mean for Alice?
Obviously, there have been other issues called into question after the announcement of Ruby Rose’s departure from Batwoman. I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of writing out Kate Kane, but now that the plan is set — season 2 will follow Javicia Leslie’s Ryan Wilder as she dons the Batwoman suit and attempts to get justice for her mother’s murder, putting her at odds with Kate’s team — there’s time to question what the role of other characters will be.
For instance, what’s next for Alice, whose role on the show seemingly only worked as well as it did because she is Kate’s twin sister? How will her story continue on for seasons to come, as the writers have seemingly promised, given that she is the series’ long-standing villain? Is that even a possibility anymore? Well, I have a few ideas to keep Alice in the fold.
Alice’s relationships with others
It was undeniable that Kate and Alice were drawn to each other, as twins are, and their life stories intertwined and unfolded together. It wouldn’t have made sense any other way. This is a bond that is unbreakable, despite how the two were at war with one another by the end of Batwoman season 1, episode 20, promising bolder and more dramatic moments to come.
Even though we won’t see Alice and Kate’s relationship progress for the foreseeable future, throughout their twisted relationship being explored during season 1 were glimpses of Alice’s feelings toward other Batwoman characters, specifically her father, Jacob Kane, and step-sister, Mary Hamilton. Perhaps it’s a blessing that we saw so little of these relationships developing over the first season, seeing as they could now become instrumental for Alice’s future in Gotham.
Mary and Alice
Realistically, there’s no going back for Alice and Mary after Alice killed Mary’s mother. But being the Arrow-verse, let’s put realism aside to discuss the potential of seeing the depths of this relationship explored.
Given Alice’s murder of Catherine and putting Mary’s life in immediate danger numerous times, there’s already more than a bit of tension between the ladies. Given that Alice was Kate’s antagonist, she could now be Mary’s, considering Mary is now part of the team and potentially on course to become her own hero (Batgirl or Flamebird). Mary’s role on the show could dramatically increase, giving more opportunity to explore this dynamic and prove that it wasn’t just Kate’s attachment to Alice that made her such a formidable villain.
On the other hand, Mary saw what Kate wanted from her sister in the other Beth Kane, seeing the potential of what Alice could have become if life hadn’t put her on a different, much more traumatizing course. And given that Mary is a very giving, empathetic person, it’s possible to see a positive shift in their relationship, even though Alice will never be able to fully make up for what she’s done. (And isn’t that exactly what could have happened with Kate?)
With Jacob and Alice, there’s a bit more to develop and unfold before we can see how this relationship could move forward. Jacob has refused to accept Alice is the daughter he lost over a decade prior in the car crash that killed his wife, even if, logically, he has accepted it. He’s still plagued by denial and grief, unable to see Alice for who she is.
Without Kate, the only difference in this relationship is that Kate is no longer around to be the buffer between them. Kate often encouraged Jacob to go easy on Alice, as was the conflict in their relationship in the early episodes of Batwoman season 1. Without that mediator, it’s up to the two of them to determine where they stand and at what lengths they will go to stop one another from getting in their way and wrecking the remainder of their life.
Jacob’s war on Batwoman doesn’t mean much anymore since Kate isn’t on the other end of that, but could be replaced with a war on Alice, giving the same father/daughter story (with a twist). Or, conversely, Jacob may eventually see his daughter in the woman walking around Gotham, helping to bring out the good that remains inside of her. Though it seems unlikely, as Alice’s story will likely get much darker before there’s even a glimmer of hope that she could work to attempt to redeem herself (even though that’s not really an option anymore).
Other ‘Batwoman’ characters
Sophie, specifically, has had a few very unique interactions with Alice over the course of the series’ first season. As the twin sister of the woman she loves, there’s more beneath the surface when it comes to how Sophie is willing and able to interact with Alice. The two women have developed sort of a rivalry, especially as Alice has outsmarted Sophie and put her in harm’s way in the midst of more than one of her devious plans.
Without Kate, there’s more room to develop this relationship into something else, be it a rivalry or partnership (should a time arise where they need to work together). Sophie’s getting closer to being on the outs with Jacob and seeing that the Crows are hurting Gotham, not helping like Batwoman, which could be an instance where Alice’s abilities to manipulate a situation could come in handy. Whatever the case, there’s much more to see between these two.
As for Ryan Wilder, I’m interested to see what kind of role Alice plays in her new life as Gotham’s protector. Sure, Alice is a villain she will need to stop and it may just be as simple as that. However, there’s another possibility: Will the writers create some sort of connection between the two that makes this more complicated than hero vs. villain?
Even if Alice’s relationships with other Batwoman characters aren’t the focus of her journey moving forward, Kate’s disappearance presents an interesting opportunity for Alice herself. Batwoman season 1 concluded with the beginning of a plan for Alice to take down her sister, giving Tommy Elliott Bruce Wayne’s face in order to infiltrate the group. Already, we know her plan will have to change or adapt, as Kate’s going to be gone.
So either Alice is behind the disappearance, which will keep her as the top villain of Gotham and make her Luke and Mary’s target,
Or, just maybe, Alice is just as clueless as everyone else and it forces her to confront her feelings over her missing sister and work alongside those who called Kate their friend.
Kate had to deal with those feelings over a missing sister before, which changed how she looked at Alice and the world. Alice hasn’t had to deal with that, which could really open up how she conducts herself and what she allows herself to feel. There’s an interesting parallel that could draw out another side to Alice, which is something I desperately hope the writers take advantage of.
Perhaps this could put Alice on a path of self-realization and redemption, focusing her story on finding her twin sister after going through emotional turmoil over the loss, making her the (much more important) Batwoman equivalent to Arrow‘s Malcolm Merlyn. This is possibly an opportunity to see Alice driven toward becoming an anti-hero, like she has become in some of the comics, and could intertwine her story with the new Batwoman’s, as a frenemy of sorts.
Whatever the case, I’m putting my faith in the writers to take advantage of the many opportunities to further Alice’s story, emphasizing her importance on Batwoman (as the standout character of season 1) even when Kate isn’t around.
Batwoman season 2 is set to premiere in January 2021… but we’ll see.