On Batwoman season 1, episode 11, after another Earth’s Beth Kane shows up in Gotham, Kate struggles with realization of how much could have been different in her life. Meanwhile, Alice starts to get under Sophie’s skin.
Batwoman season 1, episode 11 is the best episode of the series, by far. (Seems like the episodes with Rachel Skarsten at the forefront always are, as her origin episode — Batwoman season 1, episode 5 — is another that blew away what other shows in the Arrow-verse had done during their first seasons.) The emotional stakes, Rachel Skarsten pulling double duty, the relationship between Kate and Beth being center stage, it was, honestly, near perfect.
When I tell you I am excited for the next episode, it really undersells just how much I am anticipating the continuation of whatever is going on with Alice and Beth, which I will discuss later in this review. In my opinion, Batwoman is the best new television show of the 2019-20 TV season.
‘Batwoman’ season 1, episode 11 review
Before I dig into everything I loved about Batwoman season 1, episode 11, let me start with the part of the episode that I think could have been saved for another hour, or frankly, written much better. After coming out as a lesbian to Gotham and the world, the Gotham City Police Department decided not to turn on the Bat signal in a time of crisis, essentially refusing Batwoman’s help because of her sexual orientation. Like a character pointed out on the episode, it’s 2020, it shouldn’t matter anymore.
Since there was no detailed resolution to this, I kind of wish that the writers had saved this for the next episode. With everything going on with Beth and Alice, it wasn’t really necessary to be included here and could have so easily been written out and replaced with a few additional scenes of Alice, Mouse, or Mary. It really is an important subject to broach, and it just felt glazed over because we didn’t have a chance to see how people were reacting to the police until the final few minutes. What were discussions like throughout the day while this was going on and two people were kidnapped?
I’m hopeful that we’ll continue to see some of the “fallout” of Kate’s coming out, because as much as we all wish coming out were simple, it’s not. Show us challenges that Kate, as Batwoman, faces as an out hero. Dive into the bigotry that is so rooted into American society. There are so many opportunities to do this. With Kate, but also with Sophie, a black, lesbian woman. Give us more of her, and her journey to explore and discover herself in a world that is so against her. We want more, Batwoman writers!
The arrival of Beth Kane
Honestly, bringing in a version of Kate’s sister who hadn’t gone through the trauma that our Beth did was very, very smart, if not just so the fans could see what it would have been like had Kate and Beth had the life they were supposed to after the crash. The emotional journey that this put Kate on, of realizing what her life could have been like if her sister hadn’t been kidnapped, was so incredibly heartbreaking, especially after she found out that the other version of her climbed in and saved Beth.
Often, I can empathize with the characters and their emotions, but it’s rare when it comes out of the screen and touches me personally, but yes, I was on the verge of tears during some of Kate and Beth’s scenes. Skarsten and Rose have such a beautiful chemistry, and the relationship between them is so believable, even when Skarsten is portraying the maniacal Alice. No matter what happens, there’s always a love between them because they’re twins and nothing can break that.
My favorite moment of this episode would have to be Beth stepping in to pretend to be Alice to save Kate. Crossing universes can’t break the bond they share, and the two got along like nothing had happened to either one of them. It was such a brave move for a girl who had clearly never experienced very many bad things (after all, her dad led the Crows, her Gotham was much more put together as we learned with the bank line, and she was never, you know, kidnapped). Watching Beth put herself in the face of mortal danger to protect Kate was heart-wrenching and so, so bittersweet.
I think what hurts the most about bringing this Beth in is that we’ll never be able to see this kind of relationship between Kate and Alice after Beth is, inevitably, gone. There’s no way to really undo the years of torment Alice went through or the separation they were forced to endure, and something about their relationship seems like it will always be broken. So, at the very least, at least we get to see it for a short time.
Alice isn’t going to Arkham
As the season goes on, I’m becoming more and more captivated by Alice, whose ability to slip in between being a genius and being on the edge of insanity is a brilliant skill that makes her, in my opinion, the strongest villain we’ve seen in the Arrow-verse (paired with her relationship with Kate adding so many more layers to the story).
I had no doubt that Alice would escape, but she really proved just how manipulative and resourceful she can be, which makes her one of the most dangerous villains. Alice can think her way out of any situation, even something like being locked up by the Crows, so how could she ever be stopped?
Getting more insight into the trauma that Alice experienced at the hands of Mouse’s father is an incredibly important step toward understanding where she’s at mentally and how long she’s been shutting herself off in certain ways to stay as sane as possible. If Beth hadn’t ever taken on her Alice persona, she’d be completely broken, realistically. This was her defense mechanism that she never shut off, probably because it’s too hard and too painful to do so.
It’s so interesting how the writers chose to relate Alice and Sophie on Batwoman season 1, episode 11. Though their situations are very different, I love the connection of being imprisoned, as that is exactly what being in the closet feels like sometimes. Alice was imprisoned by someone else, which meant she had no control over her release, but Sophie’s in one of her own making and is unable of how to get out. Such a fascinating and brilliant writing choice.
Also, just seeing Alice and Sophie interact in this way was outstanding. Everyone on this show is so talented, and Sophie and Alice both need to remain in control, so to see the struggle between them kept me on the edge of my seat. Such an unexpected but wonderful pair to play off of one another.
‘Batwoman’ season 1, episode 11 final thoughts
Another fantastic part of Batwoman season 1, episode 11 was seeing the bond between Mary and Beth. They connected, which didn’t seem like it would be possible, and I mean, imagine what could have been. Mary figured out them multi-verse and the events of the crisis leading to Beth’s arrival in seconds, and Beth had a 300 page thesis about something that I can’t even try to remember or repeat. Those two could save the entire world with their minds! But we’ll never see it.
Mary, rightfully so, has always been against Alice, so aside from during the mid-season finale, we’ve barely seen Skarsten and Kang work together. It’s a shame, and as the series goes on, we definitely need more scenes between them, as they also have great chemistry and the background of their relationship is so interesting.
As for the final moments, it seems probable that Alice and Beth existing on the same Earth, when Beth shouldn’t even be around still after the destruction of the previous multi-verse, is what’s causing the splitting migraine they’re sharing. My guess for the solution is that Alice and Beth will merge, meaning Alice will take on Beth’s memories and she will cease to exist, which could majorly shake things up on Batwoman. Who would Alice be with both lives — the one she had and the one she should have had — in her head?
It would also change how Kate, Jacob, and Mary had to think about her. Yes, Alice is a killer, but Beth is the person they should have had in their lives. While there seems to be none of the Beth they remember in our Alice, as they’ve repeatedly had her say and prove all season, this could change that. I can’t wait to find out what’s going on!
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW!