10:05 pm EST, December 1, 2019

‘Batwoman’ season 1, episode 8 review: Who in the world am I?

Batwoman season 1, episode 8 is such an incredible mid-season finale.

Batwoman season 1, episode 8 is an episode that changes the future of the series forever, particularly for the Kane family, as Alice and Catherine have made their mark…for better or for worse.

Batwoman season 1, episode 8 is, with no doubt in my mind, my favorite episode of the series thus far, and I don’t think any of us can truly prepare for how Batwoman is going to be changed by this incredible mid-season finale.

The talent of this cast is highlighted as different sides to the various characters are explored, and Alice’s mad tea party finally comes to fruition.

Batwoman season 1 episode 8

‘Batwoman’ season 1, episode 8 review

Batwoman season 1, episode 8 is a beautifully written, perfect mid-season finale, loaded with cliffhangers that will create a far more interesting aftermath in the latter half of the season, post-“Crisis on Infinite Earths” in January. As I said before, this is my favorite episode of the series, and I’m so interested to see how everything, including the characters, will change following the events of this crazy hour.

I’m most concerned, however, about how this episode has changed Mary and Alice (particularly the latter, whose actions drove the only person in her corner, Kate, away).

The darkness of Gotham is returning, which is something fans have been missing, as Gotham is supposed to be much darker than anything we’ve seen in the Arrow-verse. Seeing as Batman stopped his villains from running rampant in Gotham well before his disappearance in Gotham, it makes sense, but it’s about time to get back to that.

Mary and Catherine

Once again, Batwoman season 1, episode 8 makes me love Mary Hamilton even more than the last episode (and I didn’t know that was possible because she’s already become, by far, the most beloved character on the show). Nicole Kang is, without a doubt, the standout performer of the episode, and I’m in such awe of Mary as she handled a tougher situation than anyone should ever, ever be in.

The confrontation between Mary and Alice that I’ve been anticipating did not progress, at all, how I thought it would. In fact, it was much, much worse. I was hoping that when Mary and Alice finally met, it wouldn’t be under such dire circumstances, but would give Mary a chance to see the side of Alice that Kate has been holding out hope for.

However, upon further reflection, I’m not sure how that would have played out. Mary and Alice are completely different, and Kate currently leans more toward Alice’s side (the darkness, etc.) over Mary’s lighter, playful nature… for as long as that lasts now.

Alice’s revenge made sense. It was incredibly heartbreaking to see Mary lose her mother, too, which will likely become something for Kate and Mary to bond over, but only if Kate forsakes Alice for good now. Mary’s been outspoken about her distaste for Alice and Kate’s obsession with her, so I wonder how that will progress over the rest of the season, as Mary is now absolutely certain (if she wasn’t already) that Alice is irredeemable.

I’m honestly quite disappointed that Catherine has already met her end, and we’re only eight episodes in. I felt like Catherine could have offered much more to Batwoman than she did, especially given the revelation that she lied to Jacob and Kate for so long. She’s been part of their lives for so many years, and we were only just beginning to discover the many layers to her, so it was a strange decision to kill her off so early. Fingers crossed the actor sticks around to do some flashbacks in the future.

Kate and Alice

God, the Kane sisters are killing me. I love Alice, as terrible as she may be (though I don’t support her horrifying actions), and I’m quite disappointed to see the turn that she’s taken with Mouse at her side, though I suppose it was inevitable. At some point, Kate had to give up on Alice, so Alice could be the one fighting for Kate to save her instead.

Their bond is so troubling, yet still so strong, and I’m proud of Kate for how she handled Alice killing Catherine. My fear, in the moment, was that she would continue to look past the exterior to find Beth within, but it’s time for her to stop Alice and confront what that actually means.

After this episode, I’m not sure whether or not I believe Alice is capable of redemption. Her plans took such a horrible turn, and it’s becoming increasingly clear how twisted she truly is. Alice is a brilliant, talented, and devious woman, and she’s still honestly one of the best villains in the Arrow-verse. But since Mouse arrived, she’s gotten darker and darker, almost like he’s trying to pull her down to his level (or his presence just does that).

Around Kate, Alice seems to become someone else, so if there’s even the slimmest chance of redemption in her future, Kate has to be the one to drag it out of her. Maybe there’s an inkling of the Beth she knew inside, but if Alice comes back to her, it’s definitely going to be as more of an anti-hero (Red Alice) than anything else. Although, at this point, I’m not sure I even want that because I’m honestly much more invested in Mary’s future and relationship with Kate.

Kate’s relationship with Mary being shattered, on the other hand, is heartbreaking, and both Ruby Rose and Nicole Kang gave such a beautiful, layered performance as the emotional stakes of the series were at an all-time high. These two sisters are the ones I’m rooting for because there’s the potential for such a beautiful bond (like, some day, close to Kara and Alex Danvers’ level).

With their relationship broken, I’m eager to see Kate take on the role of seeking out that relationship for the first time, since Mary’s been trying for over a decade.

‘Batwoman’ season 1, episode 8 final thoughts

Batwoman season 1, episode 8 blew my expectations away. This mid-season finale was an incredible way to tide us over until the new year, post-“Crisis on Infinite Earths” in January.

The most disappointing part of this half of the season is how little Luke Fox has had to do. He’s been unfairly relegated to Wayne Enterprises and the Batcave, almost like Kate’s personal assistant instead of one of her friends. When the series returns, we need to see some serious development of the show’s most underutilized character because he’s very one-note and it’s hard to get too attached, to be honest.

Thankfully, Batwoman season 1, episode 7 was just the beginning of the exploration of Sophie’s complicated feelings for Kate and Tyler. Sophie is a dynamic, complex character, and Batwoman has begun to do an impressive job of fleshing out all of her complicated feelings over Kate, Tyler, and her sexuality (and how those all cross over into other areas of her life).

My hope is that her relationship with Tyler isn’t all a lie, though it definitely seems to be where the series is headed. Their final moment of the episode was almost that of a break up, and honestly, I feel bad for Tyler. I understand what Sophie’s going through, and she’s in no way the “bad guy” for having trouble identifying her sexuality or struggling with any of her feelings, but Tyler doesn’t even know if the woman he loves (and has for years now) reciprocates those feelings.

When the series returns, I hope its development speeds up and we discover exactly what Sophie wants relatively soon. It’s starting to feel a little dragged out already, and before it gets too stale, let’s liven it up and let fans know if we can ever even expect to see Sophie and Kate together again. Right now, I’m not sure that’s where it’s headed.

I absolutely cannot wait to see more of what has become my favorite TV show this season when it returns in January following the crossover.

“Crisis on Infinite Earths” begins Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on Supergirl!

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