On Batwoman season 2, episode 1, Kate Kane’s plane goes down on her way back from National City, where Ryan stumbles across the Batsuit (sans Kate Kane) and decides to take back her power and protect Gotham.
Batwoman season 2, episode 1 picks up shortly after the events of the season 1 finale, as Kate goes missing after her visit with Kara Danvers regarding the kryptonite that threatened her life and its possible destruction. Unfortunately, something happens to Kate Kane (as we’ve known for months, since the character of Ryan Wilder was first announced), leaving her friends and family to pick up the pieces and someone else to take up her legacy.
Meanwhile, with Alice’s plans for Hush no longer relevant now believing her sister to be dead, she begins to regroup, but Tommy Elliot has his own plans… as does Safiyah. (I mean, at least we learn what Alice’s plan was going to be had Kate stayed on the show…)
‘Batwoman’ season 2, episode 1 review
I really enjoyed Batwoman season 2, episode 1. It’s in my top three, for sure. Packed with action yet still filled with plenty of emotion from each of the characters, and it was actually endearing to watch Ryan’s growing pains as she fumbled with the Batwoman suit (and I’ve hated watching the growing pains of basically every single Arrow-verse hero). There’s so much love put into this show — in these characters — and it’s noticeable, which makes it even more exciting to watch.
The loss of Kate Kane is hard, and I know it’s the entire point of her disappearance but it’s hard with so much left unresolved. I’m grateful that the episode starts with Kate’s disappearance, rather than bringing us back after she’s already disappeared. We get to see everyone react and deal with their grief, offering excellent emotional fodder for some great moments on the episode.
Ryan Wilder suits up!
Javicia Leslie’s superhero debut on Batwoman season 2, episode 1 is better than I could have imagined, as is the character of Ryan Wilder. I really enjoy the unique take on life she brings to the table, as Kate, despite my love for her, was not the most relatable human being as a member of Gotham’s elite. Already, we’re seeing the systematic issues and injustices in Gotham, as Ryan attempts to get her life back after being wrongfully imprisoned for 18 months by, you guessed it, Jacob Kane’s Crows.
It was such a smart move on the writers’ behalf to show Leslie’s incredible talent in the first three episodes alone, as both past and present day Ryan dealt with a crisis. The agony Ryan felt over her mother’s death was palpable. Leslie truly proved she’s going to take this show to another level on this episode alone. All in all, I’m incredibly excited to see more of Ryan.
Honestly, I feel a lot more passion behind the writing (and creation) of this character. It’s clear that Ryan is a special character to these writers, and quite frankly I’m surprised at how well this transition was. Normally it’s quite rough, but you want to root for Ryan from the first moment you see her. It’s a testament to the talent in the Batwoman writers’ room.
As for Ryan’s taste of kryptonite, it will be interesting to see how this impacts her. I certainly thought that it would help bring Ryan and Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman together for the crossover that was set to air and is now cancelled due to COVID-19. It’s possible that’s why it happened, but now the Batwoman writers will have to solve it within the boundaries of their own show. But, how will it change Ryan as a person and hero first?
Perhaps the most interesting part of Batwoman season 2, episode 1, aside from Ryan’s introduction, was Alice. It’s so beautifully Alice that she was upset that someone else got to Kate before she was able to put her plan for Tommy Elliot in action. (Though, god, am I happy that we found out what Alice’s plan was and it wasn’t something left unanswered due to Ruby Rose’s exit).
Rachel Skarsten managed to capture Alice’s grief, anger, and resentment in such an interesting way, and the prospect of seeing Alice continue to mourn her sister and how that will change her is incredibly thrilling. This is a chance for something about Alice to change organically, and with Safiyah on her tail, maybe we’ll start to see the beginning of her transformation into an anti-hero, Red Alice, by season’s end.
Regarding the revelation of what happened to Ryan’s mother, I think it’s important to keep in mind that, while Alice has done her fair share of killing (and there’s no excusing that, despite what a fantastic villain she is), Ryan’s vendetta for her mother’s death isn’t technically against the right person.
Per the flashback from Ryan’s perspective, when Ryan and her mother moved into a new building, they disrupted a group of squatters from Alice’s Wonderland gang, who did the only thing they knew how to do: Kill those they deemed to be intruders. They killed Ryan’s mother and the building’s landlord, while Ryan lay, powerless, on the ground as several of them attacked her.
Though Alice was not her savior by any means, technically Alice did call off her goons (that were attacking them without any order to do so) and prevented them from killing Ryan, too. In the future, this technicality will likely prove to be important as Alice and Ryan’s relationship (whatever that may be) begins to develop.
Mary, Luke, and Bruce Wayne
Truthfully, I wasn’t expecting Mary to take charge while Luke kind of got lost in distraction on Batwoman season 2, episode 1. I expected Mary to lose control of her emotions after losing another family member, especially so close to her mother’s death, but her reaction really did make sense. Mary Hamilton embodies hope, she is Gotham’s hope even if she’s not out on the streets as Batwoman, and this episode really proves that.
The connection to Ryan over their mother’s deaths is something I’m looking forward to seeing explored because it could really give Mary and Ryan a sisterly sort of relationship, in my opinion. They relate to one another in a way that nobody else can understand, so it’s going to provide excellent material for the two to bond.
As for Luke, I wish we could have seen his reaction to Bruce Wayne’s reappearance without his being distracted by Kate going missing. There were so many red flags, and I want to know whether Luke would have been fooled otherwise or if it was just his emotional state.
Though I wasn’t expecting Luke to fall apart, at least somewhat more than anyone else, his guilt over what happened to Kate is understandable. He’s been watching Kate’s back since the beginning, and it was nice to see the responsibility that those who aren’t in the field feel as they watch over the hero addressed.
Camrus Johnson gave a great, heartbreaking performance as Luke broke down to Mary, and the potential of that romantic pairing is just too good. Here’s hoping we continue to see Mary and Luke’s relationship develop, especially as they deal with their grief over Kate.
As for the episode’s villain, let’s celebrate that Tommy Elliot was already stopped and this fake Bruce Wayne story has ended. This story is not something I was particularly looking forward to, though it was done in quite a fun way, leaving the door open for the real Bruce to return and ask questions… However, that doesn’t seem very likely for the near future.
‘Batwoman’ season 2, episode 1 final thoughts
God, I feel for Sophie. It really feels like Sophie and Kate were star-crossed lovers — soulmates, if you will — who were never meant to actually be together. They never found the right time. With Kate gone, and therefore no more development of this relationship (unless circumstances change), it seems like a lost cause. The win, the two being together, wouldn’t be as special in the end if the writers decided to bring Kate back temporarily.
I do wonder how the relationship between Sophie and Julia will pan out now. It seems Kate’s disappearance is going to tear them apart because of Sophie’s unrequited feelings for her lost love, but after she’s finished grieving, could Julia be her new endgame? I’ve already watched the second episode of the season and there’s a little more development between these two, but what becomes of their relationship seems to be a question for the season. But for now, Sophie will continue to grieve (and hope).
As for Jacob, that man can disappear, too. I’m kind of disappointed by his reaction to Kate being Batwoman, but I hope we see him start to question his actions as the leader of the Crows knowing that his own daughter was so adamantly opposed to them that she donned the Batsuit and protected Gotham on her own. Perhaps that’s the wake-up call Jacob needed.
All in all, Batwoman season 2, episode 1 was one hell of a premiere. This season does not seem like it is going to disappoint. As Alice says to her rotting Mouse, there’s a war coming to Gotham, and the stakes are high as Ryan’s new life awaits and those who loved Kate are forced to live without her.
I’m looking forward to seeing more of Ryan’s journey, as she’s starting out stronger than most of our Arrow-verse heroes have, to seeing Alice move forward with whatever twisted plan she has up her sleeve, and to see all of our characters continue to grieve and search for Kate.
I hope we get answers sooner rather than later, though I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a hardly touched upon plot that is solved in the series’ final episodes. I mean, would they even bring Ruby Rose back, or would Kate be recast? Either way, I want some closure on Kate’s story, please.
Batwoman season 2 continues Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW! Check back for our early preview of the next episode!