On Batwoman season 2, episode 2, Alice puts a new plot in action that threatens all of Gotham (who’s surprised?), while Ryan gets another chance to become Gotham’s new protector, bringing up some major tension with Luke.
When Alice unleashes an attack as the city cries out for the return of Batwoman, Ryan happens to be around when Mary learns what Alice has in store, and Ryan refuses to step back. Now that she’s gotten a taste of the vigilante life, it’s clear that Ryan will never really be able to put away the cowl.
Batwoman season 2, episode 2 is an impressive second outing for Javicia Leslie’s Ryan Wilder, as we learn more about her past and her messy history with Sophie and the Crows.
‘Batwoman’ season 2, episode 2 review
As I wrote in my preview, Batwoman season 2, episode 2 kind of felt like an episode we’ve seen before. Despite this, it’s still a wonderful episode. It’s very interesting to learn more about Ryan’s life in Gotham, and to see such a different side to the city that we really only got glimpses of through Mary’s clinic last season.
Every new tie to Ryan is very intriguing and something I’m eagerly waiting to see explored further, but I am particularly invested in Ryan’s separate storyline as an ex-con trying to find a job, a home, and someone who is willing to take a chance on her. It’s so infuriating to see how people are treating Ryan, but it’s such a real story that is rarely touched upon on television, so I commend the writers for taking their time and showing us the realities of this situation.
However, after everything Batwoman built up last season, I am finding it a little difficult to step back and watch as things are readjusted to account for the loss of Kate. I love Ryan Wilder so much already and am more than fine with waiting a bit as the new dynamics are introduced and the growing pains are explored, but it was much harder with this episode than the premiere.
Ryan’s suiting up, for good
When Batwoman season 2, episode 2 ends, Ryan is set to be Batwoman full-time, at least in the interim time while Kate is gone. She has also started writing to Kate, just like Kate was writing to Bruce, and it’s incredibly sweet to see Ryan acknowledging that Kate Kane was a hero worthy of being inspired by.
In many ways, this episode proved that Ryan is well-suited to don the Batsuit. She understands what the symbols means to the city, to the citizens, and (to an extent) how much pressure it will put on her to keep everyone safe. Plus, Ryan is already fully aware of how corrupt the Crows are and how far they’re willing to go in their fight against Batwoman. Given Ryan’s history with them, it’s incredibly exciting to think about how that storyline will progress.
I’m grateful that the writers gave Ryan some time to think about being Batwoman and come to the decision that this is the life for her, and even had Mary encourage Ryan to embrace this side of her. That is one relationship I am thrilled to see explored more.
On the other hand, as rough as it is to watch Luke and Ryan consistently disagree, it is exactly what Luke Fox would do. He took a little while to warm up to Kate following in Bruce’s footsteps, and now he’s reliving almost the exact same experience with Kate missing and Ryan stepping up. That was traumatic enough the first time, but the second time involved his best friend. My heart breaks for Luke, honestly.
As for Ryan and the Crows, it was incredibly disappointing to see how Sophie treated Ryan on Batwoman season 2, episode 2, even after Sophie found out that Ryan actually wasn’t responsible for the incident. I’m happy to know that this is going to be something more thoroughly explored throughout the season, as Sophie will hopefully continue to realize how corrupt Jacob Kane and the Crows are.
Sophie and Kate (as Batwoman) had a decent working relationship for a while, but it doesn’t seem like we’ll see too much of that with Ryan and Sophie. Sophie is someone Ryan distrusts and they’re essentially enemies, even if Sophie doesn’t realize that because she doesn’t know who Batwoman is.
It’ll be entertaining to see how Sophie and Ryan’s dynamic evolves and whether a romantic relationship, which many fans are hoping for, is on the table. For now, it seems probably not, though that could certainly change if Sophie ever leaves the Crows and helps to take them down.
First, let’s give a round of applause to the Arrowverse’s best (and most complex) villain. It’s marvelous to have Rachel Skarsten back as Alice, and Alice’s storyline this season is riveting, as she’s no longer the baddest villain hanging around Gotham. If Alice is scared of someone, like she clearly is of Safiyah, then that should say plenty of what a threat they pose.
But, could Batwoman season 2, episode 2 have given us our first glimpse at Red Alice? Alice’s plan felt like the classic move of an antihero, which is exactly what I (eventually) want to see from Alice. Sure, she attacked Gotham with bats (oh, the irony), but her endgame was for as much of Gotham to be given the antidote coursing through Mary’s veins, the cure-all desert rose, limiting the potential attacks Safiyah — and future villains — could unleash upon the city.
It seemed that Kate was Alice’s one route to any sort of redemption throughout Batwoman season 1, but perhaps Kate’s disappearance is an even bigger motive for Alice to (somewhat) change her ways. Right now, she thinks Kate is dead at Safiyah’s hands, but what will happen when she learns that Kate is actually alive (as showrunner Caroline Dries has already said she won’t be contributing to the “bury your gays” trope)?
I’m still sad that we’ve lost Kate Kane, but it does offer quite the interesting reversal of roles: Alice’s disappearance changed Kate in many ways, so now Kate’s disappearance can change Alice.
‘Batwoman’ season 2, episode 2 final thoughts
Nicole Kang has been killing it as Mary Hamilton this season, which makes me delighted. Mary wasn’t given enough to do last season because Kate kept her out of the Batwoman loop for so long, but now it seems like Mary is going to be Ryan’s primary partner when she’s in the field because their relationship is developing so well already.
As I said before, Batwoman season 2, episode 2 felt very familiar. One particular instance of this is the bus scene when Ryan saves the day, which felt like something we’ve seen every other hero do. This isn’t a critique of Ryan in any way. I loved the moment after the bus blew up with Ryan saving the girl, which made the entire episode worth watching.
I just hope to see a little more creativity from the writers when it comes to Ryan saving the day when she’s more comfortable as Batwoman. Blowing up a bus was just a bit boring. We saw a bit more creativity with Ryan on the Batwoman season 2 premiere, and I would just like to see more of that.
And, alas, this is goodbye to Kate’s Batsuit, as Ryan’s adjustments come into play on the next episode. Goodbye, red wig!
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW! Don’t miss it!