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Last year’s debut season of Batwoman did not impress me. They chose Kate’s psycho but decidedly non-superpowered sister Beth, who personifies herself as Alice, leader of the Wonderland gang, as the Big Bad. Batwoman barely battled any actual super villains the entire season. When CoV19 caused the season to be truncated by two episodes, I didn’t even care. I was like “you can just not do any other episodes ever and that’d be OK.” I saw Ruby Rose, who played Kate, left the show between seasons and that she was being replaced by Javicia Leslie, who would take over as Batwoman. I was just befuddled on that, not realizing Leslie was playing a different woman who would become Batwoman. I thought that Kate was suddenly gonna turn into a black woman. Last week’s season two premiere cleared it all up for me, and I actually look forward to this season now.
The episode opened with Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) witnessing a plane wreck just outside the van she lives in (down by the river). She rescued a man and found the Batwoman suit. She decided to keep it and fled the scene. Meanwhile, Alice followed through on planting Arkham escapee Tommy Elliot into present-day Gotham posing as Bruce Wayne, as he now wears Bruce’s face. He was basically able to walk right into his house, get Luke Fox to open the Batcave for him, and then walk out with the Kryptonite bullet that can penetrate the Batsuit (for some reason).
Luke & Mary soon tracked down Ryan, who told them the Wonderland gang killed her mom and left her to be framed with drugs that put her in jail. So she’ll be keeping the suit until she brings down Alice. Elliot, deciding he likes the Bruce Wayne identity, betrayed Alice’s location to the chief of police/her dad. When Elliot ran into Julia Pennyworth at the precinct, she immediately sussed that he was an impostor, got his fingerprints off a glass, and then IDed him. She told Luke & Mary, but by that time Elliot had already stolen the Batmobile and was homing in on Ryan to steal the suit from her. There was a delightfully ridiculous car chase through an amusement park at night that ended in a hand-to-hand confrontation. Elliot managed to shoot Ryan with the Kryotonite bullet, but she literally beat his face off despite the wound. She decided to give the suit back to Luke & Mary.
In a series of closure scenes, both Jacob (Kate’s dad) and Sophie (Kate’s lover) were told she was Batwoman. A note from Safiyah, international criminal and super villain, indicated that she killed Kate, giving Alice a reason to live again. She curled up with Mouse’s corpse and starts to plan her revenge on the woman who killed Kate before she could. In the very last scene, we saw that the Kryptonite bullet wound in Ryan’s chest was glowing, indicating she’ll either be infected or empowered by it. Who knows, who cares? I like this show for the first time, and that’s what matters.
Best moment of the S2 premiere was when the new Batwoman was shaking down two hoodlums for leads on Alice’s location, she accidentally launched a bolas attack that incapacitated the one guy. She went on to threaten the other guy, “I don’t even know what this button does. Wanna find out together?”
On tonight’s episode, “Prior Criminal History,” after her quick spin in the Batgear, Ryan is back to facing the daily challenges of life as herself. Meanwhile, Alice has a new, devious plan to get the attention of both Gotham and Safiyah. With Kate still missing and the city in an uprising, Luke and Mary are desperate to find a stand in. In a pinch, Ryan dons the suit again and comes face-to-face with Alice for the first time. Back at Crows Headquarters, Sophie and Commander Kane try to uncover who may have had a vendetta against Kate.
To see how Ryan fares once again as Batwoman, tune in to The CW at 8/7c.
I’ll also be tuning in for American Gods, which is doing good things with the slowest part of the book, and Shameless.