Batwoman airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW in North America which episodes available to stream the following day on The CW app. The series is yet to announce a premiere date in the UK.
ALL THAT GLITTERS – A new villain with an eye for all things that sparkle drops in on the city. Kate (Ruby Rose) attempts to find a balance between her personal life and her new role as Gotham’s guardian. Catherine (Elizabeth Anweis) has an uncomfortable encounter with Alice (Rachel Skarsten) who always seems to be one step ahead of the Kane family. Batwoman pays fangirl Mary (Nicole Kang) a visit to ask for a favor. Meanwhile, Jacob (Dougray Scott) and Sophie (Meagan Tandy) try to piece together who was after their prisoner. Luke (Camrus Johnson) continues to finetune Batwoman’s arsenal of weapons as the pair track their unwelcome visitor and discover she has more sinister plans than snatching shiny objects.
I feel like Batwoman has had the rockiest start of any of The CW’s DCTV series. In it’s first three episodes (reviewed here, here & here) the series has struggled to find its own identity, a struggle which I feel has mirrored that of Kate Kane (Ruby Rose).
Perhaps when viewed back-to-back the opening gambit of the latest Arrowverse entry will feel more cohesive. But part of me feels that’s an argument to say those three episodes could have been condensed in to one or two.
If that had been the case, “Who Are You?” would have started off on much stronger footing as we’re now seeing relationships develop but also Batwoman is only now beginning to carve out a path for herself.
It’s understandable that showrunner Caroline Dries would want Kate and Gotham to find itself in the shadow of the Batman. It would be disingenuous to the character to avoid mentioning him or showing reverence to his legacy, after all there would be no Batwoman without Batman. Not without some heavy changes to DC lore anyway.
Putting reservations aside, “Who Are You?” does exactly what I had been hoping the show would do and explores Kate/Batwoman as a detective.
Whilst she is still heavily reliant on Luke (Camrus Johnson) we do get to see her utilising her detective skills, piecing together clues and using her available tools to get the job done.
These are all aspects of her character which it is great to see finally make the jump from comics to screen. Importantly she also isn’t instantly an expert vigilante. Fans bought in to Chris Nolan’s vision for Batman in Batman Begins because we saw Bruce making mistakes along the journey from man to Dark Knight. Reflecting that with Kate certainly makes her a much more amiable character to the audience.
This is also an important episode of Kate as we start out with her in a very different place to where we’ve found her so far this season. A happy place no less.
She’s found a companion in Reagan (guest star Brianne Howey) and the two share what appears to be a very real, albeit new, connection. But this being a vigilante show her night time activities constantly get in the way of their progress.
Overall the episode teaches Kate a very important lesson about duality and maintaining those two, very separate, lives. A lesson which Luke reflects on in talking about Bruce. It ultimately brings her to a brighter, happier place at the end of the episode and left me feeling like both identities had hit their stride going in to episode five.
The story with Magpie (Rachel Matthews) feels a little rushed, only in that we haven’t seen her before and after besting Batwoman is caught fleeing the scene very easily in the third act. Her character served the purpose of teaching Kate a lesson-of-the-week but I would much prefer to see Batwoman utilise its villains as true foes for the character and not as a means by which to push her character forwards.
It was most certainly a wasted opportunity but not one which derails “Who Are You?” from being the most solid episode of the series to-date.
Easily the best-episode of the season, “Who Are You?” gives Kane Kane the opportunity to explore who she is as a lover, a detective and as a hero.
Batwoman stars Ruby Rose as Kate Kane/Batwoman. The series co-stars Dougray Scott, Elizabeth Anweis, Meagan Tandy, Camrus Johnson, Nicole Kang and Rachel Skarsten.