Hello Gotham, we are going “Down Down Down” the rabbit hole as we recap the third episode in the CW’s new series Batwoman.
Warning: Recap contains spoilers!
The episode starts with Alice in a restless sleep. Fade to the dream that is playing in her head. We can hear the voice of a young girl reciting a passage from Alice in Wonderland. A door opens to an ominous-looking basement, where we see a girl in a blue dress cautiously moving down the stairs. It’s undetermined if the young girl is Beth. Her movements were slow and full of worry as she investigates her surroundings. Dim light fills the room, as we see jars and various tools placed out neatly. The young girl finds a door leading to another room. Slowly, she opens the door. Her eyes go directly to a tub of water. She moves her hand gently along the water. Suddenly, a mask of human flesh floats to the top, and she starts screaming. Alice awakes in a cold sweat.
At Wayne Enterprises, Kate is sitting at Bruce’s desk. In her hand is a card from Alice, which reads, “You have our father’s eyes.” While she had put the mask on to scare Alice, Kate realizes it only made things worse. Alice knows who she is, and Gotham thinks they have Batman back with their hopes resting on a hero who isn’t there. A light flashes across the window. The bat signal beams across the building with shadow puppet rabbits dancing underneath. It’s Alice.
Kate goes and meets her on the rooftop. Alice greets Kate with, “I guess it’s broken. It’s supposed to call Batman.” Alice quickly calls Kate out on pretending to be Batman, saying she blew a dog whistle she can’t undo. Alice asks Kate where her boyfriend is. Kate replies that he is hanging in there and badly damaged, but she doesn’t disclose his actual location. Kate makes a deal with her, if Alice can go 24 hours without killing anyone, she will give her boyfriend back. Unhappy with the time frame, Alice jokes about how she lost her pocket watch, causing Kate to snap back with how she lost her sister Beth, “Remember her?” Out of frustration, Alice reluctantly agrees. She is not doing it for Beth, saying, “Beth has gone down, down, down the rabbit hole, and she’s never coming back, much like Gotham’s beloved bat,” as she smashes the bat signal.
The next scene is a commercial advertisement for Elliot Estates. They promise safety for the consumer, stating that Elliot Estates are Gotham’s walls behind the walls. Back at Wayne Research and Development, a security guard is sitting at the gate watching the same commercial. Then, a truck smashes through the gate, and we hear gunfire and see blood splatter across the television screen.
Jump to Sophie and her husband, Tyler, training when her watch goes off. She has to see Commander Jacob Kane. We then see Jacob Kane in his office, re-watching the footage from the bridge explosion, when Sophie arrives. The incident doesn’t make sense to him. She was already in custody, so who would want her dead. Sophie makes a valid point by saying all of Gotham. That’s when Commander Kane asks what she wants. Considering the attack that happened to Mary, Sophie is sure Alice could attack again at any time and offers up her services for another assignment.
We see Mary in her illegal hospital, giving a shot to a little girl. The scene pans to the Gotham City skyline and then to the apartment Mary lives at with her parents. When the elevator door opens, we see Mary hurrying to put heels on, hiding the evidence of her secret life. Walking into the next room, she is greeted by Sophie, asking if she had a late night. Mary changes the subject to Kate. Still, Sophie doesn’t budge, asking Mary if she usually stays out late when a psychopathic killer is running around. Mary smoothly plays on her party girl persona that everyone thinks of her, never revealing what she was truly up to — proving that some heroes don’t wear capes. That’s when Sophie drops the bombshell that her father, Commander Kane, assigned her to be Mary’s bodyguard.
Kate returns to Bruce’s office to a man sitting at the desk with his back-facing her. “That is not your desk,” she says. The man hushes her, “Do you hear that? That is the sound of me officially having more money than Bruce Wayne.” Smiling as he faces Kate is Tommy Elliot, from the Elliot Estate commercial. Tommy knows Kate and Bruce. Asking why he is there, Tommy shows her the building he just bought, bragging about how much bigger it is compared to Wayne tower. We learn the men were childhood friends. Tommy plays on the fact that Gotham has become intense with the return of Batman. Getting little to no reaction from Kate, he pushes the subject, bringing up the accident with her mom and sister, Beth. Kate brings up the fact that Batman saved his mom from an accident, too. Tommy asks her where Bruce is while handing Kate an invitation to his party. Even though Tommy already knows, Kate tells him that he hasn’t been back in three years. Tommy replies, “He’s back now.” Kate is adamant about the fact that he isn’t, but Tommy feels differently.
After Tommy leaves, Kate’s phone rings. It is Luke Fox. There was a break-in at Bruce’s weaponry vault. Luke speculates that it was Alice, explaining that it will take some time to figure out what got stolen, but in the meantime, he will call Bruce to tell him what happened. “You really expect him to answer?” Kate questions. Luke merely says if something were going to get his attention, it would be this. The police on sight get a call. Something happened at the Gotham City Gazette. Kate leaves to check it out, having Luke stay behind to figure out what was taken. A huge crowd has formed outside of the Gazette. Kate arrives at the steps of the Gazette and sees a mannequin dressed as Batman in a pool of blood. Spray painted on the side of the building in red paint is, “Come out, come out, Batman!”
The next scene is Mary on campus studying. A boy catches her eye, but he is suddenly scared off. Sophie is standing behind Mary. Hilariously, Mary tells her that she is doing nothing for her game and that she is trying to find her future husband. Sophie, unfortunately, has orders from her step-dad Jacob. Quickly, Mary asks if Kate must have a bodyguard too. Sophie explains that their dad didn’t think it was necessary, since Kate got offered a job with the Crows. Curious, Sophie asks Mary why Kate didn’t take the job. She knew how much Kate wanted to be a Crow. Sophie then asks, “What is she doing with herself?” There are still feelings, despite what she made Kate think. Mary questions her motives for being her bodyguard, even saying that she is getting jealous ex-girlfriend vibes. Sophie admits to telling Kate to move on. Mary then reveals the real reason why Kate turned down the job — “Because you are a Crow.” She continues to say, “Because five years of training was easier to walk away from than going to work with the girl that broke her heart.”
We return to Luke and Kate in the Batcave. Firing a Desert Eagle Mark-9 58AE, one of the world’s most powerful handguns, Luke demonstrates the strength of the bat suit. It leaves the suit unscathed. Then, he shows her the Rail gun, which is the same gun stolen from the weaponry vault. It’s the most lethal weapon Bruce ever built. Luke shows her a prototype, but when tested, it blows a hole right through the bat suit. Whoever has the gun can kill Batman. Kate still blames herself, telling Luke that she put on the suit and dragged out one of his enemies. Luke says it could be that Alice is angry that she has her boyfriend. Kate makes a good point, explaining that Alice doesn’t know Bruce is Batman. Whoever took the gun had to know that Bruce had the suit to test it on, meaning they know Bruce is Batman. Alice couldn’t be responsible.
Kate shows Luke the invitation from Tommy. She explains that the invite was for Bruce and asks how sure he was that Bruce was back in town. If Bruce is back, Batman is back. Luke explains that Batman saved Tommy’s mom, so why would he want him dead. Kate smiles, taking the invitation, saying she’ll ask him that, and she walks away. Luke turns to her, saying, “Or you could be Batman.” Kate turns to look at him, “Sorry, that just sounded like something that’s not meant for you and wants me to put the suit back on.” Luke explains that if Tommy did steal the gun, he is trying to intimidate Batman, and show him that Batman is not afraid of him. “He has that,” Kate snaps, referring to the Rail gun. Luke says that she has the suit, the whole city, and him backing her up. If Bruce built a weapon like that, he more than likely built something to stop it. But Kate is convinced that she can’t stop him, saying, “I’m not Batman.”
Back at the Kane residence, Alice has snuck into the empty apartment under the disguise of a Crow security guard. Humming to herself, Alice plays with the makeup and perfume on Catherine Kane’s vanity. Moving to the dining room, Alice leaves her mark by licking one of the cupcakes on display and putting it back. While drinking a martini, her eyes fall on the wall. It’s filled with various Kane family photos. With jealousy and rage dancing in her eyes, she finds the invitation to Tommy’s party next to the pictures. She picks it up, but it doesn’t hold her attention. She reaches for the framed photograph of Jacob, Mary, and Catherine hanging on the wall. Dropping it to the ground, the glass shattering, she crushes the photo underneath her foot. As a Crow security guard walks into the apartment, Alice pulls her knife out, throwing it into the guard’s neck, killing him, breaking her deal with Kate.
Kate arrives at the Elliot party, ending up on the same elevator with Mary and Sophie. Naturally, a confused Kate asks why they were together. Sophie tells her she is Mary’s bodyguard. Sophie asks Kate why she’s at the party, only to have Kate reply with, “I was told to move on,” throwing their last encounter back in Sophie’s face. Mary is left stuck in the middle of the awkward tension. Once reaching the party, Kate heads to the bar asking for Tommy, the bartender tells Kate that Tommy will be by the bar soon. We learn the bartender’s name is Reagan. You can feel instant sparks flying between the women. Tyler, Sophie’s husband, suddenly approaches Kate. That is when we learn that the Crows are working security at the party. Tyler finally asks how she and Sophie know each other, leaving Kate a bit surprised that she never told Tyler about her. Kate explains she went to Point Rock, leaving Tyler oblivious to the romantic relationship. Tyler leaves. Reagan steps in, reading Kate like a book. Kates’s father approaches, and it turns out they both dislike Tommy Elliot. He questions her about Alice. Kate explains that she won’t be a problem. Finally, Kate finds Tommy alone, staring out the window watching Wayne Tower. His disdain for Bruce is evident. Kate hints at the break-in, piquing Tommy’s interest. Trying to scare him, she explains that there was a tracker on the firearm that got stolen, but Tommy is left unfazed.
Jacob receives a call from Alice. She’s playing the cello for him. When he asks who it is, Alice says, “You taught me, remember.” Hinting that she is his daughter, Beth. He still doesn’t believe it. Alice continues to taunt him, and he figures out that Alice is in his house. Alice hangs up on him. She finds a box titled “Kate,” and inside, she finds a lunch box with Beth’s name on it. When Alice opens it up, she finds the map Kate used to look for her.
Back at the party, Jacob Kane is getting his family evacuated out of fear of what Alice might do. Meanwhile, Tommy is in his office with the gun stolen from the weaponry vault, confirming Kate and Luke’s speculations about Tommy. Kate enters, questioning him on how he knows Bruce is Batman. Tommy quickly grabs the stolen firearm, responding with, “I paid a man to riddle me the answer.” Tommy is jealous of Bruce, even commenting on the fact that he had more dead parents than him. Instead of being grateful that his mother’s life was saved, Tommy was angry that she didn’t die, because he couldn’t collect the inheritance. Armed with the one firearm that can kill Batman, that is precisely what he plans to do. Tommy pulls a gun on Kate, stopping her from getting the stolen weaponry from him. Tommy then pulls out a phone from his pocket. It allows him to control all the elevators in the building. At his command, they could all come crashing down. Inside two of those elevators is Kate’s family. Tommy demands that Batman meet him on the roof, dropping one of the elevators as a warning. Kate makes it downstairs, bearing witness to the carnage he created.
Meanwhile, with the rest of the Kane family trapped in the elevator that hasn’t dropped yet, Catherine learns about Alice breaking into their home and calling her husband. In the other elevator with Mary, Sophie, and Tyler, Tyler confronts Sophie about not telling her about Kate. Shortly after, Sophie and Tyler get their elevator doors open, freeing the three of them.
Kate is back at the Batcave, convinced that it is her fault that all this is happening, because she put the suit on making people believe Batman was back. She questions Luke on whether he thinks Batman will come back. Finally, he tells her no. Kate knows she is not Batman. Gotham wants and needs Batman. She recognizes that she is better, because she is doing something. It’s time for an upgrade.
We return to the site where Mary and Sophie made it downstairs safely. There are too many victims and not enough EMTs. Mary steps in, helping a severely injured female, showing Sophie that there is more to her than meets the eye.
Returning to the Batcave, we see the makings of Kate’s official suit as red paint gets added.
On a rooftop, Tommy is waiting for Batman, but that’s not who he gets. Out of the darkness, Batwoman rises for the first time. Notifying Luke that she found Tommy, Luke needs her to activate her glove specifically made to neutralize the gun. The problem is that Kate didn’t charge the glove. Kate needs to stall Tommy while Luke charges the glove from his computer. She does so by hitting him in the gut with a Batarang. Sneaking up behind him, she kicks him in the back. The fight is on. It looks like Kate has the upper hand, knocking the gun from Tommy’s hand. Tommy gets his hands on the weapon to fire, but Kate neutralizes the blast. That doesn’t stop Tommy. Reaching for his phone, he drops another elevator, this time it’s the one with Kate’s father and step-mother. Using a two-way grappling hook, Kate manages to prevent the elevator from falling completely. He then drops the one where Kate is standing. However, she can pull herself up, but Tommy is waiting. Stepping on her hand, he tries to get her to let go. In a surprising twist, Alice shows up, knocking Tommy out and saving Kate. It’s not the happy reunion Kate was hoping for. Alice shows her a picture of the Crow security guard she killed at the apartment. Alice has no interest in being Beth again, but she saved Kate because she wasn’t done with her yet.
Kate shows up as herself while Tommy is being taken away in handcuffs. She runs into the bartender Reagan again. We get to witness a new relationship unfold. Watching on the sidelines is Sophie and Mary.
Back at the Kane apartment, Catherine walks into the bedroom to find playing cards on her vanity: a gift from Alice, singling her out. Jacob walks into the room. Instead of telling her husband about the cards, she confronts him with the fact that Alice needs to be stopped. He tells her about the song Alice played on the phone. Catherine isn’t convinced that it’s Beth, but you can start to see that Jacob believes it more and more.
The city is now up in arms over the bat bombshell who is not Batman and is a whole lot curvier. Vesper Fairchild is on the radio, trying to figure out what this new vigilante should be named. Listening in her car is Sophie, speaking the name “Batwoman” for the first time.
So, riddle me this Gotham: is Tommy Elliot the Riddler? And keep your eye on the sky for next week’s episode of Batwoman.