‘Batwoman’ Season One, Episode One Recap: “Pilot”
Batwoman had one of the most intense, twisting, and spectacular premieres. While most shows work to find their footing in their pilot episodes, this one was strong right out of the gate. From start to finish, the pilot had viewers hooked and wanting more.
Set before Batwoman’s debut in the Arrowverse crossover, we go on a fantastic journey to her origin as the caped superhero. When we first see Kate Kane, she is underwater with her ankle cuffed. It does not take her long to break free to try and get to the surface. Which, of course is, not going to be easy, because she is under ice with something blocking the only hole.
As Kate struggles, we get glimpses into her childhood. It is something revisited throughout the episode. She was in the care of her mom and sister. Kate and her sister, Beth, were taking a picture with their matching necklaces when a hijacked school bus runs into them. The car dangles off the edge. Batman arrives and secures the car long enough for Kate to escape the vehicle. Unfortunately, the car goes over the edge with her mom and sister still in the car.
Back to the present day, Kate frees the handcuffs entirely and uses them to punch through the surface. The reason? Simply training. We find out later that it is because she wants to join her father’s security company. With Kate’s narration, the scene transitions to Gotham with the knowledge that Batman has been missing for three years. With his absence, her father started Crows Security. Their job is simply to fill the void that Batman left behind.
In Gotham, Crows Security is making sure an event to turn off the bat signal is safe and secure. While Kate’s stepmother speaks and cues for the light to go off, things go terribly wrong. Cameras go dark, and the cops on duty to turn off the light are murdered. Enter Alice.
This Alice is far from Wonderland, and she seems to be Gotham’s newest villain. She sparks pandemonium as one of the crows’ agents, Agent Sophie Moore, chases down one of Alice’s masked men. She’s tossed off the roof in the fight, only to be caught by the other men. It is quickly looking like a set up all along.
This all results in Kate getting a call from her stepsister, Mary, filling her in on the fact that Sophie is missing. Cue another quick flashback, this time to Kate and Sophie kissing. More of the flashback is revealed as the episode continues. They were both training for the military, but they got caught kissing that day. Their sexuality an issue, they were faced to either sign a paper or leave the military. Kate left, but Sophie made the deal.
All Kate wants to do is find Sophie. She tells her dad she is ready to join Crows Security. His response is that she’s like a female Bruce Wayne, her cousin. Kept out of the loop, Kate ventures to Wayne Enterprises, knowing she would have a chance of finding out what happened to Sophie. She effortlessly breaks in and heads to Bruce’s office, where she is caught and handcuffed by Luke, who’s part of Wayne Security. Using her wits and skills, Luke is the one who ends up cuffed while Kate grabs security footage of Sophie being taken.
Deterred by a surprise welcome party thrown for her, Kate finally gets to show her dad the footage she found. Kate is also the one who figures out exactly where they took Sophie: an orphanage. While her dad gives orders, Kate goes directly to the orphanage. She kicks butt and takes down one masked man after another. Unfortunately, while her back is turned, she is knocked out and tied up. She wakes up to Alice, who shockingly seems to know Kate. Alice reveals her motive all along was Kate’s dad, and Sophie was the bait. Kate is knocked out once again.
It is here where Kate discovers more about her stepsister. On the surface, Mary only seems interested in selfies, shots, and social media. As it turns out, Mary is keeping a secret. She uses her medical expertise at an illegal clinic; an illegal clinic that Kate is brought to semi-unconscious. As soon as she’s stitched and ready to go, Kate leaves to finally confront her father.
Kate has always tried to prove herself to her father. She comes to the realization that her dad was never going to give her a job at Crows Security and is convinced that he was just trying to get rid of her. She thinks he sees her long passed sister and mother when he looks at her. With that, she leaves and heads back to Wayne Enterprises.
Noticing her Aunt Martha’s necklace display has moved, Kate discovers a secret elevator. Despite Luke warning her not to, Kate breaks the rules and heads down to the major reveal of the Batcave. The lights go on, and bats fly as Kate discovers her cousin’s secret: Bruce Wayne is Batman. The surprises do not end there. She finds out that he spent years trying to find out what happened the day Kate’s sister and mother were killed. Bruce thought they were safe when he left them to save the kids on the bus.
The shock does not last long for Kate. Instead, an idea forms. She asks Luke to fix the suit so that it will fit her. Batman may be missing, but Batwoman finds her beginning. The villains of Gotham are no longer afraid of anything, but Kate knows they will be afraid of that suit. And just in time, too, as Kate receives a call that they have one of Alice’s men. Now Kate knows where to find her.
Of course, Alice is always where the Crows Security action is, which means movie night is not going to go smoothly, especially when one of the security agents is a traitor and working with Alice. Kate’s father gets a special call from Alice and is faced with a dilemma: save Sophie or save the moviegoers. Alice did not prepare for Batwoman making an appearance, though. They fight until Sophie starts to fall. Kate quickly catches her and makes sure she has a safe landing. She can tell the caped crusader is not “him.” Sophie does not get long to question what she sees, as Kate leaves to go back to Alice’s location. Alice is long gone, but Kate manages to grab the knife she left behind.
Once Sophie is safe, the episode starts to wind down, but without a single lull. Instead, we get a plethora of revelations. The first of which comes from Sophie. She and Kate have a brief moment as she thanks Kate for coming back to look for her. That is, until Sophie’s husband shows up, much to Kate’s (subtle) surprise. Next, Kate finds out her dad’s real reasoning for sending her away to train. He did not want her to be a crow, but only because he wanted to keep her safe. Kate is the only one he has left. With that, he offers her a place with Crows Security.
The last revelation is complete jaw dropper. After writing in Bruce’s journal, telling her own story for him if he ever comes back, she ponders how Bruce never found Beth’s body with all the technology he has. She inspects the knife she took from Alice, noticing the same gem in her necklace: the same matching necklace she shared with her sister, Beth. Cut to a scene with Alice holding the very picture they took the day of the crash. That’s right. Beth is Alice. And she wants to take over Gotham with Kate by her side. Holy reveal, Batman!
I don’t know about you, but that shocking ending left me wanting the next episode right away. I cannot wait to see what is next for Batwoman’s first season. How will Kate deal with the knowledge that the sister she thought was long gone is now wreaking havoc on Gotham? Will Sophie figure out who is under the Batwoman mask? Be sure to tune in next Sunday at 8 pm ET on The CW!