‘Batwoman’ Season 1, Episode 8 Recap: “A Mad Tea-Party”

14 Min Read

This season just doesn’t quit! Batwoman continues to deliver punches week after week. Sunday was the eighth episode of the premiere season, written by Nancy Kiu and directed by Holly Dale. We begin with a recap of the previous events, including reminding us that Bruce never stopped looking for Beth/Alice and Catherine Hamilton had faked Beth’s death, and that Mouse had impersonated Jacob Kane. For a recap of this week’s episode, keep reading.

“They say the choices we make define us, but despite all the darkness, despite all those who doubt, and despite my own fear that I’ve lost my sister forever, I choose hope; that Beth is still there.”

This voiceover from Batwoman, played by the incomparable Ruby Rose, as the camera pans over Gotham, is foreboding given the show’s penchant for darkness. We then land in a dark alley where Batwoman confronts a running Rabbit, where she breaks a metal bar in two demanding his jacket. Batwoman flies away, as he turns to leave, the police have him, silly Rabbit. Back at the cave, Kate hands the coat off to Luke, where a Rabbit had placed a phone in the front pocket that could potentially track where Alice was hiding. Luke narrows down two locations for Alice, one of which is a warehouse in the Bowery of Gotham.

In the next scene, Kate visits Alice at the empty warehouse, finding her tossing clothes out of a trunk. Kate confronts her sister, asking if the Riffle was hired to kill her using the coil accelerator. Alice dances around the question, telling Kate that she ensured that it didn’t happen, handing her a multi-million dollar piece of technology that allows the coil accelerator to penetrate the Batsuit Kate wears. The piece happens to be the only one in existence and that anyone who knew how to make it, is dead. Kate begs Alice to turn herself in, reiterating that her sister is still in there because she held on to a photo from their Bat Mizpah’s as children. Alice dismisses Kate, telling her to “take it and be gone.”

We change scenes to Jacob Kane leaving a motel while on the phone telling someone they will go over the floor plan for the gala tomorrow. When he tries to get into his truck, however, he is jumped by Rabbit’s and kidnapped into a van, ushered away.

While Kate is putting her bar together, Mary visits her and invites her to the Gothan Humanitarian Gala, honoring Catherine Hamilton-Kane. Kate declines the invite. However, Mary points out that she gave Alice a second chance (and third, and fourth), questioning how she could write off her mom so quickly. Mary begins to believe that she might be the crazy one for thinking that she and Kate could still be sisters after all. Kate tries to reassure Mary that they are family, but Mary still leaves upset.

Kate confronts Jacob at his office, questioning his actions of going to the Humanitarian Gala that evening, and for getting back with Catherine. Jacob tries to defend his actions, telling Kate that he is beginning to understand why she faked Beth’s death. But oops, That wasn’t Jacob! Jacob Kane is in the warehouse chained up by Alice herself. A little daddy-daughter chat, perhaps? Jacob tries to apologize to Alice, telling her, in the end, it was easier to believe she was dead than to go to sleep every night with a broken heart. “Thank you for making me who I am today,” says Alice, quite chillingly. Jacob asks what she is planning, and what does he have to do to stop it. This is where we find out that today is the day of the Mad Tea-Party and that everyone is invited! Alice has an enticing rhyme before practically dancing out the room, telling us that Jacob will be in attendance as the guest of honor, but he will be trapped in that room while someone will be a goner.

In the next scene, we have Kate drinking, venting to Luke about Jacob choosing to forgive Catherine. She then pieces together that Jacob isn’t Jacob. Kate decides to call faux-Jacob on speaker with Luke, tricking him with a comment about the day he and Catherine got married in the winter, now knowing for sure, this is Mouse, not Jacob.

We move over to Sophie and Tyler, where Sophie asks him if he’s still freaked about what happened between her and Kate. Mouse-Jacob comes in to discuss the plan for security that evening at the gala, closing the blinds as he gives them instruction, tranquilizing them both. Forward over to the pre-gala with Catherine, Mary, and Mouse-Jacob, toasting with spiked champagne, didn’t anyone ever tell you it’s not a good idea to drink, even if you are in a limo? Especially in a city like Gotham. Cheers!

Next, we find Alice and Kate back at the warehouse, Kate wants to know where her father is, and Alice, while not answering the question, is being very insistent that Beth does not exist anymore within her. Kate does get the answer out of her, though, “I left him in the same place he left me,” as Kate leaves, “he’s not doing so well, you might want to be quick about it.”

Image courtesy of IMDb

At the gala, we are shown that one of the security guards is, in fact, not a Crow. During Catherine’s speech, however, her teleprompter is hi-jacked by the Wonderland Gang. If she doesn’t read what is on the screen, she will die. This new speech is a confession written by Alice herself, that Catherine has been putting weapons in the hands of Gotham’s criminals, and that she and Jacob have been scamming the people of the city. That the real enemies are not the Joker, Riddler, or Alice, the real enemies are the people right in front of them. A few drops of blood on the teleprompter later, Catherine collapses on the stage in front of everyone. That’s never a good sign. Medical help is called, Mary stays with Catherine as the lights shut down in the gala hall, and people begin to exit after they were told to remain calm. With a killer like Alice on the loose, Run.

Back at the Crows office, Sophie and Tyler wake up to find themselves bound in chairs back to back, where no one can see or hear them due to one-way windows and sound-proof walls. Tyler comes to the realization that killing Sophie would not have been beneficial to Alice because it would have hurt Kate, and destroy the twisted relationship Alice is trying to preserve. They decide to figure out how to get out of there instead of confronting Sophie’s feelings for Kate at that moment. Ty and Sophie use her diamond ring to break out of the ties they were bound with, at which point Tyler questions her feelings for Kate again. Sophie deflects, telling Ty that she has always followed the rules, and the first time she broke them was with Kate, and she lied because it almost cost her everything. They leave to get help.

Backstage at the gala, Alice finds Mary taking care of Catherine, hinting that it was all well to say “drink me,” but they should have looked to see if it was marked for poison, with one of Catherine’s recipes. After a list of the slow and painful death that results from this cocktail, Alice hints at an antidote. Mary threatens Alice’s life, to which, of course, Alice has a magical solution. A serum, derived from a rare flower, grown on a remote island. But what does Catherine have to do to get this serum? Apologize. I sincerely apologize to Alice for what she did. Because, of course, that would be the only solution, and there is only enough for one. Just then, Mary begins to show signs of being poisoned as well.

Mary pieces together that Jacob drank the champagne too, but when Alice quips that he will be fine, that’s when Mary figures out that Jacob is the skin-pirate from Arkham, Mouse. Mary tries to split the serum between her and Catherine, but Catherine refuses, insistent that Mary drinks the tea and live. As Catherine dies, she tells Mary she is the one thing that she did right. She then fades and is gone. Goodbye Catherine.

Batwoman had arrived on the scene, taking out guard after guard, confronting Alice, asking her that whatever she did, she could undo it. Alice, in her very Alice like way, tells Kate that Catherine was poisoned, and she didn’t want to undo it. She did it out of the revenge she dreamt of for 11 years. Alice was more than happy to watch Catherine die, and watch Jacob go down with her. Mouse-Jacob knocks Kate over the balcony, and before they leave, Alice tells her that one day, Kate will see her way.

Real-Jacob is planted and arrested in his own SUV and has the evidence of poison planted on him to implicate him in his wife’s death. He has only been told that Alice and Mouse were at the gala, not that his wife is gone. Police surround his car, and they find the vial in his pocket. He has been set up!

Kate tries to talk to a despondent Mary, while Mary tells Kate that she tried to save her mom, but she died precisely the way Alice planned it. She asks Kate one more time, if Alice is worth it, “No.” but it is too late.

Sophie and Tyler have one more conversation at the close of the show, where Tyler tells her that he wants kids, a dog, and family traditions that they complain about but do anyway. He asks if she loves him, “yes,” is she in love with him? “I don’t know,” Tyler tells Sophie that she needs to figure herself out, and maybe he will still be there when she does.

In the end, Kate mistakenly thought she could trust Alice. She thought once more that Alice could change and still find Beth within herself. Seeing Catherine die due to her revenge, the awful truth is the sister she knew is, without a doubt, gone. Kate now believes Beth is no longer able to be saved, and she will not stop Jacob from putting her down once and for all.

The episode itself ended on an end-credit scene of The Flash, December 9, 2019, with the newest version of Harrison Wells looking at where he unearthed The Monitor. Harrison is telling him that he had hunted him across worlds and multi-verses to kill him, yet here The Monitor chose to save his life. He is told to begin his life anew, and the knowledge is within him. Harrison touches the runes on the metal and is taken, disappearing, into an incredibly bright light. We will see what happens there on the upcoming Crisis crossover, which also includes Batwoman beginning next week!

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By Kristin
First a fan of One Tree Hill, then Supernatural and many others. I work in restaurant management full time and enjoy photography as a hobby and part time when I can. I love most kinds of music, and really love Swain (and Rob). I’m basically a 80's/90’s kid that never really left that era. I can be found on twitter at @1WaywardSister or @42photostudio
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