Saturday, March 6, 2021

Recap: Gotham Gets a New Hero in ‘Batwoman’ Season 2, Episode 1: “Whatever Happened to Kate Kane?”

Season 2 of Batwoman has finally arrived, and while we welcomed back familiar faces, we were also introduced to Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie). When we last saw our returning characters, Arkham inmates escaped and were running loose through Gotham. Luke, Kate, and Mary discover that kryptonite is the only material that can penetrate the batsuit and kill Batwoman, thus needing to find a way to destroy the kryptonite. Alice is also on the hunt for kryptonite and turned Tommy Elliot into none other than Bruce Wayne. Jacob Kane’s vendetta against Batwoman only grew stronger, and Sophie and Julia learn they have a stalker potentially under the employ of the mysterious and dangerous Safiyah. The season 2 premiere explains Kate’s absence on the show, a new tone is established, and the build-up to Safiyah’s introduction this season grows. Read on to find out what happened in the season 2 premiere of Batwoman.

The episode opens with a shot of a woman sleeping in a van, who’s revealed to be Ryan Wilder. A loud crashing sound jolts her awake as a plane in pieces crashes near her. As this happens, she has vivid flashbacks to moving into a new apartment with her mother. Ryan, terrified and confused, wanders through the wreckage searching for signs of life when she finds a man barely alive. She tries to revive him, flashing back again but this time to her mother’s murder. Shortly after, Ryan finds something else lying in the wreckage – the batsuit. Firetrucks, police, and members of Crow Security arrive on the scene, Ryan long gone. Jacob Kane arrives, frantic and demanding to know where Kate is when Sophie says they’ll search together. As they search, Alice watches from afar.

Luke and Mary are on their way to the bat cave, talking as they walk. Luke seems convinced Kate could have lived due to the batsuit’s tech. Mary isn’t as certain, but she also wants an explanation. When they reach the office, they find Bruce Wayne waiting for them. Only, Bruce is Tommy Elliot in a convincing disguise. He reveals it’s been four years since he was last in Gotham. A little later, Mary leaves and Luke brings Tommy to the bat cave.

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Courtesy of The CW

In the next scene, Ryan talks with a woman, Susan, who works in the parole office. Ryan excitedly mentions that she found something, but Susan quickly ruins the mood by asking Ryan if what she found was housing, a job, or paid off court fines. Ryan gets defensive, explaining why none of those things are so easily obtainable, offering more information about her background.

At Crow Security, we catch up with Julia and Sophie. Julia finds Sophie, who’s visibly upset about the crash, telling Julia the crash could’ve been intentional, citing the photos Julia found of her and Sophie last season. In Jacob’s office, Jacob grows more frustrated that the search for Kate isn’t wielding results. Mary consoles him, saying she won’t let him lose hope. Back at the bat cave, Luke talks to Tommy, still unaware he’s not really Bruce. He mentions (and shows!!) the kryptonite to Tommy, who is able to take it from Luke without drawing suspicion in the moment.

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Later that evening, Ryan finds a deserted bathroom, setting a duffle bag on the floor. She opens it and pulls out the batsuit. She admires it more closely for a moment, and finally she begins to suit up. During the change, quick flashbacks of her mother’s murder play out again until Ryan is fully suited up and ready to go. She takes the suit out for a test drive, finding two guys in an alley, causing the suit to go back online and giving Luke false hope about Kate returning.

The scene cuts to Tommy getting mighty cozy at Wayne Manor, revealing that Alice has been living there with him, and she is more unhinged after learning about Kate. The two get into an argument about Alice wanting to kill Kate and how Bruce thinks she should be glad Kate is dead. This prompts Alice to explain that everything they were doing was meant to lead Jacob into killing Batwoman and thus revealing it was Kate and Jacob would have killed his own daughter. (Harsh, Alice.)

Courtesy of The CW

Luke and Mary track Ryan (and the batsuit) down, and she tells them about the plane crash. They try to get the suit back, Luke saying that Ryan isn’t worthy of it, but Ryan knows better. In an emotional monologue, she explains to Luke and Mary how she’s a number, laying out all the ways life has been against her, leading up to her mother’s murder and her mission to bring the killer to justice. She turns and leaves, suit in tow.

Tommy heads to Crow headquarters where he admits that Alice is holed up with him at Wayne Manor. Like the others, Jacob is none the wiser about Tommy’s disguise. As Tommy leaves, he bumps into Julia. She tries to catch up with him, but quickly realizes that Bruce may not really be the Bruce from her past. Later on, Jacob leaves to check out Tommy’s information about Alice. He finds her, and she tells him Kate was Batwoman.

Luke and Mary decide to dig into Ryan’s background, and Ryan reads up on Kate. The scene goes back and forth between Luke and Mary learning about Ryan while Ryan reads a newspaper profile on Kate. Luke and Mary read about the death of Ryan’s biological mother and her adoptive mother, reaching the point where Ryan’s adoptive mother was murdered by squatters in the new apartment. But these weren’t just any squatters. As the scene reaches its end, Luke and Mary discover that the squatters were the Wonderland Gang, and Alice was on the scene. After the group reads everything Luke becomes riddled with guilt as he realizes Kate is dead, and Ryan turns the batsuit’s GPS back on.

Courtesy of The CW

Luke and Mary head to Crow Security to talk to Julia, who tells them that Bruce isn’t Bruce, he’s Tommy Elliot. While they talk, Tommy heads back down to the batcave, where he notices the suit is online. He steals the batmobile and goes to find the suit (and subsequently, Ryan). Luke and Mary return to the batcave seconds after Tommy drives off, realizing he’s going after the suit so he can be Batman and essentially become invincible thanks to the suit’s tech.

Tommy hunts down Ryan, desperate to get his hands on the batsuit. Luckily, Ryan hears Luke and Mary warning her through the suit’s comms that he’s on his way to her. He chases her down in the batmobile, but she manages to avoid anything he throws at her. She lures him to a darker area, and when she reappears, she’s Batwoman. The two fight and Bruce shoots her in the shoulder with the kryptonite, piercing through the suit. When he checks to see if she’s dead, she fakes and is able to best him, punching him until he’s unconscious, revealing the disguise. Soon after, he is returned to Arkham Asylum.

Sophie calls Jacob to update him about the search for Kate, informing him that nothing was found in the water near the crash site. Back at Wayne Tower, Mary and Luke talk about Ryan. Mary is able to relate to Ryan in a way Luke isn’t, as she understands the feeling of having her mother die in her arms. Luke, however, remains steadfast in his loyalty to Kate, not wanting to believe she’s gone. Ryan walks in, returning the batsuit. She tells Luke and Mary that she isn’t ready to take on the responsibility that comes with wearing the suit, citing she’s no hero.

Courtesy of The CW

As the episode wraps up, Julia finds Sophie, asking if she’s still in love with Kate. Julia pulls out a letter she found in Kate’s safe earlier, with Sophie’s name on it. In the letter, Kate confesses she was Batwoman. Meanwhile, Jacob turns on the bat signal, the tiniest glimmer of hope quickly crushed with the realization that Alice wasn’t lying about Kate. Down in the sewer, Alice finds the front page of the newspaper with a threatening message on it, courtesy of Safiyah. Ryan sits on top of her van with her plant. While she observes the sky and the shining bat signal, she soon notices a strange reaction in her shoulder left behind from the kryptonite.

We’re only one episode into season 2, but already it promises to pack a hefty punch. Javicia Leslie shines as Ryan, bringing a dynamic character demanding our attention. Ryan’s introduction also sets a different tone for the series. It continues to hold the familiar grit, however, it’s heavier (primarily due to Ryan’s background) and overall darker than what we saw in season 1. It will be interesting to see how this tone continues to permeate the show as we learn more about Ryan and the eventual introduction of Safiyah.

Batwoman airs on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on The CW, available to stream next day on The CW app and cwtv.com.

Julia
Julia
Julia is a writer/editor/content assistant for Nerds. She joined the team in 2019 but has always enjoyed talking about her favorite fandoms. Some her faves include Christian Bale, Bob's Burgers, Hannibal, Mr. Robot, Dexter, The Office, and Love, Victor. When she isn't writing or working, you can find her reading, watching her favorite shows and movies, and building her repertoire of Dad jokes.

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