‘Batwoman’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 12 “Initiate Self-Destruct”


Batwoman is back, and this week, the race is on to protect Batwoman’s identity. Meanwhile, a (sort of) familiar face returns, and Alice and Batwoman team up. Read on to find out what happens in “Initiate Self-Destruct.”

The episode kicks off with Kate Kane (now played by Wallis Day) tied to a chair, with Enigma and Roman in the room with her. Roman observes a mask he intends for Kate to wear, explaining its importance and how it’s tied to his daughter. He places it on her and then has Enigma finish her work with Kate. She makes Kate forget everything about her life, saying she will only remember herself as Circe Sionis, Roman’s daughter. After a few moments of unconsciousness, Kate looks at herself in the mirror and refers to Roman as “Dad.” She’s no longer Kate Kane; she’s Circe.

Alice wakes up in bed with a still sleeping Ocean. She scoots out and quietly gathers her clothes and gets dressed. Just as she’s about to leave, she’s greeted by the False Face Society at the door. They knock her down in the hallway and go after Ocean.

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At Crows Security, Sophie looks into Ryan’s record, comparing a photo of her to one of Batwoman. Sophie spots Agent Tavaroff and heads over to talk with him, bringing up the blood sample he collected. He tells her things would move faster if she shared her information, but she refuses, instead wondering why the sample is being prioritized over other things such as rape kits. She thinks Commander Kane would disapprove, but Tavaroff tells her that Kane’s the one who authorized it. Sophie then goes to talk with Kane, who’s just finished taking another dose of Snake Bite and covered the evidence. Sophie suggests they need to keep their focus on Black Mask. Kane’s vendetta against Batwoman comes out again, and Sophie wonders if it has anything to do with Kate. Kane becomes furious at the mention and kicks Sophie out.

Ryan, Luke, and Mary re-watch the footage of Angelique when she was kidnapped. Ryan wonders why they need to, and Luke explains how they can use the footage to track the Snake Bite lab where Angelique was working. Ryan is ready to go, but then the bat signal goes off. She responds to the call and is greeted by Sophie, who tells Batwoman about the DNA Tavaroff found. Sophie explains the general process of running the sample through the national database, saying that if Batwoman is already in the system, they’ll find her. Her coaxing doesn’t lead to any other confession from Batwoman, despite only having a few hours. Batwoman instead says she’ll use that time to save Angelique, upset that the Crows couldn’t protect her. Before she leaves, Sophie says she’ll do what she can with the sample.

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Batwoman heads to the lab, with Mary and Luke telling her they’re more worried about her identity being discovered. Luke is particularly worked up, explaining how it’s much more pertinent they worry about the blood sample over finding Angelique. Mostly ignoring him, Batwoman spots a bloody mask and makes her way into the destroyed lab, finding several dead bodies and Alice. Alice tells Batwoman she was searching for info on someone’s location, which Batwoman eventually realizes is Ocean. As both Ocean and Angelique were kidnapped by False Face, Alice proposes a team up that Batwoman reluctantly agrees to, ensuring Alice knows not to cross her. They take the Batmobile, and Alice, being Alice, messes with everything. She attempts to learn about what makes Angelique so special, but Batwoman refuses to do any sort of bonding.

Luke and Mary watch the GPS tracking for Batwoman and Alice. Mary is also confused as to Angelique’s appeal, wondering what makes her so special that Batwoman was willing to team up with Alice of all people. Luke receives a call from Sophie, who tells them she was unable to destroy the sample and they only have 78 minutes until it’s fully analyzed and uploaded. She emphasizes that if Batwoman was in the system for any reason (like an arrest), she’ll be exposed. Luke and Mary are at a (temporary) loss.

Batwoman and Alice arrive at the warehouse where False Face is holding Angelique and Ocean, who are inside and being forced to make a Snake Bite how-to video. Batwoman and Alice remain in the batmobile, watching. Batwoman spots a sentry. She tells Alice to draw him out, so she slams on the horn. He heads toward them and they get out of the car. Batwoman takes him down easily, but more False Face members are running towards them.

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Sophie watches the security feed of the Crows’ lab. Mary appears and hands a small gift bag to Sophie, who opens it to find a kill drive. Mary tells her that it will destroy the information the sample wields. However, they need a computer with access to the system that only Kane has. Soon after, Mary is able to coax Kane out of his office so Sophie can sneak in and use the drive.

Batwoman and Alice fight off False Face. Alice tries to force information out of the last one standing, asking about where “the cooks” are. When she’s done with him, Batwoman realizes that Alice has feelings for Ocean. Alice admits she noticed them when her memory was restored, adding that the previous night only added confusion.

Black Mask watches Angelique and Ocean via a live feed. A few moments later he, Angelique, Ocean, and the False Face member with them learn about Batwoman being in the area, and the source of the information turns out to be none other than Batwoman herself, luring the rest of False Face out. As they wait, Alice again asks about what makes Angelique so special. Batwoman shares the history of the group home, and Alice points out that guilt is causing Batwoman to want to save Angelique. Alice brings up a similar thing with Kate, who was constantly trying to save Alice. She tells Batwoman that she can’t save everyone. They spot False Face running out and begin to move in. When they stop for a brief moment, Batwoman sneakily handcuffs Alice to a pole. She assures Alice that she’ll still save Ocean, but from Alice, not for her.

Angelique and Ocean finish the Snake Bite, and Batwoman makes it inside. She asks Luke for help navigating. Afterward, Sophie calls him again for help on how to use the kill drive. Meanwhile, Tavaroff watches the sample finish getting analyzed and uploaded. When it is, Sophie, still talking with Luke, says that it’s tons of files, all of which are labeled with numbers instead of names. She tells Luke that if she corrupts all of the files, she could be protecting criminals, and she won’t do that for Batwoman. Instead, she says she may know another way.

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Mary brings Kane to the clinic. She proudly tells him that everything is now up to code and she has certified nurses and doctors working there. For a brief moment, he begins to feel the Snake Bite but covers it before Mary can get suspicious. She continues telling him about the clinic showing him a fax machine she’ll use to report to GCPD. He notices it’s not actually plugged in, though, but doesn’t really care, much to Mary’s surprise. After he’s seen everything, he leaves.

Circe makes her way to the warehouse, where she finds the handcuffed Alice. She threatens Alice, holding a knife to her throat to find out where Batwoman is. Alice tells her, and Circe leaves her.

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Tavaroff watches the blood sample search for a match, and Sophie has minutes before it finds one. Just in time, she finds Ryan’s file that would link her to Batwoman and deletes it. In the lab, Tavaroff is upset when the sample doesn’t produce any matches. Sophie, however, shows up and makes sure to point it out.

The False Face member watching Angelique and Ocean are about to kill them but only manages to shoot and wound Ocean before Batwoman enters. She breaks the newly made Snake Bite and takes out the False Face. She and Angelique are able to get Ocean standing and he and Angelique leave, Ocean thanking Batwoman. Circe appears and she and Batwoman spar for a bit. Soon, Alice shows up as well, but Circe has no trouble fighting them and eventually has Alice pinned by the throat. Alice asks Batwoman for help, who chooses to walk away. Desperate, Alice brings up Cora, Ryan’s mom, saying she remembers her. Batwoman doesn’t take the bait. Before she leaves, she reminds Alice that she can’t save them all.

Sophie returns to Kane’s office to delete her digital footprint from his laptop. When she’s done, she places the computer back in his cabinet, where she finds an empty Snake Bite box. Then, she discovers the discarded needle in the trash. She goes back to the clinic to talk to Mary about Kane, asking if he’s been going through any mood swings or otherwise acting strange. Mary says no and tells Sophie about showing him the clinic, mentioning how he was okay with the fax machine. Sophie finally tells Mary that she thinks Kane is doing Snake Bite and adds how he blew up at her in his office. Mary thinks he’s just being himself, even after Sophie shows her the needle. She urges Mary to talk with him anyway.

Angelique goes to Ryan’s apartment, and Ryan begins to apologize for what happened, but Angelique won’t hear it because there’s no need. She asks Ryan if she’ll go into witness protection with her. Ryan is startled by the question but ultimately chooses to stay. While Angelique doesn’t see it, Ryan believes she can make Gotham a better city. The two hug and link pinkies one last time.

Alice wakes up to find herself tied to a chair, greeted by the unpleasant sight of Circe and Black Mask. Circe tells Black Mask where she found Alice, and he gives her a gun to finish Alice off once and for all and leaves. Just before Circe can pull the trigger, he pops back in and changes his mind, thinking Alice can still be useful. He tells Circe to bring Alice to the cellar, and the episode ends just as Circe knocks Alice unconscious again.

Batwoman airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on The CW, available the next day on The CW app and cwtv.com. Find our previous recaps and the rest of our coverage here.

Julia is a writer/editor/content assistant for Nerds who joined the team in 2019.

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