‘Batwoman’ Recap: Season 3, Episode 1 “Mad as a Hatter”

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Batwoman is back! In the season 3 premiere, a Gotham citizen obtains a villain trophy, Mary hits a major milestone, and Ryan learns a little more about her birth mother. Read on to find out what happened in “Mad as a Hatter.”

A New Era

Katie Yu/The CW

The Bat Team 2.0 is here and more determined than ever. Luke finally gets the chance to see some major field action with the Batwing suit. He helps Batwoman recover some of the villain trophies and fight this episode’s bad guy. Unfortunately, the suit is a little glitchy. In better news, he hasn’t officially landed on a name, but Batwing is in the running.

Mary also makes strides in her life. She’s graduating from med school, top of her class, and valedictorian! Her commencement gets ruined, though. It’s one to remember but for all the wrong reasons. Though it’s not what she expected, she still makes her speech. And her audience is Ryan, Sophie, and Luke (who are super proud of her). We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Dr. Mary Hamilton.

The (Fake) Mad Hatter

At the end of last season, the villain trophies were stolen from the bat cave and lost to the river. The team recovers Poison Ivy’s vine. But someone else finds the Mad Hatter’s hat and sells it online. The buyer is a man named Liam who is obsessed with Alice. And he’s running a one-man campaign to free her from Arkham.

Soon, Liam realizes when he wears the hat, he can control people. He starts small, coercing someone to kill his friend. When he begins to realize his ah … potential, he decides to fry bigger fish. His next target? Mary’s commencement.

A Commencement to Remember

batwoman season 3 episode 1
Katie Yu/The CW

Ah, commencement. A would-be happy occasion that Liam sullies. As Mary gives her speech, Luke, Sophie, and Ryan realize she’s under Liam’s influence. Thankfully, Luke thought ahead and knows how to block the hat’s signal so they can get to work stopping Liam. As they put their plan into action, Liam orders Mary to remove Dr. Hall’s (the university Chair) organs one by one.

Batwoman and Batwing get to work. Batwing jams the signal, but Liam soon figures out what happened and unblocks it. Sophie, meanwhile, goes to Mary. She suggests that Mary uses the defibrillator to stop Dr. Hall’s heart. If she does, she still kills him and ultimately follows Liam’s instruction and breaks the mind control. This way, there’s a greater chance she can revive Dr. Hall. Mary does what Sophie says. The plan works.

There’s Something About Alice

Katie Yu/The CW

Alice begins the season in Arkham. She’s not doing great. In fact, she has herself convinced that Jacob will spring her. They’ve been corresponding. It turns out that the postcards Alice proudly displays on her cell wall were simply tricks of the brain. Jacob isn’t freeing her anytime soon.

Batwoman does, though. The Bat Team begrudgingly recognizes that Alice is a valuable asset in stopping Liam. Initially, Ryan tries to pry information out of Alice, who refuses to truly cooperate. But the situation at commencement is dire. They need Alice out of Arkham. Once she’s out, she meets Liam, who’s starstruck. Alice manages to convince Liam to stop what he’s doing. After the two hug (and Alice looks appalled) gives Alice the perfect opportunity to stab Liam in the back.

Later, Alice thinks she’s in the clear, but Batwoman won’t really let her walk away. Alice feels betrayed. After all, she did help save the day. It’s not enough to atone for her past, though. Don’t worry, Alice. This isn’t quite over for you yet …

Are You My Mother?

Last season, Ryan learns her birth mother is still alive … from Alice. So, you can imagine she’s a little hesitant to believe the news. Nevertheless, she can’t help but wonder if Alice is really telling the truth. She keeps the news from Luke and Mary, but Sophie knows something is up. Ryan confides in Sophie, who offers to investigate.

Sophie digs as far as she can, using less than legal methods when she needs to. Eventually, it pays off. When she reconvenes with Ryan, she divulges her information. The day before Ryan’s birth, a pregnant woman went to the hospital due to a cyst. However, she paid the doctor a hefty sum to keep the birth quiet. Sophie knows the woman’s name but instead chooses to hand it to Ryan in an envelope. Ryan doesn’t need to look unless she wants to.

At the end of the episode, Sophie and Ryan talk in The Hold Up. Ryan hands the envelope back. She’s choosing her new family over the mother who didn’t even want her. We do see who this woman is, though – Jada Jet. She steps out of a helicopter on an important call. One of her staff members interrupts, informing her that there was a security breach. Jada brushes it off until she sees the information that was accessed.

The Name’s Montoya. Renee Montoya.

Another new series regular, Renee Montoya, was introduced in this episode as well. She’s a former GCPD officer with her own mission to clean the streets of Gotham. When she hears about the emergence of Mad Hatter, she jumps into action. We still don’t know too much about Renee, but it seems as though she was active in GCPD during Batman’s era. Regardless, her quick response indicates she never forgot the Mad Hatter (or the rest of the villains who may crop up).

After the events of the commencement, Renee summons Batwoman. She tells Batwoman she knows about the stolen items, which confuses Batwoman. How did Renee get the list? Well, it’s all thanks to Alice, who steps out of the shadows. Renee proposes Batwoman and Alice team up. Batwoman vehemently opposes, but Renee knows Batwoman is Ryan, and she will shut down Batwoman and her team if she doesn’t agree to the proposal. Batwoman agrees, but only because she has no other options.

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.

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