Wow, it feels great to be back here with you all! Thank you so much to the TV Team for swooping in and covering for me while I recovered. I’m feeling great and it’s a good thing because Batwoman refuses to get off my neck; every episode with more energy than the last. This episode in particular had the kind of one-liners and quick dialogue that made me want to just paste every line into this recap. Don’t worry, I’m not even going to attempt to do justice to these actors’ delivery, but suffice it to say, they are unmatched.
Previously on Let’s See How Many New Character Combinations We Can Try, the team busted a child trafficking ring led by Kandy Karen, we learned that Alice is a 90 Day Fiancé stan, Mary and Ryan became roomies, we met Ryan’s ex Angelique, and Ryan finally remembered the green glowing Kryptonite wound from episode one that’s surely very chill and much fine.
A mysterious spider-like figure flies down into Gotham to kick off this week’s episode. I had to rewatch this scene a few times to be sure mine eyes weren’t deceiving me but yes, Vesper Fairchild confirmed that Wolf Spider changed the light on one of the buildings into an emoji like some kind of Banksy. Meanwhile, Jacob Kane meets with a man who tells him that a group called The Collective has the Jack Napier painting. Before he could give any more information, the man is speared by one of Safiyah’s goons from Coryana. Batwoman flies in and lets Big Daddy Kane know she’ll get to Kate before he does. AND THEN, Ryan points out massive “ACAB” graffiti and says “All Crows Are Bastards” because this show really really loves me. (Spoiler: that was only the first of many times I yelled during this episode. I’m so glad these apartment walls aren’t thin.)
Okay listen, I know the stereotype. We all know the stereotype. So it shouldn’t have surprised me to see Angelique making breakfast for Ryan, and yet I couldn’t help but scream when I saw it. (Yell count: 2) The two spent some quality time “reconnecting” the night before, and Angelique tries to convince Ryan to play hooky and spend the day with her but Ryan won’t budge. I need to pause quickly to talk about the lewks Javicia pulls off in this episode. Homegirl flawlessly goes from robe to flannel to Batsuit to Mary’s Balmain zipper dress and back to Batsuit like it’s NOTHING. We are truly blessed.
Okay, back to Angelique. She finally apologizes to Ryan for the 18 months Ry did for her and offers her a gift. Two bracelets, one for each of them. It could be because I watch A LOT of television, but something about this feels off to me. I want to trust Ang, but my first thought was that there’s some kind of tracker in the bracelet and Angelique is actually working with Alice or something. Or maybe I’m paranoid and happiness is a real thing that exists and they’ll live happily ever after. It’s anyone’s guess, really!! I can hand wave many things about superhero shows, but there is no way after a night of reconnecting, Angelique only notices Ryan’s Kryptonite wound the next morning. NO WAY. *side-eye*
Thanks to Angelique’s prodding, Ryan finally goes to see Mary about her wound but doesn’t give her the whole picture of her symptoms. Mary gives Ryan the antibiotics that Kate took whenever she was injured, and encourages her not to compare herself to Kate. It’s interesting that Mary didn’t give Ryan the Desert Rose miracle cure though. Since antibiotics clearly didn’t work on the Kryptonite, I wonder if Desert Rose would… But I’m getting ahead of myself!
Down in the Batcave, Ryan and Luke discuss what to do about the Coryana goon they have tied up (and not in the fun way). Ryan wants to literally starve him until he’s ready to say just about anything to get some food, while Luke would rather Ryan use one of 92 forms of martial arts she’s trained in.
Meanwhile at Crows HQ, Kane and Sophie interview Evan, an old friend of Kate’s and a big player in the art scene, in hopes of finding the painting and ultimately saving Kate. Evan reminisces about his time with “Katie Kane”, how she saved his life by helping him come out and exuding the kind of queer confidence he could only dream of possessing. Evan confesses that his knowledge of the painting is limited to the legend; one night Joker murders someone in their home and throws their blood and guts all over a canvas and voila! Art! Sophie accuses Evan of being involved with The Collective and offers immunity in exchange for information, but Evan doesn’t bite. After he leaves, Sophie volunteers to grovel at Batwoman’s feet… I mean ask Batwoman for her help.
Finally we get some Alice Time! She’s outside The Burnside Motel where Ocean is staying. She still can’t figure out how it’s possible to both know him and know that she doesn’t know him. Y’all, I’ll probably never stop yelling about how incredible Rachel Skarsten is as Alice. It wasn’t until she was placed into a normal setting like a bar that I realized just how larger than life that portrayal has been. Her level of being unhinged was dialed down just a couple notches, but remained high enough to dismiss a man by telling him how she killed her Mouse. (Yell count: 3) Apparently, Ocean was as impressed as we all were because he applauds and agrees to drink with her.
Dear show, if you don’t want me to ship Ryan and Sophie, stop putting them in emotionally charged scenes together! I’m kidding, please never stop. The two rendezvous at Sophie’s request to discuss a deal where in exchange for information about Safiyah and Coryana, Sophie wants access to the prisoner. Batwoman is not about that Crows life (ACAB, yo) but Sophie pleads with her because Kate is the LOVE OF HER LIFE, apparently. Somewhere, Julia feels her heart twist probably.
Back at Wayne Tower, Ryan emphatically makes her case against teaming up with the Crows despite Luke and Mary’s insistence that it’s their only option. Ryan storms out and VERY DANGEROUSLY sits on the building’s ledge. Luke joins her soon after, and they take turns sharing their Crow horror stories. Ryan details the night when she took Angelique’s drug stash in hopes of straightening her out. She was in the street and upset, and a Crow catcalled her so she flipped them off. They used that as a reason to search her and found the drugs. Luke replies simply by telling Ryan that although indirectly, the Crows killed his father. I loved this scene, and found myself getting choked up watching these two Black friends work through the very real trauma that the Crows were responsible for. The Crows are corrupt and represent everything that is wrong with policing. But what do you do when the organization responsible for your more painful experiences, is the only one who can help you?
After Luke convinces her, Ryan brings Sophie and Kane to get information from the prisoner. He lets it slip that the painting and Coryana’s location are connected and immediately activates a cyanide tablet and dies. Sophie finds out The Collective is holding an event to auction off Joker’s painting and Ryan jokingly offers to be her date (Yell count: 4) before insisting that she goes in alone without any interference from the Crows unless she says so.
Back at the bar, Alice and Ocean are getting to know each other; Ocean describing growing up in nature and Alice detailing her childhood kidnapping? I guess? After they take five shots (!!) and go their separate ways, Alice tries to break into Ocean’s room before getting rudely interrupted by his fist in her face.
Ocean’s got Alice tied to a chair and is somehow surprised that she was sleeping for half the day, despite literally knocking her out. She’s been through a lot! Let a girl rest! I know I said I wouldn’t quote the entire episode to you, but Alice’s blunt response to why she had the knife took me OUT: “Some lunatic on a far away island is holding my sister hostage and she won’t hand her over until I gut you and airmail the evidence.” (Yell count: 5) It turns out, Alice’s isn’t the only sister involved in this; Safiyah is Ocean’s sister.
Reader, I’m just a girl, standing in front of the CW, asking for a web series about Mary and Ryan as roommates. Can you imagine the shenanigans??? Mary’s helping Ryan get ready for The Collective’s party, including letting her borrow the famous Balmain zipper dress (also seen on the CW’s Charmed) that she wore last season. (Yell count: 6)
Mary mentions that both she and Evan spent their younger years competing for Kate’s attention, but Evan was just a bit shinier. No one is shining as bright as Ryan though because even Luke can barely get a sentence out when he sees how stunning she looks. Yes, Javicia absolutely SLAYS in this scene, but I think my favorite part was the genuine laughter between her and Nicole Kang once Luke picked up his jaw from the floor. I say this every week, but there is so much chemistry in this entire cast and it’s so much fun to watch them having so much fun.
Anyway, thanks to Wayne Enterprise’s and Hamilton Dynamics’ excessive private jet usage, the crew is able to get access to the private hangar where the party is being held. Once she gets to the hangar, Ryan’s plan is to offer the batarang for display in the exhibition and hopeful entry into the party. She barely finishes quipping with Evan at the door when security starts to haul her away. But none other than Angelique (looking smashing, if I do say so myself) swoops in just in time to save Ryan. Before they go in, the only question Ryan has for Evan is “Pronouns?” I’m going to say that one more time.
An out Black character, played by an out Black actress, asks another character for their pronouns. And as easily as Ryan asks it, Evan answers that his pronouns are he/him or they/them; he just goes with the flow. I’m a cis woman whose pronouns are she/her so I can’t provide personal commentary as to the gravity of this moment, but I am so happy that this scene exists because someone somewhere was able to see themselves represented in Evan’s journey. And that my friends, that is everything.
Angelique answers the question on most of our minds by telling Ryan she’s at the party selling drugs to partygoers. She’s been clean for four months, but a girl’s got to make money so she does this on the side. When Ryan checks in with Luke and Sophie, Soph gives her shit for being late until Ryan informs her that her ex (her “she” pronoun ex, for the record) held her up. Our girl Soph is INTRIGUED!
Anyway, the Napier painting is front and center so Ryan puts on glasses (Yell count: 7) to scan it, and then checks the residue with a super fancy fingerprint scanner disguised as a compact. As she finishes, Evan comes over and the two have an incredibly loaded conversation where he calls out Ryan for her need to have others’ approval. *ouch* I felt that one. While they were talking, Luke analyzed the data Ryan sent over and homegirl is going to have to steal the painting because the map to Coryana is completely obscured by the blood.
Back at the motel, Ocean insinuates that Alice is a terrible assassin, much to her chagrin. I’m so used to Alice always having the upper hand, so it was kind of nice to see her caught off guard a bit this week. There’s a very good chance that she’s been in control this entire time and will kill Ocean the next chance she gets, but I don’t know. Rachel is very deliberate with her facial expressions, and I think there’s part of Alice that believes her connection to Ocean is important and meaningful and she wants to figure out what it is. The two realize they were both on Coryana five years ago and as Ocean touches Alice, memories come flooding back to him.
Back at the party, as Ryan’s changing into the Batsuit, she’s momentarily slowed by THE PAIN IN HER SHOULDER FROM THE KRYPTONITE WOUND. Girl, I swear. If you don’t talk to Mary… Anyway, while she’s changing, Wolf Spider flips and cartwheels into the party and steals the painting before Batwoman has a chance. The two fight (shout out to this fight choreo) before Wolf Spider sprints away. Batwoman is slowed down once again and asks Sophie to send her guys after Wolf Spider. The Crows chase him in their “tank of toxic masculinity”, run him over, recover the painting, and refuse to call for medical. When Batwoman arrives on the scene, she unmasks Wolf Spider and reveals him to be Evan.
I guess Ryan hasn’t forgotten that her new roomie is a doctor, because she brings Evan to Mary at the clinic. When Luke asks what happened, Ryan deflects from talking about her and instead unleashes on them about their team decision-making. She’s the one out there getting shot at (sometimes by Kryptonite. No, I’m not letting it go.), she’s the one wearing the suit, and in order for their team to function, she’s going to need Luke and Mary to listen to her when she has a bad feeling about something. She pushed her feelings aside because she was so focused on being compared to Kate’s Batwoman. But no matter how much they miss Kate, Ryan isn’t her.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how the show has dealt with Ruby Rose’s departure and I really love the way they’ve managed to keep Kate’s spirit alive while integrating Ryan into the team. You can’t help what an actor decides; that’s just how making television works. But rather than killing Kate and acting like she never existed, the writers found a way to stay true to Kate Kane while opening the door for the hero we need right now.
Alice and Ocean are still trying to outquip each other until Alice confesses how she ended up with Safiyah. They realize that Safiyah must have erased very specific memories from both of them but they don’t know why. Before they can get any deeper into it, they’re attacked by assassins (the Many Arms of Death) that the two easily take out. Before they run out, Ocean tells Alice “you’re dark” in a way that’s both impressed and maybe a little bit terrified? This entire time, I found myself rooting for Ocean to be someone Alice can trust, and then realized that Alice is supposed to be the villain. That’s how powerful Rachel is. It’s how powerful and complex Alice is; I want to root for her, I can’t help it.
Up on the roof, Sophie throws the badges of the two officers who injured Evan at Batwoman’s feet. It’s supposed to be some kind of peace offering or show of solidarity, but Ryan sees right through it. It’s not enough for two officers to lose their jobs when an entire organization is corrupt. You need to burn the whole thing down, but Sophie still believes in their mission. I spent a large part of Sunday catching up on blackish, and in one episode Dre spends time teaching one of Bow’s white cousins about systemic racism.
The cousin was on board with everything in theory, but didn’t want to take his own kids out of their elite school and send them to public school because in his eyes, it was a risk he wasn’t willing to take. I was reminded of that when listening to Sophie because as much as I want to believe she can enact change from the inside, as long as she’s unwilling to remove herself from the Crows talons, she’s complicit in every single thing they do. And that’s a hard pill to swallow; it’s hard for me to watch two Black women have this conversation. But it’s important, and I’m so glad that it’s happening even though it means I’m kind of mad at Soph right now.
Meanwhile, Mary and Evan have a competitively friendly catch-up, during which Mary informs him that all of this was for naught because the painting he tried to steal was actually a forgery. And where is the real painting, you might ask? Well it’s in the hands of Ocean and Alice who are speeding away from the motel with bruised arms and fractured memories.
I don’t know if you remember, but Ryan’s wound is getting worse. Our girl is at home in all kinds of pain as we see the wound get greener and glowier and throbbier AND RYAN I BEG OF YOU PLEASE TALK TO MARY NEXT WEEK. (Final yell count: 8)
Whew, what an episode! How are we feeling about Angelique? Do we trust her? I know I’m not the only one with crackpot theories about that Kryptonite wound; what do you think is going on? Sound off in the comments and I’ll see you next week on the same Batchannel!
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