Welcome back, fam! I hope you’re all rested and have had time to process what went down in the last episode. As with the last Batwoman recap, there will be some discussions of systemic violence against Black people, so please, take care of yourselves.
Previously on Batwoman, ACAB. Also there were some cannibals, Ocean killed Dr. Rhyme in an attempt to prove his love for Alice by controlling how she handles Kate being alive (??), Sophie officially joined the Bat Team, and the Crows shot Luke because racism. Also ACAB.
I don’t know about y’all, but I haven’t been able to get the previous episode’s final scene out of my head, so it was extra jarring to see it played out again at the beginning of this week’s episode. This time though, we also see the immediate aftermath of the shooting; paramedics come and rush Luke to the hospital and right into surgery. Meanwhile at Crows HQ, a group of white men, including Commander Kane, discuss the circumstances of the shooting. Tavaroff sits there looking as smug as all heck while he explains that he and his partner saw a suspicious man next to a car whose alarm was blaring. He claims that the man pulled a gun, so they shot him before he could fire on them. And the confidence with which that lie, that indictment on Luke, rolled off Tavaroff’s tongue sent chills down my spine. It’s the confidence in a system built to protect the man who shoots an unarmed Black person with almost no questions asked; confidence that doesn’t waver at the mention of a body cam review; confidence that is repeatedly earned.
As Luke is being wheeled into surgery, his subconscious walks into a very well-lit version of Wayne Enterprises. He sees the silhouette of a man standing out on the balcony and realizes he’s finally in the same room with father for the first time since the elder Fox’s murder.
At the real Wayne Enterprises, Mary and Ryan walk — no no, they WALK (there’s so much power walking in this episode y’all, whew! — down to the Batcave while talking through what happened and questioning why Luke didn’t call in the threat. Mary instructs Batwoman to deal with Eli, the guy from their holding cell, while she focuses on saving Luke’s life with the Desert Rose. Look, it’s no secret that Mary is the backbone of the Bat Team, but the way she commands every single interaction in this episode shows exactly why.
Meanwhile, Alice is still at Dr. Rhyme’s office because remember how her kind of boyfriend, Ocean, snapped the doc’s neck just as she was about to give Alice the password to unlock Kate’s memories? Yeah, me and Alice too. Alice is going through Rhyme’s files and notices that for some curious reason, the doc marked all of the Kane family files for Sionis aka Black Mask. Ocean comes back to get rid of Rhyme’s body and Alice reveals that she’s Riddler’s daughter. Real quick — that wasn’t explicitly stated before this, right? The question mark on her cane felt like a heavy clue, but I don’t think anyone ever said it. I know it’s a small thing, but I love the nods and allusions to Batman/DC lore sprinkled throughout the series. Anyway, Alice is still rightfully pissed that Ocean kept her from unlocking Kate’s memories and somehow Ocean doubles down on not actually caring about what Alice wants?! I can’t believe I was rooting for this man at some point. Thankfully, Alice doesn’t wait around for him and heads to take care of things on her own.
Even though all the commercials were hyping up the release of In the Heights, Ryan seems to be more excited about the upcoming Fast 9 movie, because she’s speeding through Gotham, chasing after Eli who’s in a stolen car. Once she catches him (with a DOPE Batmobile grapple), she accuses him of shooting Luke, but he explains it was the Crows who did it. And Ryan does that thing where she questions how Luke is in a hospital bed and Eli is free to roam and thieve all he wants. Because it doesn’t and shouldn’t make sense for an innocent man to be fighting for his life while a guilty one faces no consequences. Every single cast member brought their acting A-game last night and I’ll try not to shout about every time they slay a scene, but Javicia Leslie’s almost innocent questioning conveyed just how unjust the situation is. And then Eli blames Luke. You heard that right — he blames Luke for being stupid enough to grab his phone. For voicing his intent to show video evidence of his innocence and then moving to do so. I don’t think I need to explain how and why this hits so hard, but y’all, Black people just want to live. For once, we’d like the presumption to be “cell phone” instead of “gun.”
Back at Purgatory Enterprises, Luke is trying to get his dad’s attention when Bruce Wayne shows up and tells Luke that he’s been shot and that he has a choice to make about what happens next.
Has Gotham’s Only Reporter Dana gotten a raise yet? I swear, that woman works harder than any White House Press Sec ever has (except Jen Psaki. She’s an angel.) Anyway, Mary’s watching Dana’s coverage of an anti-Crows protest while she distills the Desert Rose down to a form that can be injected into Luke. Ryan hilariously can’t figure out the Bat computer at first, but then uses it to look up Tavaroff and his laundry list of offenses. Mary decides to call Sophie while Bulletproof Ryan heads to take on the trigger happy douchecanoe.
I know I said I wouldn’t keep yelling about this cast’s performances this week but well, I lied. Because Rachel Fucking Skarsten. The way Alice saunters into Wayne tower, purposely triggers the intruder alarm, and waves into the security camera while Mary makes her way upstairs with a taser??? *chef’s kiss* Alice is there to ask about Circe, but Mary has never heard of the supermodel-esque assassin. The two banter for a bit and Alice even gives Mary, the step-Kane, a new nickname: “Steppy.” Mary admits that even though she hates Alice, she also knows that she’s in love and that’s something everyone deserves.
Meanwhile, Tavaroff is skulking around an alley when Batwoman swoops in and attacks. Y’all, I will truly never tire of foes getting so frustrated by this Black woman being bulletproof; it’s wonderful. I know Black Lightning is over, but if we can get Diggle next week, then I don’t see why Anissa can’t hop over to The Hold Up to laugh with Ryan over people’s faces when they realize they can’t shoot them. Tavaroff doesn’t understand why Batwoman even cares about what happened to Luke. Aside from not knowing the connection between the two, what Tavaroff fails to grasp is that this fight belongs to Batwoman the same way George Floyd’s fight belongs to me. As Black people, we often don’t have the luxury of choosing our battles (aside from much-deserved mental health breaks, of course) because non-Black people sure as hell don’t choose which of us to attack. We’re not a monolith, but we do and will fight as one. That’s what Ryan conveys when she tells him that this fight is in her DNA. She doesn’t get to say much else because before long, Tavaroff’s goons show up and run her under with an SUV.