Previously in last week’s Batwoman recap, so much power walking, Luke decided he’d rather be in the afterlife with his dad instead of living in a world where he can get shot for no reason but Mary and Ryan saved his life anyway, and Bad Dad (finally) disbanded The Crows.
We open with a man running away from someone or something, only to be attacked by what appears to be a rogue sword. Batwoman immediately shows up to fight the sword-wielder and tries to radio the Batcave for backup, but no one answers.
Cut to Wayne Tower where there are ZERO safety precautions in place because Luke is yet again at his favorite Thinking Spot, the literal ledge of a building. Ryan joins him and attempts some light-hearted banter, but Luke isn’t ready to joke yet and tells her that he needs time by himself to think and process. As a queer woman, Ryan completely understands this, and just makes sure Luke knows that when he’s ready, she has his back.
Breaking News from Gotham Courthouse: Dana Dewitt reports that, shocking no one, Tavaroff is out on bond and still has a very punchable face. She also attributes his arrest to “hero” and former Crows boss Jacob Kane which like, let’s not pretend Jacob wasn’t ready to give Tavaroff a medal like 48 hours earlier. Sionis is watching this news brief WITH SAFIYAH, who’s in town to settle some business, hopefully with the help of Circe. Roman doesn’t want his daughter involved now that she has a shiny new face and backstory to go along with it. With a stay at a fancy Malibu retreat and of course, a regimen of his company’s Rebirth (LOL) burn cream, you too could wake up with Wallis Day’s face. Safiyah isn’t fooled by marketing though, and wants to know who’s manufacturing faces in this town since Pretty Little Liars has been off the air for years. When Sionis reveals that it was Alice, Safiyah calls him an idiot for unknowingly reuniting the Kane sisters.
Meanwhile, CirceKate is in the middle of a Pop Punk Peloton ride (probably) when Jacob and Alice kidnap her faster than you can say “whoaaaaaa I never meant to braaaag, but I got him where I want him now.” The show is trying very hard to remind us that Jacob is on our side now, so they put him in a crew neck and leather jacket and said “Redemption Arc, bitches!”
Batwoman’s in some kind of government safe house while Mary walks her through the scene from the Batcave since Luke is still Processing. The two are trying to get a jump on the cleverly nicknamed Sword Lady currently slicing her way through Gotham. This most recent victim is a blind man with a sword still sticking out of his body. Sword Lady hasn’t left the scene though and reveals herself to be none other than a Not Dead Tatyana.
At Crows HQ, Jacob and Alice run CirceKate’s DNA and it’s a perfect match for Kate Kane. I guess shutting down the Crows doesn’t mean you no longer have access to city-wide fingerprint databases? If I leave my job for another one in remotely the same industry, they will shut my shit down SO FAST, but I guess Gotham plays it fast and loose with their security.
Anywho, since they don’t know Kate’s “wake word” because Ocean unalived Enigma, Alice has to resort to using personal items to jog Kate’s memory. Ocean shows up with said items and very awkwardly meets his girlfriend’s (?!?!?!) bad dad. Ocean’s face turn happened so fast that I was convinced I missed something between last episode and this one. I have to imagine that Alice demanding to have it all was enough for him to realize he was being a dick, but by the end of this episode, it’s clear why they needed us to be Team Ocean again. Alice explains to Jacob that Enigma fucked with her head and Jacob realizes Enigma tried to take Alice’s ability to love.
Back in the Batcave, Mary and Ryan debrief about the safehouse victim and, thanks to Luke’s thingy that unseals sealed records, learn that he was blind because Circe Sionis gouged his eyes out with a spoon. They get some more background on Circe and then use Luke’s own tech to track his location. Mary and Ryan’s Friendship™ has always been very important to me, but watching them piece this together while their friend works through some very real trauma, brought me so much joy.
Meanwhile, a street clothes-laden Luke Fox is making his way to a secret law enforcement-only poker club where nothing shady ever happens and everything is definitely on the up and up. Of course, Tavaroff is there and smugging his dumb face all over the joint. He and Luke have words, Luke steals Tavaroff’s shot, and before they can start their poker game, none other than John Diggle (!!!!) sidles up to Luke at the bar. Wow, I missed him.
Operation: Will the Real Kate Kane Please Stand Up continues with Jacob trying to jog her memory with a concert ticket and of being grounded for the summer. Kate can’t believe she received such a harsh punishment when it “wasn’t even coke”, but what can one expect when their father stopped looking for both of his daughters and they have a literal evil twin. Ouch.
Alice decides to try her hand at bringing Kate’s memory back with a mug and a heart-wrenching story about Kate’s crush on a sk8er girl. Kate was so excited because the girl liked her back, but she was afraid to come out; even to her twin, the most important person in the world to her. Beth wanted Kate to know that she knew and she loved her, all of her, so she made her a mug with “Mind Reader” painted on it in rainbow colors. The story jolts something in Kate’s memory and all of a sudden Tiny Kate in a Tie is in that basement where Beth was kept all those years ago. Kate, who now has a shocking amount of emotional range, is gutted that Beth found her, but she couldn’t return the favor. Alice softly replies that “there’s still time” and my heart somehow swelled and broke at the same time. The Kane sisters have had a Time, y’all. And every time they start to drift or one of them dies or gets kidnapped, they remember how much love they have for one another and they find their way back.
Outside the poker club, Ryan confronts Luke and asks him to come home. He reveals to her that he can’t thank her for healing him because he didn’t want to wake up. Ryan slowly realizes the implications of what her friend is saying to her, and she’s speechless. Luke asks why he would want to live in a world where it’s not a matter of if he’ll get shot, but when. I talked about this a bit in last week’s recap, but I want to reiterate that even though I hate that Luke got shot, I do think it’s incredibly important that they’re also showing the very real mental toll that being Black in America can have on a person. Luke’s experience might be heightened what with it being TV and all, but it’s honestly not that far from the emotions so many people feel. Luke goes back to his game and leaves Ryan with a lot to ponder.
Mary’s on the phone with her dad who tells her that Kate’s alive, and Mary is understandably freaked out considering the number of times someone has claimed her sister is still alive. (PS — say “parietal bone” again, Mary.) We get a mini exposition dump about Kate thinking she’s Circe Sionis, and Mary warns Jake that she could be connected to Safiyah. On cue, some goons attack Jake and then Alice tells Kate to run before getting attacked by Tatyana.
Mary is still freaking out, but this time it’s to tell Ryan everything she just learned about CirceKate and to wonder AGAIN why Julia would lie about the damn parietal bone because one can’t just live without a SKULL, Ryan! My guess is that Jules was hypnotized by Enigma, but we’ll let Mary keep freaking out because it’s kind of adorable. They won’t have to wonder for much longer because CirceKate stops the Batmobile in its tracks, so Ryan offers her a ride, as you do.
Look, I don’t know much about poker, but these dudes seem to know what they’re doing and Luke confidently goes all in. Diggle, who still hasn’t introduced himself by the way, asks Luke what the deal with him and Tavaroff is. Finally, Haircut asks who the new guy is, and Diggle explains that he’s in town on a contract with A.R.G.U.S. Tavaroff thinks he’s got the game won, but Luke gives a dope speech about the House cheating and somehow still losing. Luke wins with a straight; something rarely seen on this show.
And then at Sionis’ office, a group of corrupt white men threaten other corrupt white men and Snakebite Jake is arrested.
Back in the alley outside the poker club, Tavaroff and his sad white boi ego fight Luke. Diggle breaks up the fight and gives Tavaroff a lesson on what “respect” actually means.