Welcome to your Batwoman recap of episode 217, which I have named “Bat Bikes and U-Hauls!” Previously on Batwoman, Luke won an underground poker game, CirceKate started to get back Kate Kane’s memories, Ryan gave up the last Desert Rose flower to help Safiyah in exchange for Alice, and Ocean died… again.
In case anyone forgot how stunning Wallis Day is, this week’s episode opens on several images of her face in what appears to be the Janus Cosmetics section of a store. Batwoman throws a man through one of the Wallis Day-shaped photos and demands to know where CirceKate and/or Black Mask are hiding out. Batwoman resorts to Perfume Torture Tactics by spraying products named “Rekindle” and “Remember” right into his eyeballs, but Mr. “I’m Just a Security Guard” claims not to know anything.
Down in the Batcave, the team is frantically trying to figure out where Kate could be. She’s been missing for 10 hours, and in Gotham, you could die and be brought back to life thrice in that amount of time probably. Before they presumably call National City to see if Kate went to get some Kryptonite intel (LOL remember that storyline?!), Mary gets a call about a belligerent drunk wreaking havoc on The Hold Up as if they own the place and wouldn’t ya know it, that drunk is Kate and she actually does own the place.
Ryan and Mary put Kate to bed with water and a trash can like any good friends would, and before she dozes off, Kate says Mary’s name, but doesn’t remember why she knows it. And y’all, between the look on Mary’s face and the song playing with the lyrics “I know you’re still in there somewhere,” my heart broke into a million pieces. Luke and Sophie are waiting to debrief once Kate is sound asleep, and Ryan is the only one who admits that something isn’t right with Kate; that she’s not yet the person they all knew. The rest of the team just so badly wants to get their Kate back, that they make excuses for why she’s acting out. Even Mary relents that maybe her dad was right when he said that Kate needs her sister. But she clarifies, Kate’s other sister. It’s been 3 minutes and already Nicole Kang is the MVP of this episode, sheesh!
So, Mary goes to see Alice, the other sister, and finds her sobbing over Ocean’s dead body. Alice can barely see through her grief and pleads with Mary to fix Ocean; to bring him back. But of course she knows he’s too far gone. We got to see a bit of Nicole Kang/Rachel Skarsten magic a couple episodes ago, and again, the two of them bring out the big emotional guns in this scene. Mary knows the exact combination of pain plus numbness mixed with a bit of dissociation that Alice is feeling right now, and it’s thanks to this sister that she does. She actually thanks Alice for saving Kate even though it means she’s feeling this pain. But Alice isn’t ready to embrace the painshe’s feeling thanks to Kate’s return. She opened herself up to love and was immediately burned. And I’m sure there will be no negative repercussions from that. Nope. No way.
In the Batcave, Luke tells Ryan that he’s going to try to jog Kate’s memory with the journals that she wrote. After the Time Luke has had recently, it’s nice to see him so giddy and eager again, but Ryan tries her best to keep him grounded in the reality that she isn’t quite the same yet. As Luke leaves, Ryan thinks she starts to see the writing on the wall (and on the Batsuit) regarding her time as Batwoman.
At the loft, Luke brings the journals to Kate and HAVE Y’ALL SEEN WALLIS DAY’S FACE?! I’m sorry, I promised myself I wouldn’t yell about that this entire time, but COME ON. He’s thrilled that his friend has maintained her snarkiness and hopes that reading the journals will help her remember her voice and experiences. After Kate changes in front of him (?!), Luke reveals his 2nd gift: the keys to her motorcycle.
The motorcycle that Kate rides… directly to see and embrace Roman Sionis?! That’s right, friends, from here on I’m going to refer to her as “Circe” because homegirl has been pretending to be Kate as a way to get intel on all things Bat Team. Not only that, but she’s going to help Safiyah bring new life back to Coryana. I think I gave this full disclosure at the beginning of the season, but I admittedly am not an expert on Kate Kane from the comics. So I have no idea if this kind of heel turn has ever happened before, but I kind of can’t wait to see how this plays out, especially if it means we get to keep Ryan as Batwoman and Wallis Day as Kate.
Back at the loft, Ryan is packing up her things (#sadface) when SOPHIE AND HER BLAZER AND BOOB WINDOW JUST SHOW UP LOOKING LIKE THAT. Look, I really hope Meagan Tandy knows that all of this yelling is just in complete non-creepy admiration because, whew chile! Ahem. Anyway.
Ryan clocks Sophie’s outfit too, and calls her out on exactly the memories Sophie is hoping to bring back for who they believe to be Kate. Sophie offers Ryan a place to stay with her (!!!), but Ryan declines and one thousand fangirls sob. Sophie tells Ryan that Kate being back doesn’t mean she has to give up everything and that she has made the suit and the mantle of Batwoman her own. Ryan still doesn’t feel like she’s earned Kate’s approval though, and it kills me to see her beating herself up like this. Despite the fact that she’s done so much good for Gotham, Ryan can only focus on the one thing she hasn’t been able to get a handle on. I come here on Beyoncé’s Internet and spend a lot of time yelling about the WildMoore ship, but honestly, I just love the fact that these two Black women have gotten to a point where they can support and lift each other up. I love that Sophie tries to get Ryan to see just how special she is and how much she deserves the good she’s gotten.
Apparently, Black Mask has been recruiting ex-Crows (including Tavaroff) for his latest operation and gives them what I’m sure he believes is a motivational speech.
Meanwhile, some dude is working late at night in a cubicle when Batwoman announces over the speaker system that she needs information on the ex-Crows Black Mask has on his payroll. He refuses but she somehow steals the laptop anyway. Ryan gets to the Batcave with the laptop and a hilarious Quickbooks reference when she sees Circe, Luke, and Mary laughing it up together upstairs and overhears Circe saying that she can’t wait to get back into the suit.
Sad!Ryan is back where we first met her: in her van overlooking the river. But this time, both she and her plant mama are a bit worse for the wear. Everything good that Ryan has gotten has been taken away from her; her mama, her plant mama, and now the bat. She also knows that her mama wouldn’t want her to waste the time she has left as Batwoman, so she decides to see what information she can pull from the laptop. She doesn’t get very far before GCPD barges into her van complete with empty snakebite injectors they planted on her. They arrest her and take her into custody.
A grieving Alice brings Ocean’s ashes to the beach in an attempt to test our ability to not make “Ocean to ocean” jokes. Safiyah clearly didn’t get that memo because she’s shown up to pay her respects, and to make that very joke. In return, she gets the scariest look I think I’ve ever seen Alice give to another person, and that’s saying something.
In the garage of the GCPD, Sionis hops into the car where Ryan’s being held and reveals that he knows she’s Batwoman. Takes one to know one I guess, because she tells him she knows he’s Black Mask and hilariously asks if he’s recruiting Mary Kay to join his Legion of Doom. Ryan tries to appeal to Roman’s humanity by bringing up what happened to the real Circe, but all that earns her is a brand new threat on her life.
Down in the Batcave, Luke and Mary realize Ryan’s been arrested and set up so they need to assemble the whole team. But…
Circe and Sophie are having a dramatic reading of the letter Kate wrote to Sophie before her disappearance. Sophie regrets not being able to share how she really felt about Kate and decides now is the best time to do that. I know it’s good for the story, but I hate how good Circe is at manipulating our friends!
Anyway, Sophie brings Circe down to the Batcave to strategize with the rest of the team on how to get Ryan back. They know it’ll just take one crooked cop (or one gorgeous model pretending to be their former friend disguised as a gorgeous model) to make Ryan’s death look like an accident. As Mary hands over the suit, Circe claims she’ll do what it takes to save Ryan AND THEN MAKES THE MOST INCREDIBLE U-HAUL JOKE before grabbing one of the guns and shooting the whole team with darts. Honestly, goddess bless this show for being so unapologetically queer. We deserve this.
Meanwhile, Ryan is in holding with her parole officer who is getting way too emotional over Ryan getting picked up. I mean, yes, it’s awful and if it was a legitimate charge, it would mean disaster for Ryan. But this woman is damn near tears and like, maybe she’s a little in love with Ryan? I mean, who among us? Anyway, Ryan reveals that she’s being set up because she’s Batwoman, so her parole officer takes her side as Ryan takes down the GCPD officers and manages to escape.
I gotta say, I kind of love that every big conversation Alice and Safiyah have takes place on the beach. It almost makes you forget how intense and emotionally charged they are. Safiyah is very confident that Alice won’t kill her and claims that Ocean’s death makes them even. And then Safiyah attempts to do that thing she’s historically succeeded at; convincing Alice that the only way she’ll be safe is back on Coryana with Safiyah. Despite the fact that Alice turned Coryana into an all-inclusive ashtray (LOL), Safiyah has a plan to use one of Poison Ivy’s vines (!!!!!!!) to quickly grow the Desert Rose and bring Coryana back to its glory. And how was she able to do that? Why, with the help of Circe Sionis of course. And the look in Alice’s eyes when she realizes that she never really had her sister back? When she realizes Safiyah has been gaslighting her for years and is the reason she’s lost everything? Well, that look goes from one of devastation to one of absolute power and revenge. Alice isn’t going to let Safiyah manipulate her any longer, and plunges the Desert Rose dagger into Safiyah’s body and plans to leave it there for her to suffer until Alice gets back what was hers.
While that’s been happening, Sophie, Luke, and Mary shake off the effects of the darts and realize Circe locked them in the elevator. And of course, dear sweet perfect Mary is still hopeful that Kate is somewhere buried deep within Circe (I just… I don’t know how else to write this…) since she didn’t actually kill them.
Circe heads down to a part of the Batcave we’ve never seen before and unlocks a biohazard container with weapons and what looks to be vines from Poison Ivy. Meanwhile, Ryan shows up at the Batcave looking for her team and sees them trapped in the elevator. She goes to look for weapons, but they’re all gone. Well, except for the crossbow bolt that Circe shoots and barely misses at Ryan.
While Ryan looks for something to fight with, Circe uses the rest of the Bat Team as crossbow target practice. And even while being shot at, Mary Hamilton is trying to talk Circe out of it and I’m fairly certain we don’t deserve her, y’all. Before long, Ryan shoots Circe with a fire extinguisher and the two fight AND I AM SORRY BUT IT’S SO HOT.
As the Batwomen fight each other, Mary’s trying to reach for the discarded crossbow and Luke and Sophie use the bolts to lift the elevator gate. Sophie manages to wield the crossbow and as Circe won’t let her forget, she isn’t able to shoot because she still has so much love for Kate. Circe leaves with the suit, the weapons, and the upperhand.
Once the team recovers, they head to the room where Bruce kept items he confiscated from Gotham villains. Luke apologizes for not listening to Ryan when she warned them about Circe, and somehow Ryan doesn’t even come close to uttering an “I told you so.” They assess the damage and while Mary tries to maintain her optimism, Ryan is terrified by their new reality.
Meanwhile, Sionis is practically drooling over his bounty: Joker’s acid flower, Killer Croc’s tooth, Clayface’s mud, Poison Ivy’s vines. Apparently he’s going to attempt to do what Batman never could. I don’t know what going down on Catwoman has to do with this, but go off I guess. (I’m sorry. There’s no way I wasn’t going to make the joke.)
We end on Circe doing some arts and crafts with the Batsuit a la John Walker inThe Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and if this means we get more Batwoman on Batwoman action, then I’m here for it.
Next week… Batwing!! Let me know what you thought of this week’s episode in the comments section and I’ll see you back here for the finale!