The “previously onwp_postsstarts with the Wildmoore kiss, so you already know we are IN. FOR. IT. We’re also reminded that Poison Mary killed a guy and Marquis is awake.
As Batwoman speeds through Gotham in the Batmobile, we hear Vesper Fairchild telling her listeners that Batwoman is responsible for the recent resurgence of Batman villains. Luke radios in to tell Ryan that the sewers are backed up and flooding the clinic. He also refers to The Hold Up as the “Batbarwp_postsand I remain delighted by every addition of “batwp_postsas a prefix to perfectly normal and existing words.
Ryan and Mary (yay!! Mary is helping the team again!) survey the scene at the clinic and instead of finding a desiccated Marquis in one of the beds, they are greeted by the creepiest doll I’ve ever seen. Marquis programmed the doll to threaten everyone Ryan cares about. Again, dolls are inherently creepy; you didn’t need to GIVE THIS ONE MOVING EYES AND A VOICE BOX.
As Ryan considers their next move, Mary explains why she blames herself for everything that’s happened. She killed a whole man, she gave up Ryan’s identity; homegirl is STRUGGLING. She looks like our old Mary on the outside, but this Mary is carrying new wounds and trauma from a situation she only sort of had control over. Rather than acknowledging the complexities of Mary’s struggle, Ryan doubles down on blaming the infection. And I really do get this impulse to hide behind Ivy as the reason for what happened, especially considering Mary is standing there looking so destroyed. I just wish the jump to “Forget about it! It wasn’t you!wp_postswasn’t so swift.
At the Batbar, Ryan, Luke, and Sophie examine the joy buzzer and unfortunately, its damage is too extensive for even Luke to fix. (Real quick – Sophie’s high pony though?!) Luke asks about his dad’s A.I. and poor Mary admits that she gave it to Marquis at the party. WILL SOMEONE HUG HER, PLEASE?! Never one to be left out of Batdecisions, Alice pops in and suggests they go to the person who made the buzzer in the first place: Kiki Roulette aka Joker’s toymaker. They find someone matching Kiki’s description (and glasses prescription) at a halfway house, so Mary volunteers to check it out. Ryan suggests that Alice goes with her since Marquis still thinks they’re Batenemies and most likely won’t hurt them.
As Ryan walks away, Sophie follows her upstairs to the loft. She is determined to get Ryan to talk about what’s going on between them, even asking if she should tell Marquis that Ryan pushed her away after their kiss so he thinks they’re on the outs too. Ryan counters that she didn’t push Sophie away, so Soph uses that as her opening to find out what exactly is happening in Ryan’s head. Ryan starts to open up, but immediately shuts down her feelings like she’s in the Book of Mormon, and focuses on their need to keep the city safe. I don’t think you get to be a queer couple on television unless you’re constantly being interrupted, and Luke obliges in this moment, sharing that Marquis is holding a press conference.
Outside Arkham Asylum, Marquis speaks to a bevy of reporters and threatens to reveal Batwoman’s identity. No shade, but who’s left that doesn’t know that Ryan is Batwoman? Like, in this moment…Jada? But by the end of the episode?? It’s low-key hilarious compared to, I don’t know, Supergirl, for example. Marquis doesn’t out Ryan though, instead he and his admittedly impressive Joke smile vow to restore sanity to Gotham by pouring millions into improving Arkham.
Back at the loft, the team debriefs about what Marquis might have planned for the city. Ryan doesn’t understand why he wouldn’t just give her up, but then she realizes that it’s because Jada must have something on him.
I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but Marquis is making some POINTS with the guard walking him through Arkham. Joker 2.0 wants to institute his version of a work release program, which will probably involve some evil deeds, but he does question whether locking up these criminals like animals is actually helping anything. I don’t agree with what’s about to happen, but Marquis is a prison abolitionist, is all I’m saying. He makes his way to Victor Zsasz’s cell (remember him?!) and recruits him for what I’m sure will be a totally chill assignment.
Meanwhile, Mary and Alice pull up to the halfway house and Mary is still in her head about her time as Poison Mary. She asks Alice if living with the wrongs you’ve caused ever gets easier, which leads Alice to infer that the Bat team’s been saying none of it was Mary’s fault when the truth is, it was. And then Alice gives Mary some advice from the Lena Luthor School of Tiny Boxes. Stuff all those feelings down, she says. Pretend they don’t exist. But Mary doesn’t want to shut the feelings off; she doesn’t want to be a sociopath. And the look on Alice’s face when Mary says that, seems to imply that maybe she doesn’t want that for herself either.
The two go up to the house and ask the woman who greets them about Kathleen. She claims that Kathleen left them a while ago and they were just glad to see her go. Alice doesn’t buy it though, and she holds her butterfly knife to the woman’s neck until she admits that she is in fact, Kathleen aka Kiki.
At the loft, Luke is preparing to break into Wayne Tower to find the A.I. and he tries to sideline Sophie. Soph tries to play off the kiss as “not importantwp_postsand not even she believes her own bullshit. The speed with which she switches from “doesn’t matterwp_poststo “let me list every way I’m qualified to help y’all and every way Ryan has blown me offwp_postsis HILARIOUS. Luke listens, relents, and gives Sophie the line launcher.
There are several ways this show proves its love for us, and right now, it’s in the wardrobe choice for Ryan as she struts into Jada’s office. The hair?! The blazer?! The pants?! *chef’s kiss* And honestly…Jada too. The mother/daughter power blazer combo is an inspired choice. Sorry, there’s actual plot happening here. Ryan is here to get whatever it is Jada has on Marquis and beg her to stop protecting him. Before they can have an actual discussion, Victor Zsasz shows up, shoots a guard, threatens Jada, and gives Ryan a cordial hello.
I forgot how fun Zsasz is to have in a scene. I mean, for another bald white male comic villain, anyway. Jada gives Zsasz the tape of Marquis which he promptly destroys. Nothing Jada offers will change Victor’s mind. Marquis hired him to kill Jada, and that’s what he’s going to do. In the midst of their negotiating, Jada reveals that Ryan is her daughter and Zsasz hilariously goes into “hot gosswp_postsmode. Aw, remember when he was all about Ryan and Angelique? He’s gonna be thrilled to find out about Wildmoore. Anyway, he gives them one chance to escape, that is, if Batwoman comes to save them within the hour.
Back at the halfway house, Mary tries to convince Kathleen that they want to use the buzzer to help Marquis, not hurt more people. Kiki tells them that yes, in theory, another jolt would work, and as she says this, you can see a plan formulating in Alice’s head. Kiki is being very contrite, but Alice claims she can see through it despite Kiki insisting that she just wants to make up for all the damage she caused.
Meanwhile, the clock is still ticking over at Jeturian and Jada isn’t convinced Batwoman will even show up because they have bad blood between them. Which is funny, because Batwoman literally IS her blood…get it? Anyway, Jada reveals that she didn’t actually abandon Ryan; the $2M was supposed to be for the family who adopted her. It was a different time, and she hoped this would give Ryan the life she deserved. She didn’t know the doctor took the money until Ryan found her. She tried to push Ryan away in an effort to protect her from Marquis. While Zsasz is touched by this impromptu therapy session, the time is up and he gives Ryan the chance to share last words with Jada. So she does. She calls her “Momwp_postsbefore telling her to duck, throwing a letter opener right at Victor. The two fight as Jada cowers in the corner, slowly realizing that her daughter and Batwoman are one and the same.
Kiki’s got her glasses back on and leads Mary and Alice down to her former workshop where dust collects on a plethora of Joker’s playthings. It’s a comic fan’s wet dream. Alice is taking her own trip down memory while Mary asks Kiki how she moves on from all the bad she’s done.