Welcome back, fam! It’s been a few weeks, but we are back with a recap of Batwoman’s jam-packed PENULTIMATE (?!) episode of season 3, “We’re All Mad Here.wp_postsI really did think I’d felt every emotion possible while watching this show, but Daphne and Maya really said “LOL, sure Nic.wp_postsLet’s get into it, shall we?
We open at the Wayne Enterprises Elevator O’ Fun with Alice attacking several security guards with a cricket bat. Because, WHY NOT? She’s there to steal the joy buzzer, and steal it she does. Before she can buzz herself though, one of Marquis’ guards recognizes her as Alice, but she corrects him and says that she was Alice; a distinction that becomes more and more important throughout the episode.
Alice touches the buzzer to her forehead and we flash to her waking up at Mary’s clinic, her step-sister by her side ready to take care of her after the Bat Team brought her in. And for the first time in over a decade, Alice feels like herself again; she feels like Beth.
The next thing we see is a brown-haired Beth in court as her attorney details the torture and trauma that led Beth to create Alice as her alter ego. Rachel Skarsten absolutely BODIED this episode, y’all. Everything about her demeanor shifts as she morphs from Alice back into Beth. She’s uncertain and cautious as she remembers what it’s like to be in a mind and body she hasn’t known since she was 13. She even walks differently; not a jaunty skip in sight!
The entire Bat Team is there in the courtroom looking on in disbelief as the attorney paints Beth as a victim whose empathy and feelings returned as a result of the buzz. Well, not Mary. Mary locks eyes with Beth and reassures her with a simple nod and a smile that everything is going to be okay. All charges against Alice are dropped and she’s a free woman. She rushes to apologize to Ryan outside the courtroom, but Ry’s still pissed about not using the buzzer on Marquis.
Beth heads to the cemetery and stops in front of her own grave, literally and metaphorically finally finding herself. She’s not alone though, because who shows up but her dead boyfriend, Ocean. At first Beth is lit to see him, until he reminds her that it’s her fault she’s dead. And that’s when she realizes that none of this is real.
Alice is back in the subway car, clutching the go bag Mary gave her, surrounded by clothing and reminders of everything that makes Alice, Alice. And our girl is crushed. She’s all alone, she doesn’t have the buzzer, and she feels trapped in a prison of her own creation. The way Rachel screamed at her own reflection to leave her alone?! Haunting.
Oh hey, remember Batwoman? The titular role? Ry Ry makes sure we don’t forget as she swoops into a garage to confront Marquis’ right-hand man about her brother’s schedule and his secrets. Ya know, there was a time when Ryan could barely work the Batsuit, and now she’s flying around Gotham sticking landings like some kind of Simone Biles. I feel like a proud mama.
Meanwhile, in the loft, Sophie wakes up in bed, realizes Ryan is gone, but clearly gets distracted by the mere memory of the previous night and immediately starts smiling. It took her several solid beats to even remember she needs coffee, so you just KNOW Wilder turned it out last night once she figured out that belt situation. And can we talk about the fact that wasn’t even pressed about Ryan being gone? She trusted that her girl was coming back.
Soph hears a key turn in the lock and assumes it’s her boo, so she snarks that she better have coffee for her (because remember that time she slept with Renee and homegirl left Sophie in bed with no breakfast despite living above a damn coffee shop?!) if she’s going to wake up alone. But reader, it’s not Ryan at the door. It’s Jada Jet. Jada Jet is in the apartment and Sophie can barely cover herself fast enough with Ryan’s too short robe (this height difference is hilarious and I will never be over it). But at least Jada has coffee?
At Mary’s clinic, Alice is frantically looking for anti-psychotic meds and Mary’s confused about why Alice is even still here since she’s an actual fugitive. Alice cuts Mary off and yells that she’s losing her mind and the hallucinations are back. She pleads with Mary for the joy buzzer, but Mary reminds Alice that they need it for Ryan’s brother. So Alice plays the sister card. It backfires though, because Mary says that Alice isn’t her sister. She claims a sister wouldn’t have let her get so out of control that she murdered someone. And Alice looks like Mary punched her in the gut. Mary is the one person Alice has been able to open up to, probably since Ocean. And I honestly don’t even know if she let Ocean see her be as vulnerable as Mary has.
Here’s the thing. I wasn’t sure if this scene was real or a hallucination. We know that Alice is terrified of losing Mary. She said so herself while they set up a makeshift blood clinic at a random bar. Her hallucinations have typically depicted situations and people that Alice fears for one reason or another. So to have Mary, someone who finally sees and accepts all of Alice, turn on her and blame her just like every other person in her life has?? It’s heart-wrenching. Alice spends so much of this episode questioning her reality and in this brief moment, the writers had me questioning my own as well.
And Mary! Dear sweet Mary is the most scared we’ve ever seen her. She killed a guy and her friends keep telling her that it wasn’t her fault, so of course she’s going to blame the easiest target. Alice immediately reminds her that it was Poison Mary (emphasis on the MARY) who did the tree murder, not Alice.
It’s funny, my friend Nora tweeted about what would happen if Alice and Wanda Maximoff ever met, and she quoted Wanda’s “You break the rules and become the hero. I do it and I become the enemy. That doesn’t seem fair.wp_postsOnce I put the pieces of my brain back together after imaging that scenario, I thought about it some more, and I actually think that quote can apply to Alice and Mary too. Or at least, I think Alice would apply it to her and Mary. From where she stands, both she and Mary did terrible things while not completely in control of themselves or their minds. Yes, Alice’s entire persona is a result of years long trauma vs. a weeks long plant infection, and I don’t think the situations are exactly the same. But I DO think the similarities are enough that Alice sees Mary’s insertion back into normal Bat Team life as categorically unfair. Plus look, I’m not saying it’ll fix everything, but I’m really going to need them to get a good therapy practice set up in Gotham.
Back at the loft, Sophie gets dressed and confronts Jada about why she suddenly cares about Ryan. She blames Jada for her part in Marquis’ shenanigans because she treated him with kid gloves instead of like a criminal. Before they get much further, Ryan comes in and breaks the tension.
Sophie’s annoyed that Ryan didn’t warn her about Jada’s visit because LOL if she thought that tiny ass robe was going to keep Jada from seeing her half-naked. Ryan apologizes and explains that she and Jada made plans to strategize on what to do about Marquis. They look at his calendar which is booked solid every single day except today. Nothing seems to jump out as unique about today, but they notice Marquis emailed someone to get Barbara Kean’s home address.
Yup, that Barbara Kean. AKA Barbara Gordon. AKA ex-wife of police commissioner Jim Gordon. Jada gets really squirrely as soon as Barbara’s name is mentioned. She packs up and exits after offering any resources the two need to figure this out. Ryan clocks Jada’s weirdness immediately, but as usual, Sophie is one step ahead of all of us and tells Ryan to stay put while she goes to handle something.
Turns out, Jada is the thing being handled. She’s on the phone warning someone that they’re not safe when Sophie appears in the alley seemingly out of thin air. Jada can’t believe Sophie made it down there so fast, but you see, when there’s one lesbian bar in town, the chances of running into exes is very high (I mean hell, the chances are high in NYC and there’s 8 million people here), so one must always have an exit strategy. Sophie knows The Hold Up like the back of her hand.