“Batwoman” Episode 218 Recap: Sweet Lady Kisses and the Power of a Name

Spoilers below for the Batwoman season 2 finale! 

Whew, I don’t know how we got here so quickly, but we’ve reached the season finale of Batwoman. Before I get into the episode, let me take a minute to thank Autostraddle for the opportunity to write about this show. Thank y’all for sticking with me during each and every rant and all caps shouting spree about how incredible this cast is. Thank you for trusting me to cover the important story of a Black woman stepping into her power despite the entire deck being stacked against her.

As soon as they announced that Javicia Leslie would step into the titular role, I knew the network and the writers had a real chance to give us something special. And they delivered above and beyond, each and every week. It has been a joy watching Ryan Wilder become the hero that Gotham needs; the hero her community needs. Javicia took an established mantle and injected Ryan’s unique perspective into it in a way that felt earned and authentic. The cast welcomed her with love and humor and open arms and we couldn’t help but do the same. I’ve absolutely loved watching and writing about this season so thank you for tagging along on this journey. Okay. Onto the episode!

Previously on this season of Batwoman, we met Ryan Wilder, a woman reluctant to claim the title of “hero” but determined to bring hope to her city; Kate Kane went missing and then we thought Safiyah had her but actually Kate’s face, personality, and acting chops were lost in a plane crash so they replaced the aforementioned with those of Circe Sionis who pretended to be Kate; Mary Hamilton welcomed Ryan to the team immediately while running her clinic and proving that she’s the actual best of us; Luke took a bit longer to warm to Ryan what with Kate being presumed dead and all, but eventually they found their groove, oh and also HE GOT SHOT (*cough* ACAB); Alice thought she lost her sister (again), then thought she found her, then uncovered a slew of memories about her boy toy, then realized it wasn’t her sister, then she killed her boy toy, then her boy toy came back to life, then Alice found her sister again, then boy toy refused to acknowledge her autonomy, then her manipulative sort of mentor (??) killed her boy toy for real, all while Alice attempted to process the trauma of being locked in literal and metaphorical cages her whole life; also ACAB; also so much casual queerness; also Sophie Moore.

The citizens of Gotham are all gathered around their televisions, expecting to catch the latest episode of America’s Funniest Pets, when they are instead treated to Black Mask instructing them all to strap on a mask (ew) and join him in overthrowing the corrupt institutions running Gotham. And look, I’m all for abolition, but not when the result will just be another white dude in charge, come on man! Meanwhile Circe is suiting up in her own black mask and butchered Batsuit and I’m trying really hard not to be attracted to her but she still has Wallis Day’s face so, oh well. Black Mask shuts off the power to the city and all of a sudden they are POWERLESS they are POWERLEEEESSSSSSS. (Come on. They gave me a literal blackout and I’m a queer lady who lives in NYC, of COURSE I’m making an In the Heights reference. It probably won’t be the last.)

Batwoman season 2 finale recap: Luke, Ryan, and Mary look concerned in the Batcave.

“I came here for cute hilarious animals, not a deranged white man!”

Mary, Luke, and Ryan sit at a table by candlelight, trying to make a plan

When it’s Friday at 4pm and you haven’t crossed one thing off the to-do list.

Down in the Batcave, Ryan’s writing her resignation letter to Gotham. Without the suit or the tech, she doesn’t think she can be the hero that Gotham deserves. Oh sweet summer child, if you only knew the power you hold.

At The Hold Up, Mary lays out the Bat Team’s to-do list because of course Mary wrote out a to-do list. The list is as follows: 1. Find Circe, 2. Get Kate back, 3. Apprehend Black Mask, 4. Stop a rising faction from overthrowing the government. Easy peasy! Ryan has less confidence than I do and points out that even if they’re somehow able to complete steps 1, 3, and 4 without the suit or Internet or satellites, how are they supposed to get Kate back when nothing else has worked?

Mary doesn’t have a good answer though, and heads out to the clinic since Purge night means lots and lots of injuries. Before she goes, Luke gives them WALKIE-TALKIES. Over. And this was such a small thing, but as she leaves, Mary calls out “Be safe, love you guys!” and I don’t know, the effortlessness of the comment hit me kind of hard because of how far this team has come. Mary’s always been Team Ryan, it’s true, but you can tell this is just how they talk to each other now? It was small and sweet and found family gives me lots of Feelings, okay? Anyway!! As Luke rewatches the Black Mask footage more times than I watched the kiss from later in the episode (hmm? what?), Ryan spots an old TV station logo in the reflection. A clue!

Ryan talks on her walkie-talkie while Sophie rummages through her backpack

“Hey babe, did you pack the toys?”

Back in the bar, Ryan asks Alice to help her save Kate. Because Alice has eyeballs and a brain, she knows that Ryan doesn’t want to risk Sophie’s life (!!!) by bringing her, so Alice gets to be the test dummy. Ryan admits that yeah, she does need Alice, so Alice agrees to help.

Down in Lucius Fox’s workshop, Luke finds some old drawings he did of a Black Batman. The memory brings a nostalgic smile to his face until he notes some scientific notations above one of the drawings. It seems that the elder Fox was working on making his son’s dream a reality. Luke digs around some more and finds THE BATWING SUIT!!!

Batwoman season 2 finale recap: Luke stands in front of the Batwing suit: Black armor with a light blue Bat emblem on the chest

Papa Fox could have hidden this a bit better, but I’ll allow it because the reveal was DOPE.

*Stefon voice* Gotham’s hottest Purge night club is apparently Mary’s clinic because that place is POPPIN’! It seems they’ll let just about anyone in though because Tavaroff is rushed in after someone found him in a dumpster and didn’t decide to just let him die. Both Mary and I are less than thrilled and like, she’s still a student, right? So she hasn’t taken the Hippocratic oath? I’m just saying… no one would blame her if she phoned it in on his care. She does some Science and comes up with a plan.

Alice and Ryan are in the Batmobile again and I am just so in love with the chemistry these two have. Alice goes on about reading Ryan’s mail (including a postcard from Angelique) and when she mentions Ryan’s parole board hearing the next day, they have an incredibly loaded conversation about the fact that Ryan has served more time for doing nothing than Alice has for committing literal murder. (By now I think I’ve made it clear how I feel about prisons, but for the purposes of this episode, I’m going to go ahead and pretend that abolition and prison reform are at the bottom of Gotham’s to-do list. K? Cool.)

Alice does a thing where she insists that the punishment and suffering Safiyah gave her are much worse than any amount of time Ryan did in Blackgate. And you know what, let’s say that’s true. That’s not the point, is it? Alice is still a white woman who gets to skip around Gotham murdering whomever she pleases while Ryan was locked up for a crime she didn’t commit. But what I love about what Batwoman has done this season, is they haven’t made it cut and dry. We’ve gotten to see how complex and complicated Alice is; we’ve gotten to watch Ryan and Sophie and Luke and Mary question and dismantle the very institutions that sustain inequality; it’s not as simple as “well, just lock Alice up and boom, justice.” It’s nuanced and difficult and somehow they’ve managed to illustrate that in 18 42-minute episodes of television (and on The CW, no shade).

Alice gives Ryan the side-eye

“I’m not feeling well. I got pain.”

Ryan side-eyes Alice right back

“Effie we all got pain.”

When the two arrive at the TV station, Alice tells Ryan that she understands why she hates her and that she’s sorry. But Ryan isn’t about to forgive her just because they’ve both lost people they cared about; they’re not the same. So Alice reacts with a blow that is low, even for her. She accuses Ryan of killing the first woman she ever met: her birth mother who supposedly died during childbirth. Ryan slaps her and vows to put Alice behind bars.

Meanwhile, Mary’s gotten a real hang of the walkie-talkies and radios Luke about a plan to expose Circe to Snakebite vapors to trigger a core memory. It’s a genius idea and Luke agrees. Tavaroff stumbles into the alley looking for Snakebite to which Mary expertly exclaims, “Oh my god. Over.” Nicole Kang, you are an icon.

Batwoman season 2 finale recap: Mary looks shocked as she talks to Luke on her walkie-talkie

No notes.

Down in the streets… “They throwin’ bottles in the street. People lootin’ and shootin’…”

Back at the TV station, Circe greets Ryan and Alice with a fight and familiar gear, including the bo staff. Massive shout out to the fight choreography and stunt doubles here because this scene is BEAUTIFUL. Alice joins the fight and Black Mask starts shooting. Ryan goes after Circe while Alice stays behind to distract Sionis.

Ryan fights with her bo staff

“Nobody lays a finger on my bo staff. Nobody.”

We’re back in the home of one of the families who just wanted to watch America’s Funniest Pets, and they’re listening to Vesper Fairchild read Batwoman’s resignation letter over the radio. Little Billy (probably) has one of the black masks and before his dad can scream at him for it, Billy (it’s canon now) shows him how their neighbors illuminated the masks and put them in their windows.

Down in the alley, Mary’s hiding from Tavaroff and proceeds to run away from him (*sings*) on that fire escape. And then she tases him WITH A BEDAZZLED TASER. Mary Hamilton, be more epic. I dare you. She runs out of time and space when the two reach the roof and Tavaroff pushes her off right into the arms of *drumroll* BATWING!!! Mary is hella confused and Luke is still working out the kinks in the suit and it’s SO CUTE.

Batwing hovers in the air with Mary in his arms

Hamilfox hive! Where you at??

Once she’s recovered, Mary brings Ryan the can of snakebite and warns her not to get too close. Ryan still doesn’t think she can beat Circe, but Mary reminds her that not only does she believe it, but the citizens of Gotham do too. She shows Ryan the makeshift Batsignals people have created out of the black masks and I’ll admit, ya girl got choked up.

Next page: Sweet lady kisses and the power of a name! 

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Nic is a Senior Product Manager at a major Publisher and lives in Astoria, NY. She is way too attached to queer fictional characters and maintains that buying books and reading books are two very different hobbies. When she's not consuming every form of fiction, you can find her dropping it low on the dance floor. You can find Nic on twitter and instagram.

Nic has written 19 articles for us.

13 Comments

  1. Nic, thank you for all your hard work with these recaps this season. And what a season! Ryan and javicia have been the absolute rock the show needed at the end of season 1. Mary and Nicole are the heart- her line reading is genius – and the ensemble are just amazing together. As you said, a real found family. I would love Kate to pop back in from time to time, especially if it means Sophie wears boob window tops and we get kisses like that again! It’s up there with the Odess kiss as probably my fave of the present time!

  2. This finale was amazing, just the perfect cap to an absolutely incredible season. Season 2 just went from strength to strength, and blew me away. It was one of the very few shows where I made each episode appointment TV for me, where I streamed it immediately.

    And god, can we talk more about that kiss between Sophie and Kate?! HOLY WOW. Like jaw-droppingly powerful and sexy and loving and emotional and raw.

    Also, addendum for the hotness that was Wallis Day sitting on the desk in Bruce’s office in that simple black v-neck t-shirt towards the end there. Damn.

    I hope we get more of Day’s Kate Kane (beyond merely Supergirl) because I love all my queer peeps in this show, I do love love me some soft-butch representation.

    And finally, thanks to you Nic, your recaps have also been appointment reading for me too, and I’ve loved every single one. I look forward to more come season 3!

  3. Thank you so much for the recaps this season! I’m super excited about what’s coming next and to continue reading your awesome comments (and the amazing references)! Definitely yelled at the poison ivy plant! and at Batwing! I feel like this show has managed to do a lot with its 18 episodes, and I fell in love with the bat family even more!

    I started rewatching the show from season one, and Kate Kane talks about becoming Batwoman so she can run towards herself. I love how that connects to Ryan’s speech to the Parole board.

    Another thing I loved was the note she sent out to people through Vesper, gave me super season 1 Supergirl vibes. I love when heroes bring out the best in “regular” peeps.

  4. Thank you for all these recaps, Nic. They have been a joy to read, and although you are probably more than a few miles from Portland I swear I can hear your fanperson screams.

    “…and visit a friend in National City.”

    Maybe take the train this time, Kate… but seriously, if we don’t get a walk-on cameo I will be disappoint. And maybe some playful banter with Lena, because you know those two must have crossed paths at some point.

    Speaking of the future, whom shall we cast to play Poison Ivy?

    BATWING!

    Mary has a bedazzled taser. Self defense, but make it fashion.

    • I’ve been thinking a lot about that Poison Ivy casting actually!! My very cliché idea was Annie Wersching but I wasn’t sure about age? Valerie reminded me though that Bruce is older than Kate so that might not be an issue… I don’t know! There are so many great redheads to choose from!!

  5. I really liked how they tied up a lot of plot threads, although I really wish Kate had visited Alice in prison! Maybe she did and that’s what her comment was alluding too, but having Alice separated from Kate literally minutes after rescuing her and getting her back and deciding to try to love again felt like repeating the give and take away immediately that they did with Alice most of the season, which doesn’t really give an opportunity for character development. (And I wish Alice were in a prison where they don’t routinely torture people! She doesn’t deserve forgiveness but no one deserves human rights violations!)

    That was really my only quibble with the episode though! I loved it, loved the fight scenes, loved the development of the season and am really happy to see where they go with season 3 when they don’t have to deal with a batwoman change and tying up those loose ends.

    I loved Mary and Ryan being like “we understand how walkie talkies work” when Luke tried to explain, and Mary’s “oh my god, over” was perfect.

    Thank you for your recaps, Nic. I always head over to read them immediately after watching the episode, and they’ve really deepened my enjoyment of the show! See you in season 3!

  6. I about fell out of my bed when Ryan told Kate they obviously have the same taste!

    I’ve loved your recaps, Nic! Thank you!

    Still think Kate is a shitty sister: Did she even check to see whether Alice wants to be Beth? But I guess I’ll take it if it is going to mean I get to keep seeing Alice in season 3.

  7. Thank you for writing us these recaps Nic! They were truly a joy to read and I cackled with glee many times.

    My favorite thing about this ep was that Batmoore was given a respectful/hot end and now I can ship Wildmoore with all my heart and soul.

    Soooooo excited for Poison Ivy next season!!!!!!!! Aaaaaaaaahhhh!!!

  8. Am trying to make sense of my feelings here: please forgive me in advance if they don’t (make sense).

    When it was announced that Ruby Rose was leaving, I was (of course) shocked—but not really that broken up. I watched S1 faithfully—loved the level of explicitness of lesbian sex that was presented (no tank tops!)—but not particularly enthusiastically. I didn’t buy the “OTP-ness” of Kate&Sophie, and Mary was far and away my favorite character (w/ Kate as a given, I was all “Well, Mary’s not a bio-sister, and weren’t they both teens when they met anyway?” ;-/ )

    When it was then announced they weren’t recasting Kate, but intro’ing a new character, I was somewhat puzzled…but intrigued. Moreso when Javicia Leslie was cast! But still had my doubts whether this could work. [I was pleased, however, when the showrunner promised us “Kate is not dead”, because TV doesn’t need anymore dead lesbians.]

    Then S2 began . . . cue rejoicing! Javicia NAILED it as Ryan/Batwoman 2.0, and soon Batwoman S2 became appointment television every week (started talking it up out there on the intertubes, beyond fandom or lesbian sites). I also loved that JUST as the extended Bat Team/Kane family became convinced Kate was dead–we were shown that she wasn’t [And w/ the casting of Wallis Day, whom I know at least one lesbian Batwoman podcaster had urged be the new Kate Kane, virtually the day after RR quit!]

    The way S2 wove all these plots together: Alice, Safiyah, Sophie, Ryan, Julia, Black Mask, and then Kate again: {chef’s kiss!}

    …and all building to the final episodes: Kate w/ her new face (and “Circe Sionis” inside), Alice’s fight to reclaim her sister, Ryan’s duty to Kate, while having grown into Gotham’s protector she deserved (even more than she needed).

    And now, after ALL this . . . Kate is gone again (w/ no apparent return foreseen), per here: https://ew.com/tv/batwoman-caroline-dries-season-2-finale-spoilers/

    Compared to a year ago, and Ruby’s announced departure—this just cuts different. I really didn’t know I needed Wallis Day as Kate Kane in my life, I really didn’t (I wasn’t familiar w/ her work prior to this). A year ago was “making the best of a bad situation”, and finding out that the “best of bad” was actually BETTER! This feels more like…per Jacob(is the worst! And good-bye!) being force-injected Snakebite, and then having the supply cut off. And I didn’t (1.0) buy the OTP-ness (yikes to the pronunciation of the acronym, LOL) of Kate&Sophie, but now (2.0) I do? [And meanwhile my shipper heart for Mary&Ryan has never abated, and when Mary told Ryan to look up to the windows of Gotham, believing in her—as Mary ALWAYS did? Sigh, am I doomed to never ship the ships that showrunners want to ship?]

    Don’t get me wrong: I’ll be back here in October for S3, absolutely. But as Batwoman S2 (brilliantly!) solved a problem, I can’t help feeling Batwoman S3, by writing Wallis-as-Kate out, is creating one. And after a season of Batwoman Happy, this makes me sad. [My 2c/FWIW/YMMV]

  9. I’ve so enjoyed these recaps all season, Nic! Can’t wait to rewatch S2, which exceeded so many of my expectations, and to speculate wildly about S3 (*cough* WildMoore rise*cough*).

    Lots of thoughts and feelings, but perhaps none more pressing than my fervent hope and belief that all roads lead to a (hopefully slightly unhinged baddie with a gold-flecked heart) milf in S3 who becomes the new singular parent figure that we spend time with onscreen. And maybe she’s Poison Ivy.

    I’m sure lots of people feel lots of ways about Kate’s exit from Gotham, and that’s valid, but I do appreciate the sort of ruthless pragmatism of this show w/r/t character exits.

    Once a character isn’t super connected to either a main plot or central characters in interesting ways, they’re efficiently dispatched. There’s no attempt to fold them into a complex new plot if it won’t serve them and they won’t deepen it, no writing just to make one character at a time shine alone.

    Julia, Angelique, Imani, Tatiana, Ocean, Jacob (who I suspect will have a way scaled back presence in S3
    if at all and might actually stay in jail for a while), Safiyah, and now Kate. While some of them we might see again in time, I appreciate the show resisting the urge to bloat the cast (even with very talented, very hot ppl) so that we can focus on Ryan and Sophie and Mary and Luke (and Alice) the most.

    Really signals for me a sort or restraint that I think lots of CW supershows specifically lack, and I’m hoping it means keeping these impactful character beats and these sort of contained plots (more save a Gotham citizen and fight a local baddie of the week or an institution and less getting into world-endy, universe collapsey, or random one-off topical issues stuff) that allows us to invest in and connect to and understand not just these characters, but what our heroes are fighting for.

    I’ve also got enough trust in this show to see at least 5 queer women characters leave, 1 no takebacks dead, and to still anticipate meeting a bevy of new queer women. I would’ve love to see more women smooching this season (with all due respect to decisions made for safety), but I’m not worried about this show suddenly scrubbing itself of queerness in its hiatus, and what a relief that is.

    Same goes for it’s newfound connection to Blackness and variations on Black identity. Can’t wait to see how Ryan’s (very sexy, I’m calling it right now) mom complicates and challenges what we’ve been allowed to see so far of Black experience in Gotham. Esp if she’s a lil evil and navigating happily doing crime in a post-Crow Gotham while her daughter dons the cowl.

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