Hello and welcome to another Batwoman recap! Before we get into the episode, I do want to mention the Ruby-sized elephant in the room. Heather expertly summed up Ruby’s allegations as well as the awareness and the fight IATSE has brought to unsafe working conditions on many Hollywood sets and writers’ rooms. The safety of the cast and crew of this show is paramount, and thanks to Ruby, we know a bit more about the details surrounding her departure. What I will say, is if you haven’t already, please watch Azie Tesfai’s Instagram live featuring Javicia, Candice Patton, and Anna Diop. In addition to gassing each other up and showing each other so much love, they also describe the racist abuse they encountered in their workplace and fandoms. I do not mean to suggest an “Oppression Olympics” of any kind, I merely wish that the outrage for Black women’s documented abuse matched that of Ruby’s. Ya know, rising tides and ships and whatever that metaphor is… Again, for more on this, please read Heather’s piece and the deeper conversations in the comments. For now, onto the recap!
Previously on Batwoman, Ryan and Sophie learned that Ry Ry’s birth mother is still alive, the team discovered several of Batman’s villain trophies were missing, we met the one and only Renee Montoya, and she forced Alice and Ryan to work together in order to recover all of Batman’s missing trophies.
Diving right into (hehe) this week’s episode, a young couple is on a late night date at an empty pool (the bar for what passes for romance among hets is the actual floor). Not long after they jump in, the dude is pulled under the water by forces unknown before he bursts out of the water, gets tossed around a bunch, and he and his lady friend are killed leaving behind nothing but blood in the water (and the Legally Blonde: the Musical soundtrack in my head).
We cut to Arkham Asylum where Alice is being released from custody in exchange for her help with finding the lost artifacts. She’s not empty-handed though, because her release also comes with a shiny new ankle monitor courtesy of Renee Montoya. It seems the gang’s all here, because Ryan appears and warns Montoya yet again that working with Alice is going to blow up right in her gorgeous face. Renee tells her that it is in Ryan’s best interest to make sure that doesn’t happen because if Alice screws up, it’s the end of the road for Batwoman too. Ya know, I can’t even knock Montoya’s hustle; she’s giving us the Ryan/Alice teamwork we deserve! And hey, maybe they’ll even learn something from each other in the process.
Gotham’s hardest working reporter, Dana DeWitt, is on the scene at the pool where she reveals the crime to have the hallmarks of former Batman villain, Killer Croc.
Down in the Batcave, Luke gives Mary and Ryan the rundown of the OG K.C. — Waylon Jones, professional wrestler, unknown infection, croc’ed out, Bruce tried to help, GCPD blew him to smithereens. Tale as old as time. All that was left of him was the tooth that most likely carried the infection and that was coincidentally floating around Gotham somewhere.
And then from behind the Bat team, a voice calls out with a question. It’s Alice! And not for nothing, her question about why there’s a tree in the cave is a valid one. Bat motif aside, there are literally 44 floors in this otherwise empty building and they decided to work down here?? When I tell you I screamed at Alice just hanging out in the Batcave. This is gonna be FUN.
Ryan is less convinced about Alice’s presence bringing joy though; she leaves Alice alone and pulls Luke and Mary upstairs to get an update on the Batwing suit progress. She’s going to need his help to take down Croc. And then the heavens open up and Sophie comes in bearing arms* (*a forensics report detailing the poison present in Croc’s saliva). The friends are soon interrupted by a helicopter casually landing at Wayne Tower. Wouldn’t ya know, it’s the CEO of Jeturian Industries, Jada Jet. As Sophie realizes that Ryan, as acting CEO, is going to come face-to-face with her birth mom, she decides to tell Ryan the truth about Jada’s identity.
Now, everyone say “Thank you, Mary!” because holy hell, homegirl hooked Ryan UP with a fit. And Sophie girl, I SAW THAT UP AND DOWN YOU GAVE RYAN IN THE MIRROR, YOU NOT SLICK! Y’all, real talk, there are a few scenes in this episode I wasn’t sure how I would recap without just yelling “BLACK WOMEN!!!” from the rooftops, and this is one of them. If you haven’t watched this scene yet, please go do it right now because I don’t know if I can do justice to the chemistry between Javicia and Meagan.
Ryan is nervous as all heck to meet Jada and she looks to Sophie to help get her through it. Soph asks Ryan what she wants from Jada, and Ryan is blunt. She doesn’t want anything but to get through this meeting with the woman who didn’t want her. The two run down Jada’s resume and while it’s clear the CEO is a fighter, Sophie reminds Ryan that she is too. Jada gave Ryan nothing, so she can’t take a damn thing away from her. AND THEN THEY HOLD HANDS as Sophie tells Ryan, “You got this.”
And then the music shifts, and in struts Jada Jet wearing Robin Given’s face. Remember how I literally just said I didn’t know how to recap a few scenes? Well, here’s another one! The absolute power of these two women — one, outwardly sure of herself while fighting a raging emotional battle inside; and the other, all fire and boss energy ready to take down whoever dared to hack into her systems.
The two introduce themselves and Ryan genuinely holds her own against Jada, who spends their encounter trying to bait her daughter into sharing more information about the breach. Ryan doesn’t waver and asks again why Jada is there. She’s there to deliver a warning and also a masterclass in how to enter and exit a room, apparently. As soon as Jada is out of sight, Ryan absolutely crumbles.
I’m obsessed with the way Javicia played this scene. She expertly portrayed the emotions that many Black women go through when they’re expected to be outwardly strong, even when they don’t particularly feel it. It takes such a huge amount of energy to wear that mask and I felt that exhaustion the second that Ryan let it fall.
Meanwhile, Luke and Mary are trying to figure out why the Batwing suit keeps malfunctioning. When Mary learns that Lucius programmed his voice as the suit’s A.I., she adorably asks “Mr. Fox” for deets on Luke as a child. The two figure out that the suit’s failsafe triggered the shutdown because it thought Luke was injured. Mary suggests they make sure Luke is actually okay before they assume the suit is what’s faulty.
Down in the Batcave, Alice is still by herself, doing the thing we all do when we’re bored. We Google how to remove ankle monitors, obviously. Ryan shows up after her meeting with Jada, which Alice knew all about. Ryan tries not to fall for Alice’s barbs until the blonde dangles info about Croc’s next attack right in front of her. It turns out, having a killer on the Bat team is hella useful, because Alice reveals that the pool duo wasn’t Croc’s first kill. She’s already compiled a list of missing persons who are most likely actually victims of Killer Croc 2.0.
And now it’s time for the weekly yelling of “RACHEL SKARSTEN, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” In this moment, is the delivery of “No, well yes. But that’s not the takeaway.” for me.
Moving on! A tiny Megan Rapinoe in training is practicing her soccer moves at some camp grounds when she kicks her ball into the woods and FOR SOME REASON, decides to go after it. She finds her ball slashed and before she can do much investigating, she’s dragged out of sight.
Have I mentioned that I love having Sophie on comms? Because I LOVE having Sophie on comms. She’s in Batwoman’s ear while B-Dubs (I have no idea, I’m so sorry) and Alice survey the scene in the woods. They realize he’s stashing paralyzed victims so he can eat them later. Yum.
Down in the sewers, Tiny Rapinoe (I think the captions said her name is Whitney, but sorry, your name is Tiny Rapinoe now) wakes up surrounded by dead bodies, tries to escape on her injured leg, but stops as soon as she hears growling.