Welcome back to another Batwoman recap where I try to rein in the amount of all caps yelling I do because…professionalism.
Previously on Batwoman, Renee Montoya coerced Alice and Ryan into playing nice with each other, Luke injected Alice with tracking nanobites so she wouldn’t be able to leave Gotham, and Ryan came face-to-face with Jada Jet, the birth mother who abandoned her all those years ago.
We appear to be sticking with the “Batman trophy of the week” theme, and not gonna lie, I’m into it! This time it’s a canister of a liquid nitrogen-like concoction ending up in the unfortunate hands of an eighth grader who accidentally sets off the canister and freezes the entire back half of the bus they’re riding. (By the way, I love that this show is like, “I know, I know. Another white guy in a suit. But don’t worry, we will immediately show you how terrible he is.”) Thanks to Dana Dewitt, we know that freezing agent is linked to former Batman foe, Victor Fries.
At the Haus of Purple Hued Decor, Ryan meets with Jada for a meeting the latter apparently called. Jada makes it clear that she had no plans to ever meet her daughter, but she’s glad that Ryan has made a name for herself despite her circumstances. And Ryan, bless her heart, reassures Jada that she’s doing just fine and that she doesn’t judge Jada for choices she had to make almost 30 years ago. She’s so earnest and hopeful, and it makes Jada saying that she doesn’t want a relationship with Ryan that much harder to watch.
One of Ryan’s greatest assets is her heart and how much she cares about people, and in this moment, she covers her hurt with anger toward Jada for covering up her birth in the first place. Jada warns Ryan to stop digging into the past and into her family, and threatens to take down Wayne Enterprises if she doesn’t comply. Our girl gets the last word in though, telling Jada that she finally realized her birth mother is someone who isn’t worth her time.
Before Ryan leaves, a man looking fly in white and fresh kicks comes in and asks why they’re meeting without him. Turns out, this is Marquis Jet, the Executive Vice President of Jeturian Industries. Oh and also he’s Jada’s son.
Back at Wayne Tower, after Sophie and Ryan reenact their favorite Stay the Night elevator scene (Wait, what? Wrong show? My bad.), Sophie tells Ryan that yes she knew about Marquis but she kept that information from her because Ryan only wanted to know the bare minimum. Sophie keeps doing this thing where she changes her tone and body language before asking what Ryan needs. This time it’s about what she needs in this situation with her mom, and it simultaneously breaks and warms my heart.
Down in the Batcave, Mary and Luke comfort Ryan to the sweet sweet sounds of Alice fake coughing in the background. Big Karen from Mean Girls energy with this one. It is damn near impossible to do justice to Rachel Skarsten comedic timing in this episode, but I’m going to try. Alice going on about how everyone was so mad about her killing Ryan’s mom and now that she provided a new one, they’re still mad about it, but anyway, homegirl needs some water.
Luke explains the deal with the “freeze stuff” while Mary goes to get Alice the least amount of water needed to suppress her cough. I see you and that pettiness, Mary! Alice claims she can feel the nanobites crawling in her skin, but Mary insists that’s not a thing that happens. Alice asks for a sick day (I wonder what the Batteam benefits package looks like. Those out-of-pocket premiums must be outrageous) and Luke figures that would be better than Alice helping to break into the GCPD to find the canister.
When Ryan gets to the GCPD, she discovers the canister is missing. We quickly learn that it’s in possession of an older woman who is ready to finish what Victor started. Before we find out what that is, a very attractive woman in a sleeveless vest kicks down the door demanding answers to how Nora Fries was frozen for 20 years, yet sits right in front of her.
In the Batcave, Luke explains that the woman who stole the canister is Dee Smithy, Nora Fries’ sister. Nora was diagnosed with MacGregor syndrome decades ago when there was no cure, so Victor put his wife in a cryochamber until a cure was found. He died before that happened, and when Nora woke up, she was quite obviously confused about missing 20 years of her life, so instead of finding her the mental health resources she needed, they locked her up in Arkham. Real quick though, it seems hella easy to break out of Arkham. Like, I haven’t read every DC comic, but it seems like people are just always escaping?? Whatever, I’m anti-carceral anyway, carry on escapees!
Before Ryan can investigate further, Marquis Jet shows up with a basketball for some reason. This is absolutely not the point, but can we talk about Javicia’s stellar chest pass for a second? I mean, WHEW! Ahem. Back to Marquis who is listing off everything he knows about Ryan, including the fact that she’s his sister. Apparently, nannies talk, and Child Marquis figured that a sibling from an affair was the reason his parents stopped talking to each other. Adult Marquis saw right through all of Jada’s secret meetings and wants to prove himself to his mother. And what better way to do that than partnering with the person who managed to ruffle Jada’s feathers. He offers Ryan the chance to show Jada what she missed out on by not claiming Ryan as her daughter. So she decides to think about it.
At Dee’s house, Batwoman investigates the scene of the break-in and notices all of the medications. She and Luke assume Dee wants to put Nora back in stasis, and they’re probably going to use the cryo chamber at ACE Chemicals because OF COURSE there’s a cryo chamber at ACE Chemicals.
Meanwhile at ACE, Dee and Nora give the hot lady notes on cryogenesis and listen, I know she’s a “villain” or whatever, but LOOK AT HER.
Back at the clinic, Mary is checking Alice vitals as part of her sick day routine, but everything looks normal. Nicole Kang and Rachel Skarsten have some of the best non-romantic chemistry I’ve ever seen. They banter and play off each other in a way that most sisters would, and it is absolutely delicious to watch.
Mary suggests that while Alice is physically okay, there might be something else at play here, and asks if this fake sickness is a cry for help. Sadly, Alice says that she’s learned cries for help don’t actually work. There’s been some dancing around mental health lines this season (the Mad Hatter, Luke, Alice), and so far I think they’re doing a good job of playing on the surface. I just hope as the season progresses and they get deeper, they address Alice and Luke’s trauma in a real way.
Mary genuinely asks Alice if she needs help, but Alice deflects to the Luke situation and the fact that Mary is in between telling Ryan about Luke’s PTSD, and staying loyal to Luke who she LOOOOOOVES. Again, Rachel Skarsten…HOW?! Alice keeps trying to get into Mary’s head by suggesting the Batteam only sees the doctor when they need something from her.
Back at ACE, we get confirmation that putting Nora back in the cryo chamber is the only way to save her. Then Batwoman drops in and takes out several goons before having a very hot fight with the lady whose name we may never know. The woman knocks out Ryan who comes to inside the cryo chamber.
Ryan contacts the Batcave and Luke realizes that her vitals are super concerns and she needs to stay awake before hypothermia sets in. Ryan begs him to suit up because it’s the only way to save her.