[Review] Batwoman Episode 1×02: “The Rabbit Hole”

written by Kate Danvers

A family reunion leads to an awkward conversation and an attempted murder.

But enough about Thanksgiving plans; let’s talk about Batwoman.


The Wonderland Gang is out in force attacking the Crows by blowing up one of their vans with TV budget CGI explosions. Kate confronts them and is very pleased by her bulletproof suit. She’s trying to find Alice before the Crows do.

The next morning, an awkward breakfast turns more awkward when Kate voices her suspicions about the Beth/Alice connection to Jacob. He dismisses the idea, saying that skull fragments and DNA at the scene of the crash indicate Beth died. Across town, Alice is having an awkward breakfast of her own, ranting about Jacob being a quitter to both her gang and the tied-up elderly couple whose house she’s squatting in.

At the Batcave, Luke offers to run a DNA test on Alice if Kate can get blood samples. He then lectures her that, like it or not, she’s given the city hope that Batman has returned and starts quizzing her on Bat-gadgets. God, you don’t know a Bat-Gas Mask from a Bat-Rebreather? Fake vigilante girl. Kate says he reminds her of Lucius Fox, his father. Luke denies that he’s anything like his dad and Kate agrees – his dad was useful.

Is this whole series going to be those two bickering at each other? Because I’m down for that.

Kate goes to Crows HQ and has a talk with Sophie. Sophie just point blank asks Kate if she’s Batwoman. Kate denies it, saying she hates Batman and if she were going to save Sophie in a dramatic fashion, she’d dress as Wonder Woman.


…Sorry, I started dreaming about that team-up and forgot I was writing something. I’m back. Hi.

They go outside to talk more. Kate gives Sophie the knife and asks her to have it examined for DNA. Sophie refuses, thinking Kate is wrong and Jacob would be pissed. Kate says she wished she knew Sophie was getting married – not to attend, but to stop it. They’re attacked by the Wonderland Gang and the knife is taken.

Overhearing a Crow say that one of the Wonderland Gang members she fought was last seen near Mary’s clinic, Kate goes there and lets the guy go with a message to give to Alice: “Waffles.” It’s a reference to a waffle stand she and Beth frequented as kids. Kate also calls Sophie and tells her the plan over the phone, but only so Sophie can stall the Crows. Kate gears up and goes to the waffle stand while Luke monitors from the Batcave, using a computer that looks like it came from the set of the Adam West Batman series. Nice touch.

Jacob’s Crows raid the house Alice and her gang were squatting in. They find the elderly couple dead. When Sophie asks how Jacob knew Alice would be there, he tells her it was Kate and Beth’s childhood house. He still denies that Alice is Beth.

At the waffle stand, Kate meets with Alice and she asks the million-dollar question. Alice comes back with shared childhood memories, but also denies that she sent her gang after Kate for the knife.

Oh no.

She also describes nearly drowning in the car, hoping someone would save her. She seems moved by Kate’s refusal to give up looking for her sister, so Alice cuts her palm to provide a little DNA for a test. Unlike their encounter in the first episode, this one is really good. They’re playing off each other so much better and you can see the Alice façade crack just a bit.

Just then, Jacob and the Crows (tipped off by Sophie) ambush the pair. Kate protects her sister, forcing the Crows to take her in alive instead of shooting to kill. As Alice is put in a van, she taunts Kate with more Wonderland nonsense, but hints that Mary is a target because Beth “never liked to share.”

Alice’s boy-toy Dodgson – the traitor Crow from the first episode – tries to kill Mary in the clinic. She’s able to hide long enough for Kate to save the day, but live news footage shows that the van carrying Alice exploded and fell into the river. Kate speeds to the scene and cuts Alice out of the truck as bullets pierce the water around them because holy shit, the GCPD sucks. A stray bullet hits the van and blows it up, separating the two. Kate washes up onshore and Luke uses the suit’s defibrillator to jolt her awake so she isn’t caught by the police.

The next day, Kate checks on Mary, who feels like she doesn’t matter to her stepsister. Then Kate gets yelled at by Jacob for “aiding and abetting.” I kind of get Jacob’s hard denial about Beth. He doesn’t want to believe his daughter could do the things Alice has been doing.

Not finished having it out with loved ones today, Kate yells at Sophie for calling the Crows on her and Alice. Sophie says she cares, but Kate counters that if she cared she wouldn’t have lied to an entire military academy about her. Wow…and yikes. Sophie says she never lied to Kate, implying she really did love her, so Kate asks if she’s happy. Gotta be honest…Sophie gives a really unconvincing “yes,” so maybe Kate’s right and that’s a “happy-ish.” Sophie tells her to move on, so Kate is off to burn bridges with the rest of her supporting cast.

LUKE: “Did you get the suit wet?”
KATE: “Okay, so I couldn’t find the auto-dry function.”
LUKE: “Yeah, because that’s not a thing.”
KATE: “10.8 million-dollar suit. Kind of feels like an oversight.”

10.8 million?! Fuck. Eat the rich. Anyway, Kate thanks Luke for helping her and he once again points to the headlines questioning the return of Batman. It doesn’t come off as trying to dissuade her from being a vigilante, it’s more of a “shit or get off the pot.” Stop dangling a bat just out of Gotham’s reach. Go Bat or go home.

Catherine Hamilton-Kane, Kate’s stepmother, meets with a man in a Chicago park. Maybe Millennium Park? …Okay, fine, a Gotham park, but K O’Shea and I went back and forth comparing images and we narrowed down the skyline and I’m really proud of that. Catherine gives the man Alice’s knife, telling him to destroy it along with the masks he used to impersonate the Wonderland Gang.

Kate, as Batwoman, has Dodgson locked up to get information about Alice out of him. Later, she finds a bat in a box on her motorcycle. A note inside reads “You have our father’s eyes.”

Episode 1×02 is strong. Stronger than the pilot, for sure. Kate’s interactions with Alice and her dad were much better in this episode. One of the standout moments is Alice asking Kate how long it took for Kate to sleep through the night after the deaths of Beth and their mom. Kate answers that she hasn’t yet because she never let go. That’s a very comic book Kate Kane answer. Our girl is haunted and stubborn.

The flashbacks to Jacob and Kate in the months following the accident really helped to frame Jacob as a character and shine a light on his current state of mind. I was afraid they were going to go full villain for him right at the start with the private military, his insistence on killing Alice, the strained relationship with Kate, and hints that he was behind the attack on Kate to get the knife back. He’s convinced himself that Alice can’t be his daughter because he remembers her as his sweet, innocent child. To accept that Beth is alive and she’s a murderous criminal would destroy that image of the child he lost.

On the other hand, holy shit that took a turn with Catherine. On the surface, it looks bad. Really bad. She had armed men dressed like Wonderland goons attack Kate and Sophie, she’s destroying evidence, and having shady dealings in parks. You could consider that maybe she’s doing all of this to protect her family – and maybe the Crows – from the fallout of Alice being Beth Kane. But in one of those father-daughter flashbacks, Jacob told Kate that Catherine Hamilton’s people found the skull fragments and tested them to determine they belonged to Beth. Is she just trying to cover up a search she botched years ago, or did she have something to do with Beth’s disappearance?

Also I have to mention the reference in the final scene. The “You have our father’s eyes” note refers to Alice’s words in the comics when she revealed to Kate that she was Beth. It’s a nice little nod to the storyline that Season One is loosely based on – Batwoman: Elegy. If you’re looking to get into the Batwoman comics, that’s a great place to start.

The only major complaint I have with this one is that it’s still so focused on settings things up that the other characters really haven’t had time to shine. I’ve become spoiled by later seasons of the other Arrowverse shows where the ensemble has had time to establish their own lives, relationships, and goals. I can’t wait until supporting characters have their own mini-plot threads they can follow, rather than just waiting for the main plot to visit them again.

Next time: Batwoman finally gets her uniform.


Batwoman airs Sunday nights at 8 Eastern/7 Central on the CW. Kate can be found on Twitter @WearyKatie.

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