[Review] Batwoman Episode 1×08: “A Mad Tea-Party”

written by Kate Danvers

No more murder. I really really mean it this time. If you murder someone, I’m going to tell Dad!


Batwoman uh…mugs a Wonderland gang member for his jacket? Weird opening. She’s after his phone, which Luke then uses to track down Alice’s new hideout. Kate goes in there in civvies to ask Alice if she hired the Rifle to kill her. Alice gives her the railgun component, informs Kate that she killed anyone who knew how to make one, and says “you’re welcome.” Dang, I usually get a gift card or something from my sister. Kate notices that Alice has a photo from their bat mitzvah and takes it as a sign that Beth is still in there.

MORE LIKE BAT MITZ—never mind; that joke doesn’t work in text.

The real Jacob is still out of town. He’s jumped by Wonderland goons outside of a hotel. Keep this in mind – it will be important later.

Mary asks Kate to go to an event where Catherine will be receiving an award. Kate declines because she hasn’t forgiven Catherine (or even spoken to her since Episode 1×01, but let’s ignore that). Mary doesn’t understand why Kate can forgive Alice but not Catherine. Let’s see, Catherine lied for over a decade, is directly responsible for Beth having never been found, and blew up a Crows truck in an attempt to kill Alice and cover her tracks…why isn’t she in jail? Kate says Alice is family, which was the very wrong thing to say to the stepsister who’s just looking for a familial bond with her.

Alice has Jacob chained up in the room she was locked in as a child. In one of the best scenes of the episode, Jacob apologizes for not having the skull fragments tested by someone else, for not searching more, and for not being able to be Beth’s dad. As good as that is, Alice’s reaction is what sells the scene. You can see for a brief moment that she’s touched – these are the words Beth has wanted to hear, but then the hatred and feelings of betrayal come right back and she goes on with her “tea party” plan.

Kate goes to see “Jacob” (a disguised Mouse) and asks why he’s forgiven Catherine. She doesn’t like the answer and rants to Luke about it, eventually figuring out that he’s literally not himself. She calls Mouse and confirms this with a bogus story about Jacob and Catherine’s wedding that Mouse doesn’t question. Mouse goes into Jacob’s office to meet with Sophie and Tyler, but it’s a ruse to knock them both out to keep them out of the way.

Kate goes to see Alice again and convinces her to tell her where Jacob is. She goes to the old house, but Jacob has already been moved.

At the gala, Alice makes an appearance in the back during Catherine’s speech. The teleprompter tells Catherine to keep reading or the Wonderland gang (disguised as Crows) will start killing people. Catherine is forced to read a confession that she provides weapons to Gotham’s criminals and then rakes in even more money by providing Crows security. Her nose starts to bleed and she collapses.

As Catherine is taken offstage, the lights in the theater go out and the fake Crows start holding the attendees against their will. Batwoman arrives and starts fighting them in a really cool extended shot.

Sophie and Tyler wake up tied to chairs, then start to cut themselves free while talking about their marriage. Ugh. Tyler is still upset that he didn’t know about Sophie’s relationship with Kate. I swear, in their off time these two must post about each other on that “Am I The Asshole?” subreddit.

Backstage, Catherine is dying from a poison that Mouse slipped into her champagne on the car ride over. Alice comes in to gloat, saying the poison is one designed by Catherine’s own company. The company never bothered to produce an antidote, but Alice got one (the vial she got from the Rifle in the previous episode) that was made on the island of Coryana. Alice will give it to Catherine in exchange for an apology, but she has to mean it. Catherine does give a tearful apology and Alice hands over the antidote just as Mary gets a nosebleed. It turns out that both Mary and Catherine drank the poison and there’s only enough antidote for one. With that mic drop, Alice leaves. Catherine convinces Mary to take the antidote. She tells her she knows about the clinic and that she’s proud of her before dying.

Batwoman catches up to Alice as she’s leaving and nearly strangles her, but can’t do it. Mouse shoves Batwoman over a railing and the pair escape.

The real Jacob, dressed in a tuxedo, wakes up in his SUV in the middle of a parking garage. He calls Kate, who confirms his identity before telling him about Alice and Mouse. They’re interrupted by the GCPD arresting him for Catherine’s murder upon finding the empty poison vial in his jacket.

Kate finds Mary at the clinic. Mary says she’s saved a lot of bad people, but she couldn’t save her own mom. She asks Kate again if Alice is worth it. Kate says no. Mary’s glad Kate finally sees that, but it’s too late.

Sophie tries to call the GCPD to explain the Mouse situation, but she can’t get through to the Commissioner. Tyler tells her he wants kids, and a dog, and family traditions, and all of the things stupid people try to get to save their marriages rather than actually dealing with the fucking problems at hand. He asks if she loves him and she says she does, but then he asks if she’s in love with him and she doesn’t know. He tells her to figure herself out and maybe he’ll still be there when she does.

Quick aside – Tyler’s a tool. His wife confessed to him that she has a confusing past relationship she’s not over yet because it was the one time she broke the rules of her family and the military. Rather than being there for her and helping her work through unresolved feelings of being closeted and the damage that did to her past, he throws more guilt on top. And that passive-aggressive “sort your feelings out, then maybe I’ll still be here and maybe I won’t” is manipulative as fuck. Divorce him, Sophie. There’s nothing there worth salvaging.

Kate visits Jacob in lockup. He says that when he gets out, he’s taking down Alice for good. Kate says she won’t stop him this time.

I didn’t expect them to do something as big as killing off Catherine this soon. Honestly, I expected her to stick around longer and maybe have more schemes come to light. I don’t know if there’s been any prior indication that Catherine has been selling weapons to Gotham’s criminals, but the confession Alice made her read is sure to cause problems for both Hamilton Dynamics and the Crows. I don’t see Jacob’s incarceration lasting long. Either Mouse will be caught or some evidence* will exonerate Jacob.

Remember when I said Jacob’s abduction at the hotel would be important? The guy stayed out of Gotham for a few days, during which his double was back at Crows HQ. Unless he paid cash and somehow stayed off every security camera around, there are records of him being in two places at once. He even made a call on his cell phone from outside the city at a time when Mouse was impersonating him. I’m not predicting how this plot will be resolved; I’m saying the GCPD sucks.

The last episode gave me hope that Kate and Mary would actually begin to act like sisters and that their every interaction wouldn’t be yet another “Kate is a bad sister” scene. But now Mary probably isn’t going to forgive Kate for believing in Alice.

And honestly, why should she? Kate had numerous chances to bring Alice in. I can understand not wanting her sister to be locked away in Arkham Asylum, because there is no version of Gotham where Arkham is actually a place of healing. But Beth isn’t getting help by being free to run around and murder whoever she wants. Also maaaaan, is it a bad look for the show’s titular hero to be totally fine with Alice killing random guys but only considers her “going too far” when she kills someone Kate actually knows. I wish the writers had thought about that.

Next week: Well, Kate’s world just kind of ended. Might as well end the multiverse next!


*EDITOR’S NOTE: Evidence, like, for instance, Mary Hamilton being a witness to the actual murder. Alice really didn’t think that one through.

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

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