[Review] Batwoman Episode 1×20: “O, Mouse!”

written by Kate Danvers

In a season clipped a little short by a worldwide pandemic, we’ve finally reached the finale. Who lives? Who dies? Who tells whose story?


A machete-wielding Arkham escapee boards a train and kills someone. Jacob and Kate (in civilian clothes) try to stop him, but they’re overpowered. Vesper Fairchild’s report refers to him as former football player Tim “The Titan” Teslow. Wow, they got away with that?

Alice is still reading the journal while Mouse continues to complain at her. She persuades him by saying that completing her unfinished business will make her happy, and then they can run away together. Hush is also complaining about the face Alice gave him and demands a better one. She agrees and skips off to the morgue for supplies.

Luke shows Kate the material that can penetrate the Batsuit, a.k.a. “the one piece of Kryptonite on the planet.” I mean, okay, the DEO’s stockpile is supposed to be secret, so Luke can be forgiven. Bruce was holding it for “a friend,” a friend Kate has met. Luke just needs to figure out how to destroy it. Have you tried melting it down? Hitting it with a hammer? Putting it in the vicinity of the ship that brought Clark to Earth? Meanwhile, Mary has intel on the machete-wielding Titan.

MARY: “He was pretty much the Goliaths’ best tight end of all time. A TD every game, over a hundred catches and a thousand yards every season.”
KATE: “Let’s not assume I know what any of those words mean because I’m a lesbian.”

Preach. Anyway, the secret to Titan’s success wasn’t sexy cheerleaders, as Kate assumes – it was steroids. And he went full ‘roid rage on a referee and snapped the guy’s neck during a game. Mary knows all of this because one of her social media connections is dating Titan’s brother, Apollo. Kate intends to find the brother to see if he knows where Titan is, but Mary reminds her about Jacob and the Crows. Kate is all “I can handle Dad” and Mary pulls receipts to the contrary. Kate wants to change Jacob’s mind about Batwoman through action, then come clean to him someday. I love this scene because Mary is amazing and her sibling banter with Kate is top notch, but also because the conversation got Kate to say the words “sexy cheerleaders.”

Another reason representation matters: We need more lesbian dorks on TV for me to relate to.

Alice sees a geologist about finding some kryptonite. I love how she’s resourceful enough to find linguists, cryptologists, and geologists while she’s living in a sewer when I couldn’t find a plumber on Google if I tried. The only piece of kryptonite the geologist ever studied was sent back to its owner, one Lucius Fox. Alice leaves him the worst review ever in the form of a rock to the skull. Looks like he’s the one Yelping now!

…because people yelp when they’re attacked? And…and she had to look him up to find him but didn’t like his help so *smash* “Yelp”?



Screw you. I’m funny.

Kate finds Apollo at the stadium. He says his brother used to be a good person, but the stress of the game and hits to the head got to him. He also maybe kind of testified against his brother and got him committed to Arkham. Titan arrives to get revenge on his brother, and after a short struggle, Kate is tossed aside and Apollo gets a machete stuck in his back.

Jacob is interviewed by the press. He doesn’t talk much about Titan, but has a lot of words about Batwoman. He’s dead set on bringing her down, along with anyone aiding her. How many criminals has Batwoman brought in and how many have the Crows brought in lately? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Kate has a dislocated shoulder and cracked ribs. Mary takes care of the shoulder and cautions against a rematch with Titan. Luke finds a connection between Titan and his first victim: The man on the train was a neurologist who falsified reports about student athletes. Titan’s actual brain scans show severe brain damage from years of head trauma, impacting his ability to feel pain.

I’m forgoing the usual joke to say this isn’t some bullshit Silver Age pseudoscience plot; this shit happens and has been studied. Major sports organizations like the NFL have only begun to take this seriously in recent years and even their low-effort attempts to curb excessive trauma have led some fans to complain that the players aren’t allowed to play “real football” anymore.

Alice works on Hush’s face mask. Mouse complains some more about Alice’s obsession with revenge against her family with no real plan since she doesn’t know where the kryptonite is. He’s leaving her. She mocks him, says he couldn’t survive without her. He responds by saying he survived five years of Arkham without so much as a visit from her. Alice says she can’t let him leave and promises to leave together after they have a party.

Mary has an idea about how to take down Titan. She goes to the roof of GCPD and turns on the Bat-Signal. The Crows then storm the roof by both stairs and helicopter, ready to shoot Batwoman on sight. The Crows don’t just suck; they are fucking awful and Jacob should be back in prison for this. They find Mary and start to cuff her when Jacob arrives. Mary hands him a phone. Jacob tells Batwoman she just made this way too personal. A city-wide manhunt and shoot-to-kill order for the hero doing your job for you wasn’t personal??

BATWOMAN: “We need to talk about Titan.”
JACOB: “Which part? About how he doesn’t play by the rules or care about collateral damage?”

Dumbass, you just stormed a rooftop with a private military team and pointed assault weapons at a civilian who is your daughter to get to your other daughter who wears a cape and chucks bat-shaped shurikens at people. When Batwoman suggests they team up, Jacob asks what kind of hero puts an innocent girl in front of a firing squad. WHO’S ORGANIZING THE FIRING SQUAD, DIPSHIT?!?!

I’m sorry, I’m sorry; this one scene undid any goodwill that Jacob has earned, and what pisses me off so much is it’s entirely in character for him.

After Jacob breaks the phone and dismisses the Crows, Mary tells him this was all her idea and that she approached Batwoman because she thought she could get through to Jacob. She says that he was so concerned about rehabilitating the Crows’ image and now he’s going after the person who actually has the public’s support and is saving people for free. Batwoman lands on the roof and offers a truce. Jacob accepts.

Another legendary superhero and vigilante duo is born! Batman and Jim Gordon, the Flash and Joe West, Green Arrow and Quentin Lance, Supergirl and Alex Danvers, Green Lantern and…oh, Green Lanterns are cops. Never mind.

The plan to stop the bad guy begins, as most do, by using the killer’s next victim as bait. Titan’s former coach goes on TV at the stadium to ask the former player to meet him on the fifty-yard line so the coach can apologize in person. I know that one! That’s the one in the middle!

Alice has a “trauma bond exercise” with Mouse where they destroy the thing that anchors them to their pain – the Alice In Wonderland book. This is probably another copy or a new one she bought for this purpose, because the one from their childhood is in the Crows’ HQ where she left it after escaping but shut up, this is symbolic! They’re both grateful for having the other to go through that trauma with. Alice tells Mouse she still wants to live with him in Wonderland. Mouse’s nose then starts to bleed. She’s poisoned him because he made her choose between him and her revenge. Because he couldn’t understand that feeling of betrayal until now. She holds him as he dies, saying she’ll see him again in Wonderland.

Holy shit.

The Crows and Kate wait in the stadium for Titan. Julia texts Kate to tell her to watch her back around Jacob, but Kate trusts her dad. The power is cut to the stadium and Titan takes out a few Crows on his way to the field. Kate talks him down by reminding him of who he used to be. Just as she’s getting through to him, the Crows open fire and kill Titan. Kate is surrounded by Crows – including Jacob – who have their weapons aimed at her. When Kate tries to reason with him, he shoots her. Before she can react to that, he fires again and the other Crows join in. She grapples up to the ceiling of the stadium as Sophie and Julia run in, telling Jacob to stop.

To avoid confusion, I typically call Kate “Batwoman” when she’s interacting directly with someone who knows Kate Kane but doesn’t know her secret identity, but here I thought it important to point out that Jacob is shooting at his daughter, whether he knows that or not.

At Crows HQ, Sophie is furious that she was left out of the operation, but Jacob did it because he knew she would protect Batwoman. He blames Batwoman for Alice and Mouse escaping Arkham. Sophie doubts Julia called Batwoman because she worries she’s keeping secrets. Julia tells her about Safiyah and shows her pictures of Sophie and herself that were sent to her hotel as a warning.

Another Crow enters Jacob’s office while he’s day drinking. The rounds recovered from the field are all flattened, even a round from a Desert Eagle. Jacob says they need to find something stronger.

Kate is saddened by Jacob’s betrayal. She tells Mary she thought she could come out to him as Batwoman someday, but not after what he did. She think he hates her, but Mary tries to comfort her by saying he hates Batwoman, but loves her. I’m going to talk about this at the end in a soapbox kind of way. For now, Kate thanks her sister for having her back.

Luke has destroyed the kryptonite with a hydraulic press, crushing it into dust. Mary points out that he just used a really big hammer. Mary, you are wonderful and valid. Kate shows them the piece of kryptonite she took during the Crisis, but says she can’t destroy it until she’s talked to Kara about what to do with it.

Alice finishes her work on Hush’s new mask: a new face that will let him waltz right into Wayne Tower and get the kryptonite.

She’s made him look exactly like Bruce Wayne.

“Urge to brood…rising…”

Well, they may have had to cut filming short, but that’s one heck of a cliffhanger. I really wondered whether they would go the Hush-impersonating-Bruce angle (something that has happened both in the comics and the Batman: Arkham games) because it would force them to commit to an actor for Bruce Wayne, which may solidify future plans. It was a pleasant surprise for the finale, and I have to say, the actor they got (Warren Christie) has the pensive brooding look down.

Alice killing Mouse was inevitable. They’ve been opposing each other for much of their screentime since Mouse first appeared, and Alice knocking the king off the chess board was just a hint of what was to come. We’ve seen both of them acting angry and abusive toward the other, so tensions were high already. And there’s an odd symbolism in Alice talking about destroying the thing that anchors her to her traumatic past. It wasn’t the book – it was Mouse.

Jacob’s full fascist turn wasn’t surprising either, though maybe the lengths to which he took it were. Firing on Titan and Batwoman with the intent to kill, as well as storming the GCPD rooftop without a care for who else would be there, is beyond the pale. Kate’s feeling of betrayal made me relate to her harder than I’ve probably ever related to her in the show, and this is where the soapbox comes in.

When you hide a part of yourself from a parent, you might have those moments where you think maybe you can trust them with that secret. Maybe they won’t react as badly as you think because you’re family. They love you. That love will change their mind about the thing because it’s you. But then you see how they treat others and realize their hatred for the thing you are is more likely to change whatever love they have or claim to have for you. It’s a betrayal that’s not easy to get over.

I know in the show there’s plenty to suggest that Jacob has no issue with Kate being a lesbian and he’s proud of his daughter and loves her for who she is. But I don’t feel like I’m reading too much into the parallel when Kate even says that she hoped to “come out” as Batwoman to him someday.

I might do a wrap-up article about the first season and its plots, or I might not. Short version so far: I really liked this first season. There were some bumps along the way and it got cut short because of the pandemic, but they made good use of what they had and gave the series a satisfying first season.

Seeya next season, folks!


Batwoman airs Sunday nights at 8 Eastern/7 Central on the CW. Kate Danvers knows just enough about football to impress sexy cheerleaders and make dumb sports jokes on Twitter @WearyKatie.

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