written by Kate Danvers
In this episode, I learn that straight women can be clueless disasters too. I had no idea that some of you had no functioning gaydar either.
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
Ryan’s condition is worsening as the Kryptonite reaches her brain. Mary and Luke do what they can for her, but she’s running out of time. Elsewhere, Jacob and Sophie look into Aaron Hellzinger from last episode and discover more evidence of human experimentation. Surprise surprise, the woman who falsified medical records to make Jacob and Kate think that Beth’s body had been found owned a company with tons of dirty little secrets. Who’d have thought?
Alice shows Tatiana “Ocean’s” dead body, and the highly skilled assassin gets clocked over the head by Little Miss Wonderland. Tatiana then wakes up chained to a ladder.
ALICE: “Good morning, my little lesbian pet.”
If this review is late, it’s because I spent all day trying to figure out how to turn that into my phone’s alarm. Alice wants to know why her memories were wiped and why she was a threat to Safiyah. Tatiana begins by telling her what made her appealing to Safiyah: their mutual enemy, Catherine Hamilton-Kane. Catherine gave Safiyah a bad deal on an island defense system, so Coryana started going after her yachts. They found Alice on one, drinking all of Catherine’s booze.
Alice took out four of Tatiana’s men before Tatiana brought her to Safiyah. Safiyah questioned her, learned about her beef with Catherine, and saw something in her. See, according to Tatiana, Safiyah feels trapped on Coryana whereas Alice escaped her captivity. Safiyah wanted to have Alice trained to smooth out her rough edges, so she had Ocean do that. The plan was to hone Alice into the perfect little loyal assassin, she takes care of business in Gotham, and then returns to Safiyah like a loyal puppy. Alice, though…she wanted Ocean.
In the Batcave, Mary gets a text from Sophie about the corrupt doctor the Crows are investigating. They’re raiding his office to find the map. Ryan can’t go there herself, because she’s got acute radiation poisoning, her bone marrow is disintegrating, and her circulatory system is failing. Those are bad, right? Mary suggests asking her dad to bring the Desert Rose along with Kate on his way back from Coryana, but Luke thinks Jacob might react badly to Mary being on the Bat-Team. Uh…how does he not know? She ran an underground clinic, she hangs out with Kate’s old business partner (who they also suspected of being on the Bat-Team), and Jacob knows she helped Kate before at the end of last season.
They’re interrupted by Ryan somehow sneaking out of the bed that was ten feet away, hopping in the Batmobile, and taking off.
She goes to Angelique’s apartment as Batwoman. Angelique already has another girlfriend. Ryan just wants to know where Ocean is. Ryan is barely able to stand up as she threatens Angelique with a batarang. Angelique tells her Ocean is in Coventry and then pushes her off the fire escape and onto a car below. Luke and Mary arrive, load Ryan into Luke’s car as a police helicopter circles overhead, and then argue about who is taking which car with Mary finally getting to drive the Batmobile.
Ryan has dreams and hallucinations of her mother, the Wonderland gang, and Alice. She imagines herself confronting and repeatedly stabbing Alice. At the Batcave, Luke puts a few more trackers on Ryan’s suit in case they lose her again, then Mary sends him on a medicine run.
We get more flashbacks of Ocean and Alice. They hated each other at first, but true love/hate prevails or something. In the present, Alice still doesn’t get why Safiyah took issue with Alice and Ocean hooking up, so we’re presented with a rare moment of a lesbian explaining to the useless, clueless straight girl that the other lesbian is in love with her.
A flashback shows Safiyah explaining the origins of the Desert Rose to Alice. Her ancestors, a group of women who fled their abusive husbands, founded the island of Coryana. When the men found them, the women fought back and drove the men back to the sea. The Desert Rose grew from the place where some of the women fell in battle. Safiyah cuts her finger and drips some blood into the soil around a potted plant, and the Desert Rose blooms from it.
Well, now it makes sense to Alice. Tatiana was always jealous of Alice because Tatiana is in love with Safiyah. They bicker, then Tatiana admits it and says that she wanted to destroy Alice because of it. How is this the best lesbian drama in this show so far?
Ryan wakes up. Mary tells her she got to drive the Batmobile – and that the buttons for the wipers and the button for the rocket launchers look very similar. But…it wasn’t even raining when she got in the Batmobile? Anyway, Ryan wants to find Alice to kill her and get justice for both of their moms before she dies. Mary texts Sophie that they need to find the map.
The Crows raid Dr. Rogers’ lab, looking for the Coryana map. He and all of the other doctors are dead around a conference table with IV bags hooked up to them. They find the map’s container in the office, but the map itself has been burned and Safiyah has left a note: “It’s best you stop digging.” With their lead on Kate’s location literally dead and the map in ashes, Jacob breaks down.
In a flashback to Coryana, Alice tells Ocean about the day Jacob and Kate went to the house but didn’t realize she was there. Ocean reminds her that she got out, and that now she has a second chance. He’s going for one too – he’s stolen a Desert Rose and he’s going to escape the island and grow it to distribute to everyone. He wants Alice to come with him. They start making out as Tatiana watches from a distance, looking upset. In the present, Tatiana is like “Ha ha, you killed the man you love.” Alice just laughs and says that she found her mom’s head in a freezer, so even if she had killed Ocean, that’d be nothing.
Ryan figures out a way to track Alice and pleads with Mary to let her go as a way to honor her last wish. Mary steps aside and lets Ryan go. Also Dino, the little dinosaur figure, is a hide-a-key. That’s adorable.
Alice has heard enough. She’s ready to go to Safiyah now. Tatiana tells her more, though – erasing those memories had collateral damage. In a flashback, Safiyah is angry at Ocean and Alice for betraying her trust and stealing something precious, so she’s going to steal something from them: their love. She calls for “Enigma,” a hypnotist. Ocean begs her not to. Safiyah wants to remove Alice’s memory of Ocean and fully envelop her in the Wonderland persona she’s created for herself.
In the present, Tatiana says that because of her relationship with Ocean, she was regaining her humanity and could have moved on with her life and been happy, but Safiyah turned her into the Alice of today. Alice lets Tatiana go so she can take “Ocean’s” body to Safiyah. Alice is going to get dressed to properly greet the queen…oh, that’s fucking ominous.
Alice goes to Ocean’s hideout to tell him about the gaps in their memories. He’s got his closure, so he’s leaving. Alice claims that she’s going to Coryana to get her final revenge on her sister unless Ocean convinces her to go with him. He tells her to live her life, then leaves. Before Alice can deal with that, Ryan busts in. She asks Alice if she knows who she is, then just reveals herself and the whole dead mom origin story.
Alice is proud of herself for creating two Batwomen. They fight, and Alice proclaims that she’s innocent – it was her gang that did the bad thing. Where have I heard that recently? >.> Just as Ryan gains the upper hand and prepares to kill Alice, she sees a hallucination of Cora, who convinces her to be a better person. Ryan lets Alice go.
Jacob is drinking in the office again. When Sophie reports that the Crows can’t find Alice, Jacob says Catherine did him a favor by convincing him that Beth was dead all those years ago.
JACOB: “The only thing worse than losing one of your children is the cycle of waking up every morning with hope and having it ripped away and losing them all over again by dinner.”
Alice is picked up by Tatiana to be taken to meet with Safiyah. In the Batcave, Luke asks Ryan where Alice is. She didn’t kill her, but she didn’t apprehend her either. That’s bad, right? Nope, because Ryan put a tracker in Alice’s boot – they can track her all the way to Coryana. I sure hope she wears the same boots or doesn’t notice the tracker.
Well, there’s the plot twist Dayna picked up on a few weeks back. Beth wouldn’t be in her full Alice persona today if Safiyah’s brainwashing hadn’t stripped away her humanity. I wonder if they’re going to try to turn this into a redemption/atonement arc for Beth. If the hypnosis is undone and she regains that part of her memory, will she revert to the person she was on Coryana?
Even at the end of this episode when she’s hoping to run away with Ocean, she seems like a different person. We see bits of that when she’s fighting Ryan and denying her culpability in Cora’s death. A few weeks ago, Alice would have reveled in the blame. And even with Ryan clearly being in rough shape and vulnerable, Alice doesn’t take advantage of the situation and leaves as soon as Ryan lets her go.
While I enjoyed this episode much more than the last one, there is something about Season Two overall that bugs me. So much is focused on Kate Kane, and that makes sense because most of the characters are connected to her in some way and they would naturally be trying to get her back. But the continued focus on getting her back is a major hindrance on the show going forward. Ryan Wilder is Batwoman. Javicia Leslie is Batwoman. Ruby Rose is not going to come back just to bring Kate Kane back and put her in the main role. Season Two is trying to drag along an audience with a promise they already know is false.
I will keep saying this because I mean it: I love Kate Kane, but the show can’t move forward until they finally give the audience and the characters some closure. Kate is gone. Let Ryan step out of her shadow.
Next time: Ryan fights ninjas and Alice is reunited with her long-lost sister! …Yeah, pretty sure that second one isn’t happening.
Batwoman airs Sunday nights at 8 Eastern/7 Central on the CW. Kate can be reached every day, every hour on the hour at six and ten for her two hour special, every fifteen minutes on Twitter @WearyKatie.