[Review] Batwoman Episode 2×17: “Kane, Kate”

written by Kate Danvers

In which I become increasingly frustrated by a villain not dying.

SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT

Batwoman beats up some False Face guys and interrogates one for information about Kate and Black Mask. I say “interrogate,” but she actually tortures him by spraying Janus perfume in his eyes. Black Mask has gone underground and there’s no sign of Kate/Circe. Back at the Batcave, Mary gets a text that a drunk patron of the Hold Up is acting like she owns the place. Turns out she does!

Ryan and Mary drag Kate up to the loft to sleep it off. Mary provides her with a big glass of water on the nightstand and a puke bucket in close proximity before tilting Kate’s her head to the side. The way Mary goes over this like a checklist tells me she’s done this for friends before, but she’s probably done it specifically for her sister. Kate remembers Mary by name, but has a little trouble remembering how she knows her. Hey, show? Stop breaking Mary’s heart for like five minutes, okay?

Oh, we’re going to break Alice’s heart instead?

Mary goes to Alice’s hideout and finds her crying over Ocean’s body. Alice begs and then threatens Mary to make her “fix him.” He’s been dead for hours at this point, so there’s nothing Mary can do. She actually empathizes with Alice in the moment. She knows the pain of losing someone because of Alice, but she wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone. She can’t bring herself to ask for Alice’s help again, whether out of fear or just giving Alice space to grieve. She thanks Alice for saving Kate and leaves.

Luke gets Kate’s journals from the Batcave to help jog her memory. Ryan is worried that she needs more than just a memory jog because of all the pain and trauma she went through. Luke thinks Kate is strong enough to overcome it.

He’s so happy in this scene. This team needs a big win.

Luke gives Kate the journals along with the keys to her motorcycle to go for a little joyride. She goes to a seemingly abandoned building where she meets up with Roman Sionis. Turns out she’s still Circe, and despite the tension of the end of the previous episode, she, Roman, and Safiyah are all chummy. She presents them with the journals as a “manual to the Batcave.”

Ryan feels like her days on the Bat-Team are numbered, so she packs up her stuff to move back into her van. Sophie offers up her couch instead, but Ryan declines. Sophie also tells Ryan she doesn’t have to give up the suit – she’s made it her own and proven herself to everyone. I agree. Ryan says there’s one person she hasn’t proven herself to, and that’s Kate. She also doubts what she’s done for the city since Black Mask is still at large.

Black Mask, meanwhile, is recruiting former Crows to be part of his gang. Tavaroff is there too, but he doesn’t want to only be a cog in the machine. Black Mask offers him something more.

Ryan steals a laptop from a False Face accountant. She takes it back to her van to check the money trail, but GCPD suddenly surround the van and arrest her for stolen property (the laptop), and for drug possession (Snakebite injectors that they planted). I just want to make it clear that cops do not have to be on a supervillain’s payroll to do shit like this. I mean, unless you consider Republicans supervillains. Okay, I amend my previous statement to fictional supervillains.

The most unrealistic thing about this scenario is that she’s on her feet and not either brutally beaten, tasered, or shot. ACAB.

In the GCPD parking garage, Ryan is left alone in the cruiser until Roman gets in to talk to her and makes it clear he knows she’s Batwoman. He claims he’s trying to bring justice to the city by wearing a mask, like her. Ryan says she fights for those the system overlooks – people like the real Circe Sionis, whose assault was covered up before she was imprisoned for doing something about it. She says Roman is dishonoring her memory. Roman ends the conversation there, but not before telling Ryan she’ll be killed before she makes it to a judge.

The rest of the Bat-Team finds out about Ryan’s arrest and starts to plan how they’re going to bust her out. The obvious answer is to send Kate in as Batwoman. Once they give her the suit, Circe shoots Mary, Luke, and Sophie with a tranquilizer gun, locks them in the elevator, and starts looking around the Bat-cave. Credit where it’s due: This isn’t a terrible plan for a villain. It hinges on Kate not breaking through, but the Bat-Team just handed over the suit and keys to everything.

At the courthouse, Ryan’s parole officer, Susan, gives her shit about the arrest. She doubts Ryan’s story about the drug paraphernalia being planted, because Susan is white and the system seems perfectly fine to her. Ryan tells her the GCPD is corrupt and that Black Mask owns them. When that doesn’t work, she tells Susan she’s Batwoman. Susan doesn’t believe her, but Ryan points to the six armed SWAT officers who arrested her and the guards outside with a ridiculous amount of firepower, all for a baggie of Snakebite injectors.

That’s not because you’re Batwoman; that’s because the police are grossly over-funded.

As Ryan is about to be taken away to mysteriously die in custody, Susan tells the officers she needs to speak with the judge because Ryan is being railroaded. One of the cops pulls out the patented law enforcement quick-fix-for-all-problems device (a.k.a. a gun) and tries to shoot Susan. Ryan stops him and beats him up, along with the other crooked officers. Susan offers Ryan a pass to get into the parking garage so she can escape. Oh, that’s right; she’s kind of a Batwoman fangirl.

I could watch Ryan beating up rooms full of dudes all day long.

Alice spreads Ocean’s ashes on the river and Safiyah arrives to “pay her respects.” Ah, a perfect opportunity to kill Safiyah. Alice, would you like to kill Safiyah? There she is. Safiyah says they’re even – Alice took the thing Safiyah loved most (the Desert Rose), so she took what Alice loved most. Uh-huh. Please kill her, Alice. Safiyah offers to end the war between them right there, and says she’ll give Alice sanctuary on Coryana from the chaos that’s coming to Gotham.

Sure is a lot of not killing Safiyah happening in this scene.

Circe opens a cobweb-covered section of the Bat-cave we haven’t seen before. Inside, there’s a conference room with six chairs and what I assume is a map of Gotham. In the next room is a workshop that Circe also ignores, so she misses seeing something inside that’s covered by a cloth (and if it’s what I think it is, we’ll see it next episode). Finally she finds what she’s looking for: a case containing dangerous items from Batman’s villains.

I recognized Mad Hatter’s hat, Joker’s acid flower and maybe a shock buzzer, a flower from Poison Ivy, Bane’s Venom, Killer Croc’s tooth, Clayface’s mud, and Penguin’s umbrella. Wow, there was just a whole Batman show happening before the Arrowverse even started. Oliver really did rip off Batman.

Ryan makes it back to the cave. She tries to free the others, but all of the Bat-gadgets are gone. Circe comes in and tries to shoot her with a crossbow.

This is the most restraint I’ve ever seen Alice show, and for once, I’m really not happy about it. KILL SAFIYAH!

Alice taunts Safiyah about Coryana being in ashes, but Safiyah says that with a little help from one of Poison Ivy’s vines, Coryana will be lush with Desert Roses again. Alice doesn’t know how she got that from Ivy, but Safiyah is getting it from the Bat-cave with Circe’s help. Remember when I said that it made no sense for Safiyah to kill Circe’s enemies? Well, turns out she was doing that to get on Circe’s good side so she would do her this favor.

Circe keeps shooting at Ryan and the Bat-Team with the crossbow, but she keeps missing. Hopefully that’s a sign that Kate is still in there fighting. Ryan fights Circe, giving the rest of the team time to escape. Sophie aims the crossbow at Circe, but doesn’t shoot. Circe leaves with the Bat-suit, the gadgets, and the villain items.

Safiyah continues to be a fucking monster and acts like she’s the only one who cares about Alice and can offer her safety. Alice hugs her…then stabs her in the gut with the +2 Dagger of Healing because she wants to prolong Safiyah’s death. Look, make it elaborate or ironic or funny or whatever you want to do; just follow through.

Luke apologizes to Ryan for not trusting her judgment when it came to getting Kate back. Ryan is worried about how they’re going to stop Black Mask, Circe, and Safiyah without the suit and gear. Mary has hope that they’ll find a way. Yeah, it’s in the next room over underneath a sheet. Might not fit Ryan, but I think it will totally work for Luke.

Back at Black Mask’s hideout, Roman picks up Bane’s Venom tank and asks Tavaroff if he’s ready to get started. That’s going to end well. In another room, Circe uses a chunk of Kryptonite to cut the Bat-suit into scraps.

Well, now I guess no one gets the suit. Oh well, time to make a new one!

A lot of this episode was setup for the finale, and the stakes look pretty high. No suit, no gadgets, just the team and whatever Circe may have missed in the cave. I already know one thing they’re setting up for the finale, and it’s in the trailer for that episode, but I don’t know where they’re going from here. Will it all be wrapped up next week? Will there be a cliffhanger? Will Kate return? Will Ryan still be Batwoman? WILL SOMEONE PLEASE KILL SAFIYAH ALREADY?!

Next time: DO THE THING, ALICE.

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Batwoman airs Sunday nights at 9 Eastern/8 Central on The CW. Kate Danvers would only take one thing from the Bat-cave – the giant penny – and that’s just so she can attempt to leave it in the Take a Penny/Leave a Penny dish at the nearest convenience store. She can be reached on Twitter @WearyKatie.

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