The CW's Batwoman caps off an excellent first season with some game-changing thrills. A rumination on partnerships and loyalty, and above all family, it offers all of the sorts of team-ups and betrayals we'd expect in any show set in Gotham. And that final scene, while somewhat predictable for anyone who has been following the show or Bat-lore, has huge implications for what next season may offer.
In our opener, we see our main villain of the week Tim "The Titan" Teslow (Terrence Terrell) take on Commander Kane (Dougray Scott) in a subway with an assist from Kate (Ruby Rose). Turns out he is former football star whose roid rage made him a lethal killer. Meanwhile, Team Batwoman look for a way to destroy kryptonite after learning it could penetrate the Batsuit, while Alice (Rachel Skarsten), Mouse (Sam Littlefield), and Hush (Gabriel Mann) argue in their sewer lair.
Hush/Tommy wants the new face his partners promised him. And Mouse wants nothing more than to vamoose from Gotham. But Alice is still dead-set on finding the kryptonite Lucius Fox promised in his journal could penetrate the Batsuit. Ultimately, this disagreement ends up focusing most of their part of the episode together, as it sort of runs on two rails, neither ever really intersecting.
On one, we have the Alice-Mouse relationship driving things, and on the other, it's mostly Kane family drama between Kate, Mary, and daddy Jacob as they hunt down this week's baddie. For Alice and Mouse, the stakes are personal but couldn't feel larger. For the Kanes, the stakes are the safety of the city but also reverberate into the personal.
The best part of this episode (like the entire season) remains Mary (Nicole Kang) who confronts her stepfather and convinces him he needs to team up with Batwoman. Mary is the glue that holds this show together, and the humor and pathos Kang has brought to the character shine through in every moment she's on-screen. She and Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson) are the secret sauce odd couple we never knew we needed, but I could watch them Sherlock and Watson every mystery.
Of Mice and (Wo)men and Batwoman
Speaking of performances, this was also a tour de force for Skarsten and Littlefield as Alice and Mouse. Their final scene together was so layered, so tragic, so unhinged in the way only these two are able to bring. It is also, as Sam Littlefield told us in an exclusive interview, some of the best writing of the series. I'm incredibly sad to see Mouse go, as we've gone from hating him to loving him across the season. But to have him be taken out at Alice's hands because she can't bear the idea of him living without her is so perfect in remaining true to the main themes of their tragic, shared story.
Rose is no slouch either. She's consistently done well, but here, in a final scene, she really brings it home as she wonders with Mary if her father hates her. With the weight of the city on her, it's still the personal stuff that hurts the worst. And it's great to see Kate lean on Mary.
Even better, I love the throwback to previous episodes where Supergirl trusted Batwoman to keep a shard of kryptonite, just in case. Having to get her consent to destroy it is a really great, and true to character, twist. It also puts them in some interesting places and where Kate has to exist knowing she is protecting the potential means of her destruction, especially as her father and The Crows begin to look for ways to take her out.
So, Let's Talk About That Final Scene
But, of course, it's that final scene that will really have fans talking, as Alice reveals Tommy's new face is none other than Bruce Wayne. This brings up all sorts of possibilities for next season, not the least of which is thinking about what a psychopath like Tommy will do having his one true wish fulfilled: he is Bruce Wayne.
And how long will he and Alice be able to keep the charade up? Will it only be a ploy to get the kryptonite? Or will it be a long-con where he takes over as Bruce and sidelines Kate, cuts her off from all of his resources? Let the speculation machine begin. We'll see you here then and as soon as we hear any more Batwoman related news.