This week, a new era begins for The CW's Batwoman when it returns for its third season. Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) gets to stretch her batwings and fly- and she has Luke's (Camrus Johnson) Batwing to help keep Gotham's streets safe. Unfortunately, there's the matter of a mother who may not be as "dearly departed" as she first thought mixed in with the "Bat-trophies" seen roaming around at the end of the second season to contend with. So Team Batwoman is forced to "World's Finest" with the last person Ryan would want to have in her ear: Alice (Rachel Skarsten). Now, Leslie and showrunner Caroline Dries are talking with EW about "Batman Villain Trophies," Bridget Reagan's Poison Ivy, and Alice's perspective on teaming with Ryan.
The "Batman Villain Trophies" Storyline Respects the Past & Builds the Future: "How we left off with all of the Batman villain trophies being spread out in Gotham, it brings this feeling of nostalgia because we get to play with these villains that we've grown knowing and watching," Leslie explains. "Episode 3 [has] the Victor Fries influence. That episode was my favorite." Dries adds, "That was our key goal this season: to create [Ryan's] own rogues gallery. To [give Ryan] her own personal mess that she created, that's part of her backstory and history and responsibility."
Ryan's Rogues Gallery Impacts the Show's Tone: "The tonal vibe that we leaned to is more of a horror, action-thriller tone. That plays out in almost every episode," Dries says. "On 'The Flash', they have metahumans that can do all of these crazy things, so that makes them really challenging villains for the Flash and his team to go up against. With our show, she's going up against human beings. So how do you still make them feel formidable? How do you still get the scares and the tension? And so it almost ends up leaning itself towards more of a thriller."
Bridget Reagan's Poison Ivy Isn't Your Garden Variety Villain: "That story is heightened and crazy and pure spectacle as it gets at certain points, [but] it's a love story," Dries reveals. "She is the big bad, but there are a couple of big bads who are being groomed along the way."
Teaming with Batwoman Isn't Really on Alice's Wishlist: "Alice hates it with all of her heart, but I think to add to it Alice is also going through her own mental trauma because a lot of what has happened to her in her life has never been dealt with and she's constantly being abandoned," Leslie explains. "So when they're going on this journey, obviously Ryan hates it and Alice hates it, but they know they need each other and they're forced to work together." Dries adds, "At the end of the day, she's a brilliant genius, but never forget she will always be out for herself. Her arc this season is realizing, 'What if I'm starting to care for somebody else, and what does that mean for my own survival?'".
Batwoman Season 3 Episode 1 "Mad As A Hatter": SEASON PREMIERE – As Batwoman (Javicia Leslie) continues to keep the streets of Gotham safe, Batwing (Camrus Johnson) joins in on the action, but Luke quickly realizes he hasn't quite mastered his suit. Meanwhile, as Alice (Rachel Skarsten) sits hopelessly imprisoned in Arkham, Sophie (Meagan Tandy) fully enjoys her freedom. When Ryan pays Alice a visit to ask about the bombshell she dropped – that Ryan's birth mother is still alive – Ryan must decide if she should go down the rabbit hole of her past. As Mary (Nicole Kang) prepares to finally graduate from medical school, she feels the absence of her family more than ever. But when an Alice admirer stumbles upon one of the missing Bat Trophies, Gotham and the Bat Team get mixed up in the madness, culminating in a shockingly gruesome graduation…and an equally shocking new partnership. Also starring Robin Givens and Victoria Cartagena. Holly Dale directed the episode written by Caroline Dries.