The CW's Batwoman continues its freshman season as things get "curiouser and curiouser" (in the parlance of Lewis Carroll). The second episode "The Rabbit Hole" is heavy on exposition and family drama – not as much on the action. And the story revolves around the central question of whether Alice (Rachel Skarsten) is actually Kate's long-lost-and-presumed-dead sister, a plot point I'd assumed they would slow burn, or maybe save for sweeps, but here we go anyway…
This episode was bogged down a lot in the "tell, don't show" department. As characters talked about their feelings and monologue through exposition, they forget to actually develop their characters more. We spend a lot of time in the episode in childhood flashbacks of Young Kate and Dad Jacob obsessing over missing Beth. While all fine and good…for an episode 7, when we can go deep on backstory.
This show is Batwoman… but we are getting very little Batwoman.
A nice bright spot are the newsbreaks from Vesper Fairchild (Rachel Maddow), which provide some nice world-building. One of the top rules of any Batverse property is that Gotham itself is a character. Vesper provides the voice of Gotham and their desperation, their snark, their curiosity about the fate of the caped crusader. Sadly, we only get a little bit of her. We could certainly use more.
Rose's delivery is still occasionally a little clunky, but it's still only the second episode. The best thing about her is she does great in the suit. Newsflash? We need more of her in… the… suit.
I also want to see Jacob Kane developed as more of an antagonist. Right now I get a good sense of both who he is and who Kate is but not a lot of them playing off one another. Since The Crows are supposed to be the antidote to a Gotham without Batman, I want to see him responding to Batwoman like an existential threat. Instead, it looks like we're setting up (checks show notes) Kate's stepmom as an antagonist? Ok, let's see where this goes, I guess.
But when it comes right down to it, not a lot happened in this episode. Some more exposition and talk, but as go further down the rabbit hole, we don't get a lot of resolution. Missing is the efficiency I saw in the first episode. Let's hope we get more of it as we go "Down, Down, Down" in next week's episode– where it looks like we finally get to see the Batwoman suit. (Thank goodness)