Sunday, October 13, 2019

REVIEW: 'Batwoman' - Kate Seeks Answers From Alice About Their Potential Connection in 'The Rabbit Hole'

The CW's Batwoman - Episode 1.02 "The Rabbit Hole"

Back in Gotham, battling Alice and the Wonderland Gang from the shadows, Kate continues to be haunted by the events surrounding her sister's death 15 years earlier. While the city holds on to hope that Batman has returned, Jacob Kane and the Crows up the stakes trying to take down the villainous crew. Kate continues to look to Bruce Wayne's legacy for guidance as Luke Fox inadvertently gets pulled into Batwoman's vigilante heroics. Sophie and Kate are forced to team up. Mary finds herself in Alice's crosshairs.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of The CW's Batwoman.

"The Rabbit Hole" was written by Caroline Dries and directed by Marcos Siega

The premiere closed with the idea that Alice could actually be Kate's long presumed dead sister, Beth. The tragedy that seemingly killed her and their mother provides Kate with a backstory familiar to the superhero genre. It also makes it clear that the dynamic between hero and villain is much more complicated than it initially seemed. Jacob doesn't want to give any merit to the idea that Beth could still be alive and is terrorizing the city as its latest villain. He gave up on her a long time ago. He created a false story about bone fragments being found so that he and Kate could move on from this tragedy. He has allowed himself to. He has built a new life for himself as the head of the Crows and his marriage to Catherine. He has a new family. He still has an intense connection with Kate. However, she comes across as the dogged investigator who refuses to let her suspicions go. Jacob views that as an annoyance. It distracts him from the work that has to be done. He doesn't want to see Alice with any sense of humanity. She isn't a complicated person with a different perspective on the world. She is a psychopath who is doing a great deal of harm to the city. She kills innocent people. She may have a solid vision of a Gotham that doesn't solely care about the elite and those willing to pay for the services of the Crows. She wants to destroy the notion that this is a safe place. She contributes to that evil and menace. The legacy of Batman isn't as a beacon of hope. Kate understands perfectly well that her cousin strived to terrify the villains of this world so that they wouldn't be so emboldened. That's the message she wants to share when she puts on the suit. Of course, that's not the narrative forming around the new masked vigilante running around the city. Instead, it's all centered on the myth of Batman and the idea that he may possibly be back. There is a photo on the cover of every newspaper. It gives people hope. But that only leads to their spirits being crushed when Batman doesn't seem to be at the scene of the crime when a police vehicle is bombed in order to free Alice. That's the narrative Kate finds herself battling. She has huge shoes to fill. Everyone has such lofty expectations for her. She is still trying to earn the respect of her father. She wants him to listen when she has solid ideas. Of course, she puts people in harm's way as well. She asks favors of Sophie even though that could compromise her job. It's all in service to Kate getting another meeting with Alice. That's what she wants. She wants the confirmation that this is her missing sister Beth. The show doesn't provide any easy answers in that regard though. Alice could be Beth. That may be what Kate wants to see. However, she is no longer the innocent girl Kate and Jacob last saw 15 years ago. If she survived the car crash, then it must have been a brutal experience that fundamentally changed her. If this isn't Beth, then she is someone stepping into a role in the hopes of making her antagonists emotionally compromised through the sheer thoughts of what they used to have. Jacob can't act as if choosing between life and death doesn't matter. He needs to be considerate about all options and what he asks of the men and women who work for him. He may be frustrated because this criminal is still at large. He doesn't know how a bomb got on the bridge. Batwoman and Alice are still operating in the dark. They have allies and they know who each other are. That's a chilling conclusion. It shows that the villain of the season is far more aware and capable than some of the people Kate trusts to help her grow as a hero. That's a scary thought. One that ensures Gotham may not be safe for awhile. Kate is battling public perception. Meanwhile, Alice is inviting anarchy and destruction. She may be Beth. But she is a killer now who may have to be killed because that's the simplest solution. It should never be seen as an easy choice though. Kate will have to constantly remind her father of that.