Sunday, October 20, 2019

REVIEW: 'Batwoman' - Kate Accepts That She Must Serve as the New Hero Gotham Needs Right Now in 'Down Down Down'

The CW's Batwoman - Episode 1.03 "Down Down Down"

As the city waits impatiently for another visit from Batman, Alice sets her sights on Jacob and Catherine. Kate is visited by Tommy Elliot, a friend of her cousin who has finally realized his lifelong dream of being wealthier than Bruce Wayne. Mary gets an unexpected new bestie when Sophie is assigned to protect her. Luke and Kate work to uncover who may have taken a valuable weapon from Batman's arsenal. Kate realizes she must either walk away from her new role or fully embrace the mantle as Gotham's new hope.

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.

"Down Down Down" was written by Holly Henderson & Don Whitehead and directed by Dermott Downs

Kate first put on the bat suit in order to protect her family. They were in danger because of the threat from Alice. She had to find a new way to serve after her dream of becoming a Crow seemed to be unobtainable. But she also awokened a hunger within Gotham. They crave Batman to protect them. Jacob and Catherine believe that the Crows have stepped up to make the city feel safe. However, they may have simply created new boundaries that further separate the elite from the poor. Bruce Wayne's childhood friend, Tommy Elliot, is the exact same way. He may promote a walled off neighborhood that allows people to embrace the lives they used to be able to have in this city. It's a play to nostalgia. It's understandable why it is an effective strategy for him. However, he presents as a man defined by spite and vengeance. He has a vendetta against Batman because he saved his mother's life. That shouldn't make sense for any rational mind. Tommy sees that as an impediment that prevented him from achieving the most wealth in Gotham until now. He has accomplished that feat and wants the entire city to celebrate him. He is pompous and arrogant. Everyone attends out of obligation instead of genuine appreciation for everything that he does. But he is working a far more sinister angle. This night is when he plans on getting his revenge on Batman. He wants this to be the pinnacle of his life for so many different reasons. Batman hasn't returned to Gotham though. No one knows where Bruce is. Kate feels the weight of the world when she puts on the suit. She wasn't ready to handle all of the responsibilities that came from being the masked hero this city needs. In fact, her appearances so far may have further incentivized some previous villains to come out of the woodwork. They may have been scared by the vigilante that roamed the streets of Gotham at one point. However, this new hero is one full of mystery. The city doesn't know if their protector has returned. They don't know if they can view that symbol with hope and optimism. Kate doens't know if she can handle all of that. She would have to have crazy high aspirations to think she could serve as well as Bruce could. And yet, she may be the only hope that the city has at this point. Innocent people may die simply because of the suspicion she started up. Because of this ongoing conversation, she embraces the bat identity fully. She needs people to know that she isn't the same hero as before. She is a woman. She feels more powerful and capable than Batman ever was. And yes, the city does seem to embrace that by the conclusion of this hour. It's just an ongoing struggle for Kate because she can't seem to convince Alice to change her ways. Sure, Alice may save Kate when Tommy appears to have the upper hand over her in their fight. However, she is still a killer working some larger plan for the city. Kate hopes that her sister can still find redemption. But all of the death really makes it seem like all hope is lost. Jacob may have his own concerns now about Alice potentially being Beth. Catherine is the one who stands firm despite the secrets she obviously wants to keep covered up. But again, everyone is trying their best to move on with their lives no matter how much the past continually wants to drag them down. It's hopeful for Kate because she has a new love interest and embraces her identity as Batwoman. And yet, Sophie is the first to actually refer to her with that name. So, things will inevitably stay complicated for the time being. That's exciting as well even though there remains some supporting characters who haven't really popped in the narrative just yet. Mary is keeping her clinic a secret while Sophie refuses to share the intimate details of her past relationship with Kate to her husband.