Sunday, November 3, 2019

REVIEW: 'Batwoman' - Alice Details Her Origin Story as Kate and Jacob Wander Into Traps in 'Mine Is a Long and a Sad Tale'

The CW's Batwoman - Episode 1.05 "Mine Is a Long and a Sad Tale"

Alice takes Kate down the sad, winding road of her life in the days after the accident as Jacob and Sophie attempt to track them. Mary has an argument with Catherine which sends her looking for Kate at Wayne Tower, but instead she becomes unwelcome company for Luke.

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.

"Mine Is a Long and a Sad Tale" was written by Jerry Shandy & Ebony Gilbert and directed by Carl Seaton

Beth believed she was abandoned by her family following the accident. And so, she formed a new family. It just happened to be one with her demented and psychotic kidnappers. At first, it presents as a simple father-son dynamic. It ultimately turns out to be a twisted story of how far a man is willing to go to provide a sense of normalcy for his son. That means killing people and skinning their faces to cover Jonathan's scarred one. It also means keeping Beth against her will so that she can serve as a friend this family desperately needs. After awhile, she adopted that moniker as well. She was no longer their prisoner. She was their friend. She formed a bond with Jonathan. One that is still strong to this day. It's not a relationship built out of sexual tension. Instead, it is one of sibling love. Those are the most fascinating relationships being explored this season. Kate has been on a lifelong search for her sister. She is finally reunited with Beth but only sees the horrifying and heinous actions she is willing to take as Alice. Jacob has refused to believe that this terrorist is his long-missing daughter. And yet, he accepts that by the conclusion of this episode. It's not a revelation built out of the science. He too wants to run the blood tests to see if a genetic match is present. Instead, he can feel it in his bones. Kate and Jacob question just how strong the bonds amongst their family must have been because they were in the same physical space as Beth after she disappeared and they did nothing. She called for help. She took action to return to the life she had always known. Meanwhile, they were fooled into believing that this was simply another prank call. It didn't produce a meaningful result. It was just another dead end that they were chasing in the pursuit of answers. Because of Catherine's actions, they stopped looking after awhile. As such, Beth no longer existed. She become nothing but a ghost to the Kane family that forever haunted them. Meanwhile, she became Alice, a young woman with a key friendship in a new world. Yes, this hour doesn't delve completely into when Beth and Jonathan decided to break free of those identities and embrace life as Alice and Mouse, respectively. However, they did so together. They are the ones now formulating a plan for how to get revenge on Gotham and expose the true criminal antics that have divided the city. There is nothing inherently wrong with Alice's underlying message either. Her followers view Jacob and the Crows as dividing the city based on wealth. Those who can afford the services of this private security force feel safe and protected. Those who can't are left to fend for themselves in the corners of the city where crime is much more rampant and lethal. It grows all the more complicated because there are such personal stakes at the heart of this story. Jacob sees Alice as Beth. And yet, she stabs him in the stomach because of the pain he has caused her and his willingness to give up so easily. It's much more complicated than that. He too was given a false narrative of what to believe. That's what seems to shape so many worldviews throughout this world. The city looks to Batwoman as its new hero. The masked vigilante who can keep them all safe and provide justice when the Crows cannot. However, Kate still falls into Alice's trap. They have a connection as twins. They both try to fool and deceive each other in the hopes of getting to the truth. Alice withholds just enough to create a lingering sense of doubt as to how far she'll go and what exactly happened to her. But that also alienates Mary because she feels like the sister frequently abandoned despite the skills she also brings to the table to save lives. That too is crucial even though Mary and Luke's subplot is entirely disposable here. Kate and Jacob operate with a little more clarity right now. And yet, these family dynamics will only continue to be tested. Jacob leaves the hospital early. He may be lucky this time. But that may only come from Kate and Sophie knowing how to project strength in a dire situation even one where they are facing off with a beloved face from the past.