Sunday, March 22, 2020

REVIEW: 'Batwoman' - Kate Worries That She Has Become Exactly Like Alice in 'Through the Looking Glass'

The CW's Batwoman - Episode 1.16 "Through the Looking Glass"

Kate begins to question her instincts and Luke gets upsetting news. Alice seeks her sister's help with a special task.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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.

"Through the Looking Glass" was written by Nancy Kiu and directed by Sudz Sutherland

Kate fears turning into Alice. She never thought that was possible until this moment. She had her moral principles. She always thought Alice was the one who needed redemption and saving. Alice projects herself as truly seeing how the world actually operates. She spoke about the corruption within the Crows long before Jacob noticed it. And now, it may be too late for Jacob and Sophie to do anything about it. Two people are killed here because of an apparent cover-up regarding the murder of Lucius Fox. Jacob and Sophie are targeted as well despite their attempts to investigate covertly. It's a precarious time in Gotham. Kate is untethered. She killed Cartwright. She feels no remorse for that action either. She is only guilty about not feeling guilty. That absolutely terrifies her. As soon as murder no longer bothers her, she figures she is exactly like Alice. Whenever she partners with her sister, she has to get Alice to promise not to kill anyone. That is a strict rule for Kate. When she breaks it, she is absolutely devastated. Alice uses it as the latest proof that this family isn't as different as they have long professed. They share some striking similarities even though Alice was kept from Kate and Jacob for years. She endured so much trauma. Her father and sister can never completely become just like her because of everything she has suffered. However, she has let them into her world and know exactly how terrified she was. Kate acted out as a result of that. She killed Cartwright because she clearly felt the pain and misery that Alice did. Alice is hoping to use that compassion and empathy to build a new connection with her sister. One who won't betray her or leave her. Kate made her choice in deciding Beth should live instead of Alice. That didn't work though. It was only further evidence that Kate would abandon Alice over and over again. That is her greatest fear. Her family connections are still the most personal for her. It's easy to write her off as a troubled soul who has suffered a psychotic break because of the trauma she faced for years. But she speaks to something powerful as well. She exposes what Jacob and Kate may be in their deepest cores. This ugliness is real and transparent now. Kate no longer feels like she can be the hero Gotham needs. She looks up at the bat signal concerned about getting people's hopes up that Batwoman will come in to save the day. Instead, she is busy trying to break Mouse out of Arkham Asylum. She teams up with Alice for that mission. She does so believing that Alice will leave the city afterwards. The sisters will never interact again. All of this ugliness can disappear. That may be a comforting thought after months of witnessing just how messy and destructive these personal emotions have been. And yet, Kate can't abide by that decision either. She fundamentally knows that Alice can't be set free. She will always be a danger to the people around her. It's still absolutely devastating when she closes the door on her. She traps her in Arkham Asylum and at the mercy of the deranged doctors who run their experiments there. It's yet another instance of Kate and Jacob leaving Alice. That will forever be their pattern. They can come together in certain moments. However, those are always fleeting at best. Kate and Jacob may always be trying to confine Alice because they view her as insane and disturbed. She has to be locked away. That's the life she has known for so long. It isn't pleasant. She refuses to deal with that reality again. That will make her dangerous. But there are these mysterious forces operating in Gotham now too. Alice's life is full of secrets Kate doesn't know about yet. However, she is sitting precariously on the ledge unsure of her standing as a hero. She took a life. That breaks her down. She may find comfort in Julia Pennyworth once more. That may just be a surface level comfort though. Kate now runs the risk of alienating herself at the precise moment when she needs the support of her friends to get through this harrowing experience. She just prevents that from occurring because her life remains a secret to most of them. She made that choice. She may have to reassess moving forward because this isolation won't be healthy despite Alice seemingly no longer being a threat. Luke deserves answers as well. Kate has to step up for him after everything he has done for her.