Sunday, January 31, 2021

REVIEW: 'Batwoman' - Ryan Makes Some Adjustments to Ensure She is Comfortable and Confident as Batwoman in 'Bat Girl Magic!'

The CW's Batwoman - Episode 2.03 "Bat Girl Magic!"

As Ryan Wilder continues to prove herself as Batwoman, she encounters the challenge of every superhero - living a double life. Mary is still Team Ryan, while Luke continues to have reservations - especially when Ryan makes some alterations and unveils a new Batsuit! Meanwhile, Victor Szasz is slashing his way through the city streets, and Commander Kane has The Crows trying to stop the flow of Snakebite through Gotham. Safiyah takes notice of Alice's antics and Sophie finds herself in unexpected circumstances.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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.

"Bat Girl Magic!" was written by Nancy Kiu and directed by Holly Dale

Gotham has a new Batwoman. Luke wants to treat Ryan as a placeholder until Kate returns. Mary is much more skeptical. The team has to ensure that Ryan succeeds no matter what. That means making adjustments and understanding that she is going to do things differently. She has an awareness of the criminal world that no one else in the room has had before. She knows who Victor Szasz is. She understands that he is a psychopath who enjoys inflicting pain on himself. It's gruesome. It's not particularly nuanced either. However, the show uses this story to make a statement about identity. Szasz knows exactly who he is. As such, he lives confidently in this world as the hitman Safiyah hires to eliminate any traces of the cure for her deadly poison. Meanwhile, Ryan puts on the Batsuit and carries the mantle forward because it's what Gotham needs. It doesn't fit her though. It was miraculous when she first discovered the suit. She eventually realized the responsibility that comes from being the hero in this city. She has agreed to carry that burden now. She expects Luke and Mary to help her. They are all adjusting. Ryan has to be set up to succeed though. At the moment, she isn't. She has to redesign the suit so that it works for her. When she feels confident in the outfit, then she can be confident as she battles the villains. Szasz gets in her head. This is still an important conversation though. The city can't continue speculating whether or not this Batwoman is the same one that they have known for the last year. They are still in the dark about why there is suddenly a new one. And yet, they welcome this savior as a beacon of light. The authorities are still annoyed. However, Commander Kane is mostly distracted by trying to uncover new clues to Kate's whereabouts. He is not engaged in the active business of the Crows. They are targeting a drug that has just hit the streets of Gotham. That's not really the major plot concern of the hour though. It may be an important detail soon. Right now though, it's all about Ryan stepping in and debuting as the new Batwoman in Gotham. It's necessary and important. This is her identity now. She can be a new role model. Of course, people have different expectations of her versus Batwoman. Ryan's parole officer treats her harshly while completely idolizing the vigilante. That is a part of the secret identity. Luke and Mary are the only people who know what exactly is going on. They help Ryan. Batwoman feels the urgency to keep them safe no matter what as well. It's important for them to continue offering their services to the world. They are all still in an adjustment period though. The narrative also wants to provide some hope about Kate's potential return. Mary thinks it's unlikely. Luke doesn't want to give up just yet. Meanwhile, Alice is told by Safiyah that Kate is currently her prisoner. That tease is all it takes for Alice to cooperate and agree to do whatever Safiyah asks of her. That too is a mystery. This is what Alice wanted though. She attacked the city hoping to get Safiyah's attention. That potentially disrupted the grand plans she has for Gotham. Plus, the narrative should already make the audience suspicious of whatever Safiyah says. Claiming to have Kate could simply be the tool she must use to continue getting something useful out of Alice. That's how Safiyah operates. Her loyal soldiers shouldn't question her wisdom and willingness to see the potential in someone. Sophie is kept alive for that very reason. However, that also means Safiyah has her attention on her. That will carry some significant consequences. Sophie is skilled. She doesn't quite know what she is facing. She still sees the hope in Kate being alive. That remains everyone's focus. They are right to do so as well. They all love her and want her to continue on the journey she was on that made such a difference in the lives of so many. Manipulating those emotions though may make it easy to distract them as the most dangerous threats to Gotham emerge. As such, Ryan needs to remain confident in order to be the hero that prevents these tragedies from occurring. She is one step closer to becoming that ideal. Her life is all about this mission now. She has a unique perspective. She sees things that others do not. That comes in handy here. It will more than likely be vital later on. The world keeps getting crazier. Ryan has the opportunity to make things better and protect the people who have been abused for far too long. That makes her heroic.