Sunday, February 21, 2021

REVIEW: 'Batwoman' - Ryan Clashes with the Team After Being Approached by the Crows for a Partnership in 'Gore on Canvas'

The CW's Batwoman - Episode 2.05 "Gore on Canvas"

Batwoman is approached by Commander Kane and Agent Moore to boost an infamous work of art that reveals the way to Coryana - and Kate. Despite her reservations, Luke and Mary convince Ryan to take the assignment, causing tensions within the Bat-team to escalate. As Alice attempts to fulfill Safiyah's insidious request, she slowly discovers that she may not remember everything about her time on Coryana.

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.

"Gore on Canvas" was written by Daniel Thomsen and directed by Norma Bailey

Batwoman has always had a contentious relationship with the Crows. It was complicated further by Kate having close relationships with the leadership of the organization. Her father and Sophie were there. She purposefully kept her secret from them. They are aware of the truth now. That makes them reflect on the past dynamic in horror. That reflection causes a little evolution. They don't trust the new Batwoman though. However, Sophie can make the argument that they need her help in order to rescue Kate from Safiyah. She now has complete clarity about what Kate meant to her. She was the love of her life. She couldn't see that before. But now, it's the truth she holds firmly. That means the interests between the Crows and the Bat team are aligned once more. They can help each other. Ryan has a completely different perspective of the Crows. She sees all of these agents as bad people. They abuse their power constantly. They serve the wealthy and privileged of Gotham. They have no oversight and accountability. As such, they continually get aware with these constant abuses. The first season was willing to call out this injustice and corruption a little bit. It seems likely to be more profound this season simply because of the change at the core of the show. To Ryan, it's not good enough for two agents to lose their jobs after they assault a criminal with their car and then leave him to bleed out on the road. Batwoman saves him. That came after she fought him in order to steal the Napier painting that everyone was so eager to get their hands on in search of Safiyah and Coryana. That reveals more of Ryan's character and conviction. People need to respect that as well. She was against working alongside the Crows. She didn't see any potential for good in this partnership. Mary and Luke argued for it because it's what they have done before as part of the team. Kate was willing to foster this relationship despite its contentious nature. She always saw the potential benefit. It allowed different perspectives into the conversation to hopefully best protect the city. Ryan acknowledges the horror and corruption. That can't be accepted simply because of the noble policing work that presides over the day-to-day operations of this organization. People are getting hurt. The city has fallen prey to a system driven by class and socioeconomic circumstances. Ryan gets a peak behind the world of the wealthy. It highlights the depravity and criminality that has long dominated this city. She is surprised by the people she meets at the event. She learns that her rekindled romance with Angelique may still be plagued by the same issues of the past. Angelique just happens to be selling drugs instead of using them. It's only been a brief time she has been in sobriety though. This dangerous world may only further invite more consequences. Ryan knows how to accept that. She fears reaching out for help. At a certain point, that is the only option though. That becomes clear with her Kryptonite injury. It's not getting any better. That is simply one of the ongoing mysteries that could soon consume the entire narrative. The same extends to Alice and Ocean realizing they were both on Coryana together and were romantically linked. Neither of them can remember that which continues to suggest just how powerful Safiyah truly is. They are the ones most likely to return to Coryana soon though. They have the actual painting that serves as a map to this mysterious island. They were barely connected to the main plot at all. And yet, they are the ones who emerge victorious in this pursuit. That may also prove that the fight can be rigged. It's important to choose one's battles and trust the people you go to fight alongside. Ryan needs that clarity from Mary and Luke. She calls out their opinions about the Crows. She challenges their perceptions. Sophie can't reform this organization from the inside. It's too corrupt for those improvements to come. Ryan sees that. Sophie doesn't accept that. And so, the balance of power essentially remains the same. Batwoman clashes with the Crows. Meanwhile, Alice continues to wander around this world causing chaos while flashbacks reveal more of her unpredictable past. All of this is still engaging. And yes, the show starts a meaningful conversation regarding the role of policing and holding people accountable. It's also encouraging to see non-binary representation in this world. The narrative is still defined by a formula that has worked even though it must evolve now that Ryan is at the center of the show. She still deserves her own relationships to carry just as much prominence and power as the bonds that defined the show a year ago.