Sunday, April 11, 2021

REVIEW: 'Batwoman' - A Community Center Opens as Jacob Kane Becomes Addicted to Snakebite in 'Time Off For Good Behavior'

The CW's Batwoman - Episode 2.10 "Time Off For Good Behavior"

As Batwoman focuses even more effort on taking down Black Mask, a new foe emerges, diverting the Bat team's attention to a distressing issue in Gotham. Continually haunted by the mistakes of his past, Jacob travels down a dangerous path in an attempt to eradicate them. Alice and Julia discover they have an enemy in common.

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.

"Time Off For Good Behavior" was written by James Stoteraux & Chad Fiveash and directed by Eric Dean Seaton

Ryan is determined to make a difference in Gotham. She now understands that she must take different actions than Kate and the various law enforcement agencies have. This city has had many well-intentioned people try to disrupt the criminal elements. Nothing has changed for years though. The void is always filled by another depraved individual willing to inflict harm on the entire city. Those trying to change the system can no longer simply react to the heinous deeds committed by these criminals. Of course, that quality is still apparent and important. However, Ryan feels invigorated in helping launch Jordan's community center. That investment from her and Mary can be absolutely transformational to the neighborhood. It can offer kids an outlet and a safe place to go instead of becoming involved with the criminal elements. It's a valid alternative. It suggests that there is more in this world than the cycle that has always been known. Of course, powerful people exist who don't want anyone to disrupt this vicious cycle. The show reflects the genuine socioeconomic difficulties of confronting issues in this way as well. It takes a willingness to care about other people as actual people with individual lives. It's much easier to just see them as numbers on a page. The inhumanity isn't felt because it's kept away in a place of society not meant to be examined too closely. It's a dehumanizing process. One where it takes all sense of hope and ambition away. It's not a process in which people can reform their behavior and hope for something better after being released. Prison only emboldens the criminal minds because it boosts the profits for everyone in charge. Ryan sees that plainly here. She doesn't know the history of community centers being attacked. In fact, no one in the city is looking too closely at it. The one journalist who is was recently fired. As such, he feels discredited and not to be believed. His instincts are right though. Powerful people can simply buy the newspaper and silence the story. It's that easy. That's how influential the entire system has become. Money has been consolidated at the top. It's difficult to expose. It's even harder to take them down and ensure that they suffer as a result. Ryan believes she gets a confession out of the CEO when she confronts him. In reality, he has even more soldiers armed with lightning guns to attack. He speaks openly because he feels the confidence to say whatever he wants and get away with it. He ultimately doesn't. Ryan has allies as Batwoman as well. They expose the truth. They hope to rebuild the community center. This will hopefully make a difference. It's aspirational. It's something that fills everyone with joy. However, there is plenty of despair in this world too. Jacob is attacked and injected with Snakebite. All it takes is one hit for him to become addicted. This episode actually offers a better explanation for why the drug is so addictive. It has been casually mentioned throughout the season. And now, it's clearly being wrapped up in the new villainous threats that are emerging in the city. Minds are being altered. Alice lost her memories of Ocean. Julia can't remember several days when she was looking into Kate's disappearance. The two team up in the hopes of finding Enigma. Julia does only to get hit with memory loss once more. Alice wants to forget though. She doesn't want to attack the operation Enigma has with Black Mass. She doesn't care about their grand plans for the city. Her father is suffering. She hears the plan he is still plagued with over not fighting harder to find her. She no longer wishes to offer much thought to that suffering. She is determined to forget her pain and the people who caused it. She is still removed from the conflict. Meanwhile, it's incredibly personal for Ryan as Angelique is abducted after Sophie promised witness protection would be safe for her. So, the stakes of this world continue to intensify. They are built around relationships that could end in a very dark place. Of course, that also requires the audience to buy into the romantic depth of Ryan and Angelique as a couple. It's easy to accept them as two people with a ton of history. Ryan will fight to save her friend. It's just not something that feels essential in a romantic context though. That's noticeable especially when the show tries to drive home that point.