Monday, June 7, 2021

REVIEW: 'Batwoman' - Ryan Must Destroy a Racist Organization That Has Placed Luke's Life in Peril in 'Armed and Dangerous'

The CW's Batwoman - Episode 2.15 "Armed and Dangerous"

As Luke Fox's life hangs in the balance, repercussions from the devastating event are the catalyst for some life-changing decisions for those around him.

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.

"Armed and Dangerous" was written by Nancy Kiu and directed by Holly Dale

The Crows are a racist institution. Ryan has long operated with that clarity. Sophie came to that conclusion recently as well. She quit as a result of agents casually disregarding her orders and authority. And now, Jacob disbands the organization. It's positioned as the only sensible option left to confront the systemic levels of abuse that run rampant throughout law enforcement in the city. It also speaks poorly of Jacob's leadership. The agents who served underneath him were inspired by the actions he was willing to take in the field. The viciousness with which he hunted down Batwoman was seen as acceptable behavior for all people in the city. Jacob and Sophie promised to reform this organization after it was discovered last season that a rogue group of agents were covering up severe crimes including murder. And now, they are back in the exact same situation. Luke has been shot by Agent Tavaroff. Jacob having a personal connection to the victim may be the only reason why he questions the story being told by his agent. He knows that Luke isn't the type to commit crimes and carry a gun. It doesn't add up to him. And yet, Tavaroff's influence is so widespread throughout the Crows. He has agents willing to protect him when Batwoman shows up to confront him. He has agents willing to alter the body cam footage to support the claims he is making about Luke having a gun. He is willing to condemn an innocent Black man to death or a lifetime behind bars just in order to maintain his influence and power in this world. It's all acceptable behavior too. He is even willing to kill his commander because Jacob presents a threat to his power. Batwoman continues to intervene. Her influence is necessary in this city as well. She saves lives. She changes minds too. The damage has been done though. Jacob was upset that Sophie quit with no discussion or consideration for the time he spent investing in her. She saw a systemically corrupt institution that couldn't be reformed. Shutting it down is a difficult decision because it creates the suspicion that violent crime will run rampant in Gotham with no one looking to defend its citizens. Jacob doesn't have an answer to that question either. Instead, he is off on his new mission once Alice shows up with new claims about Kate being alive. The audience knows she is telling the truth. Right now though, the moment is about Luke and the violence committed towards him. He has made an impact in the world working alongside Batwoman. Ryan felt compelled to push him to intervene whenever he witnesses injustice. He followed her example. Ryan blames herself for what happened to Luke. Agent Tavaroff is the only person to blame though. He shoots first and has the confidence to know that he will be protected no matter what. That isn't the fate that arrives for him. Justice will be served. The personal conflict for Luke is much more profound though. The story presents him with a choice of life or death. The characters have the means to save his life no matter how severe his injuries are. That's the magical plot device called the Desert Rose. It immediately heals everything. Luke is treated with that. He also has to personally decide to continue living. In that regard, his wishes aren't honored. He sees the heinous and violent nature of the world. He would love to reunite with his father. That's what he wants. It's not what he gets. Ryan and Mary are happy to see him alive once more. This brush with death will be transformational though. He will be alive in a world that has complete disregard for his life. Reckoning with that while trying to aid a hero will be a consequential journey for Luke. One that unlocks so much story potential for him. These stories of racial justice must be told. Systemic change can't occur in the dark. It must be exposed to the light. Everyone needs to see the systems for what they are. That doesn't magically cure racism. These profound fights continue. Luke has trusted loved ones willing to be by his side every step of the way. The world just seems more unknown than ever before. It may be destined to break everyone's hearts despite their best intentions for reform and saving lives along the way. Their lives are tested by the choices they make and the actions done to them. They have each found purpose in the past. The changes made now will only further the upheaval as their personal connection to their identities in this world is challenged more than ever before.