Sunday, June 27, 2021

REVIEW: 'Batwoman' - Ryan Examines the Power She Wields and the Influence She Has Made on Gotham in 'Power'

The CW's Batwoman - Episode 2.18 "Power"

Ryan questions her place as the city's hero as she, Luke, Mary and Sophie must join forces when Black Mask instigates chaos in the Gotham streets. Alice's attempt to rescue her sister means another encounter with Circe. In an epic standoff, unexpected alliances and transformations will upend Gotham as we know it.

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 season finale of The CW's Batwoman.

"Power" was written by Caroline Dries and directed by Holly Dale

What power does Ryan actually have? That has been a season-long struggle for her. She has set out to find her voice as a superhero. She hopes to inspire those in Gotham during their time of need. She has the necessary self-awareness to know whether or not she is the best influence. Moreover, the criminal elements of this city are simply overwhelming. Black Mask can take over the broadcast of every station. He can announce the violent overthrow of the entire local government. He then positions himself as the man who can rebuild the city as Roman. He demands the citizens of Gotham also serve as vigilantes and violently take what they rightfully believe is theirs. Most people in this city are terrified though. Batwoman has long provided them with hope. Ryan's time behind the mask may serve as the proper inspiration the city has always needed. She isn't the first hero who has been positioned as the savior of Gotham. Bruce and Kate had their faults and failings though. In fact, Bruce as Batman is positioned as the typical story of a white man wielding power in incredible ways without dealing with any significant consequences. He collected trophies from his various successful missions stopping the worst villains this city has ever seen. He hoped those trophies would always be safely kept away. And yet, Black Mask and Circe got their hands on these potential weapons. They are exposed to the world once more. As such, more threats emerge from Batman's term as the hero of Gotham. Meanwhile, Kate's perspective was always deeply personal. She was so desperate to get Beth to return to her. She always believed that Alice could be redeemed. And yes, this season has shown such emotional depth within the villain who once terrorized Gotham. She has attacked this city. Several people have been condemned due to their connection to her. However, Alice has been seen as a reluctant ally too. She serves as one of the few people who can connect with Kate and save her. The Bat team hopes they have the solution to rid Kate's mind of the Circe programming. It's a complete unknown though. They have to trust Alice because their goals are aligned. Of course, Alice also has to say goodbye to Ocean. The pain of that connection forges new empathy within her. That's not enough to make up for the pain she has caused elsewhere. She continues to exert that influence as well by telling Ryan her biological mother is alive. Alice wields that power over Ryan, who feels powerless without the suit. Ryan believes she is only heroic and powerful because of the technology that keeps her safe. It certainly allows Luke to be a hero capable of defeating Russell Tavaroff as he is attacking Mary. That's a significant development. But again, the suit only inspires what's in a person's heart. Ryan has truly inspired the city. People make their own Bat signals in their apartments. It's a show of solidarity. They are choosing the kind of city they want to live in. It's not the violent riot that Black Mask has produced. Instead, it's the heroism and inspiration of Batwoman. That's Ryan's vision for the city. She confronts Circe and wins. She brings Kate back to the team. Of course, Kate isn't sticking around. She still provides a ceremonial passing of the torch. She approves of the new Batwoman. She is glad to have someone defending her city who is also making a positive difference. Kate must embark on her own journey of self-reflection. She too must examine what she has inspired throughout the world. Villains were formed due to the perception of Kate giving up on them when they needed her. She can't allow Bruce to fall prey to that same darkness. It also provides peace and clarity to Sophie. The team can no longer remain in limbo waiting for this central figure to return to them. It's a blessing for her to survive. This is no longer solely her story though. Ryan has championed Kate's cause and added to it. She has the support of the team. Her life may feature turmoil as well. She is proud of her voice too. She knows how to improve the city. Now, the hard work begins in trying to implement those goals when new threats await on the horizon. Ryan has the power to accomplish all of this. She may not have believed that about herself for a long time. But now, it's central to her identity. That makes her a worthy hero and a powerful role model to inspire the next generation.