Wednesday, October 27, 2021

REVIEW: 'Batwoman' - Crucial Decisions Must Be Made to Protect the Best Interests of the Entire Bat Team in 'Freeze'

The CW's Batwoman - Episode 3.03 "Freeze"

An incident in downtown Gotham alerts Batwoman and the team that another missing trophy has made its way into the wrong hands. A new member of the Jet family surfaces when Marquis Jet makes a not-so-subtle entrance. Back on the streets, cryogenics is the name of the game and Sophie reminds everyone she's a badass, especially in the middle of life-threatening situations. Batwing must decide if he's ready to suit up again. At Mary's clinic, the Hippocratic Oath forces a strained sisterly moment with Alice.

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.

"Freeze" was written by Nancy Kiu and directed by Greg Beeman

What's best for the Bat Team? And who gets to decide that? In the past, the members of the team have had to work together because of the dire and extreme threats to their city. They moved forward mostly out of inertia. Sure, they had moments of reflection to pinpoint whether they were making a difference at all. They've moved around slightly. And yet, they still function the same. They each have their specific roles within the team. They have set out to prove themselves to the best of their abilities. However, they keep themselves guarded as well. Ryan wasn't given a choice as it pertained to her birth mother. Alice first used that as a secret to manipulate her. And then, Jada entered her life to know just how severe this potential threat to her family was. That's all she wanted to perceive Ryan as. She never wanted to meet her daughter. Ryan didn't need to know her birth mother either. Sophie verified the truth for her. Ryan had already found a family. She has a home amongst the Bat Team. That is special to her. She is proud to work alongside Luke, Mary and Sophie. They have made this work. But again, they can't control their own agency in this world. Alice has the freedom to share Batwoman's secret identity with whomever she wants. That forced Ryan into this new partnership. She doesn't like having to work with Alice. Mary doesn't want to acknowledge the villain as her sister either. And yet, their behavior follows similar patterns that they don't immediately want to accept. Alice was tortured for years. Her psyche was broken in so many extreme ways. She should still be held accountable for her actions. That shouldn't prevent people from being concerned about what is currently happening in her mind. She has no control over the paranoia or hallucinations. They are terrifying to her as well. She wants to stir the pot and disrupt the natural bond amongst the team. She is out of place in this dynamic. She hopes to set off as many bombs as she possibly can. And yet, her psychological fears aren't too different than what Luke is dealing with. He too suffered a trauma. It hasn't left him with a physical scar. His mind isn't completely healed. It's dangerous for him to be going out in the field without a functioning failsafe in his suit. That's necessary to protect him. It's what his father wanted to keep his son safe. Luke has Ryan's back here. Nothing goes awry. In fact, the two need each other in order to retrieve the weapon from Mr. Freeze. It helps them ultimately reunite two sisters who have long been plagued by a specific bond. People were so desperate to save Nora that they lost sight of her humanity and freedom. Ryan needs Luke on her team. She can't bench him now. She needs him in the field. That's smart for the tactical safety and well-being of the team. She makes that decision. Mary can't keep her concerns to herself. It's not healthy for her to do so. It may only further disrupt the trust and bond she has with Luke. It's the right decision. That doesn't mean people will honor it. In fact, it leaves her feeling alone at the precise time she is taken by Poison Ivy's rogue plant. That's scary and ominous. It also comes at a time when Ryan can't afford to go up against Jada's vast resources. Whatever she may want from her family can't happen because of the importance and safety of the team. She views that as a sacrifice she is willing to make. She wants a brother. She wants to grow closer to Marquis. He is willing to go against his mother's wishes. He is smart and tactical too. He is eager to prove himself. Ryan can't just think about herself though. She has to be smarter than that. She also has to let people in. That has to include Sophie in addition to Luke and Mary. That drama is forced to a certain extent but that's mostly to keep Ryan conscious until help arrives. It still presents a kernel of truth though. The members of this team are close because they have to be. They don't know everything about each other. They can still discover new details. That's exciting while never getting in the way of their ability to do the job. That may change at some point. In fact, it may be inevitable. Ryan carries that burden. Luke, Mary and Sophie are responsible for the decisions made as well. None of that can be ignored. They must operate with clarity as they face these threats and try to regain their sense of identity in a world all too eager to make this team function however they deem necessary. That oversight and criticism isn't inherently bad. Sophie was critical of Batwoman but has now embraced the vigilante life. This is all an evolution meant to highlight the growth of these people trying to make a difference and not always knowing the best way how.