Wednesday, January 19, 2022

REVIEW: 'Batwoman' - A Trip to the Woods Creates a Horrifying Adventure for Ryan, Sophie and Luke in 'Meet Your Maker'

The CW's Batwoman - Episode 3.09 "Meet Your Maker"

Ryan, Sophie and Luke attempt to track down the OG Poison Ivy when all signs point to Pamela Isley's reappearance in Gotham. At the same time, Mary feels drawn by a powerful force and Alice suddenly feels very protective of her stepsister. Meanwhile, Jada hasn't given up on rehabilitating Marquis and seeks the help of an old friend.

"Meet Your Maker" was written by Caroline Dries & Maya Houston and directed by Michael Blundell

Sophie asks for clarity on how Ryan is feeling. Their relationship has run hot and cold for a long time now. It's exhausting and Sophie needs to understand where they stand. In Ryan's mind, everything is overwhelmed. That's her current state of being. She is struggling to juggle the demands of being Batwoman with the various threats in Gotham. She doesn't know how her mother did it all. This also causes Ryan to be a bit more reckless and callous with her own life. She is more than willing to put her own life in danger to save someone else. However, she rarely thinks through how that sacrifice plays towards her friends. Ryan asks Sophie to detonate a car while she is inside it. Yes, the understanding is that the Batsuit will protect her from the blast. That's not a guarantee. The technology is incredible. However, the team isn't operating at full strength because they've been locked out of the Batcave. That doesn't deter them from acting though. They still have to combat Poison Ivy as she is growing her strength. Of course, it takes all of their might simply to defeat one vine. It's a precarious situation for them. One that feels as if they have entered a horror movie. They aren't the ones who end up dead though. That fate befalls others who just happen to be in the forest at this moment. Ryan is willing to make that ultimate sacrifice. Sophie is furious about that given how close they've become. They would only argue and feel betrayed if the love was real between them. It culminates in a kiss. Now, that could send Ryan's mind spinning even more. However, it's ultimately meant to serve a calming and reassuring purpose. It clarifies that the feelings are present. Plus, the team remains strong together even though one of their own has gone down a dark path. Hope still remains that Mary and Marquis can be rehabilitated. And yet, there are no guarantees with those outcomes. Renee wants to believe she and Pam can run away and be soulmates once more. That showcases how Ryan isn't the only character who needs a bit more clarity regarding her current headspace. It was treated as a massive twist when Renee betrayed the team and brought Pam back to life. She continues to help her here too. It's all played as love being more powerful than the fear of what Poison Ivy could possibly do. It's also confusing. One moment, Renee is helping Pam contact Mary. And then, Renee is actively trying to prevent that meeting from taking place. This episode does solidify that Pam and Mary are drawn to each other. The power they wield is intoxicating. Pam is reenergized thanks to Mary. Renee and Alice are pushed away in order for that bond to take place. That's a reality check for both of them. Renee acknowledges how toxic her relationship with Pam is. Alice feels betrayed even though she finally has the sister she has always wanted. That too highlights how naive they have been with the illusions of what these dynamics could be. That will force a reckoning. It also comes with placing the city in peril. As such, Batwoman is tasked with cleaning up the mess. She may find a way to do it better than Batman did all those years ago. His solution was to keep Poison Ivy in a confinement designed solely to torture and isolate her. That's brutal and life-changing as well. Ryan wants to avoid that in order to save Mary. At a certain point though, the villains cannot return to any kind of normalcy. Mary and Pam kill to achieve their goals. Sometimes it's purposeful. Sometimes it's nothing more than a reaction. Those consequences await them. They have to grapple with that. The same is true of Luke accepting he can no longer live his life fearing how others would view his actions. That has long placed too much expectations on him. He can be a hero even if he fails. He still saves a kid in danger though. That's honorable even as the episode concludes with Pam and Mary gaining more strength while the Joker's buzzer is no longer safely contained in Renee's desk. That last plot point is a little scattered and tangential to the rest of the episode. It continues to suggest something of meaning for John Diggle's ongoing story in the Arrowverse. No show can actively delve into that though. That makes it seem like a waste of time instead of offering comfort from seeing an old friend continuing to save the day.