24th Oct2019

‘Batwoman 1×03: Down, Down, Down’ Review

by Jason Brigger

Stars: Ruby Rose, Rachel Skarsten, Meagan Tandy, Nicole Kang, Camrus Johnson, Elizabeth Anweis, Dougray Scott | Created by Caroline Dries

Batwoman is a series that will either thrive or die based on the relationship between Alice and Kate. If the writers can continue to add layers to their relationship without moving into the over-dramatic field, this series could become a rarity for the CW Network…a superhero series that doesn’t fizzle after it’s second season. If the series becomes more like the Arrow and Flash shows with the same “Villain of the Week” issues, Batwoman will struggle.

batwoman-poster

Alice and Kate’s relationship is reminiscent of the relationships Batman has with several of his famous villains in the comic books. In the comic books, Batman, when he isn’t fighting them, he actually talks to them, even attempts to reason with them at times. The conversations usually end up in fist fights after Batman fails to talk sense into the villain, but it makes for compelling insights.

Alice and Kate (as herself, not Batwoman) meet at the old Bat Signal and after decades of not seeing each other, attempt to reach some sort of resolution. Alice wants her right-hand man (and boyfriend) to be freed, and Kate states she will attempt to help if Alice stops murdering people. Kate’s negotiation ploy is an attempt to see if her sister is still in Alice of if that part of her life is really dead. Alice does agree to Kate’s offer to stop the killing in Gotham but as we find out later on, Alice still enjoys killing a little too much to stop.

The character of Thomas “Tommy” Elliot arrives in the series as a real estate mogul who is building luxury homes with safe rooms for Gotham’s elite. The rumors of Batman/Batwoman in Gotham causes Elliot out of the shadows and looking for Bruce Wayne. Elliot’s thought process is since Batman might be back, Wayne must be. Elliot figures Kate is the key to finding her cousin, resulting in inviting Kate (and half of Gotham) to a private party celebrating Elliot’s newest acquisition.

A little background on Elliot. He is an old childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, who is obsessed with Bruce Wayne and “one-upping” him. Elliot is a fascinating character in the books because, as a child, he helped train Bruce to think like the enemy and despite growing up wealthy and everything handed to him, Elliot becomes a serial killer (even killing his own parents) and Batman’s arch-nemesis, Hush.
Kate eventually realizes Elliot is behind the break-ins at Wayne Enterprises’ weapons facility and confronts him at his party. Elliot’s obsession with besting Bruce Wayne and killing Batman has pushed Elliot passed the breaking point, resulting in Elliot threatening to kill everyone at the party using the weapons he stole.

Batman doesn’t show up but Batwoman, in her new red and black costume, does arrive, and after saving a few guests in a falling elevator, takes down Elliot. At one point, Batwoman is struggling to hold onto a ledge but Alice shows up to help her and save her life. Alice hasn’t turned the corner yet though as she tells Batwoman that they are even for saving each other and Kate’s sister is really gone, and only Alice remains.

Sophie, Kate’s former girlfriend, is assigned to a special assignment, personal bodyguard to Kate’s step-sister, Mary. Sophie reasons that with Alice running around threatening the elite of Gotham, it would be best for her to protect Jacob’s family. Sophie, who is obviously not over Kate, uses the opportunity to not only learn more about Kate but also learns Mary isn’t the ditzy socialite she showcases on social media.
Sophie is still torn on what she wants, her husband or Kate, and is the reason she requests being Mary’s personal bodyguard. Unfortunately for Sophie, Kate is moving on with her life as she is interested in a bartender from Elliot’s party. Sophie’s marriage may be over sooner than later, especially since her husband doesn’t know about her past relationship with Kate. Once the secret is out, it won’t end well for them.

Kate’s “Alfred”, aka Fox is embracing his new role by designing new weapons and even a new suit for Kate. The suit has a red bat on the front, as seen in the promotion images for the series, and is cosmetically a much better look for the vigilante. The character of Fox continues to grow on me and is becoming a better addition to the series each week. Well done writers.

Easter Egg of the Week:

  • Tommy Elliot tells Kate the reason he knows the identity of Batman is because he paid someone “to riddle him the answer”. Yep, the Riddler is now canon in Batwoman and I’m excited about the world this series is creating.

One Good Thing:

  • The supporting cast. As mentioned above, the supporting cast is starting to come into its own and the two main ones, Fox and Mary, are becoming fun fixtures to the series. The character of Mary still needs some work but I’m enjoying the parallels of her life, the social media darling and the selfness of running a free, underground health clinic. Mary will eventually have a bigger role as Batwoman’s personal doctor (at least I think so) and could be a welcomed addition to Team Batwoman.

One Bad Thing:

  • Nothing. This week’s s episode did a lot of things well and nothing was glaringly bad.

This Episode’s Grade: B+ (Very Good)

The third episode of Batwoman was also the best episode of the series so far. The supporting cast is becoming stronger, the introduction of Tommy Elliot was handled well, Batwoman finally has her iconic costume, and Ruby Rose continues to shine as Kate Kane. Overall the series is starting to find its footing, and each episode has become better than the previous one. The series is a fun way to spend an hour, which is sometimes all I ask of my television shows.
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You can catch Jason Brigger on the geek-centric podcast, The History of Bad Ideas, as new episodes are released every week at www.nerdly.co.uk or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and other podcasting apps. You can listen to their latest episode right here.
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