22nd Nov2019

‘Batwoman 1×07: Tell Me the Truth’ Review

by Jason Brigger

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

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This week we are introduced to two new characters, Alice’s personal hitman, the Rifle (Garfield Wilson), and Alfred Pennyworth’s (Bruce Wayne’s butler) daughter, Julia Pennyworth (Christina Wolfe), which adds to an already deep roster of characters for the series. These new mysterious characters only add to the theme this week, which is secrets and everyone in this series seems to have them but what happens when they are revealed?

Julia has a history with Kate as it seems all of Kate’s former girlfriends eventually make it back to Gotham and back into Kate’s life. Julia is a nice addition to the series and one that hopefully returns in future episodes as she gives Kate a run for her money in terms of toughness, something the Sophie character has yet to attain. Sophie feels confident in uncovering Batwoman’s secret that it eventually backfires on her, but more on that later. When Batwoman and Sophie both arrive at the scene of an attempted murder of a scientist working on a powerful gun, Sophie tries to protect Kate by telling her that she needs to reveal who she is to Kate’s father. Batwoman, aka Kate, denies her secret identity and the rest of the episode is Sophie trying to uncover the truth and basically blackmailing Kate into telling her father.

The bigger issue is Sophie’s husband, Tyler (Greyston Holt), is beginning to suspect there is more to his wife and Kate’s past than Sophie is telling him. Eventually Sophie tells him about her relationship with Kate, though it is a downplayed version of their relationship, which results in Tyler getting his feelings hurt and being upset. Everyone knows this relationship is doomed and to be honest, the writers really haven’t given us a reason to care if Tyler and Sophie make it work or not. The humorous part is that Sophie spends all episode trying to uncover Batwoman’s secret identity and prove to Kate that she knows her secret only for Sophie to be shocked when Batwoman (Julia in disguise) and Kate both arrive at the same location. So, count Sophie as the only one in Gotham not knowing Kate is Batwoman.

We also learn the reason Sophie didn’t get kicked out of the military and broke things off with Kate is due to a talk from Kate’s father, Jacob. Jacob knew Kate would fight any charges against her in the military, but Jacob knew Sophie had a bright future in the military (and in the Crows) so he advises her to turn on Kate and break it off. Father of the Year right there folks.

Meanwhile, Alice recruits her hitman, the Rifle, to take out the three scientist that designed that fancy powerful gun she stole and in no coincidence at all, it just so happens all the scientists worked for Catherine’s company. The Rifle is a poor man’s Deathstroke and there never was a sense of danger when he showed up…plus the name is not the most intimidating. In order to draw the Rifle out of hiding and also fool Sophie, Julia, dressed as Batwoman, is shot by the powerful weapon, now in the hands of the Rifle. The audience wonders how Julia survives the shot since the whole episode plays up the idea the gun can pierce Batwoman’s armor, and the reason the Rifle and Alice wanted it. It seems Alice does have a heart after all as she actually sabotaged the gun, thus the gun not killing Julia, and she did it to protect her sister. Or maybe she just doesn’t want the other villains in Gotham to kill Batwoman before she does.

The episode ends with the real Batwoman saving Julia, dressed as fake Batwoman, from the Crows as they attempted to capture her, and everyone goes their merry way. Oh, and Mary finds the door to the Batcave but in typical Mary fashion, she believes it’s a door to safe room and not some mysterious entrance to a vigilante’s hideout. Poor Mary…she’s never going to be told Kate’s secret, is she?

One Good Thing:

  • Diversity. Batwoman being gay is not only revolutionary in comics, it’s also revolutionary in television. It’s nice to see that we have gotten to a place in the real world where this isn’t an issue for networks to create a series (and a world) around a gay superhero. Credit to the writes as they do an excellent job showing the difficulties the LGBTQ community still struggles with in the world without being overly obvious. This episode details Kate, an open lesbian, trying to eat an upscale restaurant but yet in 2019, she still has to deal with bigots as she is refused service by the owner. Kate, being proud of who she is, stands up for herself and embarrasses the owner in front of the patrons and as result, he apologizes and “allows” Kate to stay. Kate rightfully doesn’t want to eat a place that is owned by a bigot and leaves. It’s one of the first times Batwoman addresses this real-life issue and they handled it perfectly.

One Bad Thing:

  • Batwoman’s secret identity. My biggest pet peeve in any superhero related medium is the annoying habit of superheroes revealing their supposed “secret” identities to EVERYONE! Seriously, it’s called a secret identity for a reason and not everyone in the hero’s life needs to know who is behind the mask. I understand Kate is struggling with her duel lifestyle as Gotham’s vigilante and her personal life, but I urge her to use some discretion as Alice, Mouse, Fox, and Julia all know Kate’s secret. That’s not even counting Sophie and Jacob (and possibly Mary) having suspicions that Kate is Batwoman. At this point, more people in Gotham know who Batwoman is than those that don’t.

This Episode’s Grade: C+- (Above Average)

Batwoman’s latest episode is the first episode since the pilot that didn’t “wow” me. It isn’t that it was a bad episode but felt more like a filler episode until the mid-season finale next week, when we finally see Alice’s big tea party that she has been hinting at all season. The first half of Batwoman has been stellar and hopefully they can bring some excitement back to next week’s episode after this week’s bland episode.

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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