22nd Jan2020

‘Batwoman 1×10: How Queer Everything is Today!’ 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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After over a month off (and a Crisis on Infinite Earths cross-over) Batwoman is finally back and dealing with the fallout from the Crisis, which means a few shocking changes to the series! While this episode is a fresh jumping-on point for new viewers, it also added several surprises to regular viewers.

Due to Crisis on Infinite Earths, Kate is now given the title of a “Paragon of Courage” as she was one of a few living souls alive in the galaxy until the Spectre combined all the prior Earths together and in process, all the superheroes (Arrow, Flash, Black Lightning, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl) are now on the same planet. Yes, it’s convoluted but it was a perfect way to have everyone connected going forward.

Kate is still having issues balancing her personal life and her life as Batwoman and debating how much she really needs to reveal to make a difference in Gotham. If it was up to Kate, her symbol and actions should be enough, but Fox presents a side Kate doesn’t realize: Batwoman needs to be more than a symbol, she needs to be a beacon of light to everyone. The ongoing struggle Kate works through on each episode adds another dynamic not often seen with superheroes wrestling with their secret identities.

This week does jump into absurdity from the start as a computer hacker has hijacked (electronically) a high-speed train and before the train can crash, Batwoman is able to slow it down with a grappling hook and a motorcycle. Yes, you read that right. It seems cables are made stronger in Gotham but not that strong as the cable breaks and before it beheads Batwoman, hunk of a policeman, Slam Bradley (Kurt Szarka), tackles her out of the way and the photographers on-scene paint these two in a compromising position.

Despite Kate not appreciating the media painting a picture of Batwoman as a superhero looking for love with the poster boy of the police force, she has bigger issues as her step-sister, Mary.

Mary is still upset with her due to Kate not taking Alice’s threats seriously enough, resulting in the murder of Mary’s mother. Kate doesn’t know how to connect with Mary and in all honesty, Mary doesn’t care as she is spending all her time to find an expert to testify at the upcoming trial for her step-father (Kate’s father), Jacob. Mary knows Jacob didn’t kill her mother but is being pushed to her breaking point in investigating the murder of her mother.

Jacob being arrested has resulted in major repercussions for not only himself (he’s not the most popular in prison) but also the Crows. Sophie, who is now separated from her husband, is now in charge of the Crows and is taking a more “intense” approach to interrogations. I like this more intense version of Sophie and shows how desperate Alice is making people in Gotham.

After a threat to expose the secrets of Gotham’s elite on national television, Kate and Fox, through some investigation work, find and confront the hacker, a teenager named Parker (Malia Pyles), who is enlisted in the local Gotham Prep Academy. Batwoman finds out that Parker was recently outed as gay to her parents due to her ex-girlfriend thinking it will make Parker’s life easier…it hasn’t, which makes Parker think faking a near-death experience using her hacking skills will make her parents appreciate how much they love her and not care about her sexuality. It’s not the most well-thought out plan but she’s in an obvious desperate state at this point.

Batwoman attempts to sympathize with her but without letting her own guard down, Parker doesn’t care and still feels alone in this world. Before Batwoman can explain further, Alice shows up and knocks out both Parker and Batwoman, and takes them to a secluded section of the high school to reveal her plan of the week.

Alice threatens to kill Parker if Batwoman doesn’t remove her mask and when Kate complies, Parker recognizes Kate from her real estate company. We learn Alice’s real plan is to have Parker send the biggest group message in history to all the folks of Gotham, revealing Kate as Batwoman. Parker turns the tables on Alice though and actually sends a text message to the citizens Gotham revealing Alice’s location and sending the Crows into to arrest her. Parker, due to a good word from Batwoman, only gets 150 hours of community service and a monetary fine for almost killing a hundred people on a runaway train. It’s good to have friends in high places.

The episode ends with two reveals: Batwoman calls up her friend, Kara Danvers (aka Supergirl), for an exclusive article as Batwoman reveals to the world that she is gay. Kate realizes Batwoman will inspire and help more people as being a proud, out of the closet superhero than if she hides who she truly is. It’s a groundbreaking moment for the series and the writers handled it perfectly.

The other big reveal this week is that Kate’s sister Beth (non-insane) shows up at Kate’s office, back from college. Wait, I thought Kate’s sister Beth was really Alice? Well, she is but this new Beth seems to be from a different Earth that was folded into this Earth, thanks to the Crisis. It’s a huge surprise and one I’m hesitant on as the question of how many “others” are now in this world is not known, but I’m willing to be patient and see how the series handles this scenario.


Easter Egg!:

  • Gotham Prep! Gotham Prep is a recurring location in the comic books for Gotham’s smartest students and even a Robin was enrolled there. It’s not a big Easter Egg but it’s another one that adds depth to the universe the writers are building in the series.

This Episode’s Grade: N/A

There is no grade this week as the message this week is more important than the story. This week’s episode is not an episode I would classify as “good” regarding the ongoing plot of the series but it’s a ground-breaking and an amazing episode in terms on how a person that is true to themselves can make a bigger difference in other people’s lives. I enjoyed how well the writers and actress Ruby Rose handled the whole topic and look forward to how this affects the series moving forward.

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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