27th Feb2020

‘Batwoman 1×13: Drink Me’ 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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Batwoman takes a leap into the paranormal this week as a new villain, Nocturna (yeah, I’m not crazy about the name either) arrives as a serial killer that projects herself as a vampire that literally drains the blood out of her victims. It’s a unique take on a serial killer story and one that would fit much better in an October/Halloween episode than in February.

Nocturna (Kayla Ewell) is actually Natalia Knight, who was adopted as a child by a janitor working at a church. It just so happens Natalia has a rare blood disorder that prevents her from being exposed to sunlight and her kidneys have trouble cleaning her own blood, hence the reason she needs other people’s blood to stay alive. Nocturna could be an interesting villain/character but unfortunately, she isn’t given much to do in this episode except growl, kill a few people and try to look menacing. Here’s hoping the character is brought back in future episodes in order to expand on her story.

Kate and Fox are still mourning the death of Beth 2.0 after last week’s emotional episode but luckily for them, they can drown their sorrows at Kate’s bar, The Hold Up. Oh wait, you don’t remember that Kate owns a bar, one which she opened across the street from the homophobic restaurant earlier in the season? Don’t worry, neither did I. Supposedly the Hold Up will play a bigger role this season and will be the place that the main characters center around. The Hold Up is the setting for most of the episode as all the major players in the series congregate at a “Goth” Night at the club. Sophie is there to do recon on anyone in attendance that could be Nocturna, which is also the reason Kate hosted the themed party. Mary is there to continue her charade as a social influencer, and Fox is there to do the real investigation into the partygoers.

Alice eventually makes an appearance in the alley behind the Hold Up and Kate decides to confront her instead of calling the Gotham Police. Kate has a “come to Jesus” meeting with Alice and tells her that she chose Beth 2.0 because Alice no longer has any good left in her. After Kate leaves a heartbroken Alice in the alley to contemplate her decision, Nocturna arrives and kidnaps Alice. Alice is held captive by Nocturna at an abandoned warehouse because it seems all of Gotham is just abandoned warehouses. Alice convinces Nocturna that to make a real impact in Gotham, she should go after the real prize, social influencer Mary. Nocturna agrees and while Mary is attempting to help a drunk partier in the alley, Mary is kidnapped by Nocturna.

Batwoman eventually finds a tied-up Alice and realizes something is off as Nocturna doesn’t leave her victims alive. Alice refuses to give her any more information but its all for naught as Fox discovers Nocturna took Mary to the old church where Natalia/Nocturna’s adopted father used to work. Batwoman shows up at the church just in time to see a tied up Mary being drained of her blood. After a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fight between Batwoman and Nocturna, which results in Nocturna running away, Alice shows up and saves the day. Alice has the universal blood type, Type O, and donates some of it to save Mary. Batwoman eventually catches up to Nocturna and takes her down with the use of a cell phone light and some kicks. Yes, the fight was basically just that.

Alice may have saved Mary, but Kate realizes the only reason she did that selfless act is to make Kate feel more guilty about trying save Beth 2.0 over Alice. Kate, after many episodes, finally realizes there is no saving Alice and tells her that the gloves are finally off. Kate leaves Alice with the warning that from now, she will not save her again.

Something that is glossed over in this episode is that Jacob is out of prison since the police captured Mouse (who subsequently escaped) and realize that Jacob is innocent. The wheels of justice move fast in Gotham and even faster at the Crows headquarters as Jacob is back in charge of the private security force.

Jacob isn’t given much to do this week as I guess he has to “ease” back into his job, but he does declare Batwoman a menace. Due to her surging popularity in Gotham, Jacob worries that as Batwoman’s presence grows, the need for security from the Crows will dwindle. Jacob also confronts Sophie with video of her letting Batwoman escape and her softer stance on Batwoman. Despite her pleas and her repeated commitment to the Crows, Jacob suspends Sophie and tells her that she needs to figure out what side she is on. An evil and obsessed Jacob is something I could get behind in this series.

With Sophie suspended from her job and nothing left to lose, she meets up with Batwoman to tell her she is conflicted on what side to choose between the Crows and Batwoman. The meeting ends with Sophie and Batwoman kissing but it’s important to note that Sophie didn’t kiss Kate. In her mind, since she doesn’t know Kate is Batwoman, Sophie actually just kissed Batwoman, the vigilante. It’s another take on the classic love triangle that originated in comic books between Superman, Clark Kent and Lois Lane but unlike the comics, I actually like these characters.

Easter Egg:

  • I’m not sure if it’s a true Easter Egg but the final conformation between Batwoman and Nocturna at the church is very reminiscent of Batman facing Joker in the 1989 Batman film. It wasn’t a shot for shot remake but there were definitely nods to the 1989 film, even down to the bell tower. Well done Batwoman producers.

One Good Thing:

  • Mary knows Kate is Batwoman. It was only a matter of time as Mary, despite her outward appearance on social media, is a borderline genius. The episode ends with Mary putting all the pieces, clues, and odd coincidences together to realize her step-sister is Gotham’s vigilante. It’s a much needed reveal and will eventually be a nice welcomed of a new member to Team Batwoman.

This Episode’s Grade: B-

Batwoman spent the majority of the episode dealing with everyone’s reactions and the fallout to last week’s death of Beth 2.0. We finally have a line drawn in the sand between Kate and Alice, Mary finally realizes the obvious, and we are introduced to a new villain that could have potential. Overall it was an enjoyable episode and it felt like a soft reboot to the series. I’m not sure if I want another comic book love triangle between Batwoman/Kate/Sophie, but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.

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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