21st Apr2021

‘Batwoman 2×11: Arrive Alive’ Review

by Jason Brigger

Stars: Javicia Leslie, Rachel Skarsten, Meagan Tandy, Nicole Kang, Camrus Johnson, Dougray Scott | Created by Caroline Dries

Batwoman is taking another hiatus and won’t be back till May 2, so here’s hoping this week’s episode delivers a strong episode before we take a break. The downside is Mary is not even in this week’s episode and even our favorite tech guru, Luke, is only in a few minutes of the episode. Let’s see if the rest of the supporting cast can pick it up this week.

What Happened This Week?

Fast and Furious

Batwoman becomes Fast and Furious this week as we open with three sports cars driving recklessly through the streets of Gotham in order to deliver Snakebite materials to Black Mask’s laboratory. At the lab, Black Mask is interrogating Angelique and advises her that if she doesn’t make the Snakebite formula correctly, her body will be boiled in a vat of acid, courtesy of some of the Snakebite ingredients. The cars arrive and Black Mask has enough ingredients to start the new Snakebite formula.

Meanwhile, Sophie calls Ryan and tries to calm her worries about her kidnapped former girlfriend as the Crows are investigating leads and believe Angelique is still alive. Ryan offers to help but Sophie states the Crows have a plan and anyone helping, including a masked vigilante, will only hurt their chances to save Angelique. Ryan decides not to rely on the Crows (good call!) and sets off to do her investigation as Batwoman. Batwoman catches up to our Fast and Furious rip-offs and takes out the driver of the lead car and unmasks her to reveal its Sophie! The Crows actually infiltrated Black Masks organization after capturing one of Black Mask’s drivers and Sophie went undercover after taking over the driver’s role. The secretive process Black Mask uses to deliver his materials is by sending directions of the drop-off location to the drivers’ phones but if you fall behind on the directions or are late to checkpoints, you are cut off and the phone is turned off. Since Batwoman stopped Sophie’s car, causing her to be late to the drop-off, they just lost their best chance to find Black Mask.

As a result of Sophie being “made” due to Batwoman’s interference, Jacob appoints another agent, Russel Tavaroff (Jesse Hutch) in charge of Operation False Face, relieving Sophie of her duties. Sophie decides to drink her sorrows away at Ryan’s bar and confesses to her that they need a new driver to infiltrate Black Mask’s gang. Ryan steps up and somehow, Sophie thinks this is a good idea. Sophie has a lead on a new heist for Black Mask and Ryan convinces Sophie that she is ready for this assignment. Sophie helps Ryan become an undercover agent by getting her a false identity, courtesy of Luke Fox. In a humorous scene, Ryan has to pretend not to know Luke and their banter causes Sophie to be annoyed by this “newly” introduced pair. When Sophie steps away from them, Luke gives Ryan a few new tech toys, including an AI system to be attached in Mary’s vehicle to assist Ryan in driving like Vin Diesel.

Ryan, after passing a driving test with the False Face gang, is given a phone and a mask and is able to join the driving section of Black Mask’s gang. We get a very slowed-down race through the deserted streets of Gotham (seriously, where is everyone?), which is quickly interrupted by the Gotham police. Ryan is able to evade the police while still placing a tracker on the delivered shipment. Ryan arrives at the location and the supplies, with the tracker on them, are transported to Black Mask’s lab. After successfully delivering the goods, Ryan goes to meet with Sophie but is surprised to only see Luke at the location. Our heroes realize Sophie ditched them to take down the False Face gang by herself. Again, poor decision making is the norm for employees of the Crows. Sophie, using her poor judgment by going alone, infiltrates the laboratory and is easily captured by Black Mask. Just as Sophie is about to killed, Batwoman arrives and with the help of Sophie, they are able to take down Black Mask. Unfortunately, Angelique is being held somewhere else by one of the False Face gang members and if our heroes don’t let Black Mask go, Ryan is going to have a dead girlfriend on her hands. Batwoman and Sophie have no choice but to let him go.

The episode ends with two soon-to-be revelations. Agent Tavaroff is at the scene of the earlier fight between Batwoman and Black Mask and takes a sample of the blood left behind by Batwoman. Once the blood is tested, it’s going to reveal Ryan is Batwoman. Sophie also learns Ryan is Batwoman as well, when she eavesdrops on a conversation between Ryan and Luke in which Ryan states she misses the Batwoman suit. Come on Team Batwoman, Batman would never have let this happen!

Alice’s New Journey

After breaking-into Dr. Rhyme’s, aka Enigma, office, Alice begins to impersonate the doctor when a new patient unfamiliar with what Dr. Rhyme looks like arrives for his first appointment. Unfortunately for Jackson, the real Dr. Rhyme walks in on the therapy session, ruining Alice’s new career and as a result, Alice kills the patient with a knife to the throat. When confronted with the truth, Dr. Rhyme admits to being Enigma and wiping Beth’s memory and putting her on the road to become Alice. The twist is that Alice doesn’t want to kill Enigma; she needs the doctor to wipe her memory of Kate!

**Correction from last week…I had Enigma’s real name as Dr. Ryan and all research online stated the same until this week’s episode when they stated her character is Dr. Rhyme. I apologize for this error.** Dr. Rhyme delivers bad news to Alice: she has to confront Kate in order to forget her. With the help of hypnosis, Dr. Rhyme puts Alice into a trance, and we flashback to Beth/Alice’s childhood as she is riding in a car with a young Kate. Kate keeps taking Polaroid pictures (remember those cameras?) of them but once Alice takes the camera and takes a picture of Kate, she disappears, only to reappear again.

Alice wakes herself up from the trance and is not happy with the doctor’s form of treatment, threatening to kill her if she doesn’t stop messing around. The rest of their story this week involves a lot of “cat and mouse” head games and Dr. Rhyme confronting Alice that despite her best attempts, she has too much emotion to forget Kate. Dr. Rhyme attempts one more trance and this time Alice is back in the subway car with Ocean. He confronts Alice and questions how she could have killed him after all they have been through. The trance is quickly interrupted as Ocean, in the flesh and alive, bursting into the office and pointing a gun at Dr. Rhyme and Alice! What is going on here? Do we have another fake death? At this point, the series is becoming like a comic book in the sense that no one ever stays dead forever in this universe…except for Mary’s mother.

Ocean tells Alice the only reason he is alive is because he was stabbed with one of Safiyah’s knives, a knife that was dipped in the Desert Rose, thus bringing him back to life. Sure, we’ll go with it. Alice admits she regrets killing him, causing Ocean to lower the gun and allowing Alice the opportunity to knock Ocean to the floor with a statue to the face. After a brief tussle, both Alice and Ocean are on the ground and Dr. Rhyme, in some magical way, gives them their memories back, while our villainous doctor walks away. A little while later, our two lovebirds are walking the streets of Gotham and Ocean advises Alice that he came back to find the only Desert Rose left in the world, thanks to Alice burning them all on Coriana. Ocean again admits his feelings to Alice and she finally caves and kisses Ocean, revealing there is still some Beth in her yet.

Episode Grade: C (Average)

This week’s episode was a letdown after several good episodes and a part of that is the lack of supporting cast being involved this week. I’m not sure if the series was limiting the amount of actors on the stage set, as this was filmed during the early months of the COVID pandemic, but the lack of Mary and the limited scenes with Luke and Jacob brought down the tempo this week. The series takes another brief hiatus and doesn’t return until May 2, but the episode doesn’t leave the audience with a cliffhanger. Yes, the Crows will now know Ryan is Batwoman and Sophie also knows but outside of that, there were no real “shocking” or “compelling” moments. Heck, even the Fast and Furious rip-off scenes, while fun, did not do much to advance the overall storylines. And we also have another thought-to-be-dead character back from the grave. Overall, while the episode was enjoyable, it was also a completely forgettable 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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