24th Nov2021

‘Batwoman 3×06: How Does Your Garden Grow?’ Review

by Jason Brigger

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

After last week’s horror-themed episode with Professor Pyg, this week’s Batwoman episode dives into the transformation of Mary Hamilton into supervillain Poison Ivy and we see the return of Batwing by Batwoman’s side. Plus, we finally have Renee Montoya play an integral part in an episode as well as the most underused character in Batwoman, Sophie!

What Happened This Week?

The Rise of Poison Ivy

Detective Montoya is called to Robinson Park in Gotham where a man, Chris, is entombed in a swarm of bees, honeycombs, and vines. Renee thinks the victim may be related to Poison Ivy and tells the ambulance to take him to see Mary. Is Mary on the police payroll now? I feel like this is not protocol and the victim should probably be going to a hospital instead of a one-doctor clinic.

The victim arrives at the clinic and Alice decides to be Mary’s assistance on the evaluation. She tells Mary that it looks like Poison Ivy’s formula is trying to find a new host and maybe attempted to bond with Chris. Just then, Chris wakes up, accusing Mary of being Poison Ivy and doing this to him. I knew it!

Mary decides to confront the truth and tells Ryan and Luke that she doesn’t remember where she was in the morning and ever since she was kidnapped by Ivy’s vines, she’s been blacking out and waking up in strange places. Ryan looks into Mary’s online presence and recent credit card activity and is able to determine that Mary did talk to the victim on a social media website but was turned down by him. Looks like Mary then hunted Chris down and took revenge.

Batwoman and Alice arrive at the last known location Mary and Chris were at and find Virgil, a member of the Black Glove Society and the henchman that froze Jordan a few episodes ago, buried up to his neck. Batwoman and Alice rescue Virgil and take him back to the sewers attached to the Batcave in order to hide him from Sophie. Back in the Batcave, Alice attempts to explain to Team Batwoman how Poison Ivy’s formula takes over its host and in the process, Alice reveals how Renee and Pamela Isley, the original Poison Ivy, were connected.

Alice spends most of the episode causing trouble for all those around her and it’s nice to see some glimpses of the old Alice back. She even tells Sophie that Ryan has Virgil held captive just to see how Sophie reacts and Sophie reacts just like Alice thought, by interrogating Virgil for answers. I’m not sure if Alice has any endgame in site or if she lives to be like the Joker and cause endless carnage in her path just to cause carnage. Any time I think she is fully interested in becoming a “good guy”, she changes course and tries to subtly cause trouble for our heroes.

This is apparent when she realizes sunlight is the key to transforming Mary into Poison Ivy, so she lets a ray of sunlight into the Batcave, causing Mary to turn evil. Luke doesn’t realize Mary turned until he receives a knock in the back of his head, rendering him unconscious and allowing Mary and Alice to escape together.

Batwoman arrives in the sewers to see Sophie burning a piece of flesh off Virgil as he won’t confirm Jada is involved in the abduction of her sister. I like this darkness in Sophie as she feels no one has her back anymore and is tired of playing by the rules to get the information she needs. Batwoman pulls Sophie aside to stop her from causing more harm to Virgil but it’s just the opening Virgil needs to bite into a suicide pill, killing himself.

Upon waking up, Luke informs Batwoman that Mary is now Poison Ivy and has left with Alice. Luke suits up as Batwing again and with Batwoman and Renee, they realize the villains are at the Botanical Gardens. Mary makes quick work of our heroes, wrapping each of them up in vines from different plants while giving them a guilt trip of how none of them ever included her in their investigations. Batwoman attempts to plead with Mary and offers to help her with the Poison Ivy formula, but Mary isn’t interested. She leaves the Botanical Gardens and meets up with Alice and a new stolen sports car, with both of them driving away from Team Batwoman.

After our villains flee, Renee is able to escape from the vines, and using an ax, she is able to free Batwoman and Batwing. Renee tells Batwoman that she warned her about how evil Poison Ivy is, but no one listened and now it’s out of Team Batwoman’s hands. Mary/Poison Ivy is now the number one target for the Gotham Police.

A Short-Lived Romance

Ryan and Sophie’s relationship takes a hit this week as Sophie tries to blame Jada and the Black Glove Society for hurting her sister Jordan, but Ryan defends her mother and doesn’t think Jada is the mastermind. Ryan stops short of telling Sophie about Jada’s reasoning for stealing Mr. Freeze’s formula and when Sophie presses for more information, Ryan refuses. Sophie feels betrayed that Ryan is defending a woman that gave her up for adoption, but Ryan doesn’t want the secret about Marquis and his serial killer ways to be released just yet.

Sophie attempts to enlist Renee’s help in solving the mystery of the Black Glove Society and the connection to her sister but Renee refuses. Renee has good reasons to not help though…anyone that investigates the Society ends up dead and Renee does not want to open up that Pandora’s Box. Sophie again feels rejected and decides to find the answers herself (see above).

After Poison Ivy and Alice escape and Virgil kills himself, Sophie decides to drown her sorrows at the bar. Renee shows up and after a few drinks, Sophie and Renee spend the night together. It’s a relationship I wasn’t expecting but it makes sense since both characters are similar to each other and feel isolated from others in Gotham. I guess this means Ryan and Sophie are no more.

Episode Grade: C+ (Above Average)

This week’s episode of Batwoman was less about action and more about transforming Mary into Poison Ivy and setting everyone up for the mid-season finale next week. Mary’s version of Poison Ivy has potential and her joining forces with Alice, someone she despises, could make for some interesting storylines. Ryan and Sophie breaking up is probably best for the series and Renee forming a relationship with Sophie will allow the two most underused characters some more screen time. Overall, the episode was slow to develop but the final act set up how powerful Poison Ivy really is and sets the ball in motion for an action-packed mid-season finale.
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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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