Newcomer, Ryan Wilder, dons the cape and cowl of Batwoman to fight crime and get her revenge. But is she worthy to wear the symbol of Gotham's protector?
Spoiler Level: Mild
I have a confession to make. I love the Arrowverse shows. I do. But last season life was just too crazy and hectic and I just didn’t feel like watching as much TV. I got really behind on all of them (except Arrow). So I really know very little about Season 1 of Batwoman. I saw a handful of episodes and really liked what I saw, but have no concept of the story arc. So my perspective on the new star and direction the show is heading may be a bit different than a die-hard fan.
There are many decisions to make when an actor decides to leave a series, especially if they are the title character. Do they keep the character, but try to find a look-alike? Do they keep the character, but come up with a clever way to explain the difference in looks and personality? Or do they come up with a brand new character with a band new past and a whole new set of reasons why they do what they do? Batwoman decided to do the latter and I applaud them for it.
In season one, Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) donned her cousin’s cowl and took on the mantle of the Dark Knight, fighting her own sister who had become the evilly twisted, joker-esque, “Alice”. Season two puts Javicia Leslie into the bat-suit as Ryan Wilder, a troubled, homeless, wrongfully accused ex-con, who suffered her own family tragedy causing her to want vengeance. Being in the wrong “Bat” place and the right “Bat” time, she stumbles upon the Bat-Suit and realizes she can use it to get her revenge. Mary Hamilton (Nicole Kang), Kate’s stepsister and Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson) track the suit down and confront Ryan, trying to convince her to give it back. Ryan runs, but finally realizes she is not worthy to become the symbol that is Gotham City’s protector. Mary begins to believe that, in Kate’s absence, Ryan has what is needed to become a hero. All the while, Alice is still plotting her evil plans and a new danger seems to be approaching going by the name of Safiyah. Can Mary convince Ryan to wear the “Bat” on her chest again to help fight the coming evil? I am assuming “Yes”, since there is a full season of episodes to go!
Overall, I enjoyed the episode. I like Javicia Leslie as Ryan and I think she is a good choice for the series. The fight sequences were exciting and watching the new Batwoman trying to figure out the suit was fun. Seeing The CW’s version of the Batmobile was also great, a toned-down version of what has been seen on the big screen. The rest of the cast was also very good and the production value high.
I want to reiterate, that I did not watch the majority of season one. So I really didn’t create an attachment to any of the actors or characters. Finding the right balance when transitioning to a new series lead is a difficult thing to do. Some series handle it better than others. I felt this show could have had a smoother transition. The script seemed clunky and overly complicated and the storyline felt rushed. There were a thousand different ways The CW could have explained how Ryan got the suit and why Kate left. Fan’s like to be able to say goodbye to characters when they leave. They want to feel like their “Friend” that they have watched grow, felt their pain and experienced adventure with, has had some sort of closure. But with Batwoman, there was no “Passing of the Torch” so to speak, and no way for the fans of Ruby to really get closure or say goodbye. I do applaud the studio for keeping the character LGBQT+.
The episode was mostly well done, except for some script and storyline issues. It will be fun watching Ryan come into her own, maybe taking the Batmobile out for a spin!
Batwoman: Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel, Different Batwoman
- Writing - 7/107/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Acting - 9/109/10
- Music - 9/109/10
- Production - 10/1010/10