Ryan Wilder takes over the cowl and cape of the "Caped Crusader-ette", as she tries to fill the shoes of Kate Kane.
Spoiler Level: Teeny Tiny
To wrap up Black History Month, I thought I would revisit a current show running with a black female lesbian lead, Batwoman! We are five episodes in to season two, so it is a good place to re-examine how the transition from Ruby Rose to Javicia Leslie in the title role is going. Earlier, in January, I reviewed the first episode and the same disclaimer made there, applies here. I fell behind in Season 1 and never found the time to catch up. I enjoyed Ruby Rose as the title character and I was happy to see an LGBT+ actress play an LGBT+ character, but did not watch enough of it to have an attachment to her as Kate Kane.
I am growing fond of Javicia’s Ryan Wilder, and I like how she is growing in confidence as she finds her path as the “New” Batwoman. As the story has progressed, she has stopped looking for approval from her cohorts and shows some confidence on the decisions she makes while wearing the cowl and cape! This is symbolized in the revamped “Batsuit” and the appearance of the “Batmobile”. So far, the season has seen the expansion of the character, Safiyah Sohail (Shivani Ghai), the Queen of Coryana, who has a thing for Alice, a fantastic portrayal of the hitman, Zsasz, the introduction of the villain “Wolf Spider”, references to Jack Napier, the Joker, and hints at the coming “Big Bad” Black Mask and the False Face Society, as well as the continuing exploits of Alice, Kate’s crazy evil sister. The entrance of these new villains are a bit more interesting to me than the “Alice” storyline which has worn very thin. Kate Kane is gone and Javicia needs some villains to call her own.
I am enjoying the series and I think Javicia makes a wonderful Batwoman. I also enjoy watching Dougray Scott as Kate’s distraught father, who has to come to terms with the loss of his daughter and the fact that she was Batwoman, a secret she kept from him. Meagan Tandy does a good job of being Kate’s ex-girlfriend, who still holds a torch for her. Rachel Skarsten as Beth Kane, plays the part well, with multiple layers to her craziness, but I do feel like the character is played out and should take a back seat to the rest of the villains this season. The two characters that I have no connection to, are Mary Hamilton (Nicole Kang) and Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson). There is something not quite genuine in their performances most episodes. There are moments with these characters that I like, but on the whole I don’t feel the same affection towards them I do with the other supporting cast members in the other Arrowverse shows (Felicity for example).
I feel that the writing of the second season is a bit off and the storyline struggles with the loss of their main character. The writing feels clumsy and clunky at times and the storyline has become “The Search for Kate”, which I believe is a mistake. It is pulling focus from the new character and placing it on the old. In addition, there is a bit too many coincidences. The suit just happens to fall into the hands of a lesbian, martial arts trained woman who has a vendetta against Alice. I feel like there were much better ways to both introduce a new lead and tell us what happen to Kate.
These are minor issues though, and I do enjoy the show. The action is fun, the fight scenes exciting and Javicia’s Ryan Wilder kicks some ass. It is also a plus for me, seeing LGBT characters being highlighted. It is important that we have heroes that aren’t afraid or hiding in the closet. Who, unashamedly, dare to be who they truly are. I love my masked vigilantes, but sometimes they are more of a hero, for taking the mask off!
The first five episodes have been exciting and adventurous, with lots of foreshadowing of good things to come. Despite the clunky writing, I have really enjoyed it up to this point and applaud the series for their bold recasting choice!
Batwoman Season 2: Report Card
Writing - 7/10
Storyline - 8/10
Acting - 9/10
Music - 10/10
Production - 10/10
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