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Batwoman loses hope, but finally dons her most famous accessory

Ruby Rose
Photo: Robert Falconer (The CW)
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In its third episode, Batwoman finally delivers the flame-haired crusader we all came to see. Ruby Rose’s portrayal of the iconic character has left room for Kate to grow into the mantle, which she deserves—she’s a true hero that cares for those around her and family is always a top priority. That’s why it’s been a tad frustrating to see Kate teetering on the precipice of going full Batwoman. Everyone has been waiting for that semi-bulbous cowl to disappear and be replaced with her well-known burgundy wig.

“Down Down Down” still makes us wait until its final moments for the big reveal. Luckily, by that point in the show, Kate is fed up with the evil antics of her sister Beth, now known as Alice. She held out hope that Beth was still somewhere within this eccentric villain, but that hope is finally disappearing—and now she can give herself over to being the winged vigilant.

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As exciting as that moment is, Batwoman has been spinning its wheels. We understand Beth/Alice and Kate’s positions. Kate believes in family and is prepared to forgive her sister-turned-nemesis. She still has a very starry-eyed idea of who Alice is inside, even though she probably wouldn’t hold that much hope for anyone else. But Alice has also proven, time and time again, that she’s not willing to put their sisterly bond ahead of her plan for revenge on their father. She also hasn’t shown Kate that she can—or is even will to—change. How many more dead boyfriends or innocent elderly victims will it take to show Kate that Beth isn’t coming back? Kate’s original idea of using Batman to scare Alice off wasn’t ever going to bring her into submission. There have only been three episodes, but it felt like Kate’s Batwoman realization moment took too long because of this scenario.

Despite this back and forth, and Kate putting her faith in a dead sister, their strong bond doesn’t falter, which is also what makes it hard for Kate to give up on Beth. Rachel Skarsten as Alice is just the right type of maniac that she comes across as a true villain and doesn’t steer towards silly, regardless of the Alice In Wonderland puns from the previous episodes. However, Kate was able to get under that persona and reach her sister in the last episode, if only a little bit. But this episode proves that Beth might be truly gone, and Kate finally comes to terms with that.

Now, Kate is no longer hiding behind Batman as a way to scare Alice and get Beth back. Kate’s stepping fully into the spotlight of Batwoman and using the persona to protect Gotham. Again, it was a bit frustrating that she held off until now, despite a city that clearly needs someone like her and with people in danger. While it wasn’t purely for selfish gain, Kate wasn’t wearing the suit with their best interests at heart at first.

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Photo: Robert Falconer (The CW)

And now, let’s take a moment to just fawn over Mary. As I hinted at last time, Mary is fast becoming one of the best characters on the show. She’s admirable and hides her two personas pretty well, while also showing immense love for Kate, even though she doesn’t receive the sisterly love she deserves. Kate’s hangup with Beth/Alice is, again, a bit understandable, but Mary is right there! Even in Kate’s absence, Mary is going to bat for her step-sister, getting under Sophie’s skin and hyping Kate up when her ex gets a little too nosy. Mary Hamilton deserves the world, and everyone should know it.

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Lastly, the “big” bad this episode was Tommy Elliot, a.k.a. the world’s laziest villain. He’s uninteresting, has the worst “comebacks” if you can even call them that, and he’s just plain annoying. Sure, they called him misogynistic as well—which he is—but he’s also just so run-of-the-mill elitist and arrogant that the sexist part of him doesn’t even hit that hard. He is the definition of an unhinged rich kid, though. Trying to kill innocent people and lure Batman/Bruce back home to get back at him for saving his “gold-digging” mommy? If we never see him again, it’ll be too soon.

This episode felt slow because the anticipation of “when will Kate Kane realize she has to be Batwoman?” was immense. But now that Kate’s given into Gotham’s hunger for Batwoman and realizes she’s the one that will be able to help them, it will probably be full throttle ahead. It was the last hurdle Kate needed to get over before fully becoming the vigilante hero she’s destined to be. It’s clear that Kate’s judgment remains clouded by the possibility that there’s still some good in Alice. But maybe now that she’s made the costume her own, Kate will finally be able to make up her mind.

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Stray observations:

  • Why does Kate think an ultimatum like “don’t kill for 24 hours” will do anything to Alice? She either won’t wait that long (which she didn’t) or she’ll wait and go straight back to killing. She has proven that she’s a killer, regardless of being Beth before. I know it was a last-ditch effort to get through to her sister, but it also just seemed like a silly thing to ask a villain, regardless of who she was to you before.
  • I will say, even though I originally found the Alice In Wonderland quotes cheesy and annoying at first, they do show up in quite clever spots now. Maybe I’ve just grown used to them? Sue me.
  • It’s so obvious how uncomfortable Sophie is around her husband, Tyler. It’s rough seeing him just oh so oblivious to it all.
  • IF ONLY it were so easy to get a date in real life! If anyone knows a way to get someone like Reagan to be so forward with going out, send them my way, please.
  • As usual, Luke is the voice of reason and an anchor in Kate’s life, and thank god because someone has to be. I truly enjoy their moments together and seeing them get closer to a fully operational bat-unit. I’m really rooting for a more Luke-focused episode, or just more Luke in the storyline in general because I want to write about his role in the show more than just in these observations.
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About the author

Alani Vargas

Alani Vargas is an entertainment writer and A.V. Club contributor. Her work also appears on Showbiz Cheat Sheet, INSIDER, Bustle, Refinery29, and Elite Daily.