Batwoman: I’ll Be Judge, I’ll Be Jury

“I’ll try the whole cause and condemn you to death.”

This was a busy episode and another solid entry, with an interesting moral question for the audience.

I think the themes for the episode and the basic question brought up around the Executioner and his motivations is weighty. Everyone here is acting in morally gray areas, even Kate and Jacob’s Crows. Vigilantism is a pretty tricky tightrope, and while what the Executioner was doing was wrong on pretty much every level, how different were his actions from Oliver in the first season of Arrow?

I have to wonder if it was a good choice for the Gotham City government to hire the Crows as the de facto law enforcement for an entire district? Honestly I don't think so; it kind of screams of a choice made from desperation. Of course this is a city that depended on a masked vigilante to clean up its streets, so clearly Gotham is overwhelmed. This episode confirms that its entire system of law is somewhat broken. There hasn’t been word of Commissioner Gordon yet, or his daughter, or any of the extended Bat family. It feels like a bit of a missed opportunity to not include those characters. It would make this show so much richer (albeit busier), and I wonder why they haven't brought in some of the Bat’s famous rogues' gallery for Batwoman to fight. We’ll see how things play out; they may be waiting to make those characters special.

I was thinking about what Alice’s greater role in the series will be. As I see it, there are really three options for her. She could turn completely, start traveling down a path to redemption and maybe even eventually join her sister in crime fighting. On the other hand, she could slip further into hatred and revenge and turn into a true super-villain. Both of those options might lead to an ongoing series-long character arc, or one that only lasts a season. The last option I see is for Alice to be killed off, and acting as character motivation for Batwoman, defining her for the rest of the series.

Sophie seems to be heading along a similar path. She has also discovered Kate’s identity, which seems to have been way easier for her than literally any other character on every other superhero show on the network. Freaking Lena Luthor couldn’t figure out the glasses trick for three seasons and Sophie clocks Kate in five episodes? I mean it is pretty obvious who is under the cowl, but come on, writers, be consistent with people deluding themselves. Which I guess is a little unfair to the Batwoman writers.

I haven’t really touched on the action lately, and for the most part it has been serviceable. This time, I have some issues with the almost comical death trap set by the Executioner. I don't know the science exactly, but I have to wonder if Kate and Jacob would've survived exposure like that. Things like that strain credulity, making it difficult to take action seriously. Of course The Dark Knight had Batman fall off a skyscraper with someone else and survive by crashing into a car, so you have to take this kind of stuff in stride.

So, it might surprise you since I've been complaining throughout the review, but I actually liked this one. Maybe it had to do with the fact we had a villain other than Alice. Speaking of Alice, there seems to be some real conflict between her and Mouse to the point that she seems to be softening a bit, but I have to wonder what her Tea Party is going to look like. I'll admit I'm actually looking forward to a villain plot for once.

Bits:

Sophie and Mary had some fun scenes, and I loved how much Mary defends Kate. I really want them to spend some time building up Kate and Mary as siblings, because there is something real there.

On the other hand I'm not sure how I feel about Mary letting Sophie go with nothing more than bandages and ibuprofen after mending a freaking gunshot wound.

Okay, so the Batsuit was always pretty impressive, but when has it been so strong that nothing except experimental weaponry could work against it?

Quotes:

Sophie: "Like the new look. Red suits you."
Batwoman: "Goes with everything."

Batwoman: "The law's not perfect, I'll give you that. Doesn't mean you get to rewrite it in blood."
Executioner: "You trust the law so much, why are you wearing that suit?"

Kate: "Any suspects?"
Luke: "Well, if you exclude the law-abiding citizens of Gotham, that leaves... the other half."

Jacob: "What's he wearing?"
Kate: "It's an old fashioned executioner's hood. Axe is a nice touch."

Mary: "I didn't do that."
Sophie: "Well, you better undo it."
Mary: "Batwoman would kill me. Frankly, she's scarier than you."

I feel like my ratings are a little off, which means I might have to readdress them down the line. But for now this was a good episode, not great but not bad.

3 out of 4 One off villains with deep motivations

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

No comments: