Batwoman: Mine Is a Long and a Sad Tale

“Such a trail, dear sir, with no jury or judge, would wasting our breath.”

Alice’s misadventure is finally told, and while it is a long sad story, I was hoping for more.

It is hard to put a finger on exactly what is wrong with this episode. I think for me it wasn’t quite enough, that this backstory, while tragic, doesn’t quite justify the creation of a psychopathic killer. Alice has shown herself to be crafty and smart, and broken, her insanity a thickly veiled mask through which we see the true heart of her persona – rage.

Perhaps that is it, that for Beth she isn’t insane so much as twisted by her situation, furious with her family for abandoning her, and desperate to keep hold of the world she has created for herself. And possibly for Mouse, whom she has clearly come to think of as a brother. Yet he was just as culpable as his father for her imprisonment. Alice’s anger is displaced, and now that her father accepts her for who she truly is, will that anger be enough to sustain her carefully crafted mask?

I honestly don’t know. The levels of emotions and complex motivations on display here are impressive. Alice is a multi-dimensional villain, with heaps of rather justified motivations for her actions. At the same time, cracks are starting to form, especially when it comes to Kate. Her anger at her father is understandable, and even the way she acted against him by stabbing him was a release of pent up fury for the betrayal of him abandoning his search for her all those years ago.

However, there is something that is bothering me. In real life there have been women in similar situations, who were kept as slaves for decades in a basement. When they were released, they didn’t break bad and start killing. Of course, they don’t live in a world with the Joker and a Batman to personify good and evil.

I did love all the conversations between Alice and Kate, and the fact that Alice played Kate like a fiddle baiting her to go to that restaurant where her people were lying in wait; the long game Alice played to get Kate and Jacob to that house to reveal the final tragedy, that they were right there within inches of rescuing Beth.

I'm still not on board with Sophie. While she was useful in this one, she keeps acting against Kate as almost an antagonist instead of a love interest, and hey, wouldn’t it be cool if that is what she turned out to be? The subversion of character, from a love/friendship angle to an arch enemy angle, could be fascinating to watch. Of course that story isn't playing out so well on another show that will remain nameless.

Bits:

Of course, I have to talk about Mary. She continues to be the highlight of the series, and she even made Luke look cool just by interacting with him.

The skin thing was just a little past creepy, but at least she was taking the skin from corpses.

Mouse being able to mimic voices was almost as creepy.

Dodgson continues to be a character, but I don’t quite follow his purpose. Is he supposed to be Alice’s love interest? I don’t get it.

A point of interest regarding the timeline – this episode officially takes place about two weeks after the Elseworlds episode from last season with the Arkham Asylum breakout.

Quotes:

Kate: "Bruce doesn't have night vision goggles?"
Luke: "Batman doesn't do goggles."

Alice: "Where's Kate? Is Kate okay? Is Kate happy? Is she sleeping enough? Has she done her homework? Seen a doctor? Had enough to eat? Kate, Kate, Kate, Kate, Kate, I am so sick of Kate!"

Luke: "I'll look into whatever the hell she could be using the skin for if you remind me to clear my image search history."

Alice: "Forgetting pain is convenient. Remembering it, agonizing. But recovering the truth is worth the suffering."

Luke: "Let me call you a car."
Mary: "To take me where? The penthouse built on lies of falsely dead children? Hard pass."

There was nothing wrong with this episode exactly, but I feel underwhelmed (which is why this review is so late).

2 out of 4 Failed Rescue Attempts

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a whole heap more to Beth/Alice's story that was just the beginning. As someone who has not been that impressed with this show I thought this episode was fantastic. I'm already worried for when they get rid of Alice as she is the best thing on the show