Batwoman: A Mad Tea-Party

“If you drink much from a bottle marked poison, it is almost certain to disagree with you sooner or later.”

Alice’s revenge has hit its crescendo, and as a consequence she has done possibly irrevocable damage to her relationship with Kate.

I don’t know if Alice knows what to do with her sister. Kate spent the entire episode reacting and trying to actively stop Alice from doing what she was trying to do. Kate tried to appeal to her sister on an emotional level, she did everything in her power to stop the attack, and yet she failed completely. Alice won the day. Her plan succeeded because the obstacles she set up for Batwoman were essentially just diversion from her true goals.

Whether Alice can be redeemed is a bit irrelevant at this point, not because she killed Catherine (or more accurately, had Mouse kill Catherine), but because Alice is still lost in her fantasy world. She has surrounded herself with the trappings of her twisted captivity. She is seeking revenge against those that failed to find her, but not those who caused her imprisonment in the first place. Like anyone who hates themselves enough, she keeps making the choice to poison the relationships around her. She has a lifeline, Kate had thrown one out, but she isn’t even close to ready to reach for it. She needs to drown for a while longer, and maybe she’ll never resurface.

Mary’s arc so far this season has been focused on two things: her relationship with Kate, and her secret clinic, which is her true calling. While neither of these things was directly explored in this episode, her mother’s death affected both. Catherine hasn’t been a very sympathetic character, and her death wasn’t really all that upsetting from a losing a character perspective. It was, however, upsetting in how it affected Mary. That loss, bookended with her two conversations with Kate, left Mary in a very dark place. She effectively has lost her entire family in one night, and the only thing left for her is the clinic. I bet she throws herself in to that career now.

Dougray Scott is a good actor, but I haven’t liked Jacob from the start. He is not terribly likeable, and he isn’t a lovable mentor figure like Joe West or Quentin Lance, at least not yet. His breakdown with Alice was a start, the guilt and emotional range he showed was a peek inside the character, but we know so little about him and what motivates him that it is hard to take his measure. He is also at the head of a very suspect type of organization. The Crows represent corporatized law enforcement, and much like the military version it is creepy and a little Gestapo like. Hell, the Crow’s office looks like Nazi headquarters in The Man in the High Castle.

I don’t know if I buy what Sophie is doing. There is this strange disconnect that keeps putting me off her character. She keeps making these expressions like she is conflicted, especially with her relationship with Tyler. While she couldn’t say she was in love with him, she hasn’t really shown Kate much, either. I don’t know if she works as the long-term love interest. Of course, I might be holding out hope that they introduce Renee Montoya… but I’m gonna need a lot more convincing before I accept Sophie as the one.

Bits

Kate and Beth had a Bat Mitzvah. Did we know they were Jewish?

I loved the one-way glass in Jacob's office perch; however, it did remind me a bit of Operations in La Femme Nikita.

Sebastian Roche played a small role as the presenter of Catherine's humanitarian award. He is listed as a Doctor Campbell, who in the comics is a colleague of Ray Palmer.

Alice mentioned a place called Coriana. How much you bet we'll see it down the road?

Where does this show fit in Batman's history? The GCPD Commissioner wasn't named, but it's a good bet it wasn't James Gordon.

Alice's dress was pretty fabulous.

Quotes:

Catherine: "I've always wanted to see you work in your clinic."
Mary: "How did you know about the clinic?"
Catherine: "I've always known."
Mary: "How come you never said anything?"
Catherine: "The fastest way for you to stop doing something is for me to approve of it."

Vesper: "Good evening, Gotham. Tonight is the city's Humanitarian Gala, which is 'rich person' for 'let's dress up and congratulate each other on being rich and dressed up'."

Sophie: "Alice must be planning something at the Gala, which is why she took us out."
Tyler: "I thought Alice was more of a 'slit open our necks and pose us for a tea party' type murderer."

Tyler: "It's a little hard to ignore the irony of using the engagement ring I got you to escape your ex-girlfriend's lunatic sister who didn't kill us because she knows more about your past relationships than I do."
Sophie: "What do you want to know?"
Tyler: "What was it between you two? And don't say it was just some drunk college hook-up, unless you were actually drunk for three years."

This was a good culmination of the last seven episodes, but it does leave things in a strange limbo while we wait for Crisis to end. Will things be the same afterwards?

3 1/2 out of 4 Guests at Alice's Mad Tea-Party.

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

No comments: