Batwoman: An Un-Birthday Present

A butterfly flaps its wings. No Cartwright, no Mouse, no Alice.

When Alice gets captured by the GCPD, Mouse comes to the rescue with a spot of kidnapping – and Kate goes after both of them with the help of... another Alice?

This episode jumps into some of the philosophical questions presented by the Crisis. For example, say you have a family with three children. There's a universe where there's only two, one, or four or five and so on. Infinite Earths, infinite variables.

What happens when one person is so different they're essentially two people? One a genius, one a twisted genius?

In one Universe, Kate saved Beth. Beth survived. Both became something else.

In one Universe, Kate lost Beth. Beth became Alice. And then the Multiverse collapsed, and Kate and Beth were slammed into the same world. And this all happens on Kate's birthday. Kate is stunned, of course, but quickly catches on with the help of Mary and Luke, and the Bat of the Future is thrust into turmoil.

I have to compliment Rachel Skarsten. She goes from bonkers to beatific with a ready bounce, but there's some mannerisms both versions of Bethalice have in common. Batwoman pulls off this reverse version of the Star Trek Mirror Universe quite well, and even splits the episode into two storylines: one following the memories and mechanisms of Alice, and one giving us a chance to get to know Beth.

From Alice, we learn more about the horrors she experienced (hint, everything from dead kittens to watching pipe-smoking maniacs try to graft faces on children.) Beth's storyline serves as a counterpoint to help us see just how far Alice has gone. In Beth's world, Kate saved Beth's life. This single difference catapulted her down a completely different leg of the Trousers of Time.

This episode was directly connected to the previous episode in that Batwoman's coming out story is all over Gotham – and apparently preventing city officials from calling her. Mouse's plan is actually a ton of fun to watch – Sam Littlefield can be surprisingly casual with his insanity. When Beth realizes, she proves she's Kate's sister and runs to the rescue.

Despite all the multiverse fun, for me one of the best parts of the episode was Alice using her own book's binding as a weapon, after messing with Sophie's mind, to get out of prison – then choosing not to shoot Sophie. It was a great action scene. I also loved Mary making up Beth, and being shocked by her, and sharing her story – and getting an apology from 'Alice.' And that scene with Beth in the trunk? Phew. It felt like Kate truly expiated her sins.

The episode ends with an amazing protest at the GCPD where people are calling for Gotham to turn on the bat light and call Batwoman again. This is another kind of redemption in a way. Last episode she was wondering about her bat-identity, and now it's an identity embraced by the people. Is this the Kate from another Universe?

Whichever one she is, I hope she can help Beth with the crippling headache which pops up right at the moment they both blow out the candles on their cake.

Batbikes

Beth macing Kate. Sorry, I couldn't help but laugh.

300 page dissertation on theoretical extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology.

They used to go to a waffle stand as kids.

I loved the moment when Beth tried to convince Luke to let her dress up – it was all in the body language.

Mary managing to catch on to the multiverse thing with the help of a martini.

Batted away

Beth: I feel like I'm going crazy. What's happening?
Kate: My wish came true.

Beth: You saved me. And ever since then, you've been my hero.

Steven: Yeah, 'cause my idiot dad isn't going to turn on the bat signal.
Bryan: Dude, it's 2020. Nobody cares about gay/straight anymore.

Beth: I am so, so sorry.
Mary: Don't be. You are nothing like that bitch.

Sophie: That's how you dealt with all that trauma, by creating an alternate reality and becoming someone else.
Alice: Isn't that what you did, Agent Moore? Escaping your prison by becoming someone else, lying to yourself and everybody else about who you really are, retreating into the arms of that... yummy boy scout?

Paragon level

Five out of five on this one. I felt this was the first time the show jumped out of the awkward phase. Great fun.

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