Saturday, December 7, 2019

Batwoman Episode Guide: Season 1, Episode 8 - A Mad Tea-Party

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Alice and Mouse push forward with their plan for a "Mad Tea Party." The aftermath will change things forever between Alice and Kate, as well as Kate ant the rest of her family. Meanwhile, Tyler and Sophie have a deep talk about Sophie's relationship with Kate.


Batwoman: Elegy
by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams.


Tyler's suddenly bringing up wanting kids and dogs at the end just comes out of nowhere and kills the momentum of the episode. See Dialogue Disasters for More.


Again, Rachel Skarsten steals the show as Alice.


The fight scene of Batwoman fighting the Wonderland Gang members posing as Crows in the theater lobby is one of the best this show as seen.

Bat Trivia

Luke notes that Kate broke her staff and she says it would be a lot better if it came apart so she could use it as escrima sticks instead of just a bo staff. In the comics, this is Kate's preferred weapon. It's also a favorite of Dick Grayson.

Alice reveals that the antidote she developed to the poison that she gave to Catherine Hamilton-Kane was taken from a desert rose that only blooms on the island of Coryana. In the DC Comics universe, Coryana is a fictional pirate nation ruled by Safiyah Sohail - a former lover of Kate Kane's from her days traveling the Earth.

The plot-point of an antidote coming from a rare rose was used before in Pretty Poison - the episode of Batman: The Animated Series which introduced Poison Ivy and saw Pamela Isley trying to kill Harvey Dent for building a new prison on the last habitat for the Wild Thorny Rose, which she was barely able to save one plant of before it went extinct.

This episode ended with a scene involving Nash Wells from The Flash, setting up Crisis on Infinite Earths. This scene is described in detail in the entry for F608.


Luke is able to use the cell-phone Kate took from one of the Wonderland Gang members and track its former GPS coordinates to Alice's current hideout - a warehouse in the Bowery.

Project 4782 is a neurotoxin developed by Hamilton Dynamics to kill without mercy. The poison causes dizzy spells,  nosebleeds, muscle paralysis and respiratory failure before completely liquidating a person's internal organs.

Dialogue Triumphs

Kate: (voice-over) They say the choices we make define us, but despite all the darkness, despite all those who doubt, and despite my own fear that I've lost my sister forever, I choose to hope that Beth is still there. Don't tell anyone, Bruce, but I think this makes me an optimist.

(Kate is in the middle of cleaning her new property. Mary suddenly strides into the room, carrying several garment bags.)
Mary: So the way I see it you can either spend your Friday night in here inhaling asbestos, or you could join me in wearing this season's sexiest haute couture, hmm? Seriously, Gigi and Bella could not even get their hands on this yet.
Kate: You want me to go to that thing tonight?
Mary: That thing is the Gotham Humanitarian Gala, i. e. the most important event of the season.
Kate: Honoring your mom, who told my dad that Beth was dead. (mock-cheer) Asbestos it is!
Mary: I get that we are bordering on "too soon".
Kate: Hmm. Pretty sure we're right in the middle of it.
Mary: I know that this isn't important to you, but it's important to me, okay, so why can't it be important to you that it's important to me?
Kate: Because you think that if Gotham sees us as a family that we'll start to believe it, and that's just not how it works. Not after what Catherine did.
Mary: But you gave Alice a second chance and a third and a fourth. How can you just write off my mom as Satan but you don't seem to have any problem holding out hope for the actual most evil person in Gotham?
Kate: Because she's my family.
(There is a too long pause.)
Mary: And I'm not? Got it. I guess I am the crazy one, you know, for thinking that you and I could still be sisters.

Jacob: What do you want me to say? I'm sorry? There is no word to describe what it feels like to know that I left you behind.
Alice: Then find the words to explain why you never tested the skull fragments Catherine found.
Jacob: I had no reason to think that she was lying.
Alice: But your daughter was missing, and this was just a handful of bones found by some woman you'd known for less than a year.
Jacob: Maybe believing that you were dead was easier than waking up every morning with hope or going to sleep every night with a broken heart. Of course, I should have looked longer. I should have hoped harder, I should have I should have had the DNA tested myself. I wish I wish I could have been your father for the past 15 years, but I failed. I failed you.
Alice: Thank you for saying that. And thank you for making me who I am today.

(Alice has offered an antidote in exchange for an apology, only to refuse it when Catherine choked out that she was sorry, saying she didn't feel that was sincere.)
Mary: She said she was sorry!
Alice: You think I enjoy watching a daughter lose her mother?! (intensely) I was just inches from my own mother's severed head floating down the Gotham River after our car plummeted off the bridge.
Mary: (to the fading Catherine) Oh, please. Please just try. I can't lose you. Please just try.
Catherine: (gasping out the words) I'm a mother. Alice When I saw Kate grieving... I saw my own daughter... I just wanted to take away her pain... but in trying to take away Kate's pain, I gave you a lifetime of it. It's all my fault, Alice... All the lost years, all the agony you endured, it's all my fault. It's all....I'm truly sorry.
Alice: (sweetly) Thank you, Catherine. I do believe you've earned a draught of this tea.
(Alice holds out the antidote as Mary gasps in relief, her hand going to her mouth.  And then she feels something wet on her finger tips, pulling away her hand to reveal the blood dripping from her nose.)
Alice: (still sweet) Oh, dear. Not you, too?
Mary: What?! Uhh. No. What did you do? How did you...?
Alice: (mock innocence) Tell me you didn't both drink the champagne! Oh, that's such a shame, seeing as there's only enough antidote for one.

(Batwoman arrives behind Alice, who is walking away from where she left Catherine and Mary.)
Alice: You're too late.
Batwoman: Where is my dad?
Alice: Our dad. You'll find out soon enough.
Batwoman: Whatever you did, you can undo it.
Alice: But I don't want to undo it. I was locked in a cell for 11 years. What do you think put me to sleep at night, rainbows, unicorns? I dreamt of revenge.
Batwoman: What did you do? What did you do?!
Alice: "It was all very well to say, 'Drink me', but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry". (seeing that Kate doesn't get it.) Oh, come on. It's not like Catherine didn't have it coming.
Batwoman:  You poisoned Catherine?
Alice:  (suddenly furious) Catherine poisoned Catherine! When she slithered into our family and brainwashed our father and replaced us with that vapid human run-on sentence of a daughter! (hissing) Catherine brought this on herself, and I was more than happy to watch Daddy go down with her.

(Kate finds Mary in her clinic.)
Kate: Mary?
Mary: Do you know how many horrible people that I've saved?
(Kate shakes her head.)
Mary: Druggies thugs with face tattoos. Pulled a windshield out of a guy... who stole the car that he totaled. Walked out of my clinic the next day like nothing had happened, but I... I couldn't save her.
Kate: I am so sorry, Mary.
Mary: (sobbing) You know how she died? Exactly the way that Alice planned it. Slowly And in pain. And the only way for her to save herself was for me to die. (voice growing stronger, more angry) And she sure as hell wasn't about to let that happen. Because she is not the horrible person that you and Alice claim that she is. You...You are literally the last person who can bring me comfort right now. I'm gonna ask you again, Kate. Is Alice worth it?
Kate: (softly) No.
Mary: Finally! (sighs) Too bad it's too late.
(Without another word, Mary walks past Kate.)

Kate: (voice over) We all make choices, Bruce. I chose hope. And I chose to believe Beth was still alive. I chose to save my sister from the monster she's become. But by making that choice I lost my entire family for the second time. And now the only thing I'm left with is the awful truth that Alice was right. Beth is gone.

Dialogue Disasters

Most of the Tyler and Sophie scenes. Ignoring that Sophie is the least sympathetic character on the show, these scenes also distract away from the much more important (and interesting) storyline of Alice getting her revenge.  But the peak of this has to be the final scene and this exchange.

Sophie: This is insane. How can they think he actually did this?
Tyler: People believe what they're told. It's human nature.
Sophie: Then people are idiots. (looking at her phone) I should call Mary.
Tyler:  I want kids.
Sophie: (stunned) What?!
Tyler: And a dog. And family traditions that we bitch about but do anyways.
Sophie: Okay.
Tyler: I don't want to move past this today and then have it come up again in two years and realize that I'm wasting my life fighting for something I can't actually have.
Sophie: I don't want that either.
Tyler: Do you love me?
Sophie: Yes.
Tyler: Are you in love with me? Because if you love me, you'll be real with me right now.
Sophie: (hesitantly) I don't know.
Tyler: Let's not make this any harder than it is. I think you need to figure yourself out, and when you do and if you see the same future I do, maybe I'll still be here. Maybe I won't.


Batwoman beats up one of the Wonderland Gang members, taking his jacket and leaving him for the police. The jacket contains a cell-phone, which Kate hopes can be used to track down Alice's current hideout.

According to Luke, an Italian restaurant called Slice of Gotham makes the worst bread sticks in the city.

Alice makes reference to the events of 105 and Kate kidnapping her.

Alice gives Kate the piece of the rail gun that makes it capable of killing Batwoman.

Kate notices a picture of Beth and Kate on the day of their Bat Mitvahs. Alice tells her to keep it.

Jacob calls the Crows from outside of Gotham, telling them they'll discuss plans for an upcoming charity gala when he gets back, just before he is jumped by the Wonderland Gang.

The gala in question is revealed to be honoring Gotham City's Humanitarian of the Year, who is Catherine Hamilton-Kane.

Kate refuses to go to the gala because she wants nothing to do with Catherine.

Mouse is still impersonating Jacob at Crow's Security. Kate confronts him over his apparent reconciliation with Catherine.

Alice chains Jacob up in the basement dungeon of Dr. August Cartwright's house. He says he's sorry for failing her - a gesture she genuinely seems to appreciate, but which will not stop the "Mad Tea Party" in his honor.

Kate begins to suspect that someone is impersonating Jacob based on how forgiving he is of what Catherine did to him. According to Kate, her father is not big on forgiveness and grounded her for an entire summer when he found a joint in her backpack as a teenager.

Kate calls Jacob to apologize and asks him if he remembers the big snowstorm when he and Catherine were getting married and how she'd wished they'd get snowed-in so the wedding would be cancelled? Jacob says that he does. This confirms to Kate that "Jacob" is an impostor since he and Catherine were married in the summer on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year.

Tyler is still freaked out about that Sophie dated Kate for three years.

Kate texts Sophie about Mouse impersonating Jacob. The message arrives just before she and Tyler are knocked out by The Wonderland Gang.

Tyler and Sophie are tranquilized and left tied up in Jacob Kane's office.

Mary, Catherine and Mouse (still posing as Jacob) ride in a limo with complementary champagne to the gala.

Kate confronts Alice about where Jacob is. She tells her that she left him in the place that Jacob left her.

Kate goes to the Cartwight house but finds that Jacob is already gone.

While scanning the crowd at the gala, Luke recognizes one of the Crows as Scott Kaiser - a criminal and member of the Wonderland Gang. This reveals that Alice has replaced all the Crows personnel working the gala with her own people.

Jacob Kane's office has one-way windows and sound-proof walls, leaving Tyler and Sophie with no way to call for help or get attention from their co-workers elsewhere in the office.

When Tyler asks why they weren't just killed, Sophie guesses it's because her dying would upset Kate. She doesn't answer when Tyler demands to know if she still has feelings for Kate.

Alice takes control of the teleprompter for Catherine's acceptance speech, forcing her to talk about how she's secretly been selling weapons to Gotham's criminals for years and how her husband had been getting rich preying on people's fears of those criminals.

Catherine begins to suffer a nosebleed.  She and Mary are taking into a room by one of the fake Crows, where Alice meets with them.

Tyler saws through his ropes using the diamond on Sophie's engagement ring.

Alice reveals that she poisoned Catherine with a neurotoxin developed by Hamilton Dynamics. They never developed a cure, but Alice did - a universal cure-all based on a desert rose that only grows on the island of Coryana. A prick of the thorns can kill a person, but the flower can be made into a life-giving serum.

Unfortunately, after forcing Catherine to choke out an apology for faking the evidence that stopped the search for Beth Kane in exchange for the antidote, it is revealed that the neurotoxin was delivered through the champagne in their limo.

It is at that point that Mary's nose begins to bleed as well and Alice says she only had the one dose.

Catherine makes Mary take the antidote.

Batwoman tries to strangle Alice but can't bring herself to finish it. She is knocked off a balcony as Alice and Mouse escape.

In her dying moments, Catherine reveals that she knew about Mary's secret clinic and that she is proud of her. She also says that Mary is the only good thing she ever made in her life.

Jacob wakes up in an SUV near the theater. He calls Kate and she demands proof of who he is. He relates a story that confirms his identity.

Jacob bought Kate a bike for her 6th birthday. She wrecked it the same day because it was too big for her.

Shortly after Jacob wakes up, he is surrounded by the GCPD. They search him and find the vial holding the Project 4782 sample that killed Catherine. He is formally charged with Catherine's murder.

Mary tells Kate off for trying to save Alice instead of trying to be her sister.

Tyler tells Sophie she needs to figure out if she still has feelings for Kate or not before trying to build a life with him.

Kate speaks with Jacob in prison, who says when this is cleared up he is finally going to kill Alice.  Kate says this time she won't stop him. 


Jacob is somewhere outside Gotham when he is jumped by Alice's gang.

Untelevised Adventures

Jacob spent several days outside of Gotham trying to track down Mouse.

The Bottom Line

A powerful episode which changes everything forever. The only sour note in it is the time devoted to the Sophie and Tyler subplot, in which Tyler is made cartoonishly awful in order to build sympathy for Sophie that she has not earned. There's a lot of that going around, as Rachel Skarsten's Alice is so human and so vulnerable in her insanity that she's still more sympathetic than Catherine. The heck of it is we don't even know if Alice was making up the crimes Catherine confessed to, given the horrible things we HAVE seen her do on the show so far. There's a lot of choosing between the lesser of two evils here and I think Alice may well be the least of all the evils. It's something to debate at least and a great cliff-hanger going into Crisis.

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