A strange affliction threatens the life of both Alice and the Beth Kane from another Earth, as the Crows begin tearing apart Gotham City searching for the escaped leader of the Wonderland Gang. When Mary and Beth determine that both versions of Beth Kane will die unless one of them dies first, Kate will make a fateful decision about which version of her sister she should try to save.
Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams.
The Crows in this episode make the GCPD look competent. For instance, the guard watching Mouse at the hospital doesn't ask for Alice's ID when she shows up in a stolen uniform and fails to recognize the woman they are supposed to be conducting a city-wide manhunt for, despite her doing nothing to hide her face or her hair other than wear a ballcap. Also, Alice says she had orders to transport the inmate, yet doesn't show these orders to the guard or attempt to move the inmate after! The guards also fail to monitor Mouse's interactions with Dr. Campbell OR Alice. It's also hard to believe they would raid Wayne Tower based on an anonymous tip OR that they wouldn't have Alice's voice print on file and the means to analyze it.
The episode's take on doppelgangers conflicts with what we've seen in Supergirl, vis a vis multiple dopplegangers coexisting on the same Earth. There's two Al's in Al's Dive Bar, for instance, and multiple versions of various aliens including Brainiac-5 and two versions of Winn Schot running around. (With the exception of Al, most of those duplicates were dead or gave up physical form before they were on Earth-Prime for more than a day.)
Again, Rachel Skarsten slays as both Alice and Beth.
Ruby Rose has some great acting moments in the final 10 minutes. Until the grand reveal, we have no idea which way she's going to go in deciding which Beth Kane to save and her torment is perfectly portrayed.
The trick photography to put Beth and Alice on-screen at the same time is handled masterfully.
When discussing ways to save Beth's life, Luke suggests that they use cryotechnology to freeze Beth until they can find a permanent cure, noting that Bruce knew a guy with a cryogenic tank. This is likely a nod to the Batman villain Mr. Freeze, who cryogenically froze his wife to find a cure for the untreatable disease that threatened her life. This further suggests that Mr. Freeze may have reformed in the Arrowverse, as he did in some realities.
DNA testing proved the flesh mask Mouse was wearing when he was arrested was made of the skin from several deceased people.
A B-42 is the Crow's code for Shoot-To-Kill and Shoot-On-Sight.
Luke has a device set up on his car that changes the license plate to a random sequence of numbers.
When assessing Beth's condition, Mary determines that there is no swelling or pressure buildup and her hearing is fine.
Hemophilia causes nosebleeds, but Beth has no sign of the bruising that coincides with hemophilia.
Migraines are not a side-effect of hemophilia.
Beth's cells are determined to be disintegrating on a molecular level.
Beth is familiar with multiple universe hypotheses, inflation model and the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics.
When cells decay, the body goes haywire, resulting in synaptic misfire and the pain receptors going into overdrive until eventually the subject dies. Based on the neurodegeneration program they run, this leaves Alice and Beth with seven hours to live.
Luke suggests placing Beth in a state of cryostasis. Beth dismisses this, saying she doesn't think she could survive a -196 degree bath in liquid nitrogen.
Beth suggests using a hyperbaric chamber to simulate high altitude and increase her red blood cell count. Luke dismisses this, saying she wouldn't adapt to hypoxia in the time they have left.
The Batwoman motorcycle has built-in tow-lines and smoke bombs.
Kate: Does alcohol slow down degeneration or something?
Beth: No, but it gives me a buzz while I face my mortality.
(Luke catches up to Kate in the hallway.)
Luke Where are you going?
Kate: If Beth is enemy number one in Gotham, then we have to get her to a hospital outside the city. Maybe a face to face with this new commander can help us get past the checkpoints.
Luke: Sorry. By telling her what exactly?
Kate: I haven't figured that out yet.
Luke: (sarcastically) I have. It's easy. All you have to say is that "An event called Crisis merged an infinite number of universes, resulting in Alice's not-so-evil twin from another Earth ending up on this Earth. Just ask Supergirl or The Flash, and, oh, by the way, I swear I'm not Batwoman."
(Kate enters her office, not noticing at first that Alice is there next to Beth.)
Kate: We need a new plan. Sophie is not messing... Around.
Alice: You weren't going to tell me, Kate? We have a sister!
Kate: You haven't exactly made yourself available.
Alice: Here I am. (To Beth) And Here you are. Smart. Friendly. Adorable.
Kate: Leave her alone!
Beth: No. It's okay. I understand why she resents me.
Alice: (sarcastically) Oh, goody. Let's add blindly empathetic to the list.
Alice: So on your Earth, rather than simply standing by and sobbing, your Kate pulled you from the car before it fell. I always wondered what my life would have been like if you had saved me. I just never imagined that I'd be so basic.
Dodgson: The only thing more dangerous than a corrupt man is one who thinks he's noble.
Dr. Cartwright: It is a father's greatest joy to see his son follow in his footsteps. You could have made me so proud.
Mouse: I thought you were dead.
Dr. Cartwright: As I intended. Meanwhile, I took on the life I deserved. Recognition, praise, prestige... But at the cost of losing you. Because of her. Tell me where Alice is.
Mouse: Why? So you can kill her?
Dr. Cartwright: Tell me where she is, Johnny, so I can forgive you.
Mouse: Forgive me? For what? For standing up to my abuser?
Dr. Cartwright: For being a weak, little boy too powerless to realize a broken girl with a distorted imagination was taking advantage of you.
Mouse: You gave her to me.
Dr. Cartwright: As a playmate, and you let her convince you that she was family.
Mouse: She was my family. She accepted me All of me the scars, the burns, the face you raised me to believe was too repulsive for the world to see. You looked at me, and you saw a monster. She saw the window to the world.
Catherine: The universe must think fondly of Kate to give her everything that she wants... the version of you that she lost.
Alice: You don't know my sister.
Catherine: No. I beg to differ. I've known her almost as long as you've known her.
Alice: Because you're a snake, who slithered her way into my family.
Catherine: I was accepted. By your father and by your sister, and despite all of the mistakes that I made, I showed remorse. You don't have any remorse, Alice. You're evil through and through. And that's why Kate will never choose you.
Alice: Here's what's gonna happen. Mary's gonna take that syringe to Kate and tell her that it will only save one of us. Kate... Kate's gonna pick me.
Catherine: For your sake, I hope that's true. But just in case she chooses otherwise, I'll save you a seat in Hell.
Beth: Why risk your life every night for a city of strangers?
Kate: Well, I think not saving Beth that day on the bridge ignited something in me.
Beth: You couldn't save your own mom and sister, so now you save every mom and sister.
Kate: Guilt can make sane people do crazy things.
Beth: This isn't guilt. This is courage.
Beth: Luke told me about the blood. I'm sorry you're in this position.
Kate: I'm sorry you are.
Beth: Look. Before you make your decision, can I just say after spending time with Alice face to face, her rage, her pain... somehow I understand her. And if circumstances had turned out differently-
Kate: They didn't. I didn't act. I didn't save her. (sighs) I did nothing. And I'm not about to do nothing again.
Alice: You... You have to hurry.
Alice: No, Kate. There's no time to...
(Alice squeezes Kate's hand. Kate is clearly struggling to say something. Finally, she says it.)
Kate: I came to say good-bye.
(There is a long pause as Alice stares at Kate, realizing just why she hesitated.)
Kate: Good-bye, Alice.
(Kate pulls her arms around Alice and hugs her tightly.)
Alice: (weakly) No.
(Cut to earlier in the Batcave. Kate is injecting Mary's blood into Beth.)
Beth: Are you sure this is what you want to do?
Kate: Just you asking that is proof that I made the right choice.
Beth: You've always been my hero.
Alice: (sobbing) Why? Because she's pure and good? You don't even know me. Not the real me.
Kate: I know what you showed me. I couldn't save you. And all I can hope is that you find peace.
Alice: ... Stay with me.
Kate: I'm here.
(Kate continues to hold Alice close.)
(Kate is sobbing uncontrollably now, but she can feel something change in Alice. Alice isn't pained anymore. She isn't even tired. Her voice is cool and firm when she speaks.)
Alice: You... let me die... But I didn't!
(Alice hits Kate in the face with a metal hospital tray and giggles wickedly, back to her old self.)
Dr. Ethan Campbell is a respected plastic surgeon in Gotham City and an expert on skin grafts. He is recruited by Jacob Kane and Sophie Moore to testify that it would be possible for Mouse to impersonate Jacob Kane.
Dr. Campbell agrees to consider acting as an expert witness but asks to speak to Mouse first and run a few tests. He notes, however, that the idea of someone being able to craft a mask out of different skins and use that to flawlessly impersonate another man is science-fiction.
With Jacob Kane's permission, Sophie Moore gives The Crows orders to kill Alice on sight.
Beth says the roads in her version of Gotham City are less bumpy.
The Crows have check-points set-up throughout Gotham City. They even stop Mary Hamilton, knowing that she is their boss' daughter.
Batwoman saves Mary, Beth and Luke from being found-out at the checkpoint, but determine there is no way to sneak Beth out of Gotham to treat her condition.
The symptoms of Beth's condition include migraine headaches, coughing up blood and bleeding from the nose and ears.
Beth is two credits shy of earning her Doctorate in Astrophysics.
Beth theorized that the various alternate realities were separated for a reason. She guesses that the new universe is literally not big enough for her and Alice and that the longer they attempt to co-exist on the same Earth, the more they will accelerate the deterioration of their bodies.
Alice kills one Crow who corners her in an alley.
Alice is able to disguise herself as a Crow and visits Mouse in the hospital.
Mouse tells Alice about Beth.
The Crows are losing clients; partly because of how they lost Alice and partly because half of Gotham City thinks they are going too far with random searches.
Sophie refuses to cancel the kill order when Batwoman asks her to give her time to try and bring Alice in peacefully.
Dodgson attacks Jacob Kane in the prison showers.
Alice leaves the unfortunate security guard at Wayne Tower, Carl, unconscious in the janitor's closet.
Alice shows up at Kate's office and tries to kill Beth.
Alice figures out without Kate or Alice saying anything that, in Beth's reality, her version of Kate saved her from the car crash before she fell into the river.
Kate catches the knife Alice throws before it hits Beth.
One of the inmates, Reggie Harris, saves Jacob Kane from Dodgson, saying that he figures he can trade that for a favor later.
Alice goes to Mary and her clinic seeking help. Mary is able to knock her out and handcuff her to a bed.
Dr. Campbell visits Mouse in the hospital and reveals himself to be Dr. August Cartwright - Mouse's father.
The details are not discussed, but apparently Dr. Cartwright faked his death after Alice and Mouse turned against him.
Dr. Cartwright injects Mouse with something to make him reveal where Alice is hiding. He is later revealed to have transported him to a secret lair.
Alice tells Mary that the serum from the Coriana Desert Rose in her blood could save her life. Mary decides to test it, but refuses to do so on Alice.
Alice is able to reach a phone and uses it to call the Crows and call in a tip that Alice is in Wayne Tower.
Beth tells Kate that she was never jealous of her counterpart on her Earth, except in one respect - she had found her soul mate.
Kate reveals that she is Batwoman to Beth, hiding her inside the Batcave as The Crows storm Wayne Tower.
The Crows send 50 agents, 10 armored vehicles and one helicopter to search for Alice.
Alice hallucinates Catherine Hamilton taunting her in her final moments.
Mary says they may be able to use her blood to slow Beth's degeneration long enough that Alice dies first. She leaves the decision of who to treat up to Kate, however.
Kate decides to save Beth and gives her the cure. She then goes to stay with Alice as she dies, while Luke uses her motorcycle to get Beth out of town to where she can heal peacefully.
Sophie tracks down Luke and Beth and almost shoots Beth. She hesitates at the last moment, however,
Dr. Cartwright kills Beth with a sniper rifle. She dies in Luke's arms.
At the same instance Beth dies, Alice instantly feels better. She knocks Kate out and makes her escape from the clinic.
The Bottom Line
The strongest episode of the series to date and an utterly gut-wrencher to watch, thanks to a tight-script and some amazing performances. Small wonder this has fast become The CW's most popular show after The Flash.