With Alice presumed dead and Jacob Kane now out of prison, the Crows turn their attention to bringing in Nocturna: a serial killer who drains the blood from her victims. But Batwoman is still their Number Two target, making it hard for Kate to deal with Nocturna or track down the real Alice, who is on the run and plotting revenge against everyone... including Kate.
The New 52 Batwoman series and the Batnan comics of Doug Monech. (Character of Nocturna.)
True to their sterling record to date, none of the Crows see fit to ask why the Alice corpse they find has the wrong color hair.
For that matter, nothing is said about Mouse no longer being in the hospital. (It's possible Dr. Cartwright covered his tracks and nobody noticed he is missing, but you'd think Jacob would want to confront the man who impersonated him in addition to inspecting Alice's dead body.)
Camrus Johnson delivers comedic gold throughout this episode. Hopefully this isn't really his last time coming out of the Batcave, because his interactions with Kate and Mary are priceless, as is his clear crush on Mary.
The opening scene with Nocturna is suitably creepy and sets up her mystery well.
The set design for The Hold Up is solid and the use of lighting and music during the club scenes is fantastic, as is the atmospheric design for Gotham Cathedral.
Nocturna is an alias that has been used by three different DC Comics villains; all of whom had a connection to Gotham City.
The first Nocturna was Natalia Knight and first appeared in Batman #363 in September 1983. Natalia overcame a childhood living on the streets of Gotham City to become an astronomer at Gotham City Observatory. Unfortunately, her skin became bleached and extraordinarily sensitive to bright light following an accident with an experimental laser. Worse yet, she discovered that her adoptive father was a criminal and that his activities had financed the extravagant lifestyle to which she'd become accustomed. She joined forces with her adoptive brother, Anton Knight, and continued to run their father's enterprises, as Natalia required expensive treatments to manage her condition. She would later attempt to romance Bruce Wayne and forced him into a custody battle for Jason Todd.
The second Nocturna was a woman named Natalie Metternich, who was introduced as a Robin villain and first appeared in Robin #100 in May 2002. This Nocturna was a former astronomer turned piano player, who developed a pheromone power that caused people to lose their inhibitions around her.
The third Nocturna was a woman named Natalia Mitternacht, who was an actual vampire and black widow killer, who attempted to seduce Kate Kane. She first appeared in Detective Comics #9 in May 2012.
The Arrowverse version of Nocturne mixes elements of the first and third Nocturnes from the comics. Her real name is Natalia Knight, but she suffers from a rare form of porphyria rather than hypopigmentation. Her condition has left her unable to face direct sunlight and her kidneys do not filter her blood properly. This requires that she gets regular transfusions of fresh blood and, after the death of her father, she begins to directly acquire it by seducing club goers and draining their bodies. She has dental implants that give her a vampire's fangs, which enable her to inject her victims with a sedative before she begins draining them.
Luke makes an off-hand remark about how Nocturna's name and gimmick are very early 2000s. The second Nocturna was introduced in 2002, but ironically her gimmick had nothing to do with vampirism or blood-draining.
Luke has the ability to administer an adrenaline shot to Kate through the remote controls on the Bat-Suit. It takes roughly 30 seconds to kick in.
Mary determines that Kate was dosed with Ketamine. Ketamine is typically used in starting and maintaining anesthesia in surgery patients, but has been used as a party drug under the name Special K. Recently, one variation of it has been used as an antidepressant. Another version is used as an animal tranquilizer.
The Bat-Suit has a built-in UV detection system, generating 600 watts of 95% UVA and 5% UVB light. This allowes the suit to scan itself and other objects for fingerprints. Luke uses this to determine that Nocturna somehow didn't leave any physical evidence behind after close contact with Batwoman.
Luke uses a high-tech facial-recognition program to scan the club-goers at The Hold Up, looking for likely suspects to be Nocturna.
Cathedral bell ropes use different colors to denote different notes.
O-Negative is the universal donor among blood types. This means that Alice can donate blood to save Mary, who has B-Negative blood.
B-Negative is one of the rarest blood types and people with B-Negative blood can only take transfusions from other B-Negatives or O-Negatives.
Luke: We need to figure out who shot her.
Mary: I agree, but first, we need to prepare ourselves for the real Alice. The Crows think that she's dead, and she's not, which means no one's out looking for her, and if my twin picked my alien doppelganger's life over mine, I'd be on the verge of going nuclear. Uh, no offense.
Kate: You're right. I looked her in the eye and told her I chose to save someone else.
Mary: Kate you did the right thing. You have to know that.
Kate: It doesn't matter because the wrong Beth lived. Now Alice is back on the loose because of me, and we need to brace ourselves for the consequences.
(Luke is trying to talk Kate into investigating Nocturna.)
Luke: Lately, things have been a little too serious, and you could use the distraction.
Kate: Then bring me an old-fashioned bomber or an arsonist or someone that actually exists in the real world.
Luke: Apparently she does. Okay. Nocturna is-
Kate: (smirking) Nocturna? Was Night-Bite taken?
Luke: She seduces her victims, drains their blood, and leaves them for dead. It's all very early 2000s.
(Batwoman has found Nocturna's third victim.)
Batwoman: No sign of Nocturna.
(There's a metallic clan behind her. Batwoman spins around to see Nocturna approaching.)
Batwoman: Scratch that. Found her.
Nocturna: And I found you. Vampire, Bat. Screams duo to me.
Batwoman: I work alone.
Luke: (over comms) I heard that.
Kate: Did we just lure a vampire to us using a bar full of walking blood bags?
Luke: Theoretically, yes. Technically, no. Think of our high-res facial recognition cameras as a sort of digital garlic. If Nocturna shows, we'll get her. Though so far the most suspicious woman here has three outstanding parking tickets.
Luke: Kind of went a long way to make clear I'm not your boyfriend.
Mary: Does your tie glow in the dark?
Luke: Yes, it does.
Mary: I actually love that.
Kate (over comms): It's not her.
Luke: (reflexively) You're positive, or you just got uncomfortable?
Mary: Who are you talking to?
Kate (over comms): What?
Luke: No. Not you, Kate. I'm talking to Mary.
Kate (over comms): Why are you talking to Mary?
Mary: Why are you talking to Kate? I thought you were her real estate assistant.
Luke: (defensively) Associate.
Mary: With a hidden earpiece to direct line into his boss at a club on a Saturday night?
(There is a too long pause as Luke tries to think of a plausible lie.)
Luke: Kate's needy.
Alice: Where is he?
Kate: Where's who?
Alice: Mouse. Where are you keeping him?
Kate: No idea.
Alice: Then this was a waste of my time.
(Alice turns around to leave.)
Kate:We should talk about what happened.
(Alice turns around. If looks could kill Kate would be dead.)
Alice: Talk? Why? Do you think letting me die on a linoleum floor got lost in subtext? I get it, Kate! I mean nothing to you!
Kate: The Crows think you're dead. You've got a second chance, Alice.
Alice: You had a second chance to save me, and you didn't take it. Instead, you chose a complete stranger.
Kate: Beth wasn't a stranger. Don't you get it? She was you! The kind, compassionate, good version of you. The version of you I thought you could be.
Alice: (evenly) The version who couldn't survive despite everything you did to keep her alive.
(There is a long pause. Kate can't deny anything Alice just said.)
Alice: (sighs) That's rich. I guess this is the new normal now. I hope she was worth it.
(Kate finds a trussed-up Alice, with empty blood bags next to her.)
Kate: Why did she start to fill these up and then stop?
Alice: (mock innocence) I don't know. She's fickle.
Kate: She's meticulous. She doesn't leave a victim until they're bone dry.
Alice: (sarcastic) I'm sorry that my being alive continues to disappoint you.
Kate: You're hiding something. Why didn't she kill you?
Alice: I told you. I have no idea.
Kate: You should be dead.
Alice: (deadpan) I know, Kate. You did everything in your power to make sure of that.
Batwoman: Your little fantasy is over.
Nocturna: I think it's just starting.
Batwoman: For the record, killing people not sexy.
Nocturna: You see victims. I see kids with perfect skin, perfect kidneys, perfect lives, who pollute their blood with every toxin they can get their hands on.
Batwoman: So they deserve to die?
Nocturna: And I do? I never even had a chance!
Kate: How did Nocturna know about the Desert Rose?
Alice: You mean, how did you know that Nocturna knew about the Desert Rose? Because Mary is alive because, uh, I saved her.
Kate: You sent her after Mary.
Alice: Of course I did. It was Mary's life or mine, and someone had to choose me for once.
Kate: If you want me to feel guilty, I don't. I never will, not after everything you've done.
Alice: Hmm. See, I don't believe you. I think somewhere deep down there's a teeny, tiny part of you that's relieved I lived, that you hadn't quite failed at saving me.
Kate: And they call Nocturna a vampire when all you do is feed off my guilt like the parasite you are.
Alice: So you're saying that you feel guilty.
Kate: What's the end game, Alice? Why'd you save Mary?
Alice: To prove to you how stupid you were for letting me die.
Kate: Stupid? Stupid was thinking that my sister was redeemable. Stupid was convincing The Crows not to kill you. Stupid was rescuing you from the Gotham River, convincing Dad that I could get Beth back. Stupid was thinking that you could ever, ever possibly be worth it.
Alice: (quietly) But maybe I don't want you to give up on me.
The Crows and Gotham City at large think Alice is dead, thanks to the body of the Beth Kane doppleganger.
Jacob Kane is cleared of all charges in his wife's murder, presumably thanks to Dr. Cartwright's testimony.
"Alice's" body is listed as Jane Doe 7113 at the Gotham City Morgue.
Jacob Kane knows the bullet that killed "Alice" wasn't Crow's issue.
Sophie says she didn't have a lock on the shot, which was why she didn't kill Alice.
Jacob is satisfied with the fact that Alice is apparently dead and feels no need to investigate who did the deed.
Two Wonderland Gang members bring Alice Mouse's stuffed bear and tell her how he disappeared from his hospital room.
Luke was able to recover Beth's necklace before he was forced to abandon her body as the Crows closed in. He gives it to Kate.
Luke ran the partial plate numbers he got from Dr. Cartwright's vehicle, but they don't match any vehicle of that make or model, leading Luke to believe the plate was stolen.
Luke suggest Kate work on tracking down Nocturna; a serial killer who drains her victims of blood.
Kate stakes out Curse - an invitation-only EDM club on Gotham City's main nightclub strip. Luke has never heard of it.
Kate is ambushed as Batwoman after finding Nocturna's third victim.
Kate almost becomes Nocturna's fourth victim, but is found by Sophie before the rest of the Crows.
Sophie helps Kate to escape by untying her from where Nocturna let her tied up. She warns her that this is the last time she can help her, however.
Mary conducts a blood-test on Kate to determine what Nocturna injected into her.
Kate decides to open her new bar, The Hold Up, a few weeks early to use it as a trap for Nocturna.
Jacob instructs Sophie to go The Hold Up undercover and keep an eye out for Nocturna.
This episode marks the first time Luke has seen Sophie.
Sophie runs into Mary and tells her that Batwoman was drugged by Nocturna.
Sophie is hit on by a woman named Elle Scantlin. She is 28, dark hair, has an arrest record, and works in veterinary medicine.
Kate scares Elle away from Sophie by coming by to say hello. In the middle of the awkward moment, Sophie gets a text from Jacob, telling her to report back to base.
One of The Crows' technicians brings Jacob footage of Sophie freeing Batwoman. He says he can make it disappear if Jacob decides to ignore it.
Luke steps in to get Mary away from one of her annoying social media followers. While he is doing that, Kate calls him in his ear-piece, revealing to Mary that they are communicating with each other in the middle of what is meant to be a night-out for Luke.
Alice confronts Kate over Mouse's disappearance. Kate says she has no idea where he is. Alice believes her.
Alice is abducted by Nocturna.
Luke calls the police after Alice shows up outside The Hold Up.
Kate and Luke determine that Nocturna is Natalia Knight - a 27 year old. She is the adoptive daughter of Charles Knight, who was a janitor at the Gotham Cathedral Church. He died of a heart attack two weeks earlier, just before the Nocturna killings started.
Natalia was born with a unique type of Porphyria that prevents her from going out in the daytime and her kidneys have trouble cleaning her blood. She becomes Nocturna to continue getting the fresh blood denied her now that her father is dead.
Alice sends Nocturna after Mary, telling her about the special quality of her blood thanks to the Desert Rose antidote.
Jacob asks Sophie about Batwoman. She denies having helped her.
Kate identifies the ropes used to string up Nocturna's victims as cathedral bell ropes.
Gotham Catherdal Church closed down a year earlier.
Mary's blood type is B-Negative.
Alice's blood type is O-Negative
Kate's blood type is A-Positive.
Alice saves Mary with a transfusion of her own blood, while Kate goes after Nocturna.
Sophie is suspended from active duty with The Crows.
Mary tells Kate that Nocturna told her that she was targeted because of the Blood Rose antidote in her blood.
Mary ran multiple tests on her blood, but says there's nothing special about it.
Kate confronts Alice over the fact that she sent Nocturna after Mary. Alice points out that she saved Mary's life afterward.
Alice deduces that Dr. Campbell is Dr. Cartwright, based on his being the only other visitor Mouse had in the hospital.
Dr. Campbell's record says that he is Gotham City's most elite plastic surgeon. He spent 20 years performing liposuction and rhinoplasty on the idle rich until 2014m where he suddenly took a sabbatical, divorced his wife and started specializing in the facial reconstruction of child burn victims.
Mary figures out that Kate is Batwoman on her own, as she thinks back over the events of the episode, after Vesper Fairchild reports that the sedative Nocturna used on her victims was Ketamine.
Sophie is not 30 yet.
Sophie uses the Bat-Signal to call Batwoman and tell her that Jacob knows that they've been working together.
The Bat-Signal is apparently now outlawed in Gotham City.
Sophie kisses Batwoman in the final scene of the episode.
We don't get to see how Jacob Kane is cleared of all charges but presumably it has something to do with Dr. Cartwright testifying on his behalf.
The Bottom Line
A solid filler episode with a fun villain-of-the-week. Despite this, it still drops some major moments with Mary figuring out Kate's secret identity on her own and Alice deducing that the man responsible for creating her is still alive and has Mouse. The only downspot continues to be Sophie, who is utterly sympathetic as a character and utterly reprehensible as a love interest for Kate. Then again, Kate making bad choices when it comes to her life life is true to the comics. I just hope this tainted love won't continue past this season.