Monday, April 13, 2020

Batwoman Episode Guide: Season 1, Episode 16 - Through The Looking Glass

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


Dr. August Cartwright is dead, but the nightmare for the Kane family is far from over. As Kate struggles with having broken her vow to never kill, she wonders if she really is all that different from Alice, agreeing to help her sister break into Arkham Asylum as part of her plan to free Mouse. Meanwhile, as the man convicted of  killing his father is set free pending a retrial, Luke struggles to keep it together when he uncovers evidence of a conspiracy around Lucius Fox's death.


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


How does Mouse find the home of Nurse Tammy in a drugged stupor?


The interplay between Ruby Rose and Rachel Skarsten in this episode is fantastic.


The fights in the halls of Arkham are well-shot and well choreographed.

Bat Trivia

Alice is anxious to leave Gotham because of a "friend from Coryana." This is probably Safiyah Sohail - a former lover of Kate Kane's from her days traveling the Earth in the comics, who ruled the pirate nation of Coryana - who was name dropped in an earlier episode by The Rifle. It is believed that she may wind up being the chief villain of Batwoman Season 2.


Protocol at Arkham Asylum demands that high-risk escapees be confined to the basement, away from the other inmates. Access to these cells requires two keys; one is held by the head of security for Arkham Asylum and the other is held by Dr. Butler. 

Dialogue Triumphs

(Alice and Kate watch as Jacob continues filling in the grave they dug for Cartwright.)
Alice: (wistful) So the monster who ripped this family apart all those years ago has brought us all back together. (sighs) Ah, Irony! You are one sick bitch!

Kate: Let me guess - you need help finding the guy who put Dad in jail and killed Catherine?
Alice: Both done at my request.
Kate: Didn't he also try to kill you?
Alice: And yet I still forgive him, choosing to see the best in him. Ever try that?
Kate: All the time. Never works out.

(Alice promises to leave Gotham forever if Kate helps her find Mouse.)
Kate: Fine. But on one condition. We do it my way.
(Alice sighs as she thinks about this.)
Alice: (quietly) Considering your way involves strangling a man until he choked to death on his own blood... (suddenly manic) I would love absolutely nothing more!

Kate: Have to draw the line somewhere.
Alice: Yeah, but who arbitrarily decides when and where those lines are drawn? You?
Kate: Mouse is in custody. If I were to help you break him out of there, then how am I any better?
Alice: Don't you get it by now? You're not!
Kate: I'm not a criminal.
Alice: (laughs) And they say I'm the delusional one.

(Kate and Alice are lying on the bar floor, looking at the ceiling, catching their breath.)
Kate:"Battle not with monsters, lest you become a monster."
Alice: I'm afraid that passage wasn't in the one book I was allowed to read.
Kate: Someone once said that to me.
Alice: How did that work out?
Kate: I became a monster.
(There's a long pause. Alice turns her head and looks at Kate.)
Alice: (softly, almost sobbing) I know I've made light of things, but I owe you a thank you. Thank you for killing the man who destroyed my life. Destroyed our family. (firmly) Do not feel guilty for what you did.
Kate: I... I don't. The only thing I feel guilty about.... is I don't feel guilty.
Alice: (looking to the ceiling) So now you're scared you're becoming me.
Kate: (turning her head to look at Alice) Isn't that what you wanted?
Alice: (turning her head to look at Kate) Would that really be so awful?
(There is another long pause as the sisters stare at each other. Finally, Kate begins to sit up.)
Kate: I'll do it.  I'll do it.  I'll reunite you with Mouse.
(Alice sits up and regards Kate seriously.)
Kate: But I... I need to be able to trust you.
Alice: (nodding) Ok.
Kate: Say it.
Alice: You can trust me Kate.
Kate: (firmly) No one dies in the process.
Alice: (sighing and rolls her eyes) Kate... have I ever lied to you?
Kate: Literally dozens of times.
(Alice thinks on this.)
Alice: Yeah, okay.  (sighs) I promise. (hesitating with each word) No. One. Will die. (smiling softly) You can trust me.
(Alice gets up, leaving Kate along with her thoughts. She returns seconds alter and drops a White Rabbit mask into Kate's lap.)
Kate: What's this?
Alice: Well, we're breaking a killer out of Arkham. So you can't exactly go in dressed as a flying rodent.

(Alice is trying to undo all the restraints on Mouse's chair.)
Alice: Why are there so many straps? Kate? Help me.
(There is a loud metallic clank from behind her. A look of terror passes over Alice's face as she looks up and confirms that Kate has indeed locked her in the cell with Mouse.)
Alice: What are you doing?! Open the door! (softer) Open the door.
Kate: I can't do that, Alice.
(Alice puts her hand on the glass. Kate mirrors the gesture.)
Alice: (sadly) You... you promised.
Kate: I promised to reunite you with Mouse. You wanted to be with your brother. Now you are.
Mouse: (weakly) Why did you trust her?
(Jacob Kane enters the cell block from behind Kate.)
Jacob: It's over Alice. You can't hurt anyone anymore.
Alice: (incredulous) Me?! You are no better than me! (looking to Kate) And you? You and I are the same person! We are no different!
Jacob: Let's get out of here.
(Jacob turns around and leaves as Alice begins to say the word "no" over and over. Kate stands there and watches for a moment as Alice turns her attention to her.
Alice: No!  Kate, don't leave me!  Don't leave me! No, Kate! No! No! No!
(Kate takes the keys and leaves Alice behind, as Alice screams for her father and sister and pounds on the glass door, like a girl trapped in a mirror, her worst nightmare come true again.)


Kate, Jacob and Alice bury Dr. Cartwright under a bridge.

Alice steals Jacob's gun and goes off to look for Mouse on her own.

Kate nearly loses control as Batwoman and nearly chokes a criminal to death and has a panic attack afterward.

Kate lies to Luke about not having any idea where Dr. Cartwright is.

Reggie Harris' reconsideration trial was bumped up. Luke leaves Kate to her own devices to attend the trial.

Reggie Harris was found on the scene of Lucius Fox's murder holding the murder weapon and soaked in his blood. Luke is certain there's no way he'll earn a retrial.

Alice returns to her base to find that her henchmen are all dead. The only clue to who is responsible is a note, written in blood, which reads "DO YOU THINK I WOULD FORGET? YOUR FRIEND FROM CORYANA" This is likely a reference to Safiyah, who was first mentioned in 108.

Jacob asks Sophie to investigate the rest of the Crows and see if someone was taking bribes in relation to Lucius Fox's murder.

Alia Nazari was the Slip N' Dash owner paid $50,000 for damages. Jacob thinks Nazari might have been paid to lose the security footage of Fox's death.

Kate seems to be having PTSD flashbacks of her killing Dr. Cartwright.

Alice says she plans to leave Gotham forever once she finds Mouse.

Alice says she wronged someone in the past who killed The Wonderland Gang and she wants to get out of Gotham.

Kate agrees to help Alice find Mouse but only if they conduct the search on her terms.

Jacob tells Kate that Mouse attacked a nurse outside Arkham Asylum the night before.

According to Alice, Dr. Butler, the current head of Arkham Asylum, used Mouse as a test subject to gauge the effects of Scarecrow's fear toxin as part of an experiment to see if it might be used to control the more unmanageable inmates.He tortured mouse for hours before a nurse brought him out of his fear fugue state.

Alice and Kate go to the home of Tammy, a retired Arkham nurse, claiming to be Crows Agents who suspect Mouse may be coming after her.

Mary attends Reggie Harris' trial and sits with Luke to offer him moral support.

Judge Wellington is the judge presiding over the Reggie Harris trial.

Sophie goes to interview Alia Nazari at her apartment and discovers her dead body. She is almost killed by a sniper, but Julia Pennyworth saves her.

Julia tells Sophie that there is a bounty on her head and that she's also Kate Kane's ex.

Mouse, as Alice predicted, shows up at Nurse Tammy's house.

The Crows capture Mouse after Nurse Tammy calls them, having guessed Alice and Kate were not real Crows agents. They just barely escape before Jacob leads a team into the house.

Alice tells Kate that her worst fear is being locked up in a cell and abandoned by Kate.

When Mouse escaped from Arkham Asylum, he showed Alice every way in and out of the facility.

Alice tells Kate that she could have easily killed Cartwright but she left him for Kate so that she'd hear her story and do it for her, proving they aren't that different.

Reggie Fields is released, pending a new trial, thanks to the revelation that his confession was coerced and the judge on his trial was on the take - revelations that came to light in 106.

Kate agrees to reunite Alice and Mouse.

Alice uses a dummy bomb strapped to a laundry truck to distract the guards at Arkham while she and Kate sneak into the building through a service tunnel.

Sophie takes Julia to Mary's clinic and tends to her bullet wound there.

Mary recognizes Julia as one of Kate's assistants from 107. Julia tells her that she also used to date Kate.

Luke confronts Reggie Fields as he's walking home with his grandmother after doing some grocery shopping.

Reggie recognizes Luke and says Lucius was bragging on him to anyone who would listen the night he died.

Reggie claims to be innocent, saying that someone figured he'd be an ideal patsy as an ex-con with dreadlocks and tatoos.

Reggie is shot by a sniper. Luke tries to perform CPR on him, but can't get him to wake up.

Alice goes after Dr. Butler.

Kate goes after the head security guard at Arkham.

Kate is as good as using a butterfly knife as Alice.

Kate locks Alice in the cell with Mouse, saying she only promised to reunite them - not let them escape.

Alice is placed in isolation with a 24-hour watch.

Jacob took care of moving Dr. Cartwright's body while Kate kept Alice distracted, so there would be no way Alice could use that against them.

Luke goes to Mary, still soaked in Reggie's blood. He says the GCPD think it was a professional hit.

Mary tells Luke that Alia Nazari was killed under similar circumstances. She also thinks Reggie Harris might be innocent.

Luke isn't sure what to believe, but given everything that's happened, he admits it is a possibility that Reggie was innocent.

Julia sets Sophie up in a safe hotel room.

Lucius Fox was Julia Pennyworth's godfather.

The sniper tries to kill Jacob. He is able to wound the sniper, who dies of his wounds before Jacob can ask who hired him.

Julia and Kate wind up making out on the balcony of Kate's office.

Alice declares in her cell that she doesn't want to be a prisoner - she wants to be a queen.

The Bottom Line

A powerful episode but at this point I'm rooting for Alice over Kate and hoping the show takes the daring step of killing off Jacob next, in defiance of the comic book continuity. While I can believe that Kate would trick Alice into Arkham, I cannot believe that she would not act on the information that the head doctor was conducting experiments with fear gas on Mouse or that she wouldn't get Alice into any facility other than Arkham. Kate has lost all the moral high ground she had, but that has nothing to do with her killing Dr. Cartwright. Then again, Kate doing questionable things for her father's approval is part and parcel of the comics, so I can't say this is horribly out of character. That still doesn't mean I find Alice to be the lesser of two evils compared to her sister or father.

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