Sunday, January 17, 2021

Batwoman Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 1 - What Happened To Kate Kane?

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


Kate Kane is missing after her plane experienced a technical failure while landing. As Kate's friends and family begin searching for her, Alice and Hush have a falling out over their respective plans. Meanwhile, the Batsuit finds its way into the hands of an unlikely hero; a woman named Ryan Wilder, who may become the hero Gotham City needs in its time of need.


Joker (the scene with Ryan meeting her parole officer resembles Arthur meeting his social worker.) Also, while not directly based on any particular comic, there are a number of stories based around the idea of an unlikely pupil taking over Batman's role. These include Batman: Prodigal, Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin, Batman: Knightfall and the series Batman Beyond


Why would Kate Kane fly out to visit Kara Danvers? Couldn't she just call her? If not, wouldn't it be faster for Kara to fly to her? (Kate's the sort of person to do business face-to-face and it's far easier for her to get away from her day job unnoticed than Kara.)

Wayne Manor seems remarkably well kept for having been abandoned for four years. (Perhaps Luke has been paying for maid service since Alfred left?)


Javica Leslie doesn't get much time to introduce Ryan Wilder in this episode, but she makes the most of what little time she has and the fact that she's having to play against herself for most of the episode. Still, she immediately manages to establish Ryan as a much different person than Kate, both in and out of costume. 

Rachel Skarsten is entertaining as always, but she outdoes herself with the scene where a drunken Alice shows up at Wayne Manor in mourning clothes and starts reading Hush the riot act for not following her plan, even while acknowledging how utterly pointless it is with Kate Kane now dead.

Dougray Scott gets a great moment of silent acting in the final moments of the episode, as he turns on the Bat Signal and starts to cry silently, his face still stoic but his eyes showing his pain.


The opening sequence in which the plane crashes over Gotham is thrilling and the pacing is a fantastic display of Ryan's skills, showing us who she is without having to tell us that she's brave enough to go into a dangerous situation and kind enough to try and help others, though still not use to tense situations. 

The closing montage of all the cast reacting to the news that Kate is likely dead is a powerful moment, well-shot and well-acted.

Bat Trivia

The gang members Ryan questions for information in her first outing as Batwoman are members of the False Face Society. This is a gang with a rather notable history in the comics, though it is unaffiliated with the Golden Age Batman villain False Face, who was a master of disguise. 

The first False Face Society was formed by the Joker as part of a tournament to determine the greatest criminal in Gotham City, with each of the participants committing their crimes while masked. Batman thwarted the plot and revealed the Joker's plot to steal all the tournament winnings before the winner could be declared. This False Face Society continued to operate without the Joker and without much success.

The second False Face Society was founded by the crimeboss Roman "Black Mask" Sionis.. His gang was alternatively known as both the False Face Society and the False Facers. In the most recent wave of Batman comics, the False Face Society was founded by Richard "The Mask" Sionis and eventually broke into three factions; the loyalists led by The Mask, the rebels led by Roman "Black Mask" Sionis, and a splinter group led by David "White Mask" Franco. Black Mask eventually won the battle.

At one point, Hush sings the "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells" parody that has existed for many years in the real world.


Luke says that The Crows have unplugged the Bat-Signal so there's no way to turn it on remotely. 

Luke says that the nanotech of the cape of the Bat-Suit is more advanced than a NASA parachute and Kate could easily have survived a 10,000 foot freefall while wearing it. 

The Crows determined that Kate's plane was flying with a recalled engine part.

The Bat-Suit ha a GPS which only Luke Fox can track. He uses this to locate Ryan Wilder while she's in the costume.

The Batmobile has missiles.

Luke is capable of hacking the Batombile and shutting down its systems remotely. 

Dialogue Triumphs

Social Worker: You have the power to turn this around.
Ryan: You want to know why I haven't paid my fines? Because I can't find a job. Because I don't have a home. Because no landlord wants to rent to an ex-con on post-release. You see how this works? (frustrated) No one cares that the dope wasn't mine or that The Crows were dirty or that I'm a actually decent human! I am a file in your cabinet. That is not having power. That is the very definition of powerless. 

Hush:(holding up the Kryptonite) Only thing stronger than the Bat-Suit. Which Mini-Fix is in the process of retrieveing. And very soon the world will call me Batman.
Alice: (sarcastically impressed) Ooooh! Do you want a parade? Because I'm pretty sure my sister is in the large intestine of a Great White! 
Hush: Oh, is that what this is? (gestures to Alice's black garb) Are you mourning? You wanted her dead! 
Alice: I wanted to kill her myself!
Hush: (shushing Alice, trying to keep his own voice down) Not to say I told you so to a... belligerent psychopath. You could have shot her months ago, when she was out of the suit! 
Alice:(slowly, as if speaking to a child or an idiot) When did I say I was going to shoot her? I said I wanted her dead! (gritting her teeth, clearly trying to remain calm)  You, "cousin Bruce", procured the Kryptonite. I was going to ensure Commander Kane found it. The scene would bring them together. Batty would get caught in his crosshairs. Then BANG! As she went down, he would pull off her cowl to discover, in sinking horror, that he had killed his own daughter!
(Hush regards her calmly, clearly thinking that Alice is completely nuts, as if he could throw stones.)
Alice: (sighing) Alas... mechanical failure. 
(One of Hush's conquests from the night comes halfway down the stairs.)
Model Hey Bruce? There's no steam coming out of the steam shower.
(Clearly annoyed, Alice throws a knife into the model's throat, killing her instantly.)
Hush: What the hell did you do that for?!
Alice: (bored) No reason at all. Reason doesn't matter.
Hush: She has a friend upstairs!. Do you want her to call the cops?!
Alice: (ignoring him) I tried being reasonable once. I was tethered to reason. I was calculated. Precise. Planned. (giggles madly) And look where that got me?! Sharing a room with Bruce Lame! 
Hush: On what planet do I agree to live with a woman who just told me her plan to have her father kill her twin, like some kind of April Fool's Day joke?
Alice: On my planet. Because on my planet, you are still Tommy Elliot! And if I so much as breathe a word, "Bruce Wayne' goes from being the meat in a Top Model sandwich to the guy with a stick for a face! 

(Jacob Kane enters his office to find Bruce Wayne there, drink in hand. He does not bother to hide his disgust.)
Jacob Kane: Oh. Bruce Wayne. I take it they're out of cocaine in Belize?
Hush: Missed you too, Uncle Jake.

Ryan: (looking at a picture of her mother) You're right, Mama. What am I doing wearing the suit of a hero when I couldn't even save you?

Alice: (angry) Kate Kane is Batwoman!
(Jacob is stunned for a moment. Doubt creeps over his face for a moment but he steels himself and smiles mockingly.)
Jacob: And I'm The Joker. Arkham's waiting.
Alice: (sarcastic) Use your brain, Commander. A lesbian superhero who could have killed me a dozen times but didn't? Hmm. - wonder who that could be?
Jacob: (doubt seeping into his voice and face) That's preposterous. Kate would have told me!
Alice: You rejected her. Over and over. To the world. To her face? (giggles) You wanted her dead!
Jacob: You're wrong.
Alice: Am I? Or did you spend your last precious moments together firing a gun at her? (mockingly sweet) You got your wish, Daddy.(harsher) Batwoman is dead! And she died knowing that her father hated her.
(Alice takes Jacob's gun from him. He doesn't resist. She walks away, leaving Jacob stunned.).
Alice: If you don't believe me, turn on the Bat-Signal. See if she comes.

Dialogue Disasters

((Ryan having put on the Bat-Suit for the first time, looking at herself in the mirror.)
Ryan: Time to be powerful.

Ryan: Trust me. I know I'm not a symbol. Or a name. Or a legacy.
Mary: Exactly! So why do you think you're worthy of wearing it?
Ryan: Because I'm a number. I'm the 327th baby of a black woman who died in childbirth that year. I'm a $20 a day check to a group home. I'm Inmate 40757. 18 months for a crime I didn't commit. But I can work with all those numbers, because the mom who adopted me? I was her Number One. But it turns out she's just one of a quarter million murders in this country who have not seen justice. And that is a number I can't live with. So you can have this damn suit back when her killer is dead.


Ryan Wilder is introduced as a homeless woman living out of a van on a pier in Gotham City. She appears to be recently homeless, as her van contains some furniture and houseplants.

In a dream flashback, we learn that Ryan was going to share an apartment with her mother and that she is a lesbian.

As the episode opens, Luke notes that he hasn't heard from Kate since her plane landed in National City the day before.

Ryan is brave enough to run into a crash site to look for survivors.

Ryan is trained in CPR, using it to save a homeless man who was hit by falling debris while on the riverside beach. 

Ryan also seems to suffer from PTSD, having flashbacks to the violent deaths of her mother and landlord when she sees he injured homeless man lying on the ground.

The stress of saving the homeless man leads Ryan to vomit, showing that for all her training she is not used to high-pressure situations. 

Ryan Wilder finds the Bat-Suit among the wreckage on the beach, apparently having fallen out of Kate Kane's luggage.

Luke notes that it has been four years since he's seen Bruce Wayne when Hush shows up at Wayne Enterprises pretending to be Bruce.

Hush bluffs his way past not knowing where the trigger to open the Batcave is by telling Luke he's been the man of the house for so long the honor should be his.

Ryan Wilder is an ex-convict who reports to a parole officer. She still owes money on her court fees.

Ryan taught martial arts for several years, but can't find any dojo willing to hire her due to her criminal record. She also can't find housing, because nobody wants to rent to an unemployed ex-con.

Ryan was framed on drug possession with intent to sell  by The Crows. She served 18 months but insisted that the drugs did not belong to her.

Sophie suggests to Julia that Safiyah, who revealed that she was spying on them, might have gone after Kate to get to Julia.

After the head of the plane's pilot is found washed up on shore, the search for Kate Kane officially goes from a rescue mission to a recovery mission and she is presumed dead after being missing for less than a day.

Hush takes the one piece of Kryptonite from Luke.

The weather the night Kate's plane went down was clear and the pilot had a clean record. There's no clear reason why the plane went down and no evidence yet of a bomb disabling the plane. 

Alice's grand plan was to get the Kryptonite to her father and trick him into killing Batwoman with it, finding out as he unmasked her that he had just killed his own daughter. 

Before leaving Gotham City, Kate told Julia Pennyworth to take care of the documents in her safe if anything happened to her. She also asked her to keep the location of her safe a secret.

When Luke and Mary confront Ryan, she unmasks and gives them her real name.

Ryan's birth mother died in childbirth. She was later adopted by a single mother. 

Ryan says she'll return the Bat-Suit to them after she uses it to take care of some personal business.

Hush goes to Crows HQ, posing as Bruce Wayne, and tells Jacob Kane that Alice is hiding out in Wayne Manor. 

Hush runs into Julia Pennyworth on the way out of Jacob Kane's office. He met her, as Hush, in 119.

Julia becomes suspicious when Hush doesn't respond when she asked if he had thought to "ring the Eagle" since his return. It is later revealed this was the codename Bruce gave Alfred Pennyworth when he was running comms for him.

It is revealed that Alfred is alive and well, living in a flat in London. Julia tests Hush by saying that the Eagle is still living in Glasgow in a cottage in the woods. 

Julia first became suspicious when she smelled alcohol on Hush's breath when she hugged him. The real Bruce Wayne does not drink booze.

Ryan is tech-savvy enough t disable the GPS on the Bat-Suit.

The Kane family home is in a 56th floor penthouse.

Ryan's father died before she was born.

Ryan ran away from home as a teenager and spent her youth moving in and out of group homes.

Ryan was a high-school dropout, but eventually earned her GED after reconciling with her adopted mother.

Ryan's mother and her landlord were killed by squatters who had been living in what was meant to be their new apartment. They also nearly beat Ryan to death.

The squatters were members of the Wonderland Gang.

Ryan reads about the sort of person Kate was in a newspaper article profiling her. She concludes that Kate was a hero, in and out of costume, based on her funding several housing programs, including (apparently) the one that should have given her and her mother a new home.

Ryan reactivates the GPS after realizing Kate wasn't just some bored billionaire playing at being a hero.

Luke says he blames himself for Kate's apparent death, since it was his insistence on destroying the Kryptonite that led to her flying to National City. 

Julia reveals that she ran the fingerprints on the glass Hush left behind in Jacob's office and matched them to Tommy Elliot.

Hush's birthday is given as May 14, 1972.

Hush is able to find the hidden Batombile bay iinside the Batcave using the sticky bombs in the Bat-Arsenal. He takes it to go find the Bat-Suit.

Alice tells Jacob Kane that Kate Kane was Batwoman.

Hush shoots Ryan in the shoulder with the kryptonite shard. It is revealed at the end of the episode that Ryan has a wound that will not heal as a result.

Ryan beats Hush in the face so badly that it damages his Bruce Wayne flesh mask, revealing his real face.

At the end of the episode, the divers searching the river still have not found any trace of Kate Kane.

Mary and Luke were barely able to hide the Batmobile before The Crows found it.

Hush is back in Arkham. 

Ryan returns the Bat-Suit to Luke and Mary along with the Kryptonite shard.

Julia gives Sophie a letter that Kate left for her in her safe. In it, Kate says that she never stopped loving Sophie, reveals that she is Batwoman and says that lying to her about being Batwoman was the hardest thing she'd ever done, but she did it to protect her.

As Alice is returning to her lair in the sewer, a paper airplane made from a newspaper page lands in her path. It is the latest issue of the Gotham Gazette and their front page profile of Kate Kane. On the other side of the page, written in red ink or blood, are the words CONSIDER US EVEN - SAFIYAH. This seems to confirm that Kate's disappearance is connected to Safiyah Sohail.

This news overjoys Alice, who now has a new purpose: revenge on Safiyah Sohail.

Alice is revealed to still have Mouse's corpse in her hideout and she falls aslseep next to him, looking up through a sewer grate at the Bat-Signal.

Untelevised Adventures

Kate Kane flew to National City to speak to Supergirl directly about destroying the last piece of Kyrptonite that she had, sometime after the events of 120.

The Killing Jokes

The usually paranoid Luke Fox is dumbed down a bit so that Hush can successfully con him into believing that he's Bruce Wayne. (The episode explains this somewhat by revealing that Luke is distracted by his guilt over being the one to suggest Kate go to National City in the first place and not thinking clearly.)

The Bottom Line

A bit disjointed, but pretty good considering all it has to accomplish with removing Kate, introducing Ryan and allowing the ensemble a chance to respond to Kate's apparent death and Ryan's taking over the Bat-Suit. Of these three tasks, Ryan gets the least amount of screen time, but Javicia Leslie does a decent job with the material she's given. It just feels like she should have been given more or someone to talk to besides a plant.

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