Sunday, January 31, 2021

Batwoman Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 3 - Bat Girl Magic!

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


Ryan continues to rise to the challenge of being Batwoman, but it's hard to say which is harder; earning the approval of a skeptical Luke Fox or staying on the good side of her parole officer and making their meetings while saving the city. Meanwhile, as the serial killer Zsasz begins carving a swath through a list of seemingly unconnected victims, Jacob Kane begins searching Kate's recovered phone for clues to her disappearance, as Alice comes face to face with Safiyah Sohail.


Batwoman: Rebirth (character of Safiyah Sohail) and Batman: The Last Arkham (character of Zsasz)


Ryan abandons her fight with a False Face Gang member to go to an appointment with her parole officer, despite the fight appearing to take place at night and the parole officer asking if her almost being late means that she has a day job. (The fight could be taking place in a part of downtown Gotham the sun doesn't reach during the day.) 

How exactly does Ryan alter the Bat-Suit without Luke's help? Surely the strongest ballistic fabric on Earth can't just be altered with a normal sewing machine or needle and thread? (Never underestimate how awesome Lucius Fox was when it came to weaving fabric.)


Alex Morf does a fantastic job capturing the intellect and dark humor of Zsasz.

The script doesn't give Shivaani Ghai much to do beyond be cryptic, but she manages that quite well, giving Safiyah an aura of mystery appropriate to the character's reputation so far.


The opening scene perfectly establishes Zsasz as an educated and witty man, as well as a sadistic maniac through his actions and dialogue. The direction is top notch and the creepy music sells the scene.

Bat Trivia

This episode marks the first appearance of the Arrowverse version of Victor Zsasz, who first appeared in the comics in Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1 where he was the chief villain of The Last Arkham storyline. A vicious serial killer who was sealed in a coffin-like box inside a cage for 16 hours a day, Zsasz was as brilliant as he was sadistic and proved capable of manipulating Dr. Jerimiah Arkham through simple conversation. Zsasz's background was later fleshed out in the story The First Cut Is The Deepest in The Batman Chronicles #3

A scion of an old-money Gotham City family, Victor Zsasz was well-loved, well-educated and grew into a successful captain of industry. He lost everything, however, when he became addicted to gambling following the death of his parents and bet his family fortune on one high-stakes game of poker against The Penguin. Seeing his reflection afterard, Zsasz realized how empty his life was outside the thrill of risk and nearly committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. He was saved, ironically enough, after a mugger attacked him with a knife. The struggle invigorated Zsasz, who was stunned to see the same deadness in his attacker's eyes that he had seen in his own reflection. This revelation prompted Zsasz to start "freeing" the "zombies" around him from the drudgery of their lives and cutting himself every time he claimed a victim to remind himself that he was as human as them.

Zsasz has been adapted into several live-action productions even before his appearance on Batwoman. He appeared in a minor role in Batman Begins, where he was an Arkham Asylum inmate who had been an enforcer for Carmine Falcone. This background was later applied to the version of Victor Zsasz seen in Gotham. Another version of Victor Zsasz was the right-hand of Black Mask in the Birds of Prey movie.

Curiously, the Arrowverse version of Zsasz is perhaps the most comics accurate yet, owing to two factors; he is shown to be an independent agent rather than another villain's flunky and he seems to have a background as a man of wealth and taste despite being familiar with the wrong side of the tracks in Gotham City.

In the opening scene, Zsasz arranges the bodies of the adulterers he was hired to kill so that they are lying in bed next to each other, seemingly asleep, holding hands. In his early appearances, Zsasz posing his victims before leaving the scene of the crime was as much a part of his MO as carving hashmarks into his flesh to keep a tally of his crimes.

This episode marks the first appearance of Safiyah Sohail on camera, though she has been referred to in earlier episodes. 

In the comics, Safiyah Sohail first appeared in Batwoman: Rebirth #1 in April 2017. The ruler of the pirate nation of Coryana, Safiyah was a one-time lover of Kate Kane, during her journeys around the world.

Little is revealed about Safiyah's history in the Arrowverse beyond the fact that she trained Alice in how to fight, shortly after Alice escaped from Dr. Cartwright. She is still the Queen of Coryana, but she claims to be more interested in protecting her nation from outside exploitation than anything else.

A reference is made to Black Mask being the leader of the Arrowvese False Face Society at the end of the episode, as one of the Crows identifies the gang's leader as a man in a black wooden mask. A full biography will be written here when Black Mask makes his first Arrowverse appearance. 

Jacob says that a painting by Jack Napier is on Kate's phone. Jack Naiper is the name that The Joker had before he became The Joker in some of his origin stories, including the Tim Burton Batman movie.


The Batarangs cost about $1000 each to make.

Snakebite is described as an addictive psychedelic drug that is made from a mix of mushrooms and Scarecrow's fear toxin. 

Luke uses a sniffer hidden in a bag full of money to hack Zsasz's phone.

The Desert Rose antidote is capable of curing Stage 3 cancer.

Dialogue Triumphs

Zasaz: I am not cheap. And there are plenty of reasonably priced hit-persons available to handle a perfidious husband and his sudsy paramour. (showing the label on the champagne bottle to the cowering mistress) This is a Brute Millesime. Now, I could have just as easily picked up a bottle of the cheap stuff, but Mrs. Capalaci insisted on the finer vintage. Because she wanted you to know that she was willing to spend more on you than her husband was.
(The Mistress whimpers as Zsasz swings the bottle at her head and we fade to black.)

Sophie: Safiyah? How do you know her?
Alice: How do YOU know her?
Sophie: She's been surveilling Julia and me for months!
Alice: (wistful) She always did like to watch.
Sophie: And why are YOU here?
Alice: To do us both a favor. It's been a while since I've killed a queen.

(Mary and Luke are arguing about Ryan's continuing to be Batwoman because she knows the killer they are hunting by sight when Ryan's phone vibrates.)
Ryan: My PO's at the Hold-Up looking for me. I've got to go! 
Luke: What about Zsasz?
Ryan: I'll deal with him when you find his address. (turns back, looking thoughtful) His scars are works of art. He ships in some high-end French skin care lotion. Name translates "Like A Baby's Butt" or something-
Mary: (suddenly excited) Oh! Les Fesses De Bébé!
(There is a pause as both Luke and Ryan stare at Mary.)
Mary: (quietly) What? It's really good stuff.
Ryan: (awkwardly) You two go -
Luke: (nonplussed) - track The Baby's Butt. Yeah, I got it.

(Zsasz nonchalantly makes himself a drink as Ryan tries to get her bo staff to extend.)
Zsasz: (conversationally) So I take it you're the replacement. What happened to the old one? Did she get killed? Or are you like Sammy Hagar to her David Lee Roth?
Ryan: You're looking at me and wondering which old white guy I am?
Zsasz: (scoffs) Kids today. No sense of history.
Ryan: Yeah. Not gonna sweat some freak who uses his skin as a knife sharpener.
Zsasz: (snorts) Well at least it's my skin. Because, and I'm only being honest, you don't seem very comfortable in yours. It's like... trying to pass for somebody else.
Ryan: I didn't design the damn suit.
Zsasz: (chuckles) I can tell. Because I don't see the Batwoman in you.(thoughtful) And maybe that's because I don't see the you in Batwoman.
Ryan: You want to know what I see?
Zsasz: (innocently) Is it... a shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missile?
(Zsasz pulls out the mentioned weapon and puts it on one shoulder.)
Ryan: Oh, hell no!
(Ryan runs for the balcony and throws herself over it just before the missile explodes over her head.)

Mary: You're Victor Zsasz.
Zsasz: I'm actually here to clean up a little mess. It seems you and I have ruffled some of the same feathers. And now I have to tie up the loose ends.
Mary: Would those feathers belong to Safiyah?
Zsasz: I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you. 
(Zsasz smiles suddenly.)
Zsasz: So I'll just tell you. Yes.

(Ryan tells Luke that she's altered The Bat-Suit)
Luke: But the suit is perfect!
Ryan: Have you seen the damn wig?!

(Zsasz retrieves his knife from the door and sees his reflection, noting that Mary hitting him with a surgical tray has left a hash mark on the side of his head above his eyebrow. He sighs and calls after her.)
Zsasz: Now let's not get ahead of ourselves! First I make you bleed, THEN I make me bleed!

(Ryan drops between Mary and Zsasz. She's wearing the new Bat-Suit. This time she sticks the superhero landing.)
Batwoman: (To Zsasz) Do you see me now?

Sophie: Why am I still alive?
Alice: Yeah. That's probably not a good thing.
Sophie: Why is that not a good thing?!
Alice: Because Safiyah spared you. Which means she has a crush on you. Which is all very well and good... until it's not.
Sophie: Why are YOU still alive?
Alice: Cy and I need each other. (pats Sophie) Toodle-oo!
(Alice gets up and gets ready to leave.)
Sophie: Hey! You're still one of Gotham's most wanted criminals!
Alice: But if you arrest me, then I can't complete the job that your new... girlfriend has tasked me with. And then she might never tell me where... Kate is.

(Mary is standing before the shrine to Kate Kane in The Hold-Up. Luke comes up behind her.)
Luke: (reading Mary's card) "May your memory be a blessing."
Mary: It's a traditional Jewish honor for the dead.
Luke: I'm not ready to say it yet.
Mary: I know I shouldn't have kept how I feel from you, but that doesn't change the fact that it is how I feel.
Luke: And that doesn't change how I feel. 
(The two regard each other a moment before Luke nods and walks away as Mary returns to looking at the shrine.)


In the opening scene, Zsasz kills a businessman and his mistress in a ritzy hotel room, beating them both to death with an expensive bottle of champagne at the request of the man's wife, who hired Zsasz to kill them both.

Ryan disrupts a False Face Gang member's drug deal involving a street drug called Snakebite.

Luke is still skeptical of Ryan's ability to act as a substitute Batwoman.

Ryan does not have the same shoe size as Kate Kane and complains that the boots of the Bat-Suit don't fit her properly. (It's unclear if they're too big or too small.)

Ryan takes five tries to hit the False Face Ganger with a Batarang, suggesting she's not skilled with ranged weaponry. 

Ryan still does not have a day job.

According to the latest Vesper Fairchild broadcast, a blurry photo of Ryan has revealed the existence of a new, black Batwoman to Gotham City.

Mary has a regular patient named Roxanne Adams who is undergoing treatment for cancer.

Ryan asks for Mary to lie when her parole officer has called and say that she's now working as a bartender at The Hold-Up; Kate's bar. Mary agrees to do so but then hires Ryan in earnest. 

The Snakebite drug is sold exclusively through the False Face Society. Nobody knows who their leader is.

Jacob Kane makes The Crows' current first priority being to determine the chain of command within the False Face Society. 

Kate Kane's phone is recovered and turned over to Jacob Kane.

Sophie and Alice wake up on a beach in Coryana. Alice is taken to see Safiyah Sohail while Sophie is guarded by Tatiana.

Alice and Sophie are both surprised to learn the other knows of Safiyah's existence.

Zsasz kills two men in a Hamilton Dynamics research lab; one by strangulation, another by shooting the man with his own gun. He did this in broad daylight and made off with something on one of the computers.

Mary sold her shares in Hamilton Dynamics after her mother's death and is not close to anyone on the company's board of directors.

Ryan is paid $12.50 an hour as a bartender/day manager at the Hold-Up.

Ryan recognizes Victor Zsasz by sight and says he's a hitman who logs his kills with hashmarks carved into his body. 

Ryan knows that Zsasz reportedly uses some high-end French skincare lotion to treat his scars. She forgets the name beyond it translating to "the baby's butt" in English. Mary recognizes it instantly.

Safiyah claims that she did not start the conflict between her and Alice and makes reference to Alice stabbing her in the back by exposing the most precious resource of her island to every opportunist in Gotham City.

Safiyah says Alice was her best student.

Safiyah says she has not thought about Alice or Kate since Alice left her island five years earlier.

Safiyah further claims that she had nothing to do with blowing up Kate's plane and that someone is framing her for the crime.

Ryan recovers the flash drive that Zsasz stole and barely escapes from his apartment before he shoots a shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile at her.

Luke determines that Zsasz stole a list of names from Hamilton Dynamics. 

Ryan suggests approaching Zsasz as a prospective client with money borrowed from Mary to see if she can figure out who hired him to steal the list.

Ryan used to date a woman named Angelique Martin, whom Zsasz knows. He says that Ryan broke Angelique's heart. Ryan says that Angelique was no good for her.

Ryan says she wants to hire Zsasz to go after Alice. He says he can't because while his current job has gone sideways, he's still committed to finish it.

Zsasz says he does not kill and tell when Ryan asks whose price she has to beat.

Luke is able to hack Zsasz's phone through a sniffer Ryan got close to him and is able to go through his contacts to find his most recent client is a woman named Safiyah. 

Alice makes reference to the events of 107 and her bargain with The Rifle to give him a gun that could kill Batwoman in exchange for a vial of Desert Rose toxin.

Alice accuses Safiyah of killing the Wonderland Gang in 116. Again, Safiyah denies this, saying she didn't know Alice had a gang and that killing lackeys to settle a score is so tedious.

Tatiana says Alice was taken in by Safiyah, trained as a soldier and promised protectione. Alice went on to break the cardinal rule of Coryana; she tried to leave and tried to take a Desert Rose flower with her.

Safiyah claims to have forgiven Alice for her past crimes but cannot forgive her exposing the secret of the Desert Rose to the world. 

Alice says that technically she gave the antidote to one person and it was that person, Mary Hamilton, who revealed the Desert Rose's existence to the world.

Mary has never heard of Safiyah. 

According to Luke, Safiyah is not Safiyah's real name and it one of several aliases she uses. The Bat-Computer has six different European passports with her photo in them. Her other aliases include Nasar, Sohail and Patel.

Mary tells Luke that she doesn't think Kate is coming back and they need to accept that and support Ryan as the new Batwoman.

Luke is still holding out for a miracle, being unable to accept that Kate is dead.

Mary discovers that Roxanne Adams' latest test results show her cancer has vanished completely. This leads Mary to figure out the common link between all the people on Zsasz's list - they were all people who had been treated for Desert Rose poisoning. 

Mary's lab assistant is killed by Zsasz.

Ryan alters the Bat-Suit to fit her better and to have a more natural wig.

Tatiana attacks Sophie after she says that she plans to imprison Alice at the first opportunity. Sophie is able to defend herself despite her hands being bound.

Zsasz has faced Batman and says compares Ryan's kicks to his complementary. 

Ryan is able to knock Zsasz with her bo-staff.

Safiyah makes reference to finding Alice hiding on a yacht when they met. She claims to have taught Alice how to turn her rage into power. 

Alice admits that she became focused on revenge on Kate because the sister she thought loved her like herself betrayed her.

Alice attempts to kill Safiyah, not believing that she had nothing to do with killing Kate.

Safiyah reveals that she has Kate's necklace - the one that matches Alice's. Safiyah asks how she could have that if Kate died in the plane explosion.

Safiyah says she is holding Kate somewhere else and that she will not be brought to Coryana until Alice is gone. She says that she will return Kate to Alice after Alice accomplishes a task for her. What that task is is not revealed on camera.

Vesper Fairchild does a story on Batwoman's new costume and her defeat of Zsasz. 

Mary's parole officer is a Batwoman fangirl. 

Mary's parole officer threatens to write her up if she doesn't have a home address by next week.

Sophie and Alice wake up next to each other in an alley in Gotham City.

Alice speculates that Safiyah has a crush on Sophie.

Alice tells Sophie that Safiyah has tasked her with a task in exchange for bringing back Kate.

Luke makes Ryan a new Batarang and presents it to her in a gift box as an apology gift. He says he has a few more made as well.

One of the Crows identifies the leader of the False Face Society is a man in a mask made of black wood.

Jacob finds a photo on Kate's phone that is written over with the name Safiyah, which was texted to a mystery number. He identifies the photo as a painting by Jack Napier.

Sophie reports in to Jacob and says she thinks Kate is alive.


The island nation of Coryana.

Untelevised Adventures

It is revealed that Alice was a student of Safiyah Sohail and that she came to stay in Coryana shortly after her escape from Dr. Cartwright's home.

The Bottom Line

A solid hour that cements Ryan's place in the Arrowverse and makes far better use of the Gotham City setting than any episode to date. The shoe's take on Zsasz is perfect, Safiyah is set up as the perfect mystery foil and then the show drops the bombs that Kate is either alive or we're about to get one heck of a mind-screw right before we hear The Joker's name dropped in relation to a painting. What all this means is anyone's guess right now but it's relishing to have an honest to goodness mystery around this show again.

No comments:

Post a Comment