Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Batwoman Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 11 - Arrive Alive

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

Plot

With Angelique in Black Mask's clutches, both Batwoman and the Crows are anxious to rescue her and tripping over each other in the process.This leads to an uneasy alliance between Ryan and Sophie, as the two attempt to infiltrate the False Face Society's courier network on their own, after Sophie is taken off the case. Meanwhile, Alice confronts Enigma, hoping the woman who created may also erase her memories of her twin sister.


I
nfluences

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Alice's dreams under hypnosis) ,The Fast and the Furious, Tokyo Drift and urban racing movies in general.


Performances

Laura Mennell has an interesting performance here as Enigma. It would be easier for her to disable Alice while she's under, and yet she does not. This suggests that, on some level, she truly is trying to be a healer to someone she wronged, in much the same way that she honestly seemed to be trying to help Jacob Kane work through his grief even as she was setting him up in the last episode.


Artistry


The episode is full of great action sequences, from the car chases to the final fight between Batwoman and Black Mask.


Bat Trivia

This episode introduces a Crows' agent named Russell Tavaroff who has a reputation for using excessive violence. In the comics, Russell Tavaroff was the name of a supervillain called Menace, who appeared in the Batwing comic as an enemy of Luke Fox. Curiously, he was also addicted to a drug called Snakebie, but that drug was a Venom derivative quite different from the drug in the Arrowverse.


One of the delivery vans used by the False Face Society is for a florist called Mr. Bloom. This was also the name of two different characters in the modern Batman comics. The first, Daryl Gutierrez, was a scientist who developed seeds that gave random superpowers to those who consumed them. The second Mister Bloom was an unknown man, who stole the technology of the first and became the arch-enemy of Jim Gordon's Batman, when he assumed the Batman name while wearing a mechanized suit.


Technobabble

Sophie makes reference to street racing terms such as red-lining, backpedaling and asks if Ryan knows how to measure a car's camber and airflow.

The Batmobile has an artificial intelligence that can drive the car on its own and subtly assist a human driving without them knowing it. (Ryan is annoyed to discover this, as she thought she was getting better at handling the Batmobile.)

Luke has also created a portable version of the Batmobile AI that can be plugged into any car.


Dialogue Triumphs


Black Mask: (To Angelique, while pushing her face toward a broken flash full of acid.) Well, the final ingredient will be delivered soon. And if I've gone through all this trouble just to find out you can't cook after all, well... At least I have what I need to dissolve your body.

Enigma: You were working with Julia Pennyworth.
Alice: And I appreciate you sending her on a long vacation because I need some alone time with you.
Enigma: Safiyah hired me to erase your memories of Ocean. You're obviously here to get them back. I assume that's what this is all about. From what I recall, you were in love, I made you forget your feelings and consequently helped turn you into... you.
Alice: Keep them. I don't need the hassle.
Enigma: (confused) Then why did you track me down?
Alice: I have someone else I need to forget. My sister. Kate. 

(Enigma hypnotizes Alice.)
Enigma: Focus on what your senses are telling you, what you hear... what you feel.
(Alice goes under and is suddenly on top of Ocean, making out with him on the floor of his subway lab. Alice quickly breaks the kiss.)
Alice: Whoa. That happened fast.
Ocean: It's almost like you'd rather be here with me.
Alice: (shouting to sky) Are we sure we're in my subconscious? (muttering) What am I doing in Ocean's sex dream?
Ocean: I'm guessing you brought me here to apologize.
(Ocean tries to pull Alice back into his warms but she pushes him away.)
Alice: Ugh!
Ocean: Why'd you kill me?
Alice: Wouldn't you like to know? 
Ocean:(angrily)You killed me for nothing.
Alice: You would have done the same to me.
Ocean: No. No chance in hell. There's screwed up, and then there's you.
(Alice suddenly wakes up in the real world, as the real Ocean enters the office with a gun drawn. Alice draws a knife but Ocean knocks her to the ground.)
Alice: (confused) 
Is this real? This feels real.
Enigma: You tell me. I thought you said you killed him!
Ocean: I'm alive. And very pissed off.

Black Mask (looking at a Batarang): Now that is some terrific branding. But you should really consider bringing a gun to a gun fight.


Continuity


The False Face Society has been pulling a number of high-speed heists on various chemical plants, getting the materials they need to make Snakebite.

Angelique is under heavy guard, being the only person apart from Ocean who knows what is needed to make Snakebite.

The Snakebite formula is toxic unles cooked using Ocean's secret method.

The Crows think Angelique is alive based on the fact that they didn't find her body among the dead after she was abducted.

Ryan offers to help Sophie with finding Angelique using her contracts, but Sophie shuts her down.

Luke traces the eye-witness descriptions of the cars that ambushed the Crows' SUV carrying Angelique to a heist later that same day at Gotham Pharmaceutical. 

Luke determines that the one thing the False Face Society lacks to make more Snakebite is Scarecrow's Fear Toxin, which is a much rarer commodity. 

Luke flags the cars so they will get an alert as soon as any traffic cam detects them.

Ryan refuses to let Sophie know what they are doing, given how The Crows let Angelique get captured.

Alice briefly pretends to be Dr. Evelyn Rhyme after a new patient - a recently divorced man named Jackson - enters her office while Alice is there.

Alice kills Jackson after Dr. Rhyme gets there.

Alice reveals that she knows Dr. Rhyme is Enigma.

Enigma wrongly assumes Alice has come to have her memories restored. Instead, Alice asks her to remove her memories of Kate.

The False Face Society uses new recruits to act as couriers, delivering stolen chemicals between drop points using street racing cars, with directions being texted to them en route. Anyone who fails to keep up the required speed or makes a wrong turn is "burned" and locked out of any further False Face contact.

Sophie went undercover to try and infiltrates the False Face Society as a courier, but is burned after Batwoman stops her car.

Alice tells Enigma about her hallucinations of a teenage Kate in 209.

Enigma theorizes that Kate is a manifestation of Alice's moral compass.

Enigma says that Alice is a monster but a rational one and that in order to safely remove her memories of Kate she must first confront the part of her that is making her hallucinate Kate.

The False Face Society has killed three separate Crows' agents in the past week.

Jacob takes Sophie off of the False Face Society operation and places it under the command of a Crows' agent named Tavaroff.

Tavaroff is described as being the sort of agent who will scorch the earth to get to the False Face Society and won't care much about getting Angelique back alive.

Jacob seems to be more bloodthirsty and angry than usual - presumably a side-effect of the Snakebite use.

When Sophie tells Ryan what happened, Ryan volunteers to try and infiltrate the False Face Society in her place.

Alice is placed under hypnosis. She sees the teen Kate again as they were riding in the back of their mother's car when they were 13. Ocean is revealed to be driving the car, when Alice finds she can't get rid of Kate or just wish her away.

Mary agrees to loan Sophie and Ryan her car.

Sophie reaches out to Luke, who has to pretend that he doesn't know Ryan when they meet.

Luke sets up a fake ID for Ryan, giving her the name Robyn Wilde.

Luke also gives Ryan a comms they can use without Sophie hearing them, a tracking device to place inside the Fear Toxin and a portable version of the Batmobile AI.

Luke warns Ryan about teaming up with Sophie, saying that they're rising exposing her secret identity.

Enigma tells Alice that Ocean showing up in her vision is proof that she is still capable of feeling emotion and attachment, for all Alice claims to be beyond emotion and a master manipulator.

Sophie calls Ryan as she's waiting to start the heist, telling her there's a drone watching them, suggesting Black Mask is watching the whole operation. This means they can't stop and plant a tracker in the fear toxin, like they'd planned.

Ryan says she can manage it, despite the fear toxin containers being double-sealed and unstable.

Luke steers Mary's car remotely while Ryan opens the far toxin container and plants the tracker.

The Crows shoot at Mary's car while Ryan and Luke are making their getaway.

Ryan makes the delivery successfully.

Sophie decides to go after the False Face Society on her own and is captured.

Alice tells Enigma to erase her memories of Ocean as well.

Alice has a vision of Ocean where they kiss in his subway lab before he angrily asks why she killed him.

Alice wakes up as the real Ocean storms into Enigma's office with a gun drawn.

Ocean explains how Safiyah spared his life in 208, giving Alice a dagger soaked in Desert Rose to use to kill him.

Ocean says he was in Gotham City on other business, but he wanted to find Alice to ask her why she killed him.

Alice says it was because she thought it was the only way to get Kate back.

Enigma makes her escape by doing the one thing she promised Safiyah she would never do - restore Ocean and Alice's memories of each other. She does this by saying the words "Mockingbird anew." This paralyzes Alice and Ocean for a few minutes as their memories return.

Black Mask reveals that he has eyes inside of Crows HQ, so he knows that Sophie came after him alone and nobody is coming to rescue her.

Batwoman shows up to rescue Sophie.

Black Mask gets away after he reveals he has Angelique being held elsewhere and his men will kill her if he doesn't escape.

Angelique tells Black Mask that she doesn't know the full technique for making Snakebite, but claims to know how to find Ocean.

Ocean says that Safiyah gave him Enigma's contact information and that he called her a day earlier. Enigma told him that someone was tracking her and that her identity might have been compromised.

Ocean's mission is to find the one last Desert Rose plant he had taken with him, as Alice has destroyed every other sample on Earth.

Alice confirms that Batwoman probably has it, since she isn't dead from Kryptonite poisoning.

Ocean and Alice start making out after Ocean once again asks Alice if she regrets killing him.

Agent Tarvoff finds security footage in Black Mask's base of Batwoman fighting Black Mask while Sophie was there. Based on that, he searches the scene and finds a sample of Ryan's blood.

Sophie finds the Batmobile AI remote in Mary's car and, hacking it, overhears a conversation between Luke and Ryan where Ryan reveals she's the new Batwoman.


The Killing Jokes

Granting that Sophie's purpose on the show is to be a bad cop who gets captured by the villains in 90% of the episodes she's been in,  the decision to go after the False Face Society on her own is stupid even by her standards.

The one thing stupider than that decision? Ryan leaving the Batwoman AI in Mary's car for Sophie to find later. (It also seems really out of character for Luke not to have nagged Ryan about returning that to him ASAP.)


The Bottom Line

A decent filler episode with some amazing action sequences, let down only by the final five minutes requiring our main heroes by idiots for the sake of advancing the plot.

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