Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Batwoman Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 1 - Mad As A Hatter

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


Ryan Wilder continues to defend the streets as Batwoman, with Luke Fox assisting, despite his not quite mastering his new suit or his double life. Despite things being relatively peaceful, Ryan is still haunted by Alice's claims that Ryan's biological mother is still alive. As she investigates this, Mary prepares for graduation from medical school, Sophie enjoys her newfound freedom and an Alice admirer stumbles across one of the missing Bat Trophies, leading to a gruesome graduation and a shocking new partnership. 


Silence of the Lambs (the hero works with a killer in prison to catch another killer)


Victoria Cartagena gives a solid first performance as Rene Montoya.

Amitai Marmorstein is a delightful Mad Hatter. Hopefully this won't be his only appearance, as it seems such a shame to only use him once given his thematic ties to Alice.


The direction does a fantastic job of presenting the horror elements of the story.

Bat Trivia

The new Mad Hatter's address is 8240 Miller Place, Gotham City. This is likely a nod to legendary Batman writer Frank Miller.

This episode introduces the Arrowverse version of Rene Montoya. She is played by Victoria Cartagena, who previously played a different version of Rene Montoya on the first season of Gotham. This makes her one of a rare number of actors who have recreated a role they played in another series for the Arrowverse.

Rene Montoya is a notable character, having originally been created as a GCPD beat cop who became a detective in Batman: The Animated Series, who was later introduced into the comics. The series developed her into a lesbian and an ex of Kate Kane. Rene was later trained by Vic Sage and he took up his mantle as The Question. (The episode seems to tease at this, with Montoya telling Batwoman at one point to "answer the question.")

Rene Montoya has newspaper headlines in her office which confirm the existence of The Penguin, The Riddler and Catwoman in the Arrowverse.

The first Mad Hatter is Jervis Tetch, as in the comics . He does not appear in the episode, but Lucius Fox's description of him sounds accurate to the comics - a neuroscientist who was tiny, insecure and annoying. The Mad Hatter first appeared in Batman #49 (October 1948) where he was a bandit with an Alice in Wonderland theme. He would not be retconned as having the the mind control technology that was his hallmark until the 1980s.


Jervis Tetch built mind control technology into his hat, which latches on to the brain of whoever wears the hat. The hat runs on radio waves but can be disrupted by a frequency of 128 hertz.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Ryan and Luke are chatting as they fight a group of marijuana farmers.)

Ryan: Where were we? Oh, yeah. Sidekick names.
Luke: Just FYI, no sidekick actually likes being referred to as a sidekick.
Ryan: Copy that, my number two dude. 
Luke: Nope, not that either.

(Mary lays down the law regarding attending her graduation.)
Mary: I go on at 7:00, which means your butt needs to be in your seat at 6:30 sharp! So if there's a bomber threatening to take out half the city, just remember that I only become an official MD once, and people bomb Gotham every other day.

Alice: I was wondering when you'd come crawling back. You stormed out of here in such a... huff last time, I was worried it was something I said.
Ryan: Tell me what you're planning with your Mad Hatter superfan.
Alice: I told you I don't know him.
Ryan: Well, he certainly knows a lot about you.
Alice: Have you watched the news? My identity's been outed, and some people actually appreciate that I'm just a girl standing in front of a psychiatric ward, asking them not to fry her brain.
Ryan: Uh-huh.
Alice: Oh, come on. We both know I'm utterly helpless behind these walls. You came because you want all the dirty deets on Mommy D.
Ryan: I saw my birth mother's death certificate. Nia A. Wilder. Died the day I was born.
Alice: If you say so, dear.
Ryan: What is this? Hmm? Are you lonely? You need to keep somebody on a leash to stop you from slipping into total isolation?
Alice: (laughs) Am I lonely? Look at your life. Your closest emotional connection is an ex in witness protection. You have no one. I gave you someone to fill the hole in your little, empty heart.
Ryan: I have my friends. Luke and Mary?
Alice: Right. Who you're so close to you couldn't even tell your birth mother lied to you all these years.

Mayor: Look. I am 30 days into this whole Mayor gig, and I am not putting the words "rogues" or "toys" onto my budget.
Rene Montoya: What about the words "mass casualty" and "preventable" on your resignation letter? Mayor, I love this city in my bones, and I need you to hear me before this becomes Jim Gordon's Gotham all over again.

(Alice has just stabbed the Mad Hatter.)
Alice: Word of advice... don't ever meet your heroes. 
Mad Hatter: You really are the monster they say you are. 
Alice: (sadly) That's me.

Batwoman: Never seen you before. You a cop?
Rene Montoya: Fortunately for you, no.
Batwoman: How do you have this list?
Rene Montoya: Over a dozen weapons of mass destruction are belly up in the Gotham river somewhere, and your main concern is how I know?
Batwoman: I'm cleaning it up.
Rene Montoya: I'm sure that warms the parents of the kid whose buddy slit open his throat the other night.
Batwoman: Where'd you get this list?
(Alice emerges from the shadows.)
Alice: From me in exchange for my freedom.
Batwoman: I don't know who you are, but teaming up with Gotham's most prolific criminal is gonna blow up in your face.
Rene Montoya: It worked out well for you today. You and Alice stopped a madman, and he's just the beginning.
Batwoman: Why did you call me here?
Rene Montoya: You're strong, and you have access. She's got the mind of a psychopath, so together, you two are gonna find and stop every freak who gets his hands on one of these weapons until each of the items on that list are found and accounted for.
Batwoman: Hard pass.
Rene Montoya: It's just as easy for me to shut down your illegal vigilante operation... Ryan Wilder.
Alice: Heh. Wow!All that time my boyfriend, father, sister spent trying to break through to my good side... tsk, tsk, tsk... silly them. It's so much more fun on my bad side.
Rene Montoya: So do we have a deal or what?
Alice: Oh, yes. I for one am in.
Rene Montoya: Batwoman, answer the question. You in, or are you hanging up the cape?
Batwoman: Sounds like I don't have a choice.


The episode opens with a flashback to 218, revealing what happened to the Mad Hatter's hat. It was found, cleaned up, and sold on ebay to a man named Liam Crandle. He is an Alice fanboy with a Free Alice poster in his apartment.

A news broadcast confirms that a board at Gotham University Hospital declared Alice unfit for trial and suggested she continue to be confined in Arkham Asylum.

Luke still has not decided what his hero name will be. He was, however, considering Black Batman.

Alice is revealed to have several letters and postcards from Jacob pinned up in her cell.

Ryan and Luke went after the farmers because Luke determined they had bought a stolen sprig from one of Poison Ivy's vines, after trying to find people on the dark web who could benefit from a plant growth formula.

Luke's suit locks up in the middle of the fight, but Ryan saves him.

Mary visits Alice in Arkham Asylum at Jacob's request, despite really not wanting to see Alice at all.

Jacob Kane is still imprisoned in Metropolis.

Alice tells Mary that she's gotten several letters from Jacob since she was placed in Arkham Asylum.

Alice asks Mary about Ryan and what she discovered about her birth mother still being alive.

The Poison Ivy vine is the fourth of the Bat-Trophies Ryan has recovered.

Mary is about to graduate from medical school and is the valedictorian of her class.

Mary tells Ryan what Alice said about her birth mother. When Luke and Mary ask about it, Ryan lies and says Alice is just taunting her over her mom dying giving birth.

Liam runs a podcast devoted to Alice which paints her as a victim of an unfair system that treats the mentally ill poorly. He is accosted, while filming in one of Alice's old lairs, by two thugs.

Liam's Mad Hatter hat glows as he talks to the thugs and he orders one to kill the other.

The original Mad Hatter fought Batman roughly 20 years ago.

Rene Montoya is the head of the Rogues Unit - a division of the Mayor's Office rather than the GCPD, charged with monitoring supervillains.

Luke identifies the original Mad Hatter as a man named Jervis Tetch, whom his father's notes describe as "tiny, insecure and annoying." 

Bruce had the Mad Hatter's hat deprogrammed, but Luke guesses it reactivated with Liam put it on.

Ryan's birth mother's name was Nia A. Wilder.

Sophie is playing the field and dating several women. She confirms that she and Kate are still friends, but things are way too complicated to be more.

Sophie senses Ryan is upset and asks what is wrong. This leads to Sophie telling her about Alice's claim that her birth mother is alive.

Sophie offers to track down Ryan's mom.

The new Mad Hatter takes over the stage of Mary's graduation ceremony.

Sophie determines that the doctor who oversaw Ryan's birth was Dr. Quadracci- a shady doctor who later lost his license because of an act of wire fraud.

Mayor Hartley, the new mayor of Gotham City, has only been in office for 30 days.

Sophie determines that Nia A. Wilder didn't exist and that the same doctor who helped deliver Ryan also signed the death certificate of her mom.

Dr. Quadracci saw 25 patients in the days surrounding Ryan's birth. One of them was treated the day before Ryan was born for an ovarian cyst. Whoever this woman was paid $2 million dollars to have her pregnancy covered up.

Sophie says she can give Ryan her mother's name, but she couldn't find anything about her father.

The new Mad Hatter takes the graduation ceremony hostage and decries how the board which decided Alice's fate took only 10 minutes to decide she needed to go to Arkham for the rest of her life.

The Mad Hatter forces Mary to read a different speech than she had prepared about the failures of the medical system which is more concerned with punishment and profits than helping people in need.

The Mad Hatter also controls Mary into performing surgery on Dr. Hall, the head of the board that condemned Alice.

Ryan breaks into Arkham as Batwoman to get Alice out.

Luke is able to generate a signal that will keep the Mad Hatter from making new commands, but he can't counter the commands he already gave.

Ryan discovers that the letters Alice got from her father are hallucinations.

Ryan promises to let Alice escape if she talks the Mad Hatter out of his plan.

Sophie assists Mary with the surgery.

Mary is able to get around the Mad Hatter's commands by shocking Dr. Hall to death temporarily with a defibrillator, so she can then bring him back once he is technically dead.

The Mad Hatter commands the new doctors, who are all wearing stethoscopes, to strangle themselves with them.

Luke is jumped by the henchman the Mad Hatter is control after his suit locks up again.

Alice is able to get close enough to the Mad Hatter to stab him after he releases the hostages.

Ryan breaks word and recaptures Alice.

Mary gives her original valedictorian speech to her friends in private.

Ryan hits upon the name Batwing for Luke after he says he needs to get the suit fixed or he won't be able to be her wingman anymore.

Ryan tells Sophie she doesn't want to know her mother's name.

Somewhere else in Gotham, a rich woman is informed of a security breach focused on a specific date involving her, rather than her company.

Luke is unable to fix the suit, but triggers a recording of his father's voice.

Mary gets a package from Kate. It contains a personalized white doctor's lab coat with Dr. Mary Hamilton stitched above the pocket.

Rene Montoya uses the Bat-Signal to summon Batwoman.

Rene Montoya knows Ryan's secret identity and has a list of the missing Bat-Trophies thanks to Alice.

Alice has been offered her freedom in exchange for helping to track down the stolen Bat-Trophies.

Rene Montoya gives Ryan a choice - quit being Batwoman or help her to recover all the Bat-Trophies. Ryan chooses to help, despite it meaning she'll have to work with Alice.

The Bottom Line

A solid start to the new season, which sets up a fetch-quest tailor-made to silence the complaints about the show not drawing off the classic Gotham mythology enough.

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