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The Bat-Team is left scrambling as Marquis launches an unlikely attack on Gotham City using both Batman and Joker's arsenals. Jada, Ryan, Mary, Luke and Sophie must bring all their respective skills into play, as a final battle between brother and sister looms, while Alice faces an entirely different battle against her own mind.
The 1989 Batman movie (Joker gassing people during a public spectacle with a balloon), Batman Returns (the Penguin's hypnosis umbrella) and the Batwoman comics. (Alice goes to a Swiss clinic to treat her mental illness.)
When trying to move the Bat-Blimp where it will do the least damage, the digital map in the Batcave shows it moving in a north-westernly direction. However, the Bat-Team was trying to get it out to sea, which would be to the east of Gotham City, presuming it is located somewhere in New Jersey, as in the comics. (This would seem to be born out by the 40 degrees N, 73 degrees W coordinates Sophie gives, but conflicts with earlier suggestions that the Arrowverse Earth-Prime Gotham City is located off the shore of Lake Michigan, near Chicago.)
The show unintentionally establishes the disturbing idea that the hypnosis umbrellas caused untold numbers of parents to abandon their small children after Luke finds a lost boy in an alleyway after escaping the blimp.
Nicole Kang once again shows why she was this season's VIP. A year ago, it would have been unbelievable that Mary could forgive Alice for everything she has done, much less become her advocate. Kang's performance throughout the season has made this development believable and it culminates in her speech here where she calls out the rest of the Bat-Team on their blindspot regarding Alice. It's a shame that nothing comes of this moment due to Marquis' announcement, but it's a powerful speech and the highlight of the episode.
The opening montage of Marquis' childhood encounter with the Joker as he breaks into the Joker's hidden armory is suitably spooky.
This episode was originally titled "Are We Having Fun Yet?"
Alice claims to have learned of Marquis' plans from a fellow Arkham inmate in the form of a riddle. This suggests that the Riddler might still be alive in the Arrowverse, post-Crisis.
The Weiße Kaninchen Sanatorium Alice goes to at the end of the episode has the same name as the facility that treated Beth Kane in the Batwoman comics.
Weiße Kaninchen Sanatorium translates to White Rabbits Sanatorium in German. This is another nod to Alice in Wonderland.
When listing the weapons in Batman's trophy collection, Ryan mentions the gun of Condiment King. This is the first confirmation that Condiment King exists in the Arrowverse.
Condiment King was originally created for Batman: The Animated Series as a parody of the cheesy gimmick villains played by comedians who were created for the 1966 Batman television series. This version of Condiment King was a comedian, Buddy Standler, who was brainwashed by The Joker into believing he was a villain using stolen Mad Hatter tech. He was armed with high-power ketchup and mustard guns and made food-based puns.
Condiment King was later introduced into the comics in earnest with the unlikely name of Mitchell Mayo. While the authorities did not take him seriously, he was treated as a threat by the Tim Drake Robin, as his condiment-based weapons could cause anaphylactic shock.
In the final scene, some kind of monster kills reporter Dana DeWitt. A hulking figure is seen wandering off in front of the camera, but a claw is seen attacking the camera earlier. The prevailing theories among fans is that the monster is some variation of the villain Clayface. However, Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries teased that it was Solomon Grundy in interviews posted after the episode aired.
Coincidentally, the first Batwoman comic based around Ryan Wilder - due out several months after this episode aired - was announced to put Ryan against the Arrowverse version of Clayface.
The Batcave has the technology to hijack every phone, screen and livestream in Gotham City through the Batcave computer and Wayne Enterprises' satellite network.
Luke has never seen the controls of the Bat-Blimp, but speculates they may be vulnerable to hacking by an ISMI catcher.
While the Barcave armory could be accessed by anyone, Luke set the secret vault full of Batman trophies so that only Ryan could open it.
Sophie uses a tech-glove to trick the fingerprint reader on the Bat-Trophy storage room.
Luke: Alice killed your mom, Mary.
Mary: Do you think I forgot? You think I don't know how badly Ryan wants her brother back or that the first time Alice ever met Sophie she threw her off a 30-story building? I know. It is not like this is some easy decision for me... or anyone, but I believe Alice is capable of change. She just needs a chance. Come on. Each one of you looked me in the eye a few weeks ago, apologized for sidelining me, and assured me I would have a voice on this team. This is it. This is me using my voice. This is... this is what I want. I need to save Alice's life
Ryan: Tell me why you deserve the Joy Buzzer.
Alice: Shouldn't you be out enjoying your last few hours of superhero anonymity?
Ryan: Yeah, I should. Instead, I'm here doing my best friend a solid while the person who actually needs it is out there threatening to destroy everything I've worked for.
Alice: Oh, you mean the brother you're scared is too good to be true? Face it, Ry-Ry, you can blame Mary all you want, but deep down in that little orphan heart, you need me to have that thing.
Ryan: Oh, wow. Mary was right. You did stop making sense.
Alice: Or... chances are you spent the last few months daydreaming about what it would be like to have a nuclear family. Thanksgiving dinners, family game nights, the comfort of a kidney should a new one become necessary.
Ryan: Your desperation's showing.
Alice: What if you zap Marquis and that good little boy buried beneath that tacky clown suit turns out to be doing just fine without his needy little sister? Do you really want to risk getting your hopes up only to have him leave you like everybody else? I'm your safe bet, Ryan. Psycho or sane, you don't need me to love you back
The opening scene shows Marquis breaking into one of the Joker's old hideouts in the fun house of an abandoned amusement park. Apparently Joker told him about its location when he was a kid.
Mary visits Alice in Arkham Asylum and discovers her trying to shock herself with an improvised shock wand made from a socket wrench.
Mary tells Alice that she found a clinic in Switzerland near Geneva, Weisse Kaninchen Sanatorium, which specializes in childhood trauma and abuse victims.
Alice refuses to consider it, saying she is sick of cells and institutions.
When the Bat team assemble to discuss how to deal with Marquis, Alice suggests they use the buzzer on Alice. The rest of the team dismiss this idea, even as Mary points out that Alice honestly wants redemption and is just as much a victim as Marquis.
Marquis uses the Batcave tech to hijack every screen in Gotham City. He delivers a broadcast in which he encourages everyone to be outside in five hours for when he reveals Batwoman's secret identity to the world and that she is not the great hero everyone thinks she is.
Ryan goes to Arkham to confront Alice.
Jada shows up unannounced and asks if the rest of the Bat Team saw the broadcast.
When Luke says he doesn't have the tech to counter the Batcave or trace Marquis' signal, Jada says she can have her tech team pull a carrier-grade router off of Jeturian's server farm and get him whatever he needs.
According to Jada, Lucius Fox repeated himself when he was angry.
Jada gets Luke access to a secure access point to a quantum computer at Gotham University which she financed on his father's advice.
Alice says she doesn't deserve the joy buzzer, but she does have one bit of information Ryan needs. She reveals that she spoke to some of the Arkham lifers on the off chance Joker might have told any of them about his ultimate plan to destroy Gotham City after Batman captured him for the last time.
Alice also guesses that Marquis has a man-crush on Joker and is going to pull off his ultimate plan.
After tracing Marquis' signal to a slow-moving, airborne position, Luke figures out that he stole the Bat-Blimp.
Marquis' plan is to rain the Joker's acid bombs down on Gotham City from Batman's blimp, killing millions of people who are out in the streets waiting to hear Batwoman's secret identity.
Ryan asks Luke to try and steer the Bat-Blimp close to the roof of GCPD HQ, but refuses to tell the rest of the team her plan so they won't try to stop her.
Ryan asks Mary and Sophie to work on getting people back inside.
Sophie only has 300 followers on her social media.
Ryan asks Jada for help in retaking control of Wayne Enterprises.
Jada calls a press conference confessing to the public that she covered up her son murdering her husband. This leads to Ryan being renamed CEO of Wayne Enterprises and causes enough chaos in Wayne Tower that Mary and Sophie are able to sneak into the Batcave undetected.
Mary sets up the computer in the Batcave so that they can send their own broadcast to all the people in Gotham City.
Sophie gets the Penguin's hypnosis umbrella from the Bat-Trophy room.
Marquis figures out that the blimp's autopilot has been hacked and shoots the controls and the pilot before it is low enough for Ryan to jump onto it.
Ryan grapples up onto the underside of the Bat-Blimp.
Sophie knows how to disarm bombs and tries to talk Ryan through disabling Joker's bombs.
Sophie and Mary use the Penguin's umbrella and the Batcave's broadcast facilities to make all the people waiting in the streets of Gotham go inside.
Marquis confronts Ryan and pushes her out the window of the blimp.
Ryan latches onto Marquis and uses some kind of parachute to save them both.
Luke flies into the Blimp in his Batwing suit and uses the Lucius Fox AI to hack the controls to steer the Blimp towards the least populated part of Gotham City. Unfortunately, this requires him to sacrifice the AI.
Alice finds Ryan and helps her fight Marquis, distracting him so she can use the joy buzzer.
A flashback reveals that Ryan told Alice earlier that she was strong enough to change on her own and that she asked Alice for her help.
Sophie tells Luke to program the AI to take the blump to 40 degrees N, 73 degrees W. In the real world, this would be over the ocean just off the shore of New Jersey.
Luke escapes the blimp before it explodes and stumbles across a lost boy looking for his mother in an alley.
Marquis' vitals are stable but he's unconscious after Ryan takes him to Mary's clinic.
Jada says she can't make up for the past but wants Ryan to be part of her future.
Marquis wakes up and says its nice to meet Ryan for real.
Mary finds a note pinned to her desk with Alice's butterfly knife. The note reads "Off to find myself. See you on the flipside."
We briefly see Alice, her hair now brown and dressed in normal clothes, walking away from her sewer hideout, apparently off to the hospital in Switzerland.
Ryan, Sophie, Mary and Luke take the night to work on cleaning up Ryan's office at Wayne Enterprises and the Batcave.
Reporter Dana DeWitt and her camera crew are killed by some kind of monster.
The Fridge Factor
Dana DeWitt is killed to set up a cliffhanger for Season 4.
The Killing Jokes
Even by the notorious lacks standards of Arkham Asylum security, it seems odd that Alice could assemble a homemade shock wand in her cell and that she'd have an outlet to plug into.
The show completely glosses over how selfish Ryan is and that her efforts to save the city are born just as much from her seeking the approval of the mother that abandoned her and a desire to hurt Alice as they are any innate heroism.
By a handy coincidence, Luke thought to set the vault full of Batman's trophies so that only Ryan could access it, but didn't apply any of this DNA tech to any of the other Batcave armories. This enables them to get technology Marquis couldn't plan against later.
The Bottom Line
Dreck. Pure dreck, sadly in keeping with the season that led up to it. What little reputation Batwoman had as the most serious and realistic of the Arrowverse series is dead, thanks to a finale built around a hypnotic umbrella and a magic McGuffin. That's less of a sin, however, than the hero being far more selfish than most of the series' villains. This could be taken as a brilliant deconstruction of how the Batman comics are about the upper-class exploiting the mentally ill to their own benefit, but that would be giving it far too much credit. Here's hoping it won't make the cut for Season 4.