Batwoman review season 1, episode 12, “Take Your Choice” Aired Feb. 16, 2020.
With any first season of a television show, it may take a couple of episodes for the series to find its footing. That seemed to be the case for Batwoman, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But I will say to those who have since given up on the show to watch 1×12, because in many ways this was the debut of Batwoman at it’s best and a promise of what it could be in the future.
All in all, I feel like I’ve been knocking on this door based on Batwoman‘s potential alone, and 1×12 finally let me in, and I was greeted to a welcoming party. It was intense. Occasionally funny. Badass. Thrilling. And exponentially heartbreaking.
Alice and Kate’s skinny love
Any mark of a good superhero story is the dichotomy of the hero and it’s villain. Batwoman recognizes that expectation in spades, while also embracing the longevity of any show is contingent upon its relationships, and for Batwoman, it’s specifically the relationships between the women. And what’s so compelling about this show is that between it’s hero and the villian, love begets hate. Empathy accompanies disgust. Guilt transcends rationality.
And all of it, all of the feelings of frustration, hope for redemption, relief, fear, panic, all come to a head as Kate is given a choice. Both Beth and Alice cannot coexist. One must die for the other to live (Harry Potter vibes, much?), and Kate has to decide who’s she’s going to save with Mary’s blood. Kate finally has the sister she wanted in Beth. Supportive, not a murderer, you know, the usual marks of a good sibling. So saving Beth is a no brainer right?
Well, it’s not. Especially not for our heroine. Kate still feels the weight of not being able to save Alice in their reality. That was excruciatingly exemplified when it was revealed to Alice that on Beth’s reality, her Kate saved her from the car crash. And now Beth is an astrophysicist, who seems to have her mental health in check. Beth even tells Kate she would understand if she didn’t pick her.
What made this on-the-edge-of-your-seat compelling was the narrative choice to flash back and forth between Kate with Beth dying in the batcave and Alice dying in Mary’s clinic. We don’t know who she’s going to choose for sure, but in the end we hoped, at least I hoped, it would be Beth. And that’s who she chooses to save, Beth, not Alice. When Alice realizes this, the scene is already marked as a series high. Kate is there with Alice as she dies, and she cries at her side as she slips away.
However, it’s not over. Alice and Mouse’s captor all those years ago turns out to be alive, and on the warpath. He shoots Beth as she tries to get out of Gotham, which therefore revives Alice.
And now Beth is dead. Alice knows Kate chooses not to save her. And Alice has new fire within her as she continues as this season’s big bad. This twist was not only good executed drama, but revitalized Alice’s villainy and her motivation beyond just wanting Kate to be apart of her Mad Family.
And it revitalizes Kate as well. As Alice woke up, it wasn’t relief on her face but fear. Kate’s motivation regarding Alice thus far has been in trying to redeem her, and ever since she killed Catherine and having to choose between Beth and Alice, Kate has had to almost let that go. To try to move forward for herself, and to protect those she cares about.
What’s Alice going to do next? I don’t know, but I’m so excited to find out!
- This episode reminded me of my favorite scene so far in Batwoman (before 1×12), when Alice and Kate were underwater and Kate saves her, by giving Alice her literal air to breath. The juxtaposition between then and now is masterful. *chef kiss*
- Mary was once again fantastic this episode, she really brings a fresh perspective and outlook.
- Luke! Luke finally felt like he was apart of the whole cast, and included in the batfamily. He lost something too when Beth was killed.
- RIP Beth Kane, you deserved the WORLD!
- I SCREAMING AT THE TV “DON’T YOU DARE” AS SOPHIE HAD A GUN POINTED AT BETH’S HEAD! SO STRESSED!
- Also, not naming Sophie as Kate’s soulmate on Beth’s earth felt like the writers having an out if they wanted to retcon Sophie as the main love interest. Which I don’t hate. Keep your options open girl! I still don’t have all my eggs in the Kate-and-Sophie endgame basket.
Batwoman is all new Sunday’s at 8 PM on the CW!