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‘Batwoman’ 2×03 recap: New look, new Batwoman

Ryan finally becomes the Batwoman that's truly her.

Batwoman 2×03, “Bat Girl Magic” aired January 31, 2021.

Things are heating up in Gotham City, and I’m all for it! In 2×03, “Bat Girl Magic!” we were introduced to a (very) creepy villain, Victor Zsasz, who carves tally marks on his body after every kill (and his whole body is covered in tally marks—ah!) We also met Safiyah (the incredible Shivaani Ghai) on her super-secret, Rivendell-like island, and learned that (gasp!) Kate is… alive?!
The best part of the episode, though, was the unveiling of Ryan in a suit that was truly her own, finally stepping into the role of Batwoman as not a stand-in, but as Ryan Wilder. 
Let’s break down the episode’s top moments.

Victor Zsasz reads Ryan behind the suit, giving her the push she needs to really step into her own Batshoes.

Victor, a very skilled assassin-for-hire, was hired by Safiyah to hunt down every receipient of Hamilton Labs’ antidote to Alice’s bat toxin, for fear of Safiyah’s island’s secret from getting out (you know, that Desert Rose cures cancer and literally everything else.) During Ryan’s initial sleuthing of Victor, she runs into him in his apartment, where he points out her discomfort in Kate’s suit.
After Victor shoots at Ryan WITH A MISSLE THROUGH HIS APARTMENT’S SLIDING GLASS DOORS (seriously, he is so extra), Ryan has the epiphany we’ve been waiting for: There’s a massive difference between wearing someone’s shoes and stepping into your own. Or, in this case, wig.
Ryan takes charge of her own destiny and decides if she’s going to really play this role, no matter how long, the only way she can do it is her way. That’s what will keep her doing her job the best—and, ultimately, keep the citizens of Gotham safe. Ryan replaces the red tresses with a wig of her own, and finally, we’re introduced to the new Batwoman. She’s badass, she’s fierce as hell, and I’m loving it.
Batwoman 2x03
Batwoman — “Bat Girl Magic!” — Image Number: BWN203b_0001r — Pictured: Javicia Leslie as Batwoman — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 202 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights


Here’s what’s going on with Alice

Alice went through an emotional rollercoaster in this episode (even for her standards). Alice and Sophie wake up on Safiyah’s island, ready to face her wrath. As the events unfold, we learn a few huge bombshells:
  • Safiyah’s island has only one rule: You can’t leave. And you definitely can’t take the Desert Rose if you do try to leave. (OK, so two rules.) Guess who broke both? Our girl Alice.
  • Safiyah knows Alice cares for nothing more than her sister, Kate. When Safiyah learns that Alice wanted her sister dead at her own hands, she tests Alice on this misplaced revenge. She also reveals she was not the one to blow up Kate’s plane… and that Kate is actually alive!
Safiyah tells Alice that she must complete a job for her, and in return she’ll give her Kate. We all know that there’s a million strings tied to that, but it leaves the question: What is Safiyah really up to?
What’s interesting now is where Alice’s motives lie. Before, she was driven by rage, pain, and revenge. We saw how distraught and quite frankly, sad, Alice was at the death of her sister. Now that she knows she’s (likely) alive, why is she really doing Safiyah’s bidding? My bet is that it’s not so she can get Kate back just to kill her.


Scooby Gang

Mary and Luke finally confront each other about their real feelings on Kate’s disappearance. The reason there’s friction between the two of them is because they’re on completely different wavelengths. Luke is still expecting Kate to show up, and Mary… well, Mary’s grieving. She’s accepted the likely truth that Kate’s dead, and Luke hasn’t, which is why he’s kept Ryan at Bat-baton length.
Hearing from Mary directly that no matter their thoughts on Kate’s possible whereabouts, the city needs a real Batwoman—not a stand in—to fight the bad guys, gives Luke the push he needs to truly extend a hand to Ryan. He gives her a peace offering (more of the Batarangs), and the beginnings of a bond form.



  • While Ryan was playing her real-self and approached Victor to get more information about who hired him (all criminals of Gotham know each other, apparently), it’s revealed that Ryan’s ex’s name is Angelique. Victor spills that Ryan did a number on Angelique, to which Ryan responds with, “she wasn’t good for me”. Ohhhh I cannot WAIT for that backstory.
  • A new street drug called Snakebite is making the rounds. It’s comprised of Scarecrows’ fear toxin and mushrooms, and my bet is that it’s somehow a part of Safiyah’s master plan.
  • Speaking of, Safiyah is crushing on Sophie, and I’m not mad about it.
  • In an effort to get her parole officer off her back, Ryan gets Mary to give her a bartending gig at The Hold Up. Now, her PO is giving her a week to find a permanent residence (that’s not her van.) Please tell me Mary and Ryan become roommates! I am living for their friendship.

There’s so much more to discuss! Drop your comments below or tweet me at @lizprugh or @Pure_Fandom.

Batwoman airs Sundays on The CW at 8pm ET.


Liz Prugh

Liz is the co-founder of She loves geeking out over any and all sci-fi/fantasy and always thinks vampires are cool. You can currently find her co-hosting the Pure Fandom Podcast and writing about pop culture. Nerd out with her on Twitter @lizprugh.

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