If you’ve been watching The CW’s Batwoman but haven’t seen last night’s episode, I’d suggest you do so before reading this (though if you’re online, you likely have already run into the spoiler). For those who DON’T watch the show, let me try to explain what just happened on it, which also requires explaining Season 2 so far (not easy either).
As the show makers warned us they would do, they did not recast Kate Kane but instead introduced a new character, who had no comic backstory: Ryan Wilder. She lives in a van, she stumbles onto the Batwoman suit through some contrived coincidence, meets Luke and Mary…they are complete strangers to her but forty minutes later they’re happy friends and trust her with the Batsuit. Then suddenly there’s this character named Safiyah who I guess is like Queen Hippolyta only evil, she lords over an exotic island and everyone does her bidding, and she has a garden of super-rare miracle plants that cure everything called Desert Roses, and everybody acts like Safiyah was there the whole time and the entire world revolves around her even though she was NOT THERE AT ALL in any part of Season One.
Alice has a thing going with somebody named Ocean who was also never mentioned in Season One yet is now a deep part of her backstory, and to no surprise, he turns out to be related to Safiyah. Ocean tells Alice that Kate Kane is alive and imprisoned on Safiyah’s island. Why would she be there? Who knows, but we know she WON’T be there because Ruby Rose isn’t coming back to the show. Alice is fooled and decides she has to track down Safiyah. Meanwhile Ryan has been poisoned by a Kryptonite bullet in a plot twist that was meant to wrap into a Supergirl crossover, but then Supergirl was delayed cause’a COVID and they had to just give Batwoman a Kryptonite vulnerability instead. Only the Desert Rose can cure Ryan but she has no idea where Safiyah’s secret island is located.
Alice knows, because — SURPRISE — she lived on the island and has a past with Safiyah! Everyone does now! So Ryan puts a tracker in her boot so she reveals where the island is. At this point Ryan has about a day before she croaks from Kryptonite poisoning, so she shoots herself up with Super Steroids so she can make one last, heroic trip to Safiyah Island to rescue Kate, and get a Desert Rose and heal herself.
Alice meets Safiyah, and she brought along Ocean’s dead body as a gift, because Safiyah hates Ocean and wants him dead. She figures if she does this for Safiyah then she will do Alice a favor by bringing Kate to her, who Alice will then also stab dead. Just then Batwoman shows up and tells Safiyah the Ocean body is fake because Alice knows how to put fake faces on people. Sure enough, the face peels right off — it’s just some random body nobody knows. Safiyah is so mad she sends Alice to her dungeon — and Batwoman too for trespassing. Alice winds up in the same cell as Batwoman, who can barely move.
Batwoman is then told as gratitude for tipping off Safiyah about the fake body, she can have a request granted. Batwoman weakly asks for a Desert Rose. Meanwhile Alice is brought the REAL Ocean and is told that if she kills HIM, she will be taken to Kate. Alice does that, and as she’s taken into the dungeon again and led supposedly to Kate’s cell, we all know what’s about to happen. Yup, there’s no Kate there because Kate is actually dead. This shouldn’t have taken so many episodes to figure out.
As the episode goes on, the twists get weirder and weirder: Safiyah pulls the knife out of Ocean, then Ocean suddenly gasps back to life, and she tells him it’s a special knife that has Desert Rose stuff on it, so you un-die if it’s removed. Uhh, really? So what was even the point of tonight? If anyone’s madder than us it’s Alice, who burns the entire Desert Rose field for kicks. Now Batwoman’s last hope of survival is gone…until, suddenly, her plant back home blooms a rose! It was a Desert Rose all along! ….How? Why?
Who cares? The whole point of this nonsensical arc was to establish once and for all that there’s a new Batwoman, and that it will never be Kate Kane again, because Ruby Rose quit the series. We’ve all known that’s where it was going, So at least that’s over, and we can get away from it…
….until the final five seconds of the episode, which zooms in on a figure that has its head wrapped in bandages, implying they had their face swapped. It’s…..KATE KANE?
This has been confirmed. Right after the episode aired, a press release went out that announced Krypton’s Wallis Day would now be playing Kate on the show.
Recasting Kate is what every viewer has been telling them to do the entire time. Millions of fans said, “You have a built-in excuse with a villain that can swap faces. Just change her face!” They insisted for months such a move would be “lazy” and that they would use a new Batwoman instead. Now, after the storyline has been pureed into mush, they’re doing it anyway??
I…think I need to lie down. I would call this entire debacle one of the dumbest recasting methods in TV history, but Flash’s most recent episode was actually worse in that regard.