What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Batwoman “A Narrow Escape”! These are interesting times. One where for a show like this you may have had to re-watch what happened before just to make sure you were ready for what came next. Especially when Kate is still traumatized from taking a life, Luke is thrown for a loop when finding little to no answers about his father’s murder, and Alice now locked up Arkham to stew over being betrayed by her family.
Transitioning into this week’s episode, these were trying times for Kate. As I’ve said before, this is new territory for those of us who are fans of Batwoman. The one we know wouldn’t have had much of a problem taking the life of someone who does wrong. The one we were familiar with started out crossing the line, and then had to be brought to the side o the angels to give wrong-doers a fair shake. This is something new where we have this version of her who doesn’t know what to do with herself after killing someone with her own hands. How would you handle that as your first experience knowing that there are people who you also fear disappointing if they knew what you did? This challenged Kate in every way and that kept things fresh, though some might argue that we maybe didn’t get enough Batwoman in the process.
Where things also took a creative turn was in the introduction to this old villain resurfaced. This was definitely a villain who stirred up some bad memories, yet at the same time it was a villain who had more going on than what you were seeing on the surface. I liked that they put more of an effort into keeping things consistent with the story and plot. The reason for this villain resurfacing weaved perfectly into the mystery involving everyone now dead who was involved in Lucius Fox’s murder.
How this ended up involving Jacob Kane, Julia Pennyworth, and Sophie wasn’t bad either. I was actually more worried about Sophie and Julia because they tend to try to shoehorn more sexual tension over them actually getting things done. It was a nice change of pace for them that for the most part they were down to business. As for Jacob Kane, it was great to see how they are giving him the Commissioner Gordon treatment. Without the GCPD as the prominent force, that means a lot of things we would have expected them to experience, is now being given to the Crowes. This episode gave him that one last push to start changing direction, and they nailed the execution.
This was a great week for those who have been waiting to see more from Luke. Personally, this is the character who made me initially invested in the series. I knew he would not be one-hundred percent like he was in the comics, but this is a character who not often enough gets his due in existing in this world. Even the twist that his father was killed was something to get used to, but you had to love what this had done for his character development. It also made a big difference that they created two contrasting storylines where Kate had killed someone because she was pushed to that point, and Luke walked down the same line where he had someone to at least walk him off of that ledge. At the end of the day it says a lot about the role that he plays that he can share in the same experiences.
With that said, the same could actually be said for Mary as well. There was no overlooking the impactful performance that we got from Nicole Kang as Mary this week. I was stunned by the scene she was finally given to lay all the cards on the table between herself and Kate. There was a lot she could have said to Kate for the sake of stirring the pot, but I commend the decision to choose endearment over everything else. Mary is supposed to represent hope in her own way, and that was what she offered when they allowed her an episode to really do things on her own terms.
Once more it happened to be Alice’s storyline which grabbed me attention most. Where they never fail to disappoint is in the writing for this villain. One could have easily been disappointed that Kate turned on her at the last second to throw her into Arkham, but dealing with Beth is never that simple. Never when she has the brains to match her crazy. It was honestly a thrill to see how she could turn this situation into a brand-new opportunity. It was even appreciated that they managed to throw in some teasers for comic readers who are familiar with the more classic foes. The best takeaway of course was seeing the inside of Arkham a bit more intimately. There’s never enough that you can see and experience which can happen outside of the their cell doors. Not to mention outside of the torture rooms. They took advantage of the chaos this institution represents to show exactly why this place cannot contain how dangerous these psychopaths of Gotham are.
It’s good to have this show back among the other Arrowverse series which have made a return. Batwoman “A Narrow Escape” shined for being another episode which put story writing, plot progression, and strong character moments above everything else. Of course we are going to want to see more Batwoman in costume and fighting crime, but for now you still should have appreciation for what we have seen so far.