If there's any single lesson Batwoman Season 1 Episode 3 lays out for us, it's that Gotham is crazy-making.
The villains are nuts.
Some are randomly chaotic, some truly evil. But the good guys have their own issues with childhood trauma, over-bearing parents, or naive delusions of messianism.
One can only assume that the people who choose to continue to live there enjoy the crazy or are secretly just as crazy as the heavy hitters.
Even those who have the means to get away and STAY away cannot help but return and demonstrate their insanity.
Case in point: Tommy Elliot.
He's an entitled one-percent asshat. Now, he's inviting you to show off his new douche chateau?Luke
Some people build their wealth to gain status, or power, or confidence. Tommy just wants to be richer than Bruce Wayne.
Of course, he's also out to destroy Batman which is the primary reason for his return to Gotham.
Ironically, his hatred is a twisted reflection of Kate's initial grudge against the Dark Knight. Where Kate blamed Batman for her mother's death, Tommy hates him for SAVING his mother.
Seriously, how messed up is that? (If you take a look at the Wiki on Tommy, it's even worse.)
At the same time, Tommy and Kate are also both in the know about Batman's true identity so what we see play out here is how the truth can inspire two very different missions.
Kate: He's your best friend.
Tommy: Yeah, he was. The bestest. Nothing could be average with Bruce. Even had to have more dead parents than me.
Kate chooses to walk a similar path as a masked vigilante. Crazy.
Tommy uses his knowledge to plot a way to kill Batman. More crazy.
And when it comes to the final showdown, there really isn't a clear winner.
Tommy doesn't get his wish because Batman doesn't even show up. He kills people, ruins his own party, wrecks his brand new tower, and for what? To face off against some redhead who most definitely DIDN'T save his mother?
And Kate -- despite disabling the Batkiller weapon (thanks, Luke!) -- would've totally lost that fight if Alice hadn't shown up.
I thought you were buffing up on some lesbian ninja retreat?Tommy Elliot
Random thought: I've always wondered at the effectiveness of Gotham's policy of housing all their most insane criminals at Arkham.
You'd think if there were one city where cryogenic incarceration might be useful, it would be the one that spawned the unrepentantly sadistic population that has resided in the walls of Arkham.
As for Alice, after two episodes where she starred as both the carrot and the stick spurring Kate's donning of the suit and cowl, her personal conflicts are cracking her veneer of straight-up dementedness.
On the one hand, she wants her beloved Dodgson back. On the other, she's not willing to stop killing for 24 hours to get him back.
On the one hand, she is affected by finding Kate's search map. On the other, she insists that Beth is gone.
On the one hand, she saves Kate from Tommy. On the other, she hints that it's only so she can punish her in other ways.
Alice: Beth is gone.
Kate: Then why save me?
Alice: Because I have plans for you, Kate. That and it's no fun torturing a corpse. Believe me, I've tried.
And there seems to be so much more to her ultimate plan than some petty B&E's and a few dead Crows strewn about.
She has Catherine in her sights with some secret message conveyed through the playing cards.
She has Jacob on speed dial, with the only point to their conversations being to make him squirm.
She seems to know where Kate is at all times (except perhaps when she's beating on Dodgson) and has no qualms about showing up wherever she feels like.
In terms of* long-term antagonist, Alice is building up to be a formidable, if conflicted, one. I echo some of our readers' comments about wanting to know more about what happened to Beth. Hopefully, that backstory gets more detailed soon.
The saving humor of this offering is once again Mary Hamilton, who finds her secret hobby of ministering to the injured underbelly of Gotham doc-blocked by -- who else? -- Sophie Moore.
Sophie: Your dad assigned me as Mary's security detail.
Kate: That sucks.
Mary: No kidding.
Sophie continues to be the most annoying element of this ensemble.
We get no explanation as to why she requests to be Mary's bodyguard.
She clearly believes Mary's cover as flighty fashion floozy AND underestimates her abilities.
Sophie: Do you normally stay out all night when a psychopath is targetting your family?
Mary: What was I supposed to do? NOT go to Kylie Q's Glam Jam and miss next summer's colors?
And she's a terrible liar. If her husband buys her whole "Kate and I just happened to go to the same military school and we didn't even really know each other" line, he deserves to be duped.
Meanwhile, call me jaded, but everything about Regan, the cute, insightful bartender, screams,"TRAP!"
I'll happily be proven wrong, but that party encounter was all too convenient for this scenario.
Speaking of convenient, Jacob is looking like he's been bamboozled by Catherine. Mostly about Beth, quite possibly about a lot more.
Like Sophie, for someone who is supposed to be strong in observation and strategy skills, he's getting caught off-guard a lot.
I mean, the first thing everyone knows about evacuating is that you DON'T use the elevators.
To be fair, Tommy's building was stupid tall.
Kate: Nice view of Wayne Tower.
Tommy: Well, it took half my life but I'm finally looking down on Bruce Wayne.
So far, the guys aren't measuring up super well.
Jacob is willfully blind. Tyler isn't too bright. Dodgson is a punching bag. Only Luke is figuring things out in a helpful manner.
What does that leave us with?
Red wig? And I'm the crazy one.Alice
Batwoman, as defined by long hair and boob-logo.
Okay, so now we have definitive evidence of Kate's commitment to her role as Gotham's new defender.
Gotham recognizes her as something separate from Batman and, at least according to Vesper Fairchild, welcomes her with open arms and sky-high hopes. For now.
Tommy: You're not Batman.
Batwoman: That's the point.
She still has no idea how most of her equipment works and hasn't figured out how to plan for those times it just doesn't work at all.
And she's not a hundred percent confident that she can be everything that Gotham needs.
So it's a work-in-progress. In a lot of ways, that's a meta-juxtaposition with the show which is still finding its feet.
Do you know what it's like to have the villain of your story be the hero of your city?Tommy Elliot
So many questions to ponder while you watch Batwoman online this week.
How did Alice get onto the roof?
Shouldn't it take more than a pickup truck ramming the gate to get into a Wayne Industries R&D facility?
Who's taking care of Mary's underground patients while she's being guarded by Sophie?
Exactly how long has Dodgson been hanging around now? Tyler commented to Kate that they met "a few weeks ago" so...???
Anything else get your "WTH?" riled up?
How's Kate going to juggle dating and crime-fighting? Should we be thinking about that already?
Anyone got a clue on Luke's sudden change of heart?
Who's laying odds on the flashback to present-day minute ratio for the next installment?
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Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.