I have to say that after the insanity of the Crisis of Infinite Earths crossover, it was a relief to return to a "normal" adventure with Batwoman Season 1 Episode 10
Of course, post-Crisis Earth Prime is a distinctly different world from all the events that occurred.
Not only was Oliver Queen's death mentioned specifically but Kara Danvers got the byline on the big "Batwoman Comes Out" cover story for Catco magazine.
This was an episode with purpose, and every piece of the puzzle -- with the exception of that one, unexplained, final shocker scene -- revolved around the concept of honoring oneself.
Sometimes the best way to save someone is to be yourself.Kate
Alice obviously needs to be working on herself the most. She's somehow become even more unhinged since killing Catherine and framing Jacob for it.
Even Mouse seems to be fed up with waiting for her to be fun again.
Her plan to out Kate as Batwoman seems to lack the finesse of her previous plans of vengeance. It's almost a crime of opportunity as Parker's hacking skills are a late-breaking development.
I have a lot of questions, though. Maybe you can help me answer them.
How did Alice identify Parker as the Terrior Terrorist? She was just some random kid in the school hallway.
How did Alice plant the C4 under the DJ's table if she only arrived at the dance after the Gotham Prep kids tagged Batwoman in their posts?
Parker's situation could be criticized as overly contrived to dovetail with Kate's personal dilemma, but it had the feel of a genuine crisis for a teen in her situation.
Of course, I'd hope most teens wouldn't resort to hacking subway brakes for sympathy or mass extortion. But that's Gotham for you. Always going to extremes.
Oh my god, I was such a bitch to you earlier. Why didn't you say you were super gay?Parker Torres
How was Parker able to send one message to Alice and a different one to everyone else? (And don't give me "hacker magic" as a flippant answer.) Alice's phone can't be the only phone on one network.
Luke had some interesting reactions to the hacker threat. Shutting down the Batcave versus bolstering its security seems a dramatic and problematic way to deal with it.
Granted, he had some amazing lines, and the cupcake was adorbs. I kind of wished he'd made a reference to his Earth-99 self, but who knows how much Kate would've shared about that adventure.
Kate: Whenever I put on this suit, I feel like I'm lying to our entire city.
Luke: Well, that's the job.
Kate: According to the Multiverse, my job is to be a Paragon of Courage.
Luke: Right, because the Paragon Finder said so before the infinite Earths collapsed into a single space-time continuum. I'm sure it was all very exciting.
His concern about protecting Kate's secrets falls right into the soft-hearted curmudgeonly person we've gotten to know.
As the first and foremost member of Team Batwoman (if there were to be a Team Batwoman), his relationship with Kate is a partnership as comfortable as a custom-built Batsuit.
Luke honors himself in this context by going with his gut when he suspects a danger to their enterprise.
For a techie like himself, going dark can't be a easy choice. It leaves him out in the unknown, cut off from Kate, and, apparently, decorating cupcakes.
There's a good rapport between Kate and Luke at this point. Their scenes together anchor the show but still maintain some levity with banter.
Luke: You are the most famous person in Gotham right now. You don't think you're the obvious target here?
Kate: Coming from the genius who puts a bat emoji on every single text message.
Mary's situation is a tragic one to contemplate.
Her arc here -- from signing off of her social media accounts to ambushing doctors to testify at Jacob's trial to finally allowing herself to be comforted -- is terribly hard to watch because she has been, easily and consistently, the brightest spot in the season so far.
We don't need to see her see the damage Alice does to Catherine's gravestone to know that she is hurt by it.
We don't need to see her every conversation with potential expert witnesses to understand that she's probably not sleeping because sleeping would mean stopping and stopping would mean mourning.
At least she's honest about her unhealthy strategies for coping.
Jacob: Your mother's been killed. Gotham thinks I killed her. It's incomprehensible. How are you dealing with everything?
Mary: I'm engaging in escapist strategies as a defense tactic so that all the walls holding up everything I know to be good and true don't come crumbling down around me.
What a good doctor to be able to diagnose herself.
Dealing with all the trauma that she's suffered is another story, though.
How Nicole Kang portrays Mary under stress is subtle but effective. While she's physically moving ALL. THE. TIME. and still talking a mile a minute, Kang has Mary's face under rigid control.
Where pre-gala Mary had a relaxed expression that smiled easily or melted into sympathetic expressions, this Mary has everything bolted and precariously balanced in an air-tight, compartmentalized vacuum of emotion.
We're human and we'd rather be doing anything than feeling our feelings.Sophie
In the wake of her husband leaving her, Sophie's getting better lines and a more useful purpose.
It may be a harsh judgement, but it seems that she needed to have her safety net(s) torn away from her before she could really be honest with herself.
Without Tyler or Jacob in the picture, she's stepping up and she was barely even annoying.
Sophie: You ever feel like you're hiding from the world?
Batwoman: I'm literally standing in a shadow.
Her interaction with Batwoman showed some vulnerability, indicating that she was really thinking about her priorities.
Meanwhile, she scored some goodwill points by trying her best to support Mary.
Ultimately, the Kate's throughline was the most believeable -- as it should be.
Costumed heroes always have a hint of dissociation. Which is the truest personality -- the one in the mask, fearless in anonymity, or the one the world sees in the light of day?
The fact that Parker sees Kate Kane as more of a personal hero than Batwoman was telling. Heroes need to be real, and they need to be relatable.
Kate's choice to bring Batwoman closer to her reality by coming out while still in the cowl puts more than representation on the table.
It isn't "politics" as Vesper Fairchild puts it (voiced, ICYMI, by Rachel Maddow, the first openly gay host of a primetime news program in the U.S.) but bringing the television world into a more accurate reflection of the world it portrays.
We all wear a mask of some kind. The cowl. The husband. The wife. Denial. Anger. We all need our shield to protect us from the world.Kate
And finally, OMG, who's the brunette Alice? How can it be Beth?
I hope it's something more than some spillover from the Infinite becoming One. This one's a stumper for me. However it turns out, best thing is this proves Mary isn't going nuts.
It's definitely worth taking the time to watch Batwoman online. This was a triumphant return for the show, and a solid episode with a crazy, twisted ending.
How do you think Mouse is going to rescue Alice?
Who do YOU think "Beth" is?
Hit the comments with all your best theories!
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.