Batwoman: 1.03 Down, Down, Down
*warning: minor spoilers for the episode below... In many ways Down, Down, Down felt like the end of a long prologue. Since the series premiere, Batwoman has been dedicated to introducing the audience to the world of Kate Kane and a Gotham that's still reeling from Batman's absence. By the end of this episode, it feels like the introductions are finally complete, as Kate has formally taken on the mantle of Batwoman and the iconic look associated with that character. At the same time, this episode also feels like the beginning of something new in terms of plot, as this episode introduced Tommy Elliot to the story. Longtime fans of the Batman comics will know exactly who Tommy Elliot is and roughly where his story is going. However, even if you've never encountered the character before, this episode makes it plain from the start that Elliot is bad news. The most notable red flag, aside from an unhealthy obsession with outdoing Wayne Enterprises, is that Elliot (incorrectly) assumes that Bruce Wayne is back in town after "Batman" is sighted in the city. That's right, somehow, Elliot knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman, and that is a huge revelation. In fact, given the depths of Elliot's obsession with Bruce/Batman, I suspect that this might be how Batman is eventually brought back to Gotham, since I doubt Elliot will ever truly go away until he gets what he wants. This episode has also prompted a re-evaluation of Alice and her role within the Batwoman story. During the series premiere, I speculated that Alice was being set up as the overall villain of the season, if not the series. However, with her true identity being all but confirmed, and especially now that Tommy Elliot has been added to the mix, it seems more likely that Alice is not the true villain of the story after all. Given Alice's connection to Kate/Batwoman, it already feels difficult to accept Alice as a villain, and it would not be at all surprising to see some type of "redemption arc" begin before the season is over. And speaking of Alice, the one element in this episode, besides everything involving Tommy Elliot, that really intrigued me was the implied connection between Alice and Catherine, Kate's stepmother. We already know from the second episode that Catherine pulled some strings to get Alice's knife destroyed, and it's been well-established that this is a woman obsessed with image. So why would Alice leave a message for Catherine in the form of playing cards? And why would Catherine then hide those cards from her husband? There's definitely something fishy about the whole situation, and it adds a whole new layer to Catherine that makes the character even more interesting than she already was.
One final detail that I enjoyed: the episode added a new wrinkle to the Sophie/Kate relationship by introducing Reagan as a potential new girlfriend for Kate. I really like the ongoing tension between Kate and Sophie, and now that there's a third element, Reagan, in the mix, the situation could potentially be pushed to a whole different level of tension. With Kate now fully embracing her role as Batwoman, it will be exciting to see where the story goes from here, as each episode has proven to be excellent so far. The previews for next week hint that we might be moving on to a "villain of the week" format, which, provided it's not overdone, could be a lot of fun as it would give the series a chance to further flesh out how Batwoman operates in a Gotham that is now aware of her presence.