Batwoman: 1.06 I'll Be Judge, I'll Be Jury
After the heart-wrenching roller coaster that was Mine is a Long and a Sad Tale, the next episode thankfully returned to the villain of the week format. This time, Batwoman is on the hunt for a killer calling himself the Executioner. Along the way, some unsavory truths are revealed about Gotham's judicial system. Alice meanwhile, does put in an appearance working on her latest plot, though she doesn't really factor into the overall story this time.
It was nice to get back to something resembling a "normal" story, that is, to follow Batwoman as she hunts down a villain instead of focusing on the increasingly tragic backstory. The hunt for the Executioner is great for the most part, as it reveals that Kate still hasn't quite gotten the hang of being a superhero. However, it's made a little too obvious that Batwoman (and the Crows) are after the wrong person, as the first suspect fits the bill far too easily for him to be the one.
Once the true suspect is uncovered, some uncomfortable facts are uncovered as well. I really liked that the Batwoman writers decided to address the issue of racial profiling and how that can affect police investigations for the worse. We don't want to think about it, much like Luke Fox, but it has to be talked about if true justice is ever to prevail, both in the real world and in Gotham.
Apart from tracking down the Executioner, the biggest thing that happens in this episode is that two characters independently learn that Kate is Batwoman, with a third character on the verge of finding out in the near future. It makes sense that certain characters would learn the truth over time, but I can't help but wonder if the circle of people "in the know" is expanding a little too quickly. After all, one of the keys to a superhero story is that only a few people know that person's secret identity. So far this number is still limited, and hopefully it will stay that way for a long time yet.
On that note, Batwoman's scene with Jacob Kane at the climax of the episode is one of my favorites, since it is layered with so much meaning. You can tell that Kate hates keeping the truth from her father, and I suspect it's only a matter of time before Jacob learns the truth about who Batwoman is.
Another thing this episode did right is continue to build the intrigue around Catherine Hamilton-Kane, Kate's stepmother. The burning question after this episode is why on earth is Catherine's company building weapons capable of penetrating the Batsuit? I have a hard time believing it was developed just for Batwoman, as Kate hasn't been wearing the suit long enough for the weapon to have been designed, tested, and completed. So was the weapon started with Batman in mind? And if so, why? It seems like for every answer this show gives, it creates two more in the process. So far that's a good thing, but hopefully Batwoman won't create too many plot threads at the same time.
I'll Be Judge, I'll Be Jury was a nice breath of fresh air after the horrors of the last episode, and I sincerely hope that Batwoman continues in this vein for the near future, at least until the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover begins.