Batwoman: 1.07 Tell Me the Truth
If the seventh episode of Batwoman could be summed up in one word, that word would be complicated, because there is a lot to keep track of in this week's story. Relationships, lies about relationships, and Kate's ongoing attempts to keep her work as Batwoman secret are just a few of the things encountered.
The story starts out simply enough; it initially appears that Batwoman is after another villain-of-the-week in the form of The Rifle (a deadly assassin), but the story quickly takes a sharp turn into left field by instead revolving around the quasi-relationship between Kate and Sophie that has been teased and referenced since the pilot episode. While the episode ultimately teases the idea that the relationship between the pair is definitely over, I have a feeling we haven't heard the last of a connection between Kate and Sophie, especially now that Tyler (Sophie's husband) knows that they used to be a thing.
Having said that, Tell Me the Truth is a really good episode of television. The episode title is invoked several times in different scenarios: Kate wanted Sophie to tell the truth about their relationship, Tyler wants the truth about Sophie and Kate, Mary wants to know why Kate never has time for her, it goes on and on, and somehow it's all expertly woven together. The Batwoman writers have managed to craft a complex web in a relatively short period of time and it is impressive to watch.
One thing that has to be talked about in this episode is the appearance of Julia Pennyworth, Alfred's daughter. Christina Wolfe is an absolute joy to watch in the role, and it's really fun to see a character related to one of the most iconic members of the Batman story. I'm a little bothered, however, that Julia knew right away that Batwoman was Kate. Sure, they did give the explanation that Julia recognized the fighting style because she taught it to Kate in the first place, but if characters can recognize Batwoman's secret identity that easily, then Batwoman might have some issues in the future. As I mentioned last week, a superhero's secret identity is supposed to be a secret. That being said, I'm ultimately okay with Julia knowing, she has all the makings of a key ally, and I hope Julia Pennyworth returns for more adventures in Gotham.
Alice is a character that I still can't figure out, and I'm honestly not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing at this point. There are times when Alice seems on the verge of a redemptive arc, only to suddenly snap back the other way and enter her full-psycho mode. On the one hand, this behavior makes perfect sense if you remember that Alice is supposed to be completely insane. On the other hand, part of me wishes the writers would pick a way to write Alice and stick with it. I've just now realized that her quips over the last few episodes about "a mad tea party" are hinting at something big ("A Mad Tea Party" is the title of the next episode) and at this point I'm a little scared to see what Alice is going to do.
No review of this episode is going to be complete without referencing a certain little twist revealed late in the episode. I had a feeling that Mouse's skills of mimicry were going to be important, but I honestly did not expect them to go with it where they did. The implications of this twist cannot be overstated, and I fully expect it to play a role in the next episode.
Now well into the first season, Batwoman continues to impress me. The flashbacks are well-crafted and serve a purpose, the story is becoming complex but is still relatively easy to follow, and it's still not clear where the story is going, which is great (a show should never be too predictable). I can't wait to see what happens next.