Batwoman: 1.12 Take Your Choice
Batwoman has had no trouble with treading into emotional territory before now (Mine is a Long and a Sad Tale comes to mind) but this episode, appropriately titled Take Your Choice really takes it to a whole different level of pain for Kate, Luke, and company. After everything she's already gone through during the first half of this season, she is now given an impossible choice, one that is bound to upset somebody no matter what she does. The ultimate decision is painful, it's heartbreaking, and you can feel the agony Kate is in for every second of it.
How Queer Everything is Today revealed another Beth on Earth-Primw, suggesting a violation of several laws of the time-space continuum. This episode revolves around the fact that having two Beth Kane's on the same Earth is creating an anomaly that is causing both of them to die, painfully, at the same time. If nothing is done, they'll both be dead before the night is over.
The pain of Beth and Alice as they slide toward an apparently inevitable death is really something to watch, especially considering Rachel Skarsten is giving two mesmerizing performances in a single episode as both Alice and the alternate Beth. I've already been a fan of Rachel Skarsten's work in this series since the pilot episode, but after watching this, particularly her work as both Beth and Alice, I seriously think she needs to be nominated for several Emmy awards for her performance in this episode alone. Her acting range in playing the empathetic Beth and the frantic Alice who really doesn't want to die is just superb. It really makes you want to feel conflicted about her, because while Alice is a villain par excellence; she is still at her core a tortured soul unhappy that her chance at "normal" was taken away from her.
And then there was that twist reveal that will upend many things, particularly if Kate ever finds out about it. I'll admit I had a suspicion several episodes back that this character was still around, but I dismissed the idea at the time, as the actor was different, and so it couldn't possibly be the same person. However, this reveal just proves you should never dismiss a theory just because it seems impossible. Things are surely going to change now that this character has been revealed to be alive and well. I could easily see this character assuming the role of "ultimate bad guy" for the second half of the season.
The one part of this episode that felt out of place was the ongoing subplot of Jacob Kane's stay in prison for the murder of his wife. Of course it wouldn't do to leave the former head of the Crows out of the story for too long, but given everything else that was going on, it felt a little disjointed from the rest of the plot.
And on a side note: Mary has gone through some tremendous character growth in recent episodes. When we first met her, it seemed like she was all about being a social media influencer, but now she's all about her clinic and she was even brave enough to attack Alice! Aside from Kate and Alice, Mary remains one of my favorite characters on the show and I hope she stays around for a long time.
Batwoman seems to be on a roll after the massive event that was Crisis on Infinite Earths. While it would've been nice to see the conundrum of having two Beth Kane's continue for some time, it also makes sense that it was resolved fairly quickly, as widespread discovery of the other Beth's existence would've overly complicated the story (since, as Luke pointed out, Kate can't explain how Beth exists without revealing she's Batwoman and that she played a direct part in the events of Crisis in InfiniteEarths). If the ending of this episode is any indication, the second half of Batwoman's freshman season is going to be a wild ride and it'll be exciting to see where the story goes next.