Batwoman: 1.20 O, Mouse!
As season finales go, O, Mouse! is something of a unique case, as it was never intended to be the closing episode for Batwoman's first season. This needed to be mentioned because the episode does take a little while to get going with the action. That being said, the episode does provide its fair share of shocking moments, such as any finale would have, including a game-changing moment for Kate Kane in her ongoing journey as Batwoman.
The story picks up in the wake of Arkham Asylum burning to the ground, with an escaped inmate terrorizing innocent bystanders and committing a gruesome murder. The story of Tim "Titan" Teslo initially appears to be a standard open and shut case for a "villain of the week": a star football player gets corrupted by steroids, murder is committed, end of case. However, in a brilliant twist, the layers of Teslo's story are slowly pulled back to reveal that, far from being a cold-hearted killer, Teslo is a victim in his own right. This is something Batwoman has pulled off throughout the season; by looking deeper into someone's motives or actions, the show reveals that the world is far from the simple duality of black and white or right and wrong. There's almost always a deeper story going on, and I applaud Batwoman for calling attention to that fact one more time this season.
O, Mouse! ultimately does not lack for shocking moments, and fittingly enough the two biggest such moments involve Alice and Kate. Alice has been in an interesting position as of late; it took me a while to notice but Alice has slowly but surely shed her "Alice in Wonderland" persona that has defined her since the pilot episode. This revelation hit home when Alice tore up and burned a copy of Alice in Wonderland, seemingly to cut ties with her horrific past once and for all. That in itself would have been a huge defining moment for the character...but the writers had a surprise in store. I must give the Batwoman writers credit again, for creating a genuinely moving scene between Alice and Mouse that leaves the viewer unprepared for the true gut punch the scene is setting up. This twisted moment proved, in case there was any lingering doubt, that Alice is past the point of no return.
Everything that happened to Alice pales in comparison though, to what happened with Kate. It was clear that tensions were coming to a boil between Jacob Kane and Batwoman, but I was not prepared for how...vehement...Kane would be in his actions to rid Gotham of Batwoman. Kane has now proven himself to be just as dangerous as any villain Batwoman has ever faced with what he nearly did, unknowingly, to his own daughter. If he ever finds out who Batwoman really is, his actions will haunt him for years. This does beg the question though, as the show enters hiatus until season two: can anything make Jacob Kane change his mind about seeing Batwoman dead? Not to mention how this betrayal will affect Kate throughout season two.
Speaking of Jacob Kane and his questionable actions, Mary had her best scene this entire season when she confronted her stepfather by the Bat-Signal, laying out in no uncertain terms why she supports Batwoman. It was amazing, watching Mary stand up to Kane like that and remember what she was like when the season started.
*warning: MAJOR plot spoilers are mentioned below*
Finally, it has to be mentioned that O, Mouse! saved its best twist for last. For anyone who thought Tommy Elliot would never get his new face, think again. He got his new face alright, and the face Alice gave him changes everything about season two. The image we're left with as season one ends is Tommy Elliot with Bruce Wayne's face. This is a huge development, as we're seeing Bruce Wayne in the Arrowverse for the very first time (Kevin Conroy played the older Bruce of Earth-99 in Crisis on Infinite Earths so he technically doesn't count). Presumably, this means the role of Bruce Wayne has been officially cast, since Elliot is meant to look like the real thing.
Even though it wasn't intended to be the season finale, O, Mouse! ultimately does more than enough to end Batwoman's first season with a huge bang. Earth-shattering decisions have been made, decisions that will have major consequences on Batwoman's second season when it arrives next year.