Batwoman: 2.11 Arrive Alive
*Warning: Minor spoilers below as our US writer Becky discusses the latest US-paced episode...
The story of Batwoman took an unexpected turn in the latest episode Arrive Alive, with potential consequences that could permanently upend Ryan's new life as the defender of Gotham. But she's not the only one with a major problem, as Alice's quest to erase Kate from her mind hits a completely unexpected road block.
It takes a little while to get going, but Arrive Alive is, yet again, one of the best episodes of Batwoman that's aired this season. There's a definite Fast & Furious vibe in this episode, as a good chunk of the action is devoted to high-performance cars racing through Gotham, which is a nice change of pace from previous episodes. It also served as a fitting backdrop to Ryan's episode-long quest to attempt to rescue Angelique from Black Mask after the events of the previous episode.
Speaking of Ryan, it was almost dizzying at times watching her continue to balance her relationship with Sophie both as herself and Batwoman without giving her secret identity away. This led to some truly hilarious moments that served as the perfect counterweight to the ongoing drama with Black Mask, which remains as ominous as ever. Peter Outerbridge's Black Mask continues to be one of my favorite things in the second half of this season, and his entire performance in this episode is the perfect example of why he should be regarded as one of the best villains on this show.
All that being said, the ramifications of the ending of this episode did take me by surprise, even if it was likely going to happen sooner or later. Whatever happens in the next episode, it's likely nothing will be the same for Ryan or Team Batwoman and it will be interesting to see how that changes things for the final arc of the season.
For once, Alice's story arc was equally compelling this week. It always seemed unlikely that her desire to have Kate literally wiped from her mind would be fulfilled, but I wasn't expecting the turn this story took. What we got was a deep dive into Alice's subconscious that strengthens my suspicions that eventually Alice is going to be turned into more of an anti-hero figure rather than a pure villain. It's been hard to buy into Alice's claims of villainy for a while, ever since we learned how she became that way, so this would be a welcome development for her character.
That being said, I really wasn't expecting THAT character to show up when they did. Anyone who thought the story of Safiyah and Coryana was done for the season is in for a rude awakening as we get a huge reminder that the consequences of the first half of this season are not going away. For once, I don't know where Alice's story goes from here, and that's an exciting thought. Alice's story has been somewhat predictable at times, and to not have a clue where she'll go, or what she'll do next, will make for fun viewing as the story continues.
As a final note, I can appreciate the subtle hints the show dropped about how all is not well with Jacob Kane. In fact Sophie seemed to be catching on rather quickly to the thought that the commander of the Crows is not well, so how long will it be before others figure it out?
For the first time in a long time, I have no serious gripes with an episode of Batwoman, apart from the aforementioned slow start to the story. Once things got up to speed (no pun intended), it was a glorious ride to the finish. If every episode involving Black Mask is like this, this may become my favorite story arc of the show, even more than the Coryana arc that dominated the first half of the season.
Arrive Alive is an excellent episode of Batwoman, one that continues the story while simultaneously reminding us that past events do have consequences. It's still not clear what the endgame for this season will be, but it feels like we're close to getting an answer.