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Relationships Heat Up in A Cold Episode of Batwoman

It’s an average Gotham morning, which means something is going wrong. The specific thing going wrong this morning is a bus freezing over on its commute. Another Batman trophy, Mr. Freeze’s liquid nitrogen canister, found its way into the wrong hands, but this time the hands in question are a middle schooler who probably thought he’d found a cool toy (pun indented).

At Jeturian Industries, its CEO is having a meeting with the acting CEO of Wayne Enterprises, aka Jada and Ryan are sitting down to talk about the bomb Ryan dropped the last time she was in that office. There’s a moment when Jada seems genuinely proud of Ryan’s accomplishments, but as quick as that pride in her voice appeared, it’s being replaced by vitriol as she tells Ryan she wants nothing to do with her.

Ryan, who came into this open and without judgment and wanted at least some answers, is hurt by the sudden dismissal. Jada makes her position doubly clear when she threatens Ryan and Wayne Enterprises if Ryan keeps pushing the issue. Ryan’s hurt turns to anger when she snaps back that Jada isn’t worth her time.

But before she can make a grand exit, someone else makes a grand entrance. The meeting crasher is the vice president of Jeturian, Marquis Jet, aka Jada’s son.

Marquis Jet
Entering a room with swagger must run in the family.

Back at Wayne, Sophie is explaining that she knew about Marquis but didn’t mention him because Ryan asked for the bare minimum. Sophie asks Ryan what she needs (a question she’s asked several times now since getting to know and trust Ryan and every time it’s with this gentle concern), but Ryan deflects because there’s Batwoman work to do.

Down in the Bat cave, she tells Luke and Mary about Jada, both of them offering comfort. Oh, and Alice is there, coughing up a storm. She’s sick, so she says, on account of all the nanobots inside her. Luke suggests they give Alice the sick day this time because he already knows where the canister is, and the GCPD isn’t the kind of place you take a killer to.

Alice
And the mystery of ‘how does Alice get these fits?’ continues.

It doesn’t take long for Ryan to sneak into the GCPD evidence locker, and even less for her to discover someone beat her to the canister. It was nabbed by a kindly-looking old lady, who is ready to use it to finish what Mr. Freeze started. But someone breaks into her home looking both for the canister and answers from Nora Fries, Mr. Freeze’s wife. 

Luke catches Ryan up to speed on their kindly old evidence thief. The woman who stole the freeze canister, Dee, is Nora Fries’ sister. Nora was sick with a terminal disease and Victor, her husband, developed a specialized liquid nitrogen formula to keep her in stasis until a cure could be found. He died before that could happen, but when Nora was thawed out, doctors did have a cure, which they administered. Nora was disorientated by the twenty-year gap, so they put her in Arkham. She escaped three years prior and has been in the wind since. Before Ryan can head out to Dee’s address, they get an alert about an uninvited visitor in the main office: Ryan’s brother.

Marquis did his homework on Ryan, including the fact that she’s his sister. He fills in some of the blanks, as he’d heard from his nannies about a period of nine months where his mom when he was a boy. He’d also heard about a time when Jada and his father didn’t talk, all but confirming Ryan was the result of an affair. But that doesn’t explain why Marquis is there when Jada made it clear she wants nothing to do with Ryan.

Marquis wants to prove himself to his mother, and who better to do that with than the woman who threw Jada for a loop. And also happens to be his sister. Ryan says she’ll think about it, partly do get Marquis out of her office so she can track down Dee and partly because she’s actually considering it.

Ryan and Marquis
They’ve known each other five minutes and are already want to piss their mom together? Sounds like siblings to me.

At Dee’s place, she finds the signs of the break-in and that Dee wasn’t living alone. She figures out that Nora was living with her and that she’s still sick. Ryan and Luke surmise that Dee stole the canister to put Nora back on ice and that whoever came after them wanted the same thing. Ryan thinks the best place to look is somewhere with a cryo-chamber. Unfortunately, the place in Gotham currently with one is Ace chemicals.

The charming but definitely evil redhead who broke in at Dee’s place is indeed at Ace, trying to get the cryo-chamber to work. Dee hands over Victor’s notes, but the charming but evil redhead (listen, the episode didn’t give them a name, so she’ll be referred to as such until more information is provided) can’t understand them so she has Dee set up the chamber. Nora tries to tell them it won’t work. The cryo-chamber kept her alive, but once she got out, she started aging double time. The charming yet evil redhead doesn’t seem all that concerned about that.

Meanwhile, at Mary’s clinic, she gives her professional diagnosis that Alice has a case of faking it. Physically at least, Alice is okay. But having heard about the postcards from Jacob that Alice hallucinated, she asks if it has happened again. Mary Hamilton is nothing if not a good doctor, so if Alice needs help she’ll offer it.

Mary and Alice
Another choice sibling dynamic.

After so many people failed her, Alice can’t admit she needs help, so instead, she deflects. She prods at Luke’s condition and Mary’s feelings for him, which Mary staunchly denies. It doesn’t stop Alice from trying her usual mind games to drive a wedge in the Bat team. Alice suggests that Ryan and Luke don’t listen to her unless they need her.

Back at Ace chemicals, Batwoman drops onto the goons, taking out several of them. She gets Nora away, sending her to Mary’s clinic while she goes back for Dee. But the charming but evil redhead gets a lucky hit on Ryan, knocking her out. She wakes up in the cryo-chamber and charming but evil makes Dee turn it on. Ryan contacts the Batcave and Luke’s reaction to her vitals isn’t soothing. She asks him to suit up, or she’s not getting out of there.

Nora did make it to Mary’s clinic and is being treated by her. That is until Alice holds her at knifepoint to make Mary take out the nanobots. Nora is very comfortable with the idea of Alice killing her, which puts a damper on the hostage attempt. As Alice stomps off, Mary apologizes to Nora, but she understands Alice. They’ve both been captives in some way and they just want their freedom.

At Ace chemicals, Ryan’s dangerously close to falling asleep as the hypothermia sets in. But Sophie’s on comms, beckoning her awake. When Ryan says she can’t, Sophie switches tactics to keep her attention. She asks, out loud, without mincing words, ‘Where do we stand? You and me?’ After being the one to do the digging about Jada, Ryan going to Mary and Luke to talk about it stung her. Sophie tells Ryan she doesn’t know her (and what she doesn’t say is maybe she wants her too).

Ryan starts to drift off, with Sophie begging her to stay awake. Batwing arrives on the scene just in time, getting Ryan out. There’s a few moments before anyone communicates this to Sophie and for those few moments, she’s going through it. It’s not until Luke confirms Ryan’s okay that she relaxes.

Luke also secured the freeze canister, but charming but evil and her gang get away with Dee. Batwoman and Batwing give chase in the Batmobile with Sophie as their eyes in the sky from the Batcave. Ryan calls Sophie clever for keeping her awake. And then just as I wonder if my shipping goggles are making see things, Luke asks Ryan if she’s flirting with Sophie. Just like that. Out loud and everything. Ryan tries denying it and Sophie reminds them the comms are on.

Sophie Moore
This smile though. She ain’t mad about this conversation happening.

The Bat team is gaining ground on the gang, but charming but evil uses an explosive to take out a bridge, cutting them off. Ryan doesn’t seem phased by the giant hole in the road, despite Sophie’s worried warnings in her ear. Just before she hits it, Batwing flies up, using the freeze canister to close the gap with ice.

Ryan, excited by pulling off the badass stunt, tries to get Sophie to admit the same, but Sophie doesn’t give her the satisfaction of an answer better than it being ‘interesting.’ And then Ryan Wilder, amused, wearing a smirk, tells Sophie Moore, ‘woman, you are hard to please.’ This is the third episode of the season. I was not prepared for things to get this overt this soon.

Ryan manages to stop one of the gang’s vehicles, saving Dee, but the charming but evil redhead gets away with Mr. Freeze’s notes. Alice is returned to Arkham until the next trophy turns up. As she sits in her cell, she sees the nanobots crawling under her skin even though we see there’s nothing there.

In the Batcave, Mary can’t keep Luke secret any longer. She tells Ryan about his PSTD, which Luke denies. Ryan hears what Mary is saying, but she also knows she would have been on ice if Luke hadn’t been there and until the trophies are off the streets, she’s going to need backup in the field. Alice’s prediction about the Bat team not listening to Mary is unfortunately fulfilled.

The next day, Sophie’s at the Hold Up, when she sees Ryan sitting in the corner. She tells Sophie about Marquis knowing they’re siblings and that he wants to work together. And once again, Sophie asks Ryan she wants, and this time, Ryan opens up. She wants a mom, someone who knows her and is a part of her life — a mom who loves her, but Jada isn’t that.

Sophie Moore
It’s the constant support and reassurance for me.

Sophie, says, again, it’s Jada’s loss. As tempted as Ryan is to work with Marquis, she doesn’t want to put her friends in Jada’s crosshairs, so she’s going to turn him down.

At Gotham park, Mary is delivering some medication to Nora. As she’s watching the sisters, maybe wondering if she and Alice could ever have a relationship that isn’t fraught with mistrust, she doesn’t notice a vine creeping across the ground towards her until it’s already wrapped around her leg. Before she can react, she’s pulled away into the bushes.

Review

This season of Batwoman has been popping off with the character dynamics. It’s just plain fun watching these actors and characters play off one another. I talked about Ryan and Jada last time, and now with Marquis in the mix that’s another layer to this dynamic that I’m excited to see develop further. Do I trust Jada and Marquis? No. Do I like them? Immensely. There is a shoe that is going to drop sooner or later, and until it does I’m going to enjoy this very tense and entertaining family dynamic.

Speaking of entertaining family dynamics, Mary and Alice could be talking about the weather and it would be the most interesting thing. There has been this slow build of Alice wanting to reach out for help, but not being able to allow herself too. She’s been burned too many times by the people she loved and trusted. Now Mary is the closest family she has, literally. Her delusions aren’t going to stop until lets herself be vulnerable enough to trust someone. Is it going to be Mary?

On the other hand, can Mary put aside their history to order the help she needs? Since season one, Mary’s been looking for her place in her family. Jacob and Kate are both out of the picture now and now there’s a wedge between her and her found family in the Bat team. Is this going to lead to some kind of reconciliation with Alice? There is the chance she could never fully forgive Alice, and I wouldn’t say she’s wrong about that. But, when their dynamic is this good, I can’t help but hope for more of it in the future.

Let’s talk about Ryan and Sophie, which I haven’t really done yet because I haven’t quite figured out how to talk about them without it turning into incoherent delighted key smashes. Going into this season of Batwoman, I was hopeful their relationship could turn into something more. After watching them slowly come to trust and rely on one another over the course of season two, I was expecting there to be something this season. I was not expecting their flirting to be openly acknowledged in the third episode.

Getting characters like Ryan and Sophie, who are complex and layered on their own, and then getting to watch them develop a relationship that is just as multifaceted is the kind of thing that a few years ago I wouldn’t have even hoped for. Now, here it is, happening on our screens. I am so excited to get to watch this unfold. Speaking of, next episode, Jordan Moore the OG Wildmoore shipper returns.

Bat-astic Moments

  • Dana Dewitt continues to be the hardest working new reporter in Gotham.
  • Mary getting Alice an inch of water and then looking annoyed with Alice finished it in one gulp is the most petty sibling vibes.
  • That, plus all of that their interactions in the clinic
  • Luke with the real judgement on rogues’ names. He and Cisco would probably get into a long discussion on the topic.
  • When Sophie switched from ‘Batwoman’ to calling out ‘Ryan.’ Like I said, was not prepared for that in episode three.  
  • The entirety of that sequence in the Batmoblie is going to live rent free in my head from now on.
  • I love that even after being Batwoman for a while now, Ryan still has unadulterated joy when she pulls off something cool.

Images courtesy of the CW

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Author

  • Proud Trinidadian. Writer, poet and game writer when she isn't busy dissecting fictional worlds or galavanting through the latest video game.

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