Wednesday, June 19, 2024

New Rogues Bloom into Power On Batwoman

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Batwoman kicks off with a couple of siblings, ready to cause some trouble, but Marquis doesn’t realize the kind of trouble he’s about to be in. He met up with Ryan, thinking this was their clandestine meeting was to scheme behind Jada’s back. Only it’s actually Ryan’s secret meet-up with Jada, to apprehend him.

Ryan and Marquis have barely finished their secret handshake when black SUVs (with tinted windows of course) are pulling up. There’s an almost sweet moment when Marquis protectively pushes Ryan behind him, but Ryan grabs him, restraining him and allowing Jada’s people to sedate him. In return for helping with Marquis, Jada promised to have her scientists look into a cure for Mary.

Somewhere else in Gotham, waking up very hungover and very naked, is Sophie Moore. There’s a note on the nightstand from Renee, telling her to help herself to whatever’s in the fridge, but a message on her phone has her bolting out of bed. It’s not long before she’s marching into Wayne, having just been filled in via text about the Poison Mary situation. Luke supplies the rest of the details. Ryan joins them, filling them both in about her deal with Jada.

Meanwhile, the mother in question is watching as Marquis is being prepped to be put on ice. She is keeping her end of the bargain, having her people create an antidote for Mary.

As that happens, the Bat team moves their discussion down to the cave. Sophie wishes Ryan had been more forthcoming about Marquis, but she understands why she withheld the information. Luke’s not sure they should trust Jada to deliver on a cure, but with the rate that the Ivy infection is spreading, they might only have one more night before she’s permanently Poison Ivy.

Just then, there’s an alert on the Batcave’s computer that Alice is booking it out of Gotham. Ryan asks Sophie if she knows where her roommate is headed, and Sophie, hesitantly admits she didn’t go home the previous night. She doesn’t say what she was doing, but the unspoken implication hangs between her Ryan with awkward tension. Ryan then poses another question, what if Alice is with Mary.

Sophie and Ryan
It’s about the angst for me.

That’s exactly who she’s with. She’s also behind the wheel of an RV (RIP their sexy sports car from the end of the last episode). Mary, once again our Mary, wakes up, a little distraught to find herself in an RV with Alice and no memory of how they got there. Mary’s first instinct is to call Luke and Ryan, but she dumped her phone while she was still Poison Mary. When Alice tells her about the things she did to Ryan, Luke, and Renee while under the Ivy influence it makes sweet Mary sick to her stomach.

Mary comes to the realization that she has to be a fugitive now for the rest of her life. Alice says she’ll only have to worry until she can control her powers and until then, she promises to protect her. Except, protecting her is going to be difficult with nanobots in her bloodstream, letting the Bat team know exactly where they are. Seeing no other options, Mary agrees to perform a blood transfusion.

Meanwhile, Ryan and Sophie are in the Batmobile, hot on Alice’s trail. Or what they think is Alice’s trial. Luke realizes there are multiple signals for Alice. Ryan stops the closest one. There’s no Alice, only a lovely message in her blood on the car’s trunk. They realize she put her blood on multiple vehicles as decoys and the only way to track the real Alice is to wait for the nanobots to go inert in the decoys.

Back with the fugitive step-sisters, Mary broke into a hospital to steal supplies. She was able to get everything they need, except the blood. She also got coffee because ‘being two people is exhausting.’  As for their blood shortage, they’re going to need a special donor because Alice’s blood is O negative. While she can give blood to anyone, she can only receive O-neg herself.

And how does one go about procuring a rare blood type when you’re also on the lam? If you’re Mary and Alice you do it at a dive bar and try to flirt-interrogate people’s blood type out of them. The bartender tries to kick them out because they’re creeping out the customers. Mary tries talking down the bartender and strangely she listens and apologizes. Alice notices the update in Mary’s eye color and figures Mary just came into her pheromone powers. She tests out her powers again, getting her and Alice a round of free drinks. The strangest part is Mary isn’t even feeling guilty. Alice welcomes her to the dark side.

Alice and Mary
Lowkey, I’m here for this dynamic duo.

Meanwhile, the Bat team has no other option but to wait for Alice’s decoys to go dark. Sophie has more bad news to pile on. She overheard Renee talking with the Mayor and receiving permission to bring Mary in, any means necessary. Ryan realizes Renee was the person Sophie spent the night with. Sophie tried to deflect that she doesn’t need Ryan’s permission to sleep with someone, which Ryan agrees with. Sophie is free to sleep whoever she wants, even the woman who blackmailed Ryan into working with Alice and hunting down trophies.

They get word from Jeturian that the cure is finished so that’s where Ryan and Sophie head next. Speaking of Jeturian, Jada’s team has started the process to freeze Marquis. He begs to know why Jada did this, and she promises that she’s going to fix him. But Marquis has other ideas. He breaks free of his restraints, knocking down Jada and the others in the room. Ryan and Sophie find Jada like that. She says Marquis went looking for Ryan.

Sophie, Ryan and Jada.
This is very off-topic, but does Jada still think Sophie is Ryan’s girlfriend?

His first stop in his search for Ryan is Wayne Enterprises. Ryan’s not there, but Luke is. Marquis starts toying with a pen that was a gift from Lucius Fox, chatting with Luke about him. He also uses that same pen to stab the security guard Luke called in the neck. He and Luke start throwing punches, but with Luke’s shoulder out of commission, it’s a one-sided fight.

Back with the sassiest duo, Mary’s been using her mind control powers to people to agree to test their blood. She and Alice find a match for her blood type.

Meanwhile, Jada is taking Sophie to collect the cure, but they find the scientist dead and the cure gone. Ryan finds Luke unconscious in her office, and Marquis waiting with the cure. Ryan tries to direct Marquis’ anger and frustration at her, but instead, he laughs.

Laughs at the idea that Ryan actually thought they were bonding, or that he would feel betrayed by her. To him, it was all an act, to bid his time until he was ready to make his move. Now, he has the ace he was waiting for. The cure for Mary. He has it and he’ll give it to Ryan if she resigns from Wayne and gives him the company.

Ryan and Marquis
Please, stop making her sad.

And she does it. She signs away Wayne. For Mary. Ryan’s not mad at Marquis. She just wishes she could have known him before the Joker changed him. But Marquis thinks the Joker is the only one in the city who had any fun.

With the cure in hand, Ryan suits up and heads out in the batmobile. The number of Alice signals has dropped to 4, which means she has a one in four chance of finding her and Mary. Luke and Sophie are on comms from the clinic where Sophie is trying to bandage up Luke, but she’s no doctor. And she’s definitely no Mary Hamilton. She and Luke are having a pity party for two. Luke, for ignoring Mary and her advice and Sophie for spending the night with Renee and letting Alice get away.

Sophie Moore
Sophie Moore did nothing wrong.

When Sophie mentions Renee living above a G.C. Jitters, Luke is hit with an idea. He knows Mary would never be able to last without caffeine so he searches for hits on her rewards card and finds one.

Speaking of Mary, she’s finished collecting the blood from their ‘donor’ when Alice off-handedly mentions the last time she got a blood transfusion with Nocturna, which included Mary being used in exchange for Alice. The trip down memory lanes brings up a lot of the bad blood (pun intended) between the step-sisters and for a moment, Mary contemplates just being rid of Alice once and for all. But as the thought crosses her, she realizes that losing Alice scares her because it means she’ll be alone. It’s a sentiment Alice can agree with.

After Alice’s transfusion, she and Mary bond over throwing shade at Kate when they’re interrupted by a cop knocking on the RV door. Alice gets behind the wheel, running the guy over. Mary makes her stop, rushing out to check on the guy. She wants to take him to the hospital, but Alice pulls her away, saying Old Mary would help him, but the new one puts herself first.

She listens, getting back in the RV, but they don’t get much further before they stop again. This time, it’s the batmobile that stops them. Ryan begs Mary to take the cure, while Alice reminds her of how they’ve ignored her.  

Mary uses her mind control pheromones to make Ryan admit she’s planning to hold her captive if she doesn’t agree to take the cure which is the final straw for Mary. She summons vines to restrain Ryan, destroying the cure in the process. She and Alice drive off into the night.

The next morning, at the clinic Sophie’s surprised to see Ryan return without Mary. She explains Mary didn’t want to be saved. That Mary gave up on them.

Meanwhile, news crews have lined up at Wayne Enterprises to meet the new CEO. The Bat team’s security clearance at Wayne tower has been revoked and Luke had to lockdown the Batcave, so now they just have the suit and Batmobile. Ryan, Sophie, and Luke watch as Marquis makes his first address as the new Wayne CEO. Marquis, who’s sporting a new look with purple hair and an orange suit. He promises they’re going to have fun.

Marquis Jet
Gotham is about get a lot more…fun?

Also watching is Alice, nursing a hangover courtesy of the blood alcohol level of her blood donor. Mary joins her, with a new look of her own. Gotham better lookout, there’s a new Poison Ivy and Joker.

Poison Mary
Having an amazing fit seems to be a quota one has to fill if you’re a Gotham villain.


Bruce Wayne had his Joker and now, Ryan Wilder has hers. Batman’s rogues are some of the most iconic villains so it’s easy to imagine that any writer would want the chance to play with them. But, Batwoman, by releasing the rogue’s weapons onto Gotham’s streets, has found a way for the mythos of those iconic villains to live while also getting to add their own spin to the villain persona. Mary and Marquis now add another layer to that, by giving Ryan personal stakes in her fight with them.

And thanks to Marquis taking over Wayne, she’s going into this fight as the underdog. Not having access to the Cave, most of their gadgets, and no operational budget, puts the team in a position we haven’t seen before. I’m intrigued by this idea of having to keep up the good fight while also working with limited resources. Particularly because it’s Ryan. Back in season 2, one of the things established about Ryan was she brought street smarts to the team that Kate or Luke, or Mary just did not have because of their privileged upbringings. This could be a chance to let that aspect of her character shine again.

All in all, the first half of this season has been a terrific rollercoaster and I can’t wait to get back on come January.

Bat-atastic Moments

  • When did Ryan and Marquis have the time to make a secret handshake?
  • Did Alice and Poison Mary argue over the radio before deciding to take turns on choosing the music? Or was that just their agreement from the start?
  • “What’s your type?” “Tall, dark and brooding.” “Your blood type.”
  • “If the Joker was so horrible, why was he the only one in this damn city who looked like he was having any fun.” – that is one of the most unsettling villain lines I’ve heard in a while. 
  • “I think we hit him.” “I think that’s a reason to keep going.”
Images courtesy of the CW.

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