Friday, April 12, 2024

There’s More Than A Dam Plan Happening On Batwoman

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The episode kicks off with Gotham’s newest and greenest dynamic duo, Poison Pam and Poison Mary. With the Ivies united, what better way to get to know one another than over some torture? They’ve kidnapped the CEO of Gotham Healthcare United, who puts profits above the people he’s meant to be helping. Poison Pam is giving her sporeling tips on the proper supervillain methodology: not too much monologuing, stay on point, be devilishly charming while also bone-chillingly intimidating. Though Mary manages that last one all on her own. 

Mary and Pamela
How bad can they be when they look this good?

Pam couldn’t be prouder of the way Mary is blossoming into her power. But before they can celebrate too much, Mary notices Pam’s nose is bleeding, her powers depleting after their round of string up the CEO. Mary lets Pam take an energy top-up. Afterwards, she plays it off like she’s fine, but it seems like being a walking battery pack isn’t without adverse effects for Mary.

Meanwhile, Alice walks into a gay bar. No, that’s not the opening line of a joke. Alice struts into the Hold Up like she owns the place and lets the Bat team know they’ve got problems. She catches Ryan and Luke up on what the Ivies have been up to, up to the point Mary knocked her out with plant powers.

The saga of Alice and ‘where does she get her amazing fits?’ continues.

Luke points to the previous episodes where the Ivies had them handled when they were by themselves. What does Alice think they can do now that they’re together? Alice, who’s making herself a drink, just scoffs like it’s obvious. The way you take out plants is by taking away the sun — Pam’s “sun” in this case, aka Renee.

Ryan questions why Alice is here, knowing her deal with Renee is null and void and she’s on Gotham’s most wanted list again. There must be something deeper. But Alice denies there’s anything going on under the surface and asks why isn’t Ryan getting ready. They need to get Renee like yesterday.

In the woods, with Mary and Pam, we get some Pamela Isley backstory. Her younger brother had asthma and their mom couldn’t afford medication, so she relied on herbal remedies. A few years later they discovered their water supply had been poisoned by nearby factories, and her brother didn’t survive to his 13th birthday. Mary wonders where they’re going when Renee said she’d pick them up by the road, but they don’t seem to be anywhere near there.

Back in the city, Renee is mentally on stage three of her get-out-of-Gotham plan. She picked up tickets for her and Pam. She calls presumably Pam’s cell (did they pick up a cell for her between her terrorizing the Bat team in the woods and kidnapping an insurance CEO?) to let her know she’ll be picking her up soon. But Renee failed to add a ‘check the back seat’ step to her plan and fails to notice she’s not the only one in her car. Ryan and Alice aren’t about to let her leave without saying goodbye. Or let her leave at all for that matter.

Alice, Renee and Ryan
Is this what they mean by keep your enemies closer?

Meanwhile, Pam and Mary have arrived at their destination, the Gotham Dam. The dam is responsible for the extinction of a fish species and farmlands eroding and, even more importantly, it feeds into all the factories that are poisoning Gotham, like the one responsible for killing Pam’s brother. Pam plans to destroy the dam and flood those factories.

Ry-Ry, Renee-nee, and Alice return to the Hold Up. Renee isn’t talking, determined to not betray Pamela again, but, hey, Sophie’s here. Sophie’s here and Ryan forgets how to use her words properly for a little bit. Alice blows right past the awkwardness and asks Sophie if she can get Renee to talk, on account of her connection with her. Because they slept together if you didn’t know.

Alice is ready to pull a lemon zester on Renee to find out what Pam’s done with Mary, but unfortunately, Ryan can’t stick around to watch that show. Someone turned on the Bat signal so she’s off to see what’s what. But not before Sophie makes her forget how to word again by holding her hand and reassuring her they’ll save Mary.

Sophie Moore
Can you blame Ryan for stuttering when Sophie Moore is looking at her like this?

Jada was the one who turned on the Bat signal and she’s not a happy mother due to Batwoman having her son. She wants Marquis back, while Ryan wants the Joker’s buzzer. Jada hands over the buzzer on the condition that Batwoman fixes it and returns Marquis to her by midnight.

At the dam, Mary isn’t sure she’s on board with the plan. Half the city could be destroyed if they take out the dam. Pam understands and isn’t going to ask her to be part of the fight if her heart isn’t it. But, unfortunately, she needs her recharge. She drains enough energy from Mary to leave her unconscious before strutting away to enact her dam plan. Some workers find her, calling for an ambulance. Someone recognizes her as Jacob Kane’s daughter and calls it in.

Meanwhile, Sophie is using the hardass interrogator tactics on Renee, while Alice joins in as the Class-A drama queen interrogator. Sophie and Renee aren’t amused. I, however, am very amused and hope we get to see more of Alice ‘helping’ with interrogations in the future.

Renee, Sophie and Alice
Alice will look at a perfectly good scene, ask if anyone is gonna steal it and then not wait for an answer.

Sophie checks in with Luke and he wants to know what was up with Ryan when Sophie first showed up. Realizing Ryan didn’t tell him what happened, she keeps her lips sealed as well. But she can’t help her smug grin as she says ‘doesn’t matter’ which makes Luke only more curious about what went down.

Over the police scanners, Luke learns Mary is being transported to the hospital, so they call Ryan to let her know. With less than an hour to midnight Ryan has to choose between getting Mary or returning Marquis to Jada. Even with Jada’s ‘or else’ hanging over them, the choice is easy to make. She not putting Mary second to her family again. But she is going to need some back-up.

Sophie volunteers as tribute, oh so eager to be of service to her girl. But Ryan tags Alice in from the bench instead. In the scene I didn’t know I needed, Alice is behind the wheel of the Batmobile ‘Testing out the options’ and trying to switch gears in an automatic car while Ryan disengages missiles and goes full driving teacher ‘hands at 10 and 2’.

Ryan and Alice
Please refer to the previous caption about scenes and stealing.

Alice puts on the radio, but instead of music, they tune into the comms, overhearing Sophie and Renee’s conversation in the Hold Up. Ryan tries to switch it, but Alice slaps her hand away, not about to pass up getting the details. And, oh, are the details juicy.

They’re discussing ‘the night’ and things Renee shared about Pam then. But Renee’s not pretending they have any kind of deep connection after their one-night stand. She knows she wasn’t Sophie’s first choice. Alice, teasingly wonders who this ‘first choice’ could be referring to and goes to turn off the comms, but it’s Ryan who slaps her away this time.

Renee drops that Sophie talked about Ryan all night, and Alice goes ‘Hey, that’s you.’ We all been knew. Alice points out this is a good thing because now she knows Sophie likes her back. Ryan tries to scoff and pretend she knows nothing about this ‘liking back’ of which Alice speaks. But Alice points out what’s been obvious to anyone who’s spent so much as five seconds in Ryan and Sophie’s presence.

Alice sees herself and Ryan as the same. They push down their feelings because they’ll screw up anything good in their lives. Ryan tosses this conversation right back at Alice, asking if she feels that’s happening with her and Mary.

Before they can open that can of worms, they catch up with the ambulance carrying Mary. Ryan tries to get the driver to pull over, but this EMT is apparently the most dedicated guy on the job because he keeps insisting Mary needs to get to the hospital. Even when Batwoman has leapt onto the ambulance and asked him to stop.

They do get Mary, but she’s still unconscious. Alice says this might be a good thing. If she says unconscious they’ll never have to tell her she killed a man. Ryan wants to know why she didn’t share this information before. Alice doesn’t know how they’re going to tell Mary, knowing it would crush her.

They get her back to the Hold Up. Maybe it’s seeing Mary’s current state, but Renee shares what she knows about the sporeling connection and how Pam has been using Mary as a recharge station. Sophie puts two and two together, that if Mary is knocked out then Pam must have needed a big top up for something. Renee starts spilling the beans and they figure out Pam is hitting the dam, picking up where she left off before Batman turned her into a dehydrated vegetable.

Ryan is going to go after her. Renee tries to stop her, saying she doesn’t have a chance against a full-powered Pam. If they want to stand a chance against Pam, they’ll need Mary.

At the dam, Pam’s started her attack, her vines cracking through the infrastructure and machinery.  

Poison Ivy
Now, this is a villain moment.

They manage to wake Mary (by popping her under a UV light) and dear Poison Mary questions why she’s waking up surrounded by her former friends. She explains away Pam sapping her energy but the team tries tell her Pam’s been using her. She dismisses the claims until Alice drops the unavoidable truth, that Mary is Pam’s battery.

Mary’s hurt, so she starts hurting back and reading everyone in the room for filth, even Sophie who hasn’t even said anything at this point. Ryan stops her from leaving by telling her she killed someone. She doesn’t believe it at first, until she sees Alice’s expression and knows it’s the truth. For the first time, Mary realizes she’s turning into someone she doesn’t recognize.

 At the dam, Poison Pam’s vines have spread over it, cracks and water are spreading everywhere. Mary shows up, saying she’s there to help Pam, but we leap back in time to the Bat team making their plan in the Hold Up, bouncing between their planning and the present as the plan unfolds.

Renee explains to the team she developed a pheromone blocker and now that she knows it works, it’s their best shot at weakening Pam. If Mary drinks it and lets Pam drain from her again, it will weaken Pam. Luke points out that this will also weaken Mary which also makes it their best chance of completely depowering Mary.

When Pam drains the energy from Mary she realizes something is wrong and Batwoman is there, ready to fight. It’s wet and wild and fantastic. While that is happening, Batwing is suited up and in another part of the dam to stop it from collapsing. The vines grab him and his suit starts shutting down again as Luke flashes back to him getting shot. But he closes his eyes, reminding himself his voice is the only one he needs to hear. He breaks out of the vines, stabilizing the dam as Ryan takes down Pam.

They find Mary, barely breathing but alive and they take her home. At the Hold Up, Mary wakes up, her eyes returned to their normal brown. Ryan, Luke and Sophie are there, happy to see she’s awake. Ryan apologizes, promising they’ll never make her feel sidelined again. They hug and our Mary has truly come home.

But she remembers everything she did, including killing someone. Ryan says it was Poison Ivy who killed someone, not Mary, but I don’t know if it’s going to be so easy for Mary to forgive herself.  Alice is at the bar, sitting another drink. Ryan joins her. She knows Alice cares about Mary and that she feels bad for trying to making Mary more like her.

Alice tries to cash in the good will she’s generated by helping to get a get out of jail free card but Ryan ain’t about that (but, hey she’s not hauling her off to the GCPD herself, so that’s something). Always needing to come out on top of the verbal sparring, Alice reminds Ryan she missed Jada’s deadline.

Ryan and Alice
They still hate each other, but in an ‘only I get to punch you’ kind of way.

Meanwhile, somewhere thousands of feet in the air, in the cargo hold of a plane, Pam wakes up in Renee’s arms, which she isn’t happy about. Renee tries to explain, but Pam is doesn’t want to hear it. All they’ve done is talk at each other without hearing one another and she’s not going to get into another round of it. Renee opens the plane’s door for her (again, I stress, while they are thousands of feet in the air) and tells her if wants to leave she can.

Renee explains she didn’t betray her, she negotiated a deal for Pam’s freedom. They leave Gotham and in exchange get to live out their lives on a little off-the-grid island that’s really into gardening called Coryana.

Pamela and Renee
Is this the most dramatic version of ‘well, there’s the door, leave if you want to’? Yes, yes it is.

Back at the Hold Up, Mary is reading about the hunter she killed but decides she doesn’t want to know. Sophie checks in with Ryan about Jada, but she had heard anything from the woman yet. Sophie goes to take her leave, but Ryan stops her, thanking her for getting Renee to talk. She also informs her that Sophie’s kiss didn’t work out like she planned. It only got her more in her head. With a smile that is so warm Sophie says, ‘I’m sorry you have to go through that,’ to which Ryan immediately quips ‘No, you’re not.’ The girls are flirting again!

Ryan Wilder
This is my favorite Ryan smile.

Unfortunately, the moment cannot persist forever. Luke interrupts because Jada is on the news. She blames Batwoman for the Bat trophies getting out onto the streets and calls for Batwoman to turn herself in. We also see that Pam’s attack on the dam wasn’t without its consequences. There is some flooding happening in the city, including in the clinic where they were keeping a desiccated Marquis.


This season of Batwoman has been raising the quality and shows no sign of slowing down. When Poison Ivy was teased at the end of season two, I would have never guessed her arc would turn out as good as it did. Getting two versions of Poison Ivy with their own development and motivations let Batwoman have its cake and eat too.

Mary’s Poison Ivy set personal stakes for Ryan and the fallout was caused as a direct consequence of Ryan’s mistakes. It gave us all the gravitas of a larger-than-life villain with the powers to back it up while keeping the story centered around the characters.

Then, as the cherry on top, we got Poison Pam for a couple of episodes where she really got to flex her powers in ways that Mary just never would. Pamela’s moment in the sun may have been brief but every moment was fantastic. She was intimidating and powerful as she needed to be and her relationship with Renee brought the right amount of humanity to the character. Them getting to ride off into the sunset was surprising, but a welcomed one. Gardening can be very therapeutic, maybe they can talk things out while reconstituting the desert rose population on Coryana.

Poison Pam may be gone but the action isn’t going to be letting up with Marquis back on the board and the Bat team having to deal with the consequences of Jada’s revelation to the public. Next episode, Camrus Johnson, our own Batwing, is jumping in the director’s seat.

Bat-atastic Moments

  • Is it bad I was rooting for Mary and Pam in the opening scene with the CEO?
  • Alice mentioning that her Poison Mary induced sleep was the best rest she’d gotten in months is both tragic and hysterical.
  • “I’m not trying to be a Renee-sayer.”
  • Alice, after accelerating into the turn, “What do you expect when you put the gas next to the break?”
  • When it’s revealed that Ryan is Sophie’s first choice, Alice immediately: “Hey, that’s you.”
  • Just all of the Batmobile scene, from Alice and Ryan’s banter, to Ryan leaping onto the ambulance, to Alice covering Mary’s ears.
  • Sophie keeps getting called out while she’s just minding her own business.
  • Alice is Reivy’s biggest shipper.
  • “I’ll 100% die.”

Images courtesy of the CW

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