Batwoman: The Rabbit Hole review S1 E2 – solid sophomore episode

Batwoman is two for two to kick off its series. The Rabbit Hole improved on some of the understandable pacing issues with the series premiere while setting up some nice mysteries to play out over the course of this first season. And possibly beyond.

I’ve always been annoyed at the trolls who deliberately sabotage Black Lightning’s review scores and it looks like those insecure man children are doing the same with Batwoman.  Yes, it’s got some levels of familiarity with the other Arrowverse shows, but nothing so terrible that it warrants ratings less than 5.

Having Kate realize Beth is Alice was a smart move and sped up what would take a lot of the Arrowverse shows 10 episodes to reveal. That’s not nearly as intriguing as the question raised of how can a hero redeem their psychopathic murderous sibling? Can she been redeemed and how far will Kate have to go to save her? Those are meaty questions that I already trust the Batwoman writers to tackle better than Black Siren’s abrupt face turn over on Arrow.

batwoman - the rabbit hole review -sophie with the crows

Kate dropping the Beth is Alice bombshell at the breakfast table was funny and another sign the show isn’t going to stay on beat with expectations for how this major plot should play out. It also made sense for Sophie to basically figure out Kate is Batwoman. Kate was practically flirting with her so that’s not a stretch. The Wonder Woman line was cute and didn’t feel like forced dialogue.

For all the grief the initial trailer warranted with its blatant feminist slant, Batwoman really hasn’t been obnoxious with its portrayal of a hero who’s a woman. It would be a silly focus given Batwoman is the lead-in for Supergirl.

I wonder if Alice wouldn’t be better suited as an occasional villain scattered throughout the season. Her screwball personality seems like the kind that could get overexposed over the course of 22 episodes. There’s no need to burn Alice out as a viable villain by making her a fixture in every episode.

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Kate’s big focus this week was trying to get DNA from Alice to prove to her father that Alice is her sister Beth. To the credit of the writing team, Col. Kane wasn’t treated like a stubborn military authority figure and took Alice in to get processed at Arkham Asylum. That was the smart play and paved the way for Alice’s escape. This is going to be a common thread every episode, but Kate’s stepmother Catherine hiring goons to steal the knife and possibly kill Alice felt a little too Moira Queen-esque a move. In some cases good subplots are just going to have to follow some strong Arrow plot points.

The flashbacks were the weaker aspect of the episode. Watching young Kate (Gracyn Shinyei) obsess over finding Beth isn’t the most exciting TV and the overly dramatic music didn’t help either. Ruby Rose is a big reason these flashbacks feel so unnecessary as her performances have been getting better each week and she sold Kate’s desperation just fine without the flashback context.

Thankfully, Luke isn’t the neutered pale impersonation of Arrow’s Curtis that I feared after the first set photos were revealed. He’s actually going back and forth with Kate in more of a Batman/Alfred tone. Even better, Kate actually shows some appreciation for his efforts.

batwoman - the rabbit hole review -kate

Not that I want to advocate for another character, but Batwoman’s costume Ver.1 would make for a pretty simple Orphan starter attire. It looks like next week we’ll see the final version suit. I appreciate the writers’ patience in getting to this reveal to explain why it is necessary.

There was a mention of Robin, which makes me curious if Batwoman proves to be a sustained hit if we’ll see another Robin. With Dick Grayson and Jason Todd on Titans, Tim Drake and Damian Wayne would make for better options for the show.

The Rabbit Hold brought in some welcome intrigue for the season and is unfolding Batwoman Year One in a confident and solid manner.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW

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