Now that the season finale of Batwoman has aired, it’s high time I sat down and discussed my thoughts on the show’s first season. This will just be my general thoughts on the series as a whole, if you’d like to check out my episode-by-episode thoughts, check them out on www.thedigitalfix.com.
Funny as it sounds, I don’t know that I’d ever read ANY Batwoman comics before this show was announced. For that matter, I’d pretty much reached a stage in life where I had decided I wasn’t really going to get into any of the DC superheroes. And then I saw the first teasers for the show, with Ruby Rose cast in the title role, and I fell head over heels in love with all of it. For those not familiar, Batwoman is the superhero identity taken up by Kate Kane, Bruce Wayne’s maternal cousin (his mother and Kate’s mother were sisters). This version of Batwoman was introduced in 2006 and is notable for being one of the highest-profile gay superheroes of all time (Kate AND Batwoman are openly lesbian).
Batwoman’s first season had quite the job, introducing us to Gotham and a superhero that had previously only been seen in the Elseworlds crossover in 2018. And near as I can tell, in broad strokes the show is remarkably faithful to the story presented in the Batwoman comics, though it starts off with quite the interesting twist. As the show opens, Batman (and Bruce Wayne), have been missing for 3 years. No explanation has yet been given, but it does provide the perfect opening for Kate to assume the mantle of Batwoman and become Gotham’s newest protector.
And my god does that city need protecting. The show did a magnificent job in its first season of building up a rogues gallery almost completely separate from the one generally associated with Batman. Oh, there are references to classic Batman villains here and there, but they’re only named, never seen. Chief among these villains early in the season is Alice, a deranged, psychotic criminal with a backstory so horrifying I had to skip one of the episodes that provided some of her backstory because it disturbed me that much. If you don’t know who Alice is, I won’t spoil it for you, but after watching this entire season, I can safely say she is the most tragic villain AND the most dangerous villain Batwoman may ever face.
But speaking of villains, my jaw dropped when the show introduced Tommy Elliot in episode 3 (Elliot being the alter ego of the infamous Batman villain Hush). Sure enough, as most of you probably know by now, Hush makes his Arrowverse debut during this season and it is everything you could have ever wanted from the character. It’s not the plot of Batman: Hush by any stretch of the imagination, but for an introduction to the character it’s more than enough.
Another thing I liked about this season is how it subverts one of the basic elements of Batwoman’s comic story. In the comics, Batwoman’s father is not only fully supportive of his daughter’s choice to be a superhero, he also sets her up with the equipment she needs to do the job properly. That is so not the case in season 1, even after Batwoman saves Jacob Kane’s life, he still sees her as part of the problems plaguing Gotham. This tension boils over by the end of the season and leads to one of the most shocking things I’ve ever seen in a superhero TV show. If Kate’s father ever finds out that his daughter is Batwoman, it’s not going to happen for quite a while. Oh, and make no mistake, he WILL find out, but it’s going to take some major events for Jacob Kane to be accepting of his daughter’s decisions.
Finally, I must address the one major gripe I have with this show and that is the almost unbearable flashbacks that detail how Alice became who she is, the first such affecting me so badly I almost bailed on the episode. On the one hand, I understand that as an important character, Alice’s backstory needed to be told. But for the love of all things holy in storytelling, did all of the graphic, twisted parts of it needed to be shown like that? I get it, terrible things happened to Alice, but sometimes you really need to leave these details to the imagination of the audience. Fortunately, it’s been some time since we had any flashbacks at all, so hopefully Batwoman won’t pull an ‘Arrow’ and have unending flashbacks like Arrow did with Oliver and that damned island.
All in all, Batwoman had a great first season, and with the finale ending the way it did, there is more than enough interest to see what happens next in season 2. If you haven’t been able to check the show out, I believe the entire season is now streaming on the CW’s website. Or, if you prefer to wait for the DVD/Blu-Ray, season 1 will be available on August 18, 2020 (3 months from today).
Let me know what you thought about Batwoman’s first season in the comments below and have a great day!
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