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Batwoman - Drink Me - Review Roundtable: Blood Bond

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This review was written by Aimee Hicks, Donna Cromeans (DJRiter), Ellys Cartin, and Marko Pekic.

After a few heavy episodes dealing with post-Crisis chaos, Batwoman delivered a more lighthearted episode with Drink Me that delivered a lot of powerful and stunning moments. Continue reading below to find out our thoughts on the episode. After reading, please leave your own thoughts in the comments.

After many episodes of the main villains being just Alice (Rachel Skarsten) and Mouse (Sam Littlefield) the show finally brought in a new villain-of-the-week. Do you prefer Alice and Mouse as the main antagonists or do you enjoy them changing it up a bit with these villain-of-the-week plots? What were your thoughts and impressions of Nocturna/Natalia Knight (Kayla Ewell) in this episode?

Aimee: I really enjoyed having a focused team of antagonists, but I think Alice’s story is starting to get to a point where they need to bring in bigger baddies than her to start to give her room to evolve. Alice is such a complex and layered character that to keep her trapped in the defacto big bad role would be a huge disservice to the character and Rachel Skarsten. What I expect, and hope, we will start to see is an influx of villain-of-the-week plots that will allow Alice to try to prove herself to Kate (Ruby Rose) that she is worthy of being believed in and that Kate shouldn’t have let her die. We’ll see Alice’s dark side, but I think we’re going to start to see some different sides to her. Opening up the story to additional baddies gives the writers that room to help her grow. Nocturna wasn’t an overly menacing character which wasn’t a big surprise since so far the show hasn’t really mastered the whole villain-of-the-week format. With that said, I did think the character was fun to watch and I like that they wove in her choosing her own life over others just like Alice chose her own life over Mary’s (Nicole Kang). It was an interesting parallel. So, I do hope we see more of these sorts of episodes with a common enemy that forces the sisters to work more closely than Kate would like.

Donna: I liked the change-up very much, too much of Alice and Mouse each week and you run the risk of burning out the characters before their entire story is told as the main antagonists of the season. I liked the character of Nocturna, however, I think they were a little too quick to solve her story although, yes I understand that’s what you do with a villain of the week. I just think her story could have been told more distinctly and the revelation of her condition as motive was a blink and you’ll miss it moment.

Ellys: As far as a one-time villain goes, Nocturna was alright. Her tendencies lent themselves to a fanciful mix of jeopardy, creep factor, and awkward banter between Luke and Kate. Most importantly, Nocturna gave Alice the opportunity to undergo a fundamental shift in her perspective. I stand by my previous roundtable assertion that Batwoman needs to introduce some recurring villains, but I was entertained by Nocturna. Her fight with Batwoman in the bell tower was good stuff.

Marko: This episode was a bit of a break from the previous stories and it was well appreciated. The events of last week had to settle first, so the choice of villain of the week was good. Nocturna was an interesting choice of villain and served well to give other stories the nudges and pushes they needed to move forward.

Sophie (Meagan Tandy) made a critical decision last week to not kill who she thought was Alice presumably because of Kate. This week she chose to let Batwoman walk away despite having her in her grasps and this is not the first time she has let Batwoman go. Sophie was made to believe Batwoman and Kate aren’t the same person, yet she keeps going out of her way to help them both. Add into all that the fact that she kissed Batwoman and lines are getting real blurry. Time and again she has put her career with the Crows on the line for both Kate and Batwoman and appears to have a place in her heart for them both. This time it led to her suspension from the Crows. Do you think she still has a feeling they could be the same person? Is it because she saw that Kate cares about Batwoman and all of this is because of Kate? Or is it something else driving Sophie to keep helping them both? Ultimately, what team do you think she will end up choosing? Will she go back to the Crows or become a dedicated partner to Batwoman?

Aimee: As odd and ironic as this is, I believe that Batwoman and Sophie have better chemistry than Kate and Sophie. And, yes, I’m fully aware the dynamic is completely the same in terms of the same actresses. But there is something extra that they put into the Batwoman and Sophie dynamic that makes it feel like a stronger relationship. I am very curious to see how the dynamic will shift when one day Sophie finds out without question that Batwoman is Kate. I think a small part of her still has a feeling that Kate and Batwoman are the same person, but she is falling in love with Batwoman. So many things can go so many different ways of hilariously wrong once the truth comes out. It will be very interesting to see how long Kate will be able to have a relationship with Sophie as Batwoman before the truth has to come out. As for the fact she is stuck in the middle between the Crows and Batwoman, I’d say the kiss makes it pretty obvious which team she is leaning towards. I can’t wait to see how Kate will integrate her into the team while still keeping her secret, well, a secret. I think we may see a bit of a vigilante rogue Sophie start to emerge and I think that would do the character a world of good to get her away from the Crows. Given how off the rails Jacob (Dougray Scott) seems to be going, her picking Team Batwoman is probably the better choice anyway.

Donna: Sophie has had a rough couple of episodes and from press releases appears to be in the forefront of the next one too. While conventional wisdom tells me she is 100% convinced she knows that Kate is Batwoman and I think in the long run will come down on the side of her love. She is finally coming to grips with her sexuality I believe. However, think how interesting it would be if she weren’t sure of Batwoman’s identity and found herself attracted, or even more attracted, to Batwoman than Kate. This would make Sophie’s identity struggle even more complicated as she might fight her attraction to Batwoman while trying to win back Kate.

Ellys: The chemistry isn’t there for Kate and Sophie, but it is there for Batwoman and Sophie. That’s a paradox I have no explanation for. In terms of the story, though, clearly Sophie subconsciously sees Kate in Batwoman, hence she is drawn to the caped crusader. Sophie is also attracted to this woman of mystery because it is a relationship seemingly free of baggage. However, I don’t think that the show has effectively built up Sophie’s break from the Crows. The scenes with her and Jacob also lacked any form of emotion. If she were to leave the Crows, it wouldn’t have any dramatic impact at all because that entire side of Sophie has gotten the lukewarm treatment. There’s no compelling reason for her to stay, because we’ve never been shown that she really cares about the Crows in a meaningful way.

Marko: Sophie seems to be in a weird mind space. She just broke it off with her husband, her first big love came back into her world, she excelled at work and found herself so often on the brick of death. She is shaken to her core and while she on one side has everything she wants, still, her heart aches and she misses something. It is a lot of emotions to handle at once. Sophie sees Batwoman for who she is and the way the city needs her. She is infatuated by all that happens and is looking for comfort in Batwoman as someone who doesn`t know her and doesn’t really judge her, at least she thinks she doesn’t. Batwoman’s energy being similar to Kate certainly helps her seek the comfort and closeness.

Jacob appears to have completely given up on Alice. This week he got mad that Sophie didn’t kill Alice instead of letting another shooter take her out. What will it take for Jacob to ever see Alice as his Beth again? Or are they at a point now where it’ll have to be either him or her left standing at the end of this game they are playing?

Aimee: Jacob has become a rather frustrating character. The writers gave him some solid character development early on and then he just sort of went stagnant and now he has actually devolved to almost exactly where he was when the season started, only more bitter. I hope as Alice’s survival becomes known to the masses that we get to see a meaty story for him where he is really conflicted with what to do about Alice. It is going to take a lot for Jacob to ever see Alice as his Beth. I see a bit of darkness coming out in Jacob. A good arc for him would be showing him get so zeroed in on Alice that he starts to become like her. I’d like to believe that one day the story will allow some sort of reconciliation, but I’d say the odds aren’t great. The more likely outcome is her surviving and either Jacob having a last-minute change of heart and making some grand sacrifice for her or someone killing him to save Alice if Alice doesn’t kill him herself. Despite all the bad things Alice has done to her father I really don’t know that she has it in her to kill him or Kate, no matter how much she talks about it. I think even Mouse came to that same realization. The Alice and Jacob dynamic could go several ways and I hope the writers deliver a story that lets both characters evolve in interesting ways, because Jacob is in serious need of a solid storyline.

Donna: I don’t think Jacob likes any situation he can’t control, and he hasn’t been able to control Alice from the get-go. Although he told Kate he believes Alice is Beth he is pragmatic enough to believe his Beth is dead and there will be no getting her back. In a weird sort of way, it will come down to him or Beth, but not life or death. In a bizarre way he will be competing with Beth for Kate’s love and attention.

Ellys: Is there a scenario where Jacob survives this season? I hope not. Will Alice kill him? No.

Marko: This is a good question and a story that should be explored more. Alice keeps a special resentment for Jacob, while she will initially forgive Kate for everything, Jacob was always on her blacklist and now she is on his. I expect some emotional moments and more resolution for the two of them. Can they truly forgive each other? At this point it seems unlikely, but is there anything better than to watch a broken family finding a path to each other? I don’t think so.

Alice and Kate’s relationship is strained after Kate chose to save Beth over her. Alice clearly doesn’t like it when Kate chooses anyone over her. Yet despite everything, Alice showed up to help Mary. She sent Nocturna after her in the first place, so she could have easily stood by and let her die. She claimed her logic was to prove Kate was wrong to pick Beth over her, but do you believe that was all it was? Could it be that it is because some part of her does actual care? She did claim for the first time that she actually didn’t want Kate to give up on her. Did dying sort of trigger something in Alice that might lead her to trying to try to turn over a new leaf? Or does she just want Kate and Mary to owe her?

Aimee: I think dying was part of it, but knowing that she had alienated her sister so far as to choose her doppelganger over her seemed to hit her pretty hard. She even begged Kate to not leave her when she was dying. She clearly still needs her sister and I think everything that happened did trigger something inside of her. The problem is, she has been severely mentally abused for so long that it is going to take a good long while for her to be able to even begin to work her way out to the psychosis it caused. The way she so sincerely said that she didn’t want Kate to give up on her gave me some level of hope that everything that happened to her has started to change her perspective on her actions and how they are driving Kate away. She went from saying she didn’t want Kate to save her at the start of the season to not wanting Kate to give up on her by the mid-way point of the season. That is a pretty big swing and the timing is too coincidental. I also found it interesting that despite sending Nocturna after Mary she went out of her way to save Mary. In fact, she actually seemed to genuinely care about Mary’s survival once she had secured her own survival. There was a very slight softening in her actions. I don’t think she did it to make them owe her because this is Alice we’re talking about and if that was her motivation she would have negotiated with Kate before willingly offering up her own limited blood. I do believe Alice’s motivation was trying to do good even if it was facilitated by her putting Mary in danger in the first place. I’m extremely interested to see what the writers have in mind and how this will all play out.

Donna: I don’t think there is an altruistic bone in Alice’s body. So, for me, I see most of her motives as being self-serving. As angry as she is at Kate for choosing Beth over her, the part of her that is still childlike-Beth is still seeking and wants Kate’s love and approval, which is why she so readily volunteered to help Mary. And yes, she will be playing the “owe me” card with both Kate and Mary. It could even tie in some way to Mary’s discovery of Batwoman’s identity.

Ellys: My interpretation of what happened in this episode was that Alice sent Nocturna after Mary out of desperation. Alice wanted to live. Part of me was upset that Kate didn’t tell Mary that Alice ultimately saved her, but Mary finding out that Alice’s blood is circulating through her veins would probably be a trip best not taken. (Side note: Mary really is Kate’s blood relative now.) The Alice we saw in this episode was teetering on the edge, somehow more alone and saner than we’ve ever seen her. The madness is a mask that Beth uses to protect herself from the trauma she has endured. That mask has cracked. When she suggested to Kate that “maybe I don’t want you to give up on me,” I heard Beth’s voice. Kate wanting to save Alice was never going to be enough; Alice had to decide she wanted to be saved.

Marko: Motives for any of Alice's actions are very foggy to say at least. While I could see her caring for Kate not losing Mary, I rather think Alice has a bigger game to play with Mary. Losing her at this point would seem too easy. Also are we sure Alice didn’t take a bit of Mary`s blood for her own purposes? As said, it is all quite a bit foggy, but I am her for Skarsten to deliver whatever story they have in plan for Alice.

After what felt like an eternity, Mary finally figure out that Batwoman and Kate are the same person. Will it stick this time or will the writers pull a bait-and-switch like what happened when Sophie figured it out earlier in the season? Will Mary confront Kate about her secret identity? Or will Mary keep quiet and wait for Kate to come to her with the truth? How do you think Mary is going to handle knowing the truth?

Aimee: FINALLY! However, I will give it to Mary that she figured it out a hell of a lot faster than almost any character in her position on any of the CW DC shows. Well, to be fair, Sophie did technically figure it out first, but I don’t think Mary is going to be so easily convinced she isn’t right. What I am really excited to see is what she is going to do with this information. Will she keep it to herself and keep helping Batwoman while waiting for Kate to tell her? Or will she march into Wayne Industries and lay down the law with Kate and Luke? I’d personally love to see the latter happen where she tells them the truth she knows and doesn’t believe a word when they try to tell her she is wrong. There is some charm in her waiting and letting Kate come to her. As for how Mary is going to handle the truth? I think we saw a glimpse of that when she was looking at the magazine cover putting it all together. She is going to be a smidge annoyed, but I also think she is incredibly proud of everything Batwoman has done and knowing it is Kate will only make her more proud. She’ll put Kate and Luke through their paces for keeping her in the dark for so long, but I think she’ll handle it really well. I just hope they don’t pull some amnesia gimmick to make her forget. I hope this time someone figuring out the truth will stick and Mary can finally be officially incorporated into the group.

Donna: Amen to the fact that Mary finally put all the pieces together. I don’t expect her to go a dark route and seek vengeance for being kept in the dark. Mary is quite possibly the smartest one on the show and will understand why Kate hasn’t told her yet. She won’t confront her; I think she’ll wait for Kate to come to her proving to her all along that she is a great sister and even better crime-fighting ally.

Ellys: Mary is a scientist, a doctor, and that part of her will shape her responses. I don’t see her confronting Kate. She will seek out more evidence, make Luke spill some beans, quietly freak out in front of a mirror, and take her time revealing what she knows.

Marko: Mary connecting the dots made me so happy. I squealed a bit to be honest. This revelation seems different in comparison to the one Sophie experienced earlier this season. Think Mary will go smarter at it and get herself good proof before facing Kate with the truth. With Kate on guard cause of this Sophie situation, Mary will have space to dig deeper and get herself some evidence.

Reader Question: Submitted by That Which Dreams: In a previous episode Dodgson (Brendon Zub) leaned even more into the class warfare aspect of Batwoman. With him saying that Jacob Kane is part of the problem, and Kate trying to fight on the other side, do you think that Kate will eventually be forced to disavow her father or even go against him?

Aimee: This sort of goes to the question regarding Jacob. I see some darkness coming out of him and I do see where he could be perceived as a part of the problem. I think Kate has long had issues with the way her father runs his business and the privileged existence of her family, so I can certainly see a point coming where she would have to make the decision to walk away from him. Given how much he hates Batwoman, I can certainly see him giving her a similar ultimatum to the one he gave Sophie, and like Sophie, she would not pick him. There is also the Alice factor in all this. If Alice starts to try to redeem herself and can convince Kate she is still worth saving then it could put Kate in a spot where she has to choose Alice or their father. I think Kate, after a lot of hesitation and debate, would end up picking Alice. No matter how hard and fiercely they both fight against it the twin bond is just too strong. So, that mixed with all the other issues she has with her dad could lead to some complicated times ahead.

Donna: Kate has always felt like the outsider in her own family and in a way has been going against him most of her life. I think that’s one of her many motivations for donning the Bat-suit. Part of her wants to make amends for her father’s role in the rich versus poor debate. From the way he has been written and portrayed I am finding it hard to garner any sympathy for Jacob.

Ellys: I really don’t see the class warfare aspect even being a part of this show. The ordinary people of Gotham don’t factor into this story. We’re told left and right the Crows are being the worst, but we’re not being shown the actual effect this is having.

Marko: Jacob is certainly part of the problem, not he as a person, but the Crows. When you must pay for protection and that the richer are safer than the poor it certainly is a problem. I don`t see the Crows surviving this season as in the current climate the organization isn’t sustainable. Will Kate be part of their downfall and come head to head with her father? I presume so.

Which performer do you think delivered the most memorable performance in the episode? Why did their performance standout for you? What were their best scenes?

Aimee: It is another three-way tie for me. I have to go with Rachel Skarsten, Ruby Rose, and Nicole Kang. These three have become a fierce trio that dominates every single episode. They each had so many good scenes. The one where Alice and Kate save Mary was a great moment and the visuals on that scene, all around were incredible. The scene where Kate stormed in and confronted Alice about sending Nocturna after Mary was spectacular as well. The way Skarsten had Alice say that she didn’t want Kate to give up on her was actually kind of heartbreaking. Then there was the moment of realization where Mary finally figured out the truth about Kate. So many great moments for all three women and all three actresses nailed everything they were given.

Donna: I’m loving seeing how Ruby Rose is becoming more and more comfortable as Kate and Batwoman and she had another strong outing this episode. As usual, great work from both Skarsten and Kang as Alice and Mary. But I think, in terms of sheer character growth I’m going to give outstanding performer this week to Meagan Tandy as she navigates Sophie through this difficult transition. However, in terms of the standout scene, that, hands down, goes to Mary putting Kate and circumstances together and coming up with Batwoman.

Ellys: Rachel Skarsten, ladies and gentlemen. From Alice’s pathetic, poignant ramblings to a mannequin wearing a decaying human face to her badass arrival to assist Batwoman in saving Mary to that heartfelt, honest confession at the end, Skarsten raised the stakes yet again. I also loved Rose’s work, especially in the scenes at the club and the sizzling moment Batwoman shared with Sophie at the end.

Marko: Sophie got her long-deserved spotlight and Megan Tandy used all the light to her advantage. Sophie was probably the weakest character in the first half but finally her story and scenes get better. Previously she always was in the middle of the story but felt redundant. These last couple of episodes really worked for her character. The scene in the bar and the rooftop scene is where she really brought it home.

What are your final thoughts regarding this episode?

Aimee: I went into this episode very hesitant of what was going to happen. Coming out of the big Beth versus Alice arc, this episode had a ton of potential to flop hard. Thankfully that didn’t happen. The writers were extremely smart by focusing in on the Alice, Kate, and Mary dynamic and start to flesh that out. They also showed a slightly more sincere side to Alice. Yes, she did send Nocturna after Mary, but she also showed up to help both Mary and Kate when she really didn’t have to. Plus the writers FINALLY allowed Mary to figure out the truth about Kate. Then they ended it with the Batwoman and Sophie kiss that finally showed off the chemistry potential that Rose and Tandy have struggled with on and off all season until now. All around it was a really strong and solid episode that I enjoyed. It had the typical pacing issues that the show has suffered from since the start, but the caliber of the performances allowed me to overlook that. I was really pleased with this episode and now I am anxiously awaiting how they will handle Mary knowing the truth. And I can’t wait to see how they handle Alice struggling with trying to not be entirely dark and bad all the time. I am also quite interested to see how they will handle Batwoman and Sophie together. So much potential for the coming episodes and I just hope they don’t disappoint me.

Donna: This was a somewhat middle of the road episode for me continuing to illustrate that the greatest weakness the show has is its inconsistent writing. As always, great performances but storylines that aren’t fleshed out enough hinder many episodes. Some storylines are being rushed instead of being carefully laid out while others are sent racing for the finish line. And perhaps the show’s biggest fault is all the missed opportunities with their strongest characters and actors.

Ellys: I thought it was bizarre that Luke was able to so easily brush off a woman dying in his arms. I thought it was even crazier that he escaped the murder scene without Sophie seeing him or being even the slightest bit curious about him. This show doesn’t have much respect for Luke, and that is uncool.

Marko: As said in the first question, this episode did slow down in comparison to the first three episodes of the year but kept me captivated throughout the hour. The development in Sophie’s story, the Alice-Kate relationship and Mary connecting the dots just made this a memorable outing. Looking forward to seeing where it goes from here on.

Each week we will select one question from all of you to include in our roundtable. Please submit your questions in the comments section below.

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