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Batwoman - Take Your Choice - Review Roundtable: Tragic End

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

Batwoman delivered a heartbreaking episode with Take Your Choice. It is an episode that really upped the stakes and could change things forever. Continue reading below to find out our thoughts on the episode. After reading, please leave your thoughts in the comments.

Mouse (Sam Littlefield)'s father (John Emmet Tracy/Sebastian Roche) returned in a big way. What do you think this means overall for the Alice (Rachel Skarsten) and Mouse dynamic? Will having Mouse's father out to get her force Alice to get closer to Kate (Ruby Rose)? What will his role be going forward?

Aimee: I think Mouse's father arriving in present-day was unnecessary unless they intend to set him up as a new big bad so that they can start some sort of redemption arc with Alice. I am hopeful that his father being around will start forcing Mouse and Alice apart. He has become frustrated with Alice of late and her obsession with Kate, so this might be a good way to start a rift between them. The best chance Kate has of ever trying to redeem Alice is to get her away from Mouse and his father might just help facilitate that. Granted, any attempt at redemption will be an uphill battle because Kate and Alice don't exactly have the best relationship at the moment. The whole Kate choosing Beth over Alice bit certainly isn't going to help their relationship any. Everything will be an uphill battle for these two, but I do hope that this is the start of a journey that will force them to work together that will then force them to deal with both of their demons.

Donna: The re-emergence of Mouse's father was a deftly played and unexpected twist. His obsession with Alice and ending her influence over his sone may indeed force Alice closer to Kate or even Batwoman. I don't see him as a big bad. I do see the possibility of Mouse escaping and killing him for Alice and being angered when Alice doesn't show him the gratitude he expects.

Ellys: Nothing could be less interesting to me than the return of Mouse's father, except for maybe all scenes involving Jacob. It was certainly difficult to watch him heap more abuse on his son, but there are few actual barriers to Mouse and/or Alice killing Dr. Campbell. Presumably, Alice will now have to search for Mouse who has been abducted by his deranged father; maybe we'll get more flashbacks out of this whole thing.

Marko: I jumped off my seat as I witnessed the reveal. Such a great twist and well thought through. Having another baddie in town and him going after Alice should be an interesting take, especially considering how Alice and Kate`s relationship changed within this hour. Roche is a phenomenal actor and it will be a blast seeing him enter the fight. Also, we need flashbacks to see when Mouse sided with Alice and betrayed his father.

It was obvious that Beth wasn't going to survive this episode. Something or someone was always going to take her out. What do you think it will do to Kate knowing that once again she wasn't able to save Beth? Will that force her to fight harder for Alice?

Aimee: I think that not being there to save Beth will break Kate's heart. Once again she lost Beth and that fact is sure to hit Kate hard. The scene at Mary (Nicole Kang) 's clinic showed just how much Kate does still loves her sister despite everything. She chose to save Beth not because she doesn't care about Alice, but because she cares so much. In her mind, Kate seems to have justified not saving Alice as a way to set her free from all the trauma and torment that turned her Beth into Alice. Kate's pain over losing Alice was very real and I know Alice won't see Kate's decision this way, I hope that in time she'll be able to work out how much Kate did care about her at that moment. Kate refused to leave her side and hopefully that one act will mean a little something to Alice in the long run.

Donna: Losing Beth for a second, especially when it was within her grasp to save her, will hit Kate hard. She was devastated at having to choose Beth over Alice, perhaps she thought that in death Alice would finally find peace from the house of horrors she endured. This new Beth was her second chance at sisterhood, at being the kind of sister Beth deserved. Having Beth being the one who ends up dead and Alice being resurrected may compel Kate to intensify her efforts to save her sister because she got a glimpse of what might have been.

Ellys: Re-watched this episode, while I found it more exciting, I was struck by the series of unbelievable things that happen for Beth to die the way she does. First, Mary must still have the antidote in her bloodstream (fine it's magical whatever). Second, Kate and Luke make the extremely nonsense decision to smuggle Beth out of the Batcave THAT SAME NIGHT. Third, Dr. Campbell and Sophie (Meagan Tandy) just happen to figure out that inn is the destination. In what world would either of them be able to predict that and set up there to take a sniper shot in what was a short amount of time? This wasn't just frustrating. It was insane.

Marko: Beth dying was never a question, I wish it only was a bit more dramatized. Kate’s reaction really depends on the writer's decision here. They can go down a couple of routes but the way I want them to go down this route is to keep this Beth as a reminder for Kate that there is good in Beth/Alice and that it was about nurture and not nature in regards to who Alice is. And while Kate might fight harder, her choice might put Alice on a downward spiral.

Kate was forced to make a very hard choice by choosing to save Beth over Alice. Even after all the horrible things Alice has done it still clearly broke Kate's heart to lose Alice. With Alice alive and well, thanks to Beth's demise at Mouse's father's hands, what will this do to their relationship? Is there any path forward left for them to recover their sisterly bond?

Aimee: As I said above, Kate saving Beth is yet another hard blow to their sisterly relationship. At every turn Alice sees Kate accepting another sister in her place, first Mary and then Beth. Alice so badly wants Kate as her sister, but things keep preventing them from having an opportunity to form a sisterly bond again. I'm sure there is some sort of convoluted path forward for them to go down a path of forgiveness and sisterly reunion, unfortunately, at the moment, I have no idea what that could or will be. I want to see Alice and Kate sit down and take a breath and talk things out instead of one of them trying to kill or capture the other. They need to be forced into a situation where they must talk and hash out their issues. They need a situation where they are both in peril together and confined someplace. Maybe Mouse's father can help facilitate that. Maybe that's what they need to be stuck in the same position Young Beth was in and must fight their way out of it. But whatever the writers concoct I hope it does justice to the magnificent chemistry that Ruby Rose and Rachel Skarsten have.

Donna: Alice sees Kate's choice as the ultimate betrayal and instead of pulling them together it will drive them further apart. She will become vindictive, insistent someone (Kate) pay for her betrayal. What she didn't see was how torn up Kate was at her death and the fact that her sister came to be by her side as she died. The question regarding a path for them to recover their bond may not be possible in the terms that either of them wants. Watching them carve out some sort of relationship, however twisted will be interesting to watch.

Ellys: Kate was fighting to save both until the last second. With that in mind, I don't understand why she didn't soften the blow when she went to say goodbye to Alice. Why would she be so cruel as to tell Alice to her face that she wasn't saving her? Stick her with a syringe of different blood and fib, woman! Coming after Alice expressed her faith to Hallucination Catherine (Elizabeth Anweis) (LOL didn't work for me) that her sister would choose her, this might fracture the sisters' bond until the season finale. Just kidding. Based on next week's giddy promo (why so lighthearted!), Alice and Batwoman will team up temporarily. Make no mistake. Alice will remember this betrayal, and this action might have permanently sealed Alice's fate this season.

Marko: It will be hard for them to get back to a safe space, especially considering Alice's mental state. Alice is not a person to back down from revenge and there will certainly be a price for Kate to pay. How wicked will Alice go? Damn wicked, I hope. Still, at the bottom the two of them are sisters and that is a bond quite hard to break.

After all that Mary has done and risked, she is still in the dark about Kate being Batwoman. This fact is rapidly becoming the most annoying thing about the series. How much longer do you think they can or should keep dragging this on? Will the fallout from the whole Beth and Alice situation open the door for Kate to finally tell Mary the truth or will it just drive her harder to keep Mary in the dark?

Aimee: This is by far, and without question, the part of the show that annoys me the most. We have long since left behind the point where it was believable that Kate wouldn't tell Mary the truth. Kate knows Mary's big secret and Mary has proven extremely trustworthy. She is now even participating in missions with Luke (Camrus Johnson) and helping at Wayne Industries. The fact they still haven't let her in on the Kate is Batwoman secret is ridiculous. There is literally not a single more trustworthy person in Kate's circle than Mary. And the longer Kate drags this on the harder it is going to be for Mary to handle having been kept in the dark for so long. So, I would dare hope that Mary learning the truth is coming as a result of all she has done for Kate, but I'm not holding my breath the writers will allow this to happen anytime soon. Though, I do sort of hope that Mary already knows the truth and is sort of just holding back letting Kate reveal the truth to her when the time is right. I know that isn't how this will play out, but it'd be nice to show how much Mary knows her stepsister.

Donna: One would hope the fallout would drive Kate to see that Mary needs to know the truth, but I suspect it may not happen soon. I truly expected Alice to lash out at Mary and blurt out Kate's secret when Mary handcuffed her in the clinic. Kate has lost her sister twice, technically and has seen what a good sister relationship can be. It is long past time for Kate to come clean with Mary. Not only would it be healthier for their relationship, but given Mary's skill, savvy, and intelligence she could become one of Batwoman's greatest allies.

Ellys: This show gets more claustrophobic by the week. There are so few characters and yet they often fail to be even the slightest bit complex. Mary's entire identity on the show is basically "When will she find out Kate is Batwoman?"

Marko: Mary not knowing, certainly is a thorn in the story, but I understand where Kate is coming from and Mary not knowing the truth at this point keeps Kate's crusade on the safe side. She doesn`t need anyone to put her on a path or direct her decisions. Mary is a meddler for sure. On the other hand, I think Mary needs to go her own path and as some parts of the fandom indicated she might become Flamebird and finding this path may become easier without knowing who Kate is.

Sophie was willing to kill Alice to protect the city, but in the end, she just couldn't pull the trigger. What do you think her motives were behind not pulling the trigger? Was that because she knew that would mark the end of any chance she had of reconciling with Kate? Or was there another reason behind her not pulling the trigger?

Aimee: I think Sophie realized that killing Alice would have ended any chance she had with ever being back in Kate's life. I also think the fact that Alice had spared her life the episode before may have played into it a bit as well. If she had killed Alice like that, she would have been no better than Alice herself. Sophie isn't a bad person and I don't think she had it in her to kill a person close to someone she cares about. She looked into Alice's eyes and heard how Young Beth became this mentally ill person, so I think in some way she feels for Alice and what she has been through. We all know that this "Alice" was actually Beth and that would have been a whole other mess on her hands had she pulled the trigger, but I think it was a combination of the things I mentioned.

Donna: I don't see Sophie's actions as anything but self-serving. It's no secret that she is not my favorite character. That's not to say Meagan Tandy isn't doing her best with the material she is given, it's just that the character is so poorly written in my opinion. She hesitated in pulling the trigger and killing Alice, not only because that would have destroyed any chance she might have had with Kate, but also because she wasn't going to win any points with her boss for killing his damaged daughter.

Ellys: Sophie's just not cold-blooded. Simple as that. I'm more interested in what she does next. Does she run down to check out the body? She had to see Luke, right? Will he get arrested? This feels like it should be more of a cliffhanger than the promo for the next episode indicates. There's a dead Alice twin on the ground, and Sophie's not going to have questions? Not going to go after the shooter. Why do I have a feeling I won't get answers and next week won't even show what happens?

Marko: Alice being Kate’s sister was part of her decision. Yet, Sophie is not the one to pull a trigger behind someone`s back. She isn’t an executioner. It is out of her mind space. Why she didn’t pull a tranq gun and go for the arrest rather didn`t make sense. It was a great character moment for Sophie, she was overwhelmed with her new role and tried to do everything right and please Gotham and her mentor, but as I already said she isn’t an executioner.

Reader Question: Submitted by That Which Dreams: Do you think that Batwoman is stronger for focusing almost exclusively on one villain for its storyline? Would you want more villain of the week characters brought in?

Aimee: I started the season not liking a villain of the week format and I still don't think I like that approach for this show. However, with that said, I'd like them to start to transition away from Alice being the villain and start diving deeper into the emotional core of the character. We've seen what Beth can be like and a version of that person is still inside of Alice. What I'd like to see them start to do is transition to Mouse's father being the new big bad. We have already seen how evil and sinister he is and there is a chance he could easily rival Alice. So, I do think the show is stronger for focusing on a primary villain, but I'd like to see them start to transition to an even more villainous character whose core of darkness isn't a mental illness like Alice, but actual evil like Mouse's father.

Donna: I would rather see more Batwoman canon villains brought in, so we see more of the actual superhero the show is named after. As much as I like the character of Kate Kane and her journey, I want more Batwoman battles.

Ellys: Batwoman doesn't seem to have mastered guest villains yet. There haven't been many, but no one stands out in my mind. It wouldn't hurt for the show to introduce some recurring villains; perhaps they would invest more in their development and quality.

Marko: It is all about proper balance. I don`t mind the occasional villain of the week as long as he serves the storytelling and further development of the story. Next week we are getting a taste of it and I wonder how they will play Alice’s part of the story in this outing.

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: This is very tough because Ruby Rose, Nicole Kang, and Rachel Skarsten all delivered truly powerful performances. The three of them are a true force to be reckoned with. I think I have to go with all three of them this week. This was another tour-de-force episode for Skarsten. Very few performers can volley lines off of themselves better than Skarsten can. She made Beth and Alice feel like two very different characters. Everything Kang did was amazing as usual. The confrontation between Alice and Mary was a great scene. Skarsten and Kang have a really fun dynamic. And Rose was heartbreakingly brilliant portraying Kate stuck between two sisters who each hold a place in her heart. The scene where Alice died was heartbreaking and Rose nailed the deep sorrowful emotions behind the loss Kate was feeling. All three of these actresses delivered incredible performances.

Donna: It's a three-way tie for me this week between Rose, Skarsten and Kang. Kang was phenomenal when Mary lashed out, fought with and captured Alice. It was epic and illustrated yet another layer of one of the show's most interesting characters. So much has already been written about Skarsten's brilliance as Alice, yet she took that to another level when she took on dual roles as Alice and Beth. However, I'm going to give the slightest edge to Rose this week. Kate's agony over having to choose between sisters was palpable and her grief over holding Alice and watching her sister die again was gut-wrenching.

Ellys: As almost always, Rachel Skarsten shredded the screen as Alice. Her performance as Beth was wonderful too, but with Alice, there was more sadness, more longing, more determination. She made sure there was no doubt why Alice had to be the one to survive.

Marko: Rachel Skarten and Ruby Rose broke me during that death scene. Such marvelous work from both actresses. Rose’s tears as she was seeing the life fade out of Alice were squeezing my heart so hard. Skarsten on the other hand, brought the best out of her as she was in perfect control of Alice’s emotions, as she was coming to peace with Kate’s decision and the fear of death took over her body.

What are your final thoughts regarding this episode?

Aimee: Here is the thing about this episode, I have no idea how I feel about it. I want to love it, but the way they are treating some of the characters really frustrates me and is taking away from me being able to love it. The performances were top-notch, but it still feels like the writers have no idea what to do with some of the characters. It sort of feels like we keep watching the same stories recycling themselves and that's not a great thing for a show only halfway through its first season. Right now, for me, the performers are keeping the show afloat while the writers try to sort things out. This was still a very strong episode and definitely kept the post-Crisis energy alive, but the fact they killed Beth and are keeping Mary in the dark still just really frustrates me. I'd just like to say this is just my perspective of things. I know others love how this is all playing out. And I'm sure that when they finally bring Mary in on the truth and finally start bringing Kate and Alice closer together I'll change my opinion, but for now, I'm just frustrated. I want to see the show start to grow and I feel like it keeps pigeonholing itself into this one sector of the story and they just can't seem to break free to grow and evolve things. I think bringing in fresh blood (pun intended) like will occur in the next episode may start to help push them beyond the area they've been stuck in. Depending on how they develop Mouse's father that could help change things up too. The show just needs to branch out more and make a tighter core group. I think when that stuff starts to happen I'll get back to loving the show more.

Donna: I wish the show's writing was as consistent as the portrayal of three of its core characters have become. Skarsten, as previously mentioned has been exceptional, however, I have been impressed in the growth of both the characters of Kate and Mary and the actresses portraying them, especially in the greatly improved episodes that have followed the Crisis. The writers need to decide exactly where they want to go with the series and tighten their storytelling. They need to get on with it and incorporate more of their title character into her own show.

Ellys: I just keep thinking about the pearls swinging back and forth after the secret door was closed. It's only a matter of time until someone spots those, right? I don't understand why they haven't put something more stationary there.

Marko: Another excellent outing. Batwoman is upping its game with each outing and delivering great emotions and action. This season reminds me of The Flash season 1 and Arrow season 2, as the storytelling gets progressively better and the villains get more dangerous. Excited for more to come.

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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