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Batwoman - A Narrow Escape - Review Roundtable: Secrets Revealed



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

Batwoman delivered another strong and emotional episode with A Narrow Escape. As multiple characters try to piece together the truth about Lucius Fox's murder, Kate has parted ways with Batwoman; meanwhile, Gotham's heroes are targeted by The Detonator in an explosive episode that leaves no emotional stone unturned. Continue reading below to find out our thoughts on the episode. After reading, please leave your thoughts in the comments.


Looks like Team Batwoman has a new member. In the big reveal of the evening, Mary (Nicole Kang) tells Kate (Ruby Rose) she knows her secret identity. How will this affect their relationship from here on? What advantages or disadvantages are there to Mary being part of the team?

Aimee: I think the Mary and Kate relationship can only grow stronger from here on out with this big secret finally out of the way. The secret was causing Kate to keep Mary at arm’s length, so I think they can finally spend more time bonding as sisters now that Mary is in the loop. I see no disadvantages to Mary knowing and all kinds of advantages. Mary will be a powerful tool and aid in Kate’s renewed quest to protect Gotham. I’m just glad that the show FINALLY made the big reveal and I’m really kind of glad that Mary laid it out the way she did. Kate needed a reality check and Mary gave it to her in the most heartfelt and powerful way. Mary can get through to Kate in a way that others struggle with and I think that will be a big help.

Donna: This is the best thing that could have happened to their relationship. Odd as it may seem, Mary is the one who has the positive influence on Kate. Having her know Kate’s secret identity removes any of the guilt Kate felt about keeping Mary in the dark, making it an even more open relationship – no more secrets. There is a great advantage to having Mary part of the team in that they have a go-to person now in the event Batwoman is ever injured and she does more out of the box thinking than Kate and Luke bring to the team. The disadvantage is the same as with any superhero with their loved ones being in danger if their identity is revealed.

Ellys: In my opinion, I’m not quite sure that the show earned that line about Mary looking up to Kate her whole life. That little nitpick aside, welcome to Team Batwoman, Mary. There was a marvelous quality about this episode in that, for the first time, I felt that I was watching these characters in the city of Gotham. Before, it felt as if they were on a series of tiny sets, with far too few people interacting for there to be real emotional or physical stakes at any given time. This episode let characters run around the city and run into each other in a way that made everything more realistic. Mouse and Alice up to schemes in Arkham. Sophie and Julia melting into each other’s eyes in their detective lair/motel room. Reggie Harris’s defense attorney. Mary interacting with Allison (Dana Devitt) at the clinic. Julia at Kate’s apartment. The show needed that breathing room. Mary being part of the team going forward is awesome; she’ll be there for Kate and Batwoman as a sister and a doctor (which both will definitely need).


Kate is having major issues with PTSD and feeling worthy of wearing the Batwoman costume. Julia (Christina Wolfe), Mary, and Luke (Camrus Johnson) all try to convince her she is worthy. Which one had the most success and why?

Aimee: Mary, without question. It is because of Mary that Kate put on the suit again. It was because of Mary that Kate found her calling again. It all came down to Mary. Luke and Julia both made compelling cases and got through to her to a degree, but it was Mary in the end with the convincing argument. I think it’s because Mary knew what words to say to get to Kate. She’s known Kate longer than either Julia or Luke and she knew what needed to be said to get Kate back into the fight.

Donna: They all made great arguments to her but ultimately it was Mary’s raw honesty and story of how her sister had always inspired her that sent Kate back to the Batcave to put the suit back on.

Ellys: This episode was strange to experience. The last time we watched Batwoman was March 22nd, and, in the US, this quarantine was still in its early days. Our world has come grinding to a halt in the past few weeks, a tense unease trapped within all of us as we adjust to this temporary but disturbing reality. With all that has happened, Kate working her way through panic attacks was basically cathartic to watch. Truly, Kate was dealing with so much. The murder of Other Beth. Learning that her sister and mother’s fate was even more horrific. Leaving her sister behind in Arkham, destroying their relationship perhaps forever. Not being able to really talk about the events to anyone in her life. A comfort canoodle with Julia was a band-aid, and Luke wasn’t in the right place himself to be able to help Kate until the end of the episode. It made the most sense for it to be Mary who was ultimately able to help Kate move to the next stage of healing.


Sophie (Meagan Tandy) and Julia team up to find the leak inside the Crows and how that person ties into the bombings. Besides working well together professionally there were strong undercurrents of something more going on. Because of their work Sophie rejoins the Crows and is given co-command of a new task force, her co-command is Julia who has been placed on loan to the agency. What do you think of this teaming? Will they become more than work colleagues?>

Aimee: I think they will make one hell of a force to be reckoned with. As for what they’ll become in the future, that is less certain. I still prefer Julia with Kate, but I was very surprised by how much I liked the Julia and Sophie dynamic. I can see a few scenarios where the two of them become a romantic item. I mean, after all, their first encounter ended up with Julia on top of Sophie clearly flirting with her despite the peril they were in. They also have a fair bit in common. I can see a path where Kate pushes them both to the side and they find intimacy with each other to fill the void. I just like Julia in general, so whatever keeps her on the show I’ll support. They need to make Christina Wolfe a series regular because she brings so much to this show.

Donna: I’m really liking this team-up. For me, it’s the first time that I’ve really liked Sophie and her work on a case. She and Julia played perfectly off one another as though they’d been partners for years. There is every indication of it becoming even more, the chemistry between the two actresses leapt off the screen. For me, Sophie exhibited far more chemistry with Julia than she ever did with Kate. Their teasing and flirting during their investigation couldn’t have been more obvious. It’s a great pairing and they should keep Julia around; she is a great addition to the show.

Ellys: Will they become more than work colleagues? Does Julia like extra pickles on her burgers?! These are rhetorical questions. Wolfe and Tandy have the snap, crackle, pop chemistry that make up all great romantic pairings. My only concern now is if the show will have the patience to develop the relationship in a meaningful way. It’s hard to resist mining all the gold at once when you find a good vein.


Alice and Mouse craft and execute an elaborate plan to escape but in the end decide to stay and rule Arkham. What do you think of their plan? What do you think the consequences will be if they are successful in an asylum filled with previous season one adversaries like Tommy Elliott (Gabriel Mann) and Magpie (Rachel Matthews)?

Aimee: I think they had a very clever plan originally, it was completely sadistic and homicidal, it was clever, but I expect no less from those two. It did surprise me that Alice wanted to stay behind. I can’t help but think she has other plans in mind that just being the Queen of Arkham. I suspect she feels she is safer in there than out in the world where her friend from Coryana might pay her an unwelcome visit. It could also be her wanting to commiserate with Batwoman’s enemies and plan with them for revenge. I think deep down Alice still wants to keep Kate safe. It’s a typical sibling thing where she can hurt her sister, but watch out if anyone else hurts her. I don’t think this is just about her wanting to be Queen. I think there are a lot of things going on inside Alice’s brilliant brain for why she wants to stay inside Arkham.

Donna: The idea of Alice setting herself up as the Queen of Arkham is just too delicious! The misdirection before her final plan was revealed was perfect, thinking they wanted to get out and exact her revenge of Kate and Gotham was beautiful teased. Now with a regular rogue’s gallery of villains at her disposal she’ll become even more twisted. However, I think she’ll be more interested in getting even with Daddy for leaving her behind and forgive and ultimately protect her sister.

Ellys: Gabriel Mann was criminally underused in his first appearance on the show, which makes it a relief that the show seems to have bigger, more nefarious plans for his character (or at least they did before the real world went downhill). It wouldn’t be a proper Gotham-centric show if Arkham didn’t unite assorted villains at some point. As for Mouse and Alice’s hope that Arkham can hide them from Safiyah, well that seems unlikely.


Luke finally learns how and why his father was killed, what will be his reaction? What is so important about the contents of his father’s journal?

Aimee: I think learning the truth will give Luke some peace on one side but cause him to still be curious. He is going to want to know more about what his father was working on that was so critical. He’s going to want to find out who initiated the call to get the information. Given the connection that the trigger man had to the Crows, I would not be the least bit surprised to find out Jacob (Dougray Scott) was behind it or even Catherine (Elizabeth Anweis).

Donna: Has he learned the whole truth about his father’s death? He may know who pulled the trigger, but does he know who ordered that person to get his father’s journal. Seeking that answer and the journal gives Luke a new quest and purpose. With all the gadgets that Lucius created for Batman I’m suspecting the journal was a gold mine of drawings and plans for more revolutionary devices. Someone wants to stop the Bat-man or woman bad enough to kill to get it.

Ellys: This episode tied up Lucius Fox’s death with such a tidy bow that I feel we are either being cheated or misdirected. We’re told that Fox was targeted by Tommy Elliott because the latter wanted a journal full of Batman tech designs. How would anyone even know that existed? (The implication that someone close to Batman and/or Fox betrayed them might only exist in my head but it’s there somewhere). Everything else that happened was Elliott covering his tracks. I’m not sure that explanation tracks, but this information coupled with Luke’s later revelation that Bruce killed his nemesis the Joker (or at least told Luke he did) piled up to set up an intriguing set of storytelling possibilities. I wouldn’t be surprised if the table is being set to bring in versions of Stephanie Brown or Damian Wayne to tie into the larger mystery of where and why Bruce disappeared.


Were you surprised that Batwoman was not the only Caped Crusader to violate Batman’s no-kill code? How do you think she will reconcile herself and move forward as Batwoman?

Aimee: No, I’m not the least bit surprised. They set it up in Crisis that the Bats are human and flawed. When push comes to shove they will do what is necessary to protect the people they care about and when they fail that drives them to a breaking point. Kate has done one smart thing that Bruce didn’t do so well; she has surrounded herself with trusted people. Granted it’s a recent development that Mary and Julia are part of the team but having them and Luke on her side to pull her back from the edge is a huge leg up she has over Bruce. I think having this group around her is what will allow her to push on and help her stay grounded while wearing the suit and be an even better Bat than her cousin.

Donna: Based on the jaded Bruce we met in Crisis I’m not surprised. I think the biggest difference is that Kate knowing what killing did to him she will be more conscious of her actions and could possibly stop herself should she find herself in a situation like that again. Her remorse for her actions were real and palpable, whereas we saw not the first shred of regret or remorse from the Bruce she met. She was given a first-hand look as to what that could do to a person, almost as though they wanted her to have that knowledge. Granted that Bruce and the Bruce of this world were not the same person but being the Paragon of Courage, Kate already has the greater strength to, as Luke told her, forgive herself; it’s a battle as Julia told her, and she can be more aware and value life more as she moves forward.

Ellys: In this episode, we saw Kate remember that the city needs Batwoman and that she’s the only person who can step into that role. With more people by her side going forward, I think Kate will be in a better headspace, one where she’s less worried about succumbing to darkness. I can’t say that I would mind seeing Kate with a darker edge. I don’t think that being dark/sarcastic/brooding is a bad thing in itself. There’s a difference between having moody swagger and being in a sad funk.


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: The entire cast really delivered strong performances in this episode. Ruby Rose, Rachel Skarsten, CamrusJohnson, and Christina Wolfe really stood out throughout. However, I have to give it to Nicole Kang for this episode. As usual, all of her stuff was brilliant, yet that scene where Mary revealed she knew Kate was Batwoman, was a powerful scene made even more impactful by how much heart and emotion Kang put in to her delivery of Mary’s big revelation. Kang is such a joy to watch perform and she has yet to disappoint. She really elevates everything she is given and I can’t wait to see what the writers have in store for her now that she’s in on the big Kate secret.

Donna: When we first met her on Gotham’s red carpet, we were led to believe Mary was going to be a throwaway, airhead character. However, thanks to some great writing and Nicole Kang’s incredible grasp on the character what we have is a character of great depth and heart. She is one of the best-written characters of the series and the one that shows the greatest depth and range. She proves that completely in this episode with being the courageous crusader protecting her patients in the clinic. The fun banter with Kate and Luke at the end of the episode shows us a lighter, fun side to the character. Most importantly, it was her heartfelt words to Kate about how much she had inspired her growing up and that Kate needed to continue to be Batwoman to inspire Gotham like she inspired her that was one of her finest moments of the series. Rose and Kang have this incredible sister dynamic that the writers need to more fully explore either in the end of this season or next.

Ellys: The best scenes were Kate and Luke in the parking garage and Kate and Mary at the clinic. I wish the show had let Camrus Johnson out of the BatCave earlier in the season, because his performance makes Luke the rare character on the show that feels anchored in time.I have a sense he has a past and a future tied to his present. I don’t get that with many of the other characters because we see very little of who they are, or their arcs feel very mapped out on a whiteboard. We’ve seen amazing performances on this show, to be sure, but Johnson’s adds a completely unique and needed dimension of realism.


What are your final thoughts regarding this episode?

Aimee: After this extra-long coronavirus forced break it was a very strong episode for the show to mark its return. They made the right decision to hold this one to kick off the last batch of episodes before the season abruptly ends. It had a bit of everything, from setting up a potential new pairing to Alice and Mouse taking over Arkham to the big Lucius reveal to the even bigger Mary and Kate revelatory moment. This episode was full of heart, humor, and action. I can’t wait to see what comes next with everything it setup. It was an extremely strong episode.

Donna: This was a powerful, tightly woven episode that moved the story forward on several fronts. And while they were moving the story on towards a season finale, they also hit some great emotional beats and nailed creating new partnerships.

Ellys: Really an outstanding entry. There was fantastic character work from start to finish, and the villain setup was classic Gotham stuff. A big kudos to writer Daphne Miles, as this was her first solo episode of a TV show, and she didn’t just crush it. She shook it, stirred it, and marked it with an E for Excellent.


Please use the comments section to let us know your thoughts on this episode.


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