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TV Review: Batwoman S1E4 Who Are You?

Batwoman

Batwoman fourth episode has a bit of a different focus as it shifts into the bad guy of the week territory. That tends to be the formula for The CW DC-based shows and generally has become predictable and a tad bit repetitive.

Magpie is the new villain and she comes off as a second rate Catwoman. Her entire focus is stealing jewelry and it isn’t until the end that there’s any depth to the character.

The bigger focus of the episode is Kate attempting to balance her life as Batwoman and her personal goings on. She’s dating but has issues dealing with that and donning the cape.

There’s potential here as far as the show goes is the greatest. There’s some solid territory to mine and it’s something for Batman that no films have really dived into well.

There are some revelations about what Katherine has been hiding and she’s forced to admit things to Kate’s dad. It adds to the chance that Alice is telling the truth about her being Kate’s missing sister. It also adds some tension to her family.

The episode gets the small details right. It finally hints that Kate is Jewish. It’s something the series has ignored for the first three episodes. It also has Kate not being smooth in the Batsuit. She misses a Batarang and causes damage. She doesn’t slide right into the role which is a nice touch.

The show actually finally shows some standout ideas as the end has Kate making a declaration as to what she’s going to do. It feels like a response that Batman would do more to help Gotham as Bruce but doesn’t. It puts the concept Kate can do good in both her roles and out of everything, this is what can really make the series interesting. Hopefully, it’s more than just a line and the team does something with it.

Overall Rating: 7.2

TV Review: Batwoman S1E3 Down Down Down

Batwoman

In the third episode of Batwoman, the city awaits for another visit from who they think is Batman; Alice continues to taunt Kate; Mary gets an unexpected new friend; as Batwoman faces a new enemy, Kate realizes she must make a decision.

The third episode of Batwoman picks things up a bit as the dance between Alice and her father and Kate continues. But the real focus is a former friend of Bruce and Kate who’s out for revenge.

That plotline is a bit mixed. It gives a distraction from the Alice storyline but the decision to act against Bruce due to “Batman’s return” feels a bit rushed and not fleshed out. We get a Riddler reference but overall it’s all a bit meh.

Ruby Rose continues to improve in her acting. While her delivery is still a bit cold, there’s at least some variant in her delivery of lines and scenes. Camrus Johnson as Luke Fox has his moments and shows off a lot of entertainment factor. He feels a bit like a few other actors and characters we’ve seen on CW shows but he brings some subtle humor to the episode. Nicole Kang still feels like the underused actor and while there’s glimpses of her Mary of being a bit more than a bratty socialite, she’s used here mostly to push Kate’s story and relationship with her ex Sophie.

Rachel Skarsten continues to be the standout of the show. There’s something about her delivery and every scene that’s entertaining. She runs circles around the others on the show and as a first season villain, she’s the highlight of the series.

Though Skarsten as Alice and the dynamic between her, Kate, and their father is interesting, the dance is a bit old. Not enough emphasis is delivered as to why Kate doesn’t just turn her in and let the truth come out that way. The show never quite makes the case as to why it’s doing what it is.

We do get a more proper Batwoman costume on this episode and it’s not a bad adaptation from the comic version. It beats what we’ve seen the last few episodes in the proto version that never quite worked and didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

The episode is just ok continuing the series rather dull delivery of the material. It’s not good and it’s not bad. It just is. The hour at times feels like a chore thought the last this episode and the previous less so than the debut. Batwoman underwhelms in what should be a much higher quality show and makes one wonder if the magic of The CW’s DCTV might be waning.

Overall Rating: 7.0

TV Review: Batwoman S1E2 The Rabbit Hole

Batwoman

In the second episode of Batwoman, Jacob Kane and the Crows up the stakes; Kate continues to look to Bruce Wayne’s legacy for guidance as Luke Fox inadvertently gets pulled into Batwoman’s vigilante heroics; Sophie and Kate are forced to team up.

The second episode of Batwoman is interesting if not a bit dragged out. Much like the first episode, there’s something morose about the tone of the second. It’s slow and somewhat predictable but builds on aspects of the debut and improves in many ways.

While still serious, Ruby Rose is a bit more entertaining in her acting. Things aren’t quite as flat and there’s some subtle things she does in her delivery and movements that’s intriguing. Nicole Kang as Mary Hamilton, Kate’s stepsister, has a bigger role. Her character is playing an interesting aspect in the series as an exploration of the definition of family. Camrus Johnson as Luke Fox gets some acknowledgment as far as his family as well. Though it’s not dived into too much, it’s a nice touch. It plays into larger themes of the show and especially Kate’s relationship with her own father played by Dougray Scott. Rachel Skarsten‘s Alice is still the standout. The “reveal” that she’s Kate’s sister comes a bit too soon in the show and doesn’t deliver the emotional punch it should. The show does leave enough out there to create doubt of her identity.

Still, the show creates an interesting dynamic with Kate struggling with what to do with a villain who might her sister. That gets more complicated with the fact their father is also in pursuit and in denial that it’s his daughter.

Meagan Tandy‘s Sophie Moore is still the most interesting thing of the show though frustrating at the same time. Kate’s past relationship with her is present and the fact Sophie is now married to a man becomes more intriguing. The show acknowledging the bisexuality exists is nice, or there could be deeper denial at play as well with Kate being an out and confident gay woman and Sophie is still struggling. That’s the frustrating part but also potential further down the road in the show. But, as a whole, it’s nice to see the complicated reality of sexuality in real life.

There’s much improved in the second episode of Batwoman though some of the aspects such as Alice and Batwoman’s interaction is a bit predictable and frustrating. The show has touches of greatness and other moments not so much. Much like the debut, there’s potential there and it’s a show that has at least found a voice of its own, both for good and bad.

Overall Rating: 7.0

TV Review: Batwoman S1E1 Pilot

Batwoman

Kate Kane returns to Gotham when a gang targets her father and her ex-girlfriend Sophie Moore. Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, is gone and Gotham is facing increasing lawlessness. That’s the base of Batwoman, the latest entry into The CW‘s DCTV.

Ruby Rose suits up in the iconic role, donning the cape as Batwoman. Much speculation and nervousness has surrounded the show. Batwoman has become both an LGBTQ+ icon but also one of the few Jewish characters in comics. How much the show would lean into the many aspects of the character remained a mystery but the show has no problem in putting at least some of her out there.

At the center of Kate’s return is trying to save her ex-girlfriend. A woman she was expelled from the military due to “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” It’s an aspect of the comic character that was forward for its time and still has an impact today. The acknowledgment is there and it’s an important part of this version’s history.

Also present is the strife with her father Colonel Jacob Kane played by Dougray Scott. His history is teased but not quite as clear as to how closely it aligns with that of the comic counterpart. Where the show takes this relationship may become key as even in this first episode it’s a bit by the books and breaks little new ground.

Camrus Johnson as Luke Fox is her tech guy and he too adds little for emotional depth. His role is one we’ve seen on every CW show.

What is interesting is Kate falling into the role of Batwoman. Her discovery of her cousin’s secret identity falls short in a cold emotional scene. Sadly it comes off as too distant and doesn’t resonate. It highlights Rose’s flat performance. It works well for the military aspects of the character but beyond that, it borderlines unlikeable. This isn’t a character I want to route for beyond stopping the bad guys. The fun we see in the other DC based CW shows isn’t present.

The show picks up slightly as Kate dons the cape but that’s mostly due to Rachel Skarsten‘s Alice. As a villain, she brings a certain flair to an otherwise cold and unemotional show. She has a Joker like quality enhanced due to the seriousness and blandness of everyone else involved. Unfortunately, the reveal of the character is delivered too soon in the series and again lacks an emotional punch.

As a debut, the pilot for Batwoman has potential but falls short of the fun or excitement of previous CW DC shows. Its different tone may be the cause of that as it’s so different from the rest. The show’s last ten minutes is where the potential is as we learn more about Sophie and we see the result of the return of “Batman” around Gotham. The show has the fundamentals but it takes too much of Gotham’s dour tone to heart. Even Batman, and Batwoman, can enjoy themselves.

Overall Rating: 7.0