Batwoman: If You Believe In Me, I’ll Believe In You

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Bad day at the office or exploring new options…

Quality-wise, Batwoman has largely been impressing me. While I’ll admit I’d like to see a bit less of Alice, the story writing and production have been really good. “If You Believe In Me, I’ll Believe In You,” has a dizzying series of reveals and surprises, the return of a character I liked a lot, and a very welcome development with one of the supporting characters. They had a high bar to follow up on with the amazing reveal last time of why Bruce/Batman pulled his disappearing act. This actually lived up to that.

The show opens with Batwoman taking on some enterprising criminals who are multi-tasking their criminal endeavors. It’s a decent “hero versus gang” scene, which also highlights a bit about her costume that has never quite made sense to me, especially in this version of the character. Since it’s a bunch of no-name, no costume thugs, Batwoman is, of course, triumphant. She returns to her office to see Luke and Mary debating various things, and Mary making at least a nice effort to help them out. Luke takes a surprising position on an issue, but Kate isn’t willing to listen.

Following up on other leads in what seems like a parallel investigation, Sophie and Julia go through some of the seized property from Bruce’s old friend Tommy Elliot. They amuse themselves picking through his possessions, including what might a nod to Marvel’s Black Cat. For lack of a better idea about how to find Lucius’ journal, Kate pays a visit to Arkham and has a not-particularly-productive chat with Tommy. After his visit, Tommy goes back to his cell for more surprises and an explanation of the new status quo. In the very strained conversation, a big secret gets let out, and a deal is made.

Using a variation of an old PI dodge, the Batwoman duo figure out where the elusive journal probably is. Kate comes up with a plan to go after it that Luke really isn’t happy about. The pre-planning involves drawing on Mary’s strengths and then disappointing her. Mary gets further annoyed when Julia comes in and seems to have something Mary wants badly. Apparently disregarding the advice Mary gave, Julia and Kate go clubbing with unlikely outfits and less-likely accessories. Some small talk surprises Kate as she learns a few things and has some emotional issues to deal with. With Luke on coms, the two (who seriously don’t blend in) separate, and Kate renews an old acquaintance. After some entertaining chat, Kate gets back on task as she and Julia get to work, which includes an impressively quick change, a blackout, and an ambush. I was a bit disappointed with some of what our hero did here.

At Arkham, the Crows come for a prisoner and find something they weren’t expecting, using some trademark tricks of some of the characters we’ve gotten to know. With things having gone seriously off the rails, Luke makes a desperate call, has an argument, and then switches from worrying to accessorizing. Things aren’t going perfectly for the bad guys, either, as there are more betrayals, a backup plan, and an auction. Luke’s alternate plan goes into action, the auction starts, and we hear a new nickname for Batwoman. Julia is also not in a great spot.

Returning to Arkham, Jacob has a very painful reunion with Alice, and no one is happy. The writers, and Rachel Skarsten, get a huge amount of credit as I actually feel bad for her in this scene, and I really can’t stand Alice. It’s an unpleasant scene that’s hard on both of them and brings up some seriously illegal (at least in this world) things going on at Gotham’s famous Asylum. Alice can’t resist some gloating on her way out. Mary goes ahead with her own plan, and does a credible job, although she doesn’t get the result she hoped for. Things kick into high gear as diversions, back up plans, and getaways go on. The aftermath has a very touching scene between Kate and Mary which was long overdue.

This actually wouldn’t have been a horrible place to end the episode, but there are a few more layers of twists coming. Kate demonstrates why Bruce’s rules about no personal involvement are so important as she meets up with someone and has a great night and a horrible morning after. I admit, I didn’t see this coming. Luke shows Mary something she really wanted to see, which she has earned, and then almost right off the bat shows why maybe this wasn’t a great idea. Mary, too, learns another big secret that was revealed earlier to someone else.

The wrap up scenes cover a lot of territory, which is fitting since so much happened this episode. We see an unexpected connection between two characters that explains a lot. Julia and Sophie compare notes on where they are with a few things. There’s yet another betrayal that indicates there’s a new player involved we haven’t met up with yet. Alice and Mouse, having helped turn a past villain into their comic book appearance, get set to celebrate a victory and then suffer a serious setback. You don’t often see Alice get outmaneuvered, and you have to respect that a little.

 

What I liked: The action, as always, was great. Mary got something I think she deserved, and I was glad to see it, although they clearly have some work to do with her. She made some great suggestions and did some good work here. The writers impressed me with the many twists and turns they built in to this episode. The adaptation of the comic book look they did worked surprisingly well. I have a lot of questions about what happened this week, but they are good ones, not “What the hell was that?” which happens too often.

 

What I didn’t: Mary’s early suggestion highlighted a thing I’ve never gotten about Batwoman’s look on this show. I don’t like what’s happening with the big secret. It seems like they’re making something that I’m still hoping for virtually impossible. Batwoman was really sloppy several times, and I expect better of her. After all the buildup, the scene at the club didn’t work on several levels.

 

I really enjoyed this episode. I’m giving this one a 4 out of 5, and I’m really intrigued to see where they go next.

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