Batwoman: We’re All Mad Here

Hey, the city’s in danger and our secrets are going to be broadcast on the news tomorrow. Let’s have a party.

Batwoman’s third season is just about over, and it’s been a wild ride. While a lot of things have been dealt with, we still the menace of Marquis Jet: Joker-wannabe, Alice’s worsening mental state, Ryan’s love life, and some family dynamics to deal with. There are also several bits of Batman lore that have never really been touched on before in “We’re All Mad Here.”

The episode starts off with Alice attacking Marquis’ lawyer, hell-bent on retrieving something she needs. It’s a brutal attack, even for Alice, and involves a new weapon she hasn’t used before. There are some interesting follow ups to her raid, and things start getting really bizarre, and very confusing, for the former leader of the Wonderland Gang. Elsewhere, Batwoman pays her own visit to a minor character, trying to get some information they need to stop the crazed CEO of Wayne Enterprises. Sophie has an interesting morning after that doesn’t go at all as planned, and Alice pays a visit to her stepsister, asking for a big favor.

Sophie and Jada have an intense conversation, and there’s clearly little love lost between these two. Ryan arrives and Sophie points how badly something was handled. They learn a few things, Jada makes a hasty exit, and Sophie figures something out well before Ryan does. Ryan fights well and is dedicated to being a hero, but she really is nowhere near most of the Bat-family in terms of detective work. Mentioned in the above discussions was Barbara Kean, specifically identified as Jim Gordon’s ex. This is the first direct reference to Commissioner Gordon in the Arrowverse, and really makes me wonder what happened to him (and his daughter, Barbara, best known as Batgirl). While Sophie is moments too late to stop something from happening, Mary goes to see some people in an attempt to make amends.

Alice goes to run an errand, but gets sidetracked by some particularly persistent hallucinations. Ryan, Luke, and Sophie try to locate something that’s gone missing, and Sophie isn’t happy with how Ryan handles one of Luke’s questions. Finally getting back on track, Alice meets up with Kiki, an entertaining new character that came out of this mess with Marquis. They don’t exactly get along, but two more interesting points come out of this chat. There’s an indirect reference to Harley Quinn (her second in the Arrowverse if you count a brief voice-only cameo back on Arrow long ago) and a more direct mention of what sounds like the events of A Death In The Family, the classic Batman story where Jason Todd, the second Robin, is killed. There’s been a brief mention of Robin before during one of Vesper’s voiceovers, but this is a firmer connection. If this world followed Batman’s history, that means there’s been at least two Robins here, and I really want to know what’s become of both of them.

Kiki and Alice’s conversation ends when Marquis makes a very dramatic entrance and gets a great line in the process. Marquis and Alice would seem to have similar goals, at least in respect to one particular plot point, but Marquis is just being contrary. There’s a somewhat unclear transition, but we end up at a meeting of the Black Glove Society that doesn’t go the way any of the members would have hoped. Marquis runs a sort of demented game show, and there are references to, or appearances by, Tommy Elliot (better known as Hush), James Gordon, Jr, Jeremiah Arkham, Barbara Kean, and Jada Jet. Alice watches and continues to have hallucinations. Mary tries to do what she thinks is the right thing and gets a huge surprise.

Once again being really bad with the secret identity concept, Batwoman is out driving around with Sophie. Sophie really seems to be following in the footsteps of John Diggle’s early career on a few fronts. Marquis has an odd chat with Jada, makes an unexpected offer to Alice, and then recounts his origin story, which both gives us the first on-screen appearance of Joker in the Arrowverse and ties Marquis’ story to a very important piece of Batwoman lore. Batwoman and Sophie show up and fighting and intense conversations ensue. Batwoman and Maquis have another argument and he covers his escape well, and Alice gets subdued thanks to the timely arrival of Batwing. With some of the more intense bits of the show done, Ryan and Sophie have an intense conversation about their relationship and some of Ryan’s issues. Luke and Mary arrive, and Ryan continues to show a very misplaced loyalty to Marquis. Mary suddenly realizes something important and then drags Luke away. I was sort of hoping Luke and Mary would continue their very slow approach to having a relationship, but, then again Mary’s had a very busy season.

The final few scenes make it look like things in the finale episode are going to be even worse on many fronts. Alice gets dumped back in Arkham, and between hallucinations, has a visit from Mary. Mary is very thankful for something Alice did, but Alice has some really bad news. This leads to a final scene of Marquis gaining access to someplace he really, really shouldn’t be, which should have much better security than it does. Then again, hero bases with horrible security are a staple of the Arrowverse, Black Lightning and Gambi’s Grotto being the seeming exception.

What I liked: I’m very intrigued by all the bits of Bat-mythos they brought in. Granted, it left me with more questions, but it was interesting to see. I don’t like some of the things they’ve included this season, but Kiki is very entertaining. It was nice to see Luke back as Batwing. The reveal about Marquis’ origin and how it links to something important to the series was surprising, but it more or less works. The way they depicted Alice’s hallucinations was well done. Mary’s attempt at doing the right thing wasn’t going to help anything, but was very in character.

What I didn’t: Sophie really needs to do something about a secret identity. It’s not like there aren’t choices for her to pick from, or create a new one for her. I don’t like one of the developments with Kiki. I’m really over Jada and Marquis both, and hope the finale next episode gets them both off the show. The team, while I get they have some issues with her, is being arguably cruel to Alice about the buzzer.

It was a good episode, although not a great one. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5. The finale has a good bit of work to do.

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