After a season of family drama, “flashback villains” (I love that term), and strained relationships, things are finally coming to a close for season three of Batwoman. As with several Arrowverse shows, the fate of the series hasn’t been decided yet as far as renewal versus cancellation. Now, Marquis Jet’s schemes come to a head, team Batwoman does their best to fight back with limited resources, and the heroes have to make sacrifices to try and save the city from an updated version of a plan from an old enemy. Personally, I think the answer is self-evident if you’re in Gotham almost any time, but nonetheless, the title is “Are We Having Fun Yet?” As a season, and possibly series, finale, there will be spoilers below.
In a creepy montage, the episode opens with a combination of Marquis Jet going through an abandoned amusement part, and flashbacks to his encounter with the Joker when he was a boy. Any time an amusement park and Joker are used together, you know it’s not going to be good. In Arkham, Mary comes to visit Alice. Alice isn’t doing well and has a breakdown, while Mary is stunned to see the lengths she’s going to.
Later, the team is in exile in the bar, plotting their next move. They debate strategies with the joy-buzzer, and then Mary comes in and throws a monkey wrench in the works, sparking a big debate. This gets interrupted when Marquis does the old villain trick of hijacking all the screens in Gotham to make a bit announcement, in this case, that he will reveal Batwoman’s secret identity in five hours. Usually, a villain setting a public deadline is a weird plot point to raise tension. In this case, there’s actually a good reason, but we find that out later.
As the crowds in the streets react to the news, Jada comes to the bar. Ryan’s gone, and the rest of them prove to be really, really bad at either stalling or lying. Jada offers enouragemnt and some needed resources, while not getting an answer about where Ryan is. Our hero is, in fact, at Arkham visiting with Alice. They discuss whether or not Alice deserves the buzzer as a cure for her insanity, or they should use it on Marquis, which is what most of them want and is arguably for the greater good. Alice takes an unexpected approach in the argument and raises a really interesting point.
As the team closes the bar (seriously, does anyone work there aside from Ryan, who has been a barback, tender, and manager?), Jada’s team rolls in tons of equipment for Luke to use to try and track down Marquis. While Sophie raises a good point, Alice drops another bombshell on Ryan about Marquis’ plans. In a series of quick cuts back and forth, the team figures out where Marquis is and what he’s stolen most recently, while Alice lays out the details of what’s coming. The big reveal of part of the plan is some ridiculousness right out of the 60’s Batman tv show.
Regrouping, the team tries to figure out how to fight the newest threat, and it’s a big one. From a threat to Batwoman and her team, the situation has escalated to a potentially city-destroying catastrophe. After a lot of talk and a few negotiations, Jada agrees to help Ryan and actually act against Marquis. The madman himself gets the news and shrugs it off with indifference and ranting. For some bizarre reason, Luke needs to stay at the new server installation at the bar and talk Mary through resetting some equipment in the retaken Batcave, while Sophie goes to grab something out of the secure villain gadget storage area, which Marquis couldn’t access because reasons. There’s some rebuilding of team relationships after the strains of the season, and they make some progress on their various tasks. Marquis takes the setback about as well as you’d expect, and things start going off track again. There’s a lot of weirdness around getting Batwoman to an airborne target. The matter of Batman having assorted jets and helicopters to one side, Batwing can fly. It would have made a lot more sense to either send him, or at least have him carry Batwoman up there.
Finally getting aboard, Batwoman finds a lot of challenges and Sophie’s video-conferenced expertise makes it sound even worse. Exploring the ship, she finds the first assessment was optimistic. After surveying wreckage and bodies, there’s a fight with Marquis (how is he skilled enough to go one-on-one with her?) and some truly stupefying naivety on Batwoman’s part. There are a lot of reversals and the writers add parachutes to their list of things they don’t understand the operation of. As our hero and villain leave, Batwing arrives and tries to at least minimize the threat. There are very few options available, and he finally comes up with a plan that’s going to carry a high price. After a rough landing and some carelessness on Batwoman’s part, hostilities resume, and they both end up in danger. Rescue comes from a surprising quarter, and we see a flashback to an early scene that explains some of what’s going on.
Last-minute rescue or not, Marquis isn’t done fighting, and charges into the fray again. Apparently about done, Batwoman drops him and finally applies the cure (which still makes no sense). Running out of time, Sophie flails around for a few moments before finally steering the doomed ship to a less-populated place. There’s a lot of wreckage and Batwing gets a small heroic moment. With the big things out of the way, the wrap-up scenes begin, ending the season and, as I said before, possibly the series.
There’s a reunion of sorts with Ryan, Jada, and Marquis. It looks like a happy ending, but considering how many times Marquis has proven to be a master manipulator, I’m reserving judgement. In her own unique style, Alice leaves a note for Mary and makes a quiet departure. It’s possible this tortured soul is actually taking some steps toward healing, but again, we’ll see. Or not, if the show isn’t renewed. Ryan and Sophie get a little bit of private time with hints of things to come, and then Mary and Luke come in. There’s some banter and what could be the start of something new or a scene that actually works decently enough as a series finale. Then, as a coda, giving us hope for another season, we see that the last-minute diversion of the big bomb has had some side effects, and that Gotham reporters clearly don’t listen to OSHA.
What I liked: I’m glad Luke is getting some more time as Batwing. He’s earned being a hero in his own right. It’s good that the team seems to be reunited and on good terms. There was some decent action along the way.
What I didn’t: There were a lot of bad decisions and weird choices. Batwoman was really sloppy several times and won almost in spite of herself, not because of skill or planning. I’m really hoping we’re done with the Jet family now. The big reveal partway through, as I said, was goofy enough to be from the 60’s series. Just how many people know Ryan’s secret now?
What I’d like to see: If they come back, and I hope they do, Sophie needs a costume. In the comics, Batwoman works with Flamebird often, and some variant of that identity would work. Or give her a new one. I’m hoping for a cap on people in on the secret. And no more family drama, thanks.
I’ll do a piece about it when the assorted remaining Arrowverse shows make an announcement about their future. Right now, the only confirmations for next season are Flash and Superman and Lois. I guess we’ll see.