‘Batwoman’ Series Premiere Review: The Makings of Queer Greatness

Batwoman has finally landed and oh boy do I have feelings about everything that went down in the pilot, from Ruby Rose’s performance to the gayyyyyyy that is now on our screens and will be for many Sundays to come, I’m ready and waiting for more Batwoman!

Note: If you’ve read the Batwoman comics then a lot of what happened in the first episode is a given and you know what’s coming. I’m going to act under the assumption that you haven’t read the comics, which is more than ok. Maybe now is the time and this is the inspiration needed to get you into comics. Welcome, we’re glad to have you here. So, no worries on spoilers or nagging about how the comic is different from the show. Of course it’s going to be different, and like never reading the comics until now, if you choose to do so, it’s more than ok as well.

Ruby Rose Did a Good Job and That’s the Tea

Since the very moment that Ruby Rose was announced as taking on the role of Kate Kane there has been hesitation. Ruby hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to act and the things that she has previously worked on weren’t supremely stellar performances. Hell, even I doubted in the beginning if someone like Ruby could pull off one of the best superheroes out there. Here I am eating my words because I think Ruby Rose did a fine job as Batwoman.

Her journey is just beginning but I’m already invested in the path that Kate Kane has chosen for herself and for Gotham. She is here to stay and she’ll be damned if she lets someone kidnap someone she cares for in a city where her family lives. That’s why Kate Kane and Ruby Rose succeed when it comes to the story, the drama, the action that is a part of Batwoman. There are things to invest in and I’m all here for it!

Was it perfect? No. It’s the pilot after all and it’s the episodes after that really matter. But I can’t help but think back to the premiere episode of Arrow. That wasn’t perfect; not even close to being so. And I gave Oliver Queen a chance even though years later I’m bitter about the direction that Arrow has taken when it comes to its writing. So why wouldn’t I give Batwoman the same chance, the same leniency? Why shouldn’t you?

Give Me All the Queer

Batwoman is unapologetically queer. That’s it. That’s the tweet. That’s the Facebook post or the Tumblr one. Batwoman is a lesbian and there is no going back from that declaration. It’s not like I doubted the lesbian part of this. What I did doubt is TV actually showing two women in love/like because I’m a jaded queer who is ready and willing to accept the gay but still hurt by shit that happened all the way back with Lexa on The 100.

A part of this unapologetic queer and why I love Kate Kane so much is that she was given a choice. She could hide who she was. She could keep moving forward in her career and achieve a great many things in the military. The only thing is that the price would be lying/hiding who she truly was and Kate couldn’t do that. She spoke her truth even if she got fucked over by the military and put into a position where it was lie or speak your truth and get cut from the career path she was on. It takes great cojones to do what Kate did and I’m super proud of her. 

Also, I’m not even mad at Sophie for keeping mum and continuing to work in the military. Being a woman and a person of color already is something that could hold her back because bigotry and sexism is still real in this day and age. Add to that the fact that she was gay and it would’ve cost her her career. And maybe this is all she had? Maybe this was it? Maybe she didn’t want to lose this opportunity to lift herself up by her bootstraps and she didn’t want to give it up. Basically, queer people should choose when and where they decide to come out. And there are strengths to both what Kate did and what Sophie did. 

From here on out I hope The CW, the Batwoman writers room, and everyone responsible for the gay that we’ve seen so far on this show, that we get more of the unapologetically queer. I don’t want Kate’s queerness to disappear because she’s got ass to kick. Oliver Queen kicked all sorts of ass and still found time for love. Kate can do the same thing.

Lost Siblings and Step Siblings

Alice, played b Rachel Skarsten, being Kate’s sister is woah territory with a side of ‘what the fuck is even going on here?’ As soon as Kate took a closer look of that blade I knew. Hell, even before that, there was this tension, this pull between Kate and Alice that spoke of a bond more than just enemies. Alice is Kate’s long thought dead sister that she still hasn’t properly mourned. And Alice, well that woman is crazier than a bag of cats and I can’t wait to find out what got her to this place in life.

Kate, knowing what she does now, isn’t going to sit idly by and just fight her sister. No, she’s going to find Alice, talk to her, and most likely going to reveal her identity because it’s her sister and family is hella important to Kate. It’s all going to go tits up, I guarantee it, but Kate is going to try to pull her sister to the side of light before realizing that her sister is no more than a shadow of her former self that shares DNA with Kate.

And then there’s Mary Hamilton, played by Nicole Kang. I was ready to hate Mary. Not going to lie about that. She seemed vapid, obsessed with her phone, and every bit of the Gen Z kid who is only concerned with herself. Thank god I stuck it out and gave her a chance because she surprised me more than the Alice being Kate’s sister plot twist. 

I think a part of me was ready to dismiss Mary before I even knew who she was because of the dreaded step sibling trope that goes around saying that step siblings = evil. In this case, the trope is out the window and far from the relationship that Mary and Kate will build. Build being key because I think Kate thought of Mary in the same way I did and was pleasantly surprised when everything wasn’t what it seemed.

Kate’s step sister is kind, in the know, and the kind of person that you need by your side when shit hits the fan. So bring on more step sibling bonding, The CW’s Batwoman! I’m here for it and can’t wait to see if Mary becomes the confidant that Kate needs as she takes on the entirety of Gotham, it’s crime syndicates, and Alice.

Batwoman airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.

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