‘Batwoman’ 1×05 Review: “Mine is a Long and a Sad Tale”

Batwoman’s “Mine is a Long and Sad Tale” took us down the rabbit hole and finally gave us answers as to what happened with Beth all those years ago to transform her into Alice. Along the way, we also got to experience first hand how much Alice and Kate’s bond is hurting her step sister Mary and how lost Kate feels when it comes to Alice. All in all, it was a great episode that catapulted the plot forward and left us thirsty for more!

The Awakening of Alice

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Never has an episode title been so on point. Alice’s story IS a long and sad tale. And while, yes, it makes us sympathetic to what happened to Alice, it doesn’t erase all the bad she’s done. I say this because ever since Tom Hiddleston’s Loki came around there’s been a shift in the wind for how we look at villains. 

We’ve become sympathetic to villains to the point where everything and anything a villain does is excused because of their past traumas. Which, past traumas do create complicated characters, it doesn’t mean we excuse their actions because of it. I don’t think that’s what Batwoman is doing and I hope that people see that no matter what happened to Alice in her long and sad tale, she’s the bad guy.

Alice is the one who kills, who threatens, who steals from the dead. She did all of this. No one else. She used her hands to cause pain and anguish. Hell, she even used those hands to stab her father in the very home she was kept prisoner in for half her life. So, yes, I can sympathize with Alice. I can see her pain and where it sprung forth. But I can not excuse what she has done.

She has chosen her path, one of destruction and mayhem. And it’s up to someone like Batwoman to take her down before she REALLY causes irreversible danger to Gotham with Mouse by her side.

Mary Hamilton is a Goddamn National Treasure!

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I’ve got a feeling I’m never going to get tired of Mary Hamilton. She’s a national treasure and the road that they’re taking her down feels honest and real AF. I mean, who wouldn’t be grumbly and slightly mad that the sister she’s known for half her life treats her like a slightly annoying stepsister AND hangs out with a murderous psychopath instead of the good sister that Mary is.

All of this is going to build up and explode all over Kate and I’m ok with it. Mary just wants to be loved, appreciated, and cared for by the person she admires aka Kate. And in her drunken state with Luke we saw how deep those wounds run and how much Mary has been holding back because she’s a good person who likes to give people chances.

On a side note, I love that Mary went looking for Kate because she wanted to tell her that she wasn’t alone and that she found her mother’s role in all of this to be utterly disgusting. They don’t have a lot of people in their corners and Mary wanted Kate to know that she had Mary in her corner. That distinction matters and it just makes me love Mary Hamilton even more than last week’s episode and the one before that.

Kate Kane and All the Messed Up Shit She’s Going Through

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Kate was put through the ringer in this episode. Not only did she capture her sister and go on a road trip together to end all road trips, she found out what happened to Beth all those years ago to transform her into Alice. And honestly, I thought we would have to wait all season to find out what happened to Alice. That’s what shows do, right?

They tease.

They poke and prod.

And they make you wait all season long for answers. Now that we have them, I don’t know where we go from here or what comes next, honestly. Ok, back to Kate and all the messed up shit she went through in “Mine is a Long and Sad Tale.”

The trauma, the knowledge that Kate was only a foot away from her sister and rescuing her, broke Kate this episode. She worked so hard to find Beth and she wouldn’t give up when everyone else had already. And to find out she was soooooo close, it’s heartbreaking and pulls out all the what if’s and maybe’s in the world for Kate.

What she does from here on out is no one’s guess beside the writers. Because they gave Kate the truth in this episode. They also made her feel alone the way Beth did all those years ago all locked up and alone in that basement. Will Kate sympathize even more so with Beth now? Will she try harder to get her back on the straight and narrow? I can’t wait to find out. 

Favorite Scene from Batwoman’s “Mine is a Long and Sad Tale”:

Even though these two are absolutely mad, there was something especially sweet about this final scene between Alice and Mouse. They share a common trauma and want to set each other free from the pain that holds them down and defines them. Plus, confirmation that Alice looks at Mouse as if he were her brother means there will be trouble and a tug of war between siblings.

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

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