Batwoman’s “What Happened to Kate Kane?” is the start of a new journey that doesn’t erase all the moments that came before it. Instead, Kate Kane’s presence is felt throughout the entirety of the season two premiere. Her loss hits all the characters in various ways and it feels like the Batwoman’s writers room have taken our hands and mourned with us when it comes to the departure of Kate.
Ryan Wilder, played Javicia Leslie, and her subsequent arrival as the new Batwoman is going to take some getting used to. That happens with huge shifts like this. But we’re here for her journey, the changes that she will bring to such an iconic LGBTQ comic book character, and the lives she will save along the way.
Ryan Wilder and Her Everything
Not going to lie, when Ryan came on the scene we were hesitant. Who wouldn’t be after everything that happened in season one of Batwoman? Because as messy as the show could be sometimes, we loved Kate Kane to bits and wanted to see her story continue. But change came, whether we like it or not, and it’s time for something revolutionary. That change, that future, is Ryan and her version of Batwoman.
At first, there were bits and pieces of Ryan that felt cheesy AF. It was the monologue that did it. But what superhero on DCTV hasn’t had one of those (or many) where they explain why they’re on this hero’s journey? All of them have had this moment and we’re not going to judge Ryan for laying it all out. In fact, we should give her the same time, patience, and respect that we’ve given to the male counterparts of the Arrowverse, or whatever it’s called now.
Ryan is in pain and she’s trying to channel it into something more in “What Happened to Kate Kane?.” That’s why she took the Batsuit. That’s why she went after Alice’s gang. That’s why she keeps fighting for more, even when the odds are stacked against her. And that’s why it hurt so much to see Ryan reading about Kate’s heroics with the suit and without, while putting herself down at the same time.
There is potential for Ryan to be more. We can see it and feel it. And even though we hate that Ryan has been hurt by that kryptonite, we’re excited at the eventual reunion with Mary and Luke. Because she can’t do this alone. Kate couldn’t and neither should Ryan. Hopefully, along the way, Ryan will open up to these Mary and Luke and start forming a new kind of found family that doesn’t erase Kate’s journey but embraces it while continuing to move forward.
The Loss of Kate Kane is Felt
Coming into season two, we were worried about Kate Kane’s storyline. We had no idea how they would handle it, if they would just brush it off, or if the mystery of her disappearance would be compelling enough to keep us watching. After watching “What Happened to Kate Kane?” I can say, with complete confidence, that this show isn’t going to forget Kate Kane. They’re going to honor her and keep fighting for her.
Kate, even though she only makes an appearance in the previously on section, is felt throughout this entire episode. Mary won’t give up on her, no matter what. This is her sister and she’s not giving up on her. Sophie is battling feelings of love that she hasn’t faced in a while and might not ever get a chance to again. It doesn’t matter that their relationship has had its ups and downs. Their bond was and is still there.
We were especially surprised by Kate’s dad Jacob. He’s always been so rough around the edges, difficult to connect with. Now, he’s broken and feeling like what happened to Beth all those years ago is now happening to Kate. In his mind he feels like he failed both of his daughters and he shows it, with no holding back like he usually does, in his conversation with Mary.
Even Luke hit us in the feels. Him blaming himself for what happened to Kate hit hard. He doesn’t trust a lot of people and he let Kate in. In return, they became a team against all the baddies in Gotham. And the guilt pouring out of him is felt by us and Mary, who helped him process his emotions and start working on a plan instead of giving up when things got tough, and oh did they ever in episode one of season two.
In many respects it reminds me of the episodes of Teen Wolf when star Dylan O’Brien couldn’t be on the show due to an injury. Amazing forms of storytelling saved this show and made it so even though O’Brien wasn’t on set, he was never forgotten. He was on everyone’s mind and we see the same when it comes to Batwoman’s Kate Kane.
Mary is Once Again the MVP
We’ve always had major love for Mary Hamilton. She was unexpected, kind, funny, talented AF, and knew how to connect with people at the drop of a dime in season one. She continues to be that same person in season two of Batwoman. Yes, there were no laughs in this episode. Mary is suffering through the pain of the disappearance of Kate. But she persevered and continued to show us and those around her that she is a fighter.
Mary’s not going to give up. Whatever happened to Kate is going to be on her minds for the entire season. After everything they went through together in season one, who wouldn’t be. They were working as a team, getting to know each other better, and making the first real steps to becoming sisters. There’s no way Mary is going to let go of that and she’s not going to let those around her falter when they need to stand tall and keep fighting for Kate.
We do have to say that we wanted to hug Mary so tight in “What Happened to Kate Kane?” She fought so hard to stay strong for others the entirety of the episode. And she fooled us into believing that she was handling things as best as she could. The end of the episode showed us that Mary is hurting more than anyone can imagine. We really hope that she opens up to Luke or Ryan as the show progresses. Mary deserves to have a shoulder to cry on like she has done for others.
Also, kudos to Mary trying to learn more about Ryan Wilder. She could’ve gone, “I don’t care who you are or what problems you have, Ryan. Take off the suit.” Instead, Mary sat down, did her research, and connected with Ryan in a way she never expected while realizing that they are fighting for the same people. This small spark gives us hope that at some point down the line, Mary and Ryan will form a special bond, centered around changing the lives of those less fortunate and finding out what happened to Kate Kane.
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.