Batwoman‘s “Prior Criminal History” made a couple things abundantly clear. One, that Kate Kane’s legacy is going to be a core part of everything that happens this season. Two, that Alice is hurting more than she’s letting on. And three, that Sophie is done with just taking everyone’s shit. Times have changed, Kate is gone, and only moving forward will our characters find what they’re meant to do next in season two.
The Legacy of Kate Kane
“Prior Criminal History” made it’s season message crystal clear. Kate Kane will always be Batwoman. She will always be a hero and the one that started this crusade. And she will never be forgotten. But the introduction of Ryan Wilder isn’t about erasing Kate Kane. Allowing Ryan to have the opportunity to transform into Batwoman is about keeping Kate’s legacy alive when she can’t.
What Kate did for Gotham is more than just putting on a suit or fighting bad guys. Kate’s legacy is about standing up for those who need it, giving hope when things seem hopeless, and representing those who have felt silenced. Ryan taking on that mantle is a step in the right direction to continue doing all that great work. But it’s also an opportunity to try and expand on who Batwoman is a symbol in ways that have never been explored before.
You could see hints of this expansion in small moments like Ryan knowing that they couldn’t lure the bats to a specific place because it was a homeless encampment. Kate wouldn’t have known that. But Ryan does. She sees Gotham in a different light because her experience is vastly different from Kate’s. And that’s not a dunk on Kate or a negative thing. They’re just different life experiences that will expand on the Batwoman legacy as a whole to encompass more people, issues, and experiences.
What is Going on With Alice
Mary was right. Alice is hurting over the possible death of Kate. Her sister was the only person who gave a fuck about Alice, even when stuff got dark at the end there and Kate left her at Arkham. She’s allowed to feel confused, defeated, and lost without her sister there. In a way, Kate gave her purpose and now she’s untethered and lost without her to act as an opposing force to the darkness inside Alice.
Also, we don’t think killing Kate would’ve given Alice the satisfaction she said it would. Even if she had managed to trick her father into killing Kate, it wouldn’t have fixed what has been broken inside of Alice. It won’t cure her from her pain, confusion, and heartache over what she has endured. And she can keep telling herself this lie til she’s blue in the face, but it won’t change the fact Alice is still hurting.
Getting Safiyah to come to Gotham isn’t going to fix the pain that Alice is experiencing either. It’s a coping mechanism to hide the fact that she doesn’t know what to now and she needs someone to blame. Safiyah is an easy scapegoat to ignore Kate’s loss. But there will come a moment, a time where it will all come crashing down around Alice, and we can’t wait to see what kind of woman we’re left with when she lets herself feel her anguish. Now that’s a woman I can’t wait to meet.
The Case for Sophie
Now, it’s no shocker that we’ve previously had problems with Sophie and the direction they were taking her storyline in. We just couldn’t sympathize or connect with her. But after “What Happened to Kate Kane?” we can see the light and are totally Team Sophie now. “Prior Criminal History” built on that surprising love by having a Sophie who was done holding back or hiding from what she wants. And we are here for it.
It’s Sophie’s time to be honest with herself and those around her. That’s what led to the honest moments with Julia. This wasn’t Sophie trying to shame Julia or make her feel bad for hiding secrets from her. This was Sophie saying enough. People have hidden things from her before and she’s let it slide. That time is done. Sophie deserves honesty and she’s going to fight for that at every turn in her life.
This shift in who Sophie is now isn’t her being difficult or “too much” as some fans are obviously going to say. This is Sophie realizing that she missed out on something grand in her life, aka Kate and everything that came with it, because honesty wasn’t part of the equation. She is now making it a priority in how she treats herself and how she’ll allow partners to act with her. No more hiding or making excuses. That only leads to regret and Sophie does not want to feel that ever again.
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.