Batwoman‘s “Initiate Self-Destruct” has left me disappointed for the first time in a while when it comes to Ryan Wilder’s superhero. And I feel conflicted about it on so many levels. *sigh* I don’t think that Ryan should’ve left Alice in the hands of that creeper in a mask aka damaged Kate.
It’s not like I don’t understand why Ryan did it. The reason why Ryan started on this journey was to get revenge for her mother being killed by Alice’s Wonderland Gang. But through time, patience, and perseverance we saw Ryan move past that anger. Or. I thought that we had seen Ryan move past that anger. “Initiate Self-Destruct” proves that she hasn’t.
For one, locking up Alice outside of where they had Angelique and Ocean. I get it, Alice is a wildcard and Ryan want’s to make sure that things go as smoothly as possible. Hell, I might’ve done the same thing if I were in her shoes. But throwing that little dig about telling Ocean what kind of monster Alice was/is was a cheap shot that I thought we were past.
And it made absolutely no sense for Ryan’s Batwoman to let Ocean go like nothing. I thought you were going to tell him what kind of monster Alice was? If not, then why did you say it? Why not follow through? It felt like an unnecessary line mean to claw at Alice and in turn ended up being like something I did not expect from Ryan.
Then there’s the whole leaving her in the hands of that creeper in a mask. Alice just helped you. She could’ve walked by but she didn’t. She chose a different path and tried to do something different. And how did Ryan repay this kindness? By abandoning her and leaving her in the hands of the newest creeper in Gotham.
And again, I’m conflicted on this. A part of me is cheering Ryan. Fuck Alice needing help after what she did to Ryan’s mom. But another part of me, the one that knows an eye for an eye does nothing, sees this as not what Batwoman should, could, or would stand for. The Batwoman that I thought I was getting to know would never do this. She would help.
The Batwoman I know wouldn’t have helped Alice because it’s what Alice deserves. Alice is the “bad guy.” The Batwoman I know would’ve helped Alice because that’s the right thing to do and heroes like Batwoman never lower themselves to the likes of the bad guys. So what happened in “Initiate Self-Destruct” felt out of character.
My only hope is that this is part of Ryan’s journey. Because she can’t hold onto the anger and pain of her mother’s death forever, especially not if it’s going to fuel her motivations to do things that are not up to the Batwoman code that Ryan herself has been working on initiating and making her own.
Until then, I’m going to keep believing that people can change and grow past the expectations they put on themselves and that others put on them. Because if not, what the hell is the point of life and what are we even doing here?
Batwoman airs Sundays at 9/8c on The CW.