Season 2 Episode 2
Prior Criminal History
Official Description – After her quick spin in the Batgear, Ryan Wilder is back to facing the daily challenges of life as herself; Alice has a new devious plan to get the attention of both Gotham and Safiyah; Ryan comes face to face with Alice for the first time.
The show opens with Alice. Her descent in to madness is palpable. Alice is having trouble dealing with the loss of Kate and the arrival of a new enemy. In order to gain the attention of the Bat Family, she devises a deadly new plan. In administering that plan, she has confrontations with Mary Hamilton, Julia Pennyworth, and Ryan Wilder. Later, Alice is confronted by a formidable foe and finds herself in a precarious position.
Meanwhile Ryan is having problems with life as a homeless ex-convict. A flashback scene shows that Ryan is attacked on Halloween several months prior. And although Batwoman helps her, she is able to fight off one of her attackers. In the present, Ryan is looking for a new job. Unfortunately her criminal past is a hinderance to her.
Later, she saves the cashier at a grocery store, but is arrested when the Crows show up. She is then interrogated by Sophie, and we learn they have had run ins before. After Sophie infers something Alice, Ryan goes to Mary to follow up.
Mary and Luke Fox are questioned about Kate’s secret life as Batwoman. Their responses are to the ire of Jacob Caine and Sophie Moore. The latter are dismayed by their ignorance of Kate’s alter ego. We also learn that the citizens of Gotham have been made aware of the Crows intents toward Batwoman and desire retribution.
When the citizens of Gotham gather in protest, Ryan must again take up the mantle of Batwoman to save them. She later desires to act in Kate’s stead on a permanent basis. She also learns that Kate wrote about her encounter with Ryan, and believed her to be a force for good in Gotham.
Even though the main plot of this week’s episode is a bit hokey, the characters are enough to keep me invested. Rachel Skarsten shines as Alice. I’m interested in her story arc this season as she navigates the world without her sister. There is no one left to protect Alice from the consequences of her actions. And she’s made enough enemies that she may never have a moment’s peace.
Having Ryan as Batwoman is a positive change. It is an opportunity to show a different side of Gotham. Previously, we’ve seen criminals through the perspective of the upper class in a relatively black and white manner. There is now a chance to show a more nuanced point of view. As well as a means to speak on the socio-political caste system of current times. I hope the show takes advantage of these opportunities.