Season 2 Episode 4
Fair Skin, Blue Eyes
Official Description – As Batwoman attempts to fight the proliferation of Snake Bite through Gotham, a random encounter forces her to revisit her painful past; Ryan Wilder is determined to ensure others like her don’t go unnoticed.
While this episode mainly focuses on Ryan, the search for Kate Kane continues. Colonel Jacob Kane announces that Kate may still be alive. He uses the media to issue a large reward to anyone that has information on her whereabouts. Later, Alice goes to Sophie’s apartment to seek help in her own search for Kate. And after a brief confrontation, the two team up, and with the help of Luke Fox, follow their own leads.
Elsewhere in Gotham, Ryan is tasked by a young boy to find his missing brother Kevin. Ryan and Mary Hamilton work the case. While they go over the little information they have about the missing young person, it appears that Ryan has a personal connection to the case. A tragic piece of her youth is revealed and she uses this experience to gain some pertinent information. Then, Ryan finds herself battling old demons as she faces off against a past foe. Finally, in an attempt to rescue Kevin, she is faced with a new danger, and finds herself on the same side as Colonel Jacob.
The personal lives of our characters are also addressed. Ryan is forming a deep friendship with Mary, and the two bond over their current situations. Mary is struggling with the loss of Kate while Ryan is dealing with life in a new environment. Ryan must also make a decision on how to proceed with a former flame.
I like how this version of Batwoman shows the underbelly of Gotham through the lens of the disenfranchised. I think Ryan’s journey to becoming a hero is much more nuanced than Kate Kane’s or even Bruce Wayne’s. Each episode appears to highlight the difference between the world of the Bat Family and the society they believe they are helping.
The major theme of this episode is the lack of care for the lives of impoverished young people. Especially Black kids. Delving into Ryan’s journey shows the different treatment missing children are given based on race and class. It also shows how racial bias contributes to its continuation. More importantly for me, it shows the care Black women give and have for Black people. Being seen and heard is important, and Batwoman is doing just that. For both Gotham and prime time.