Batwoman #201 "What Happened to Kate Kane?"

Dire Bare

I'm not going to work very hard at avoiding or hiding spoilers. If you haven't watched the episode yet, you shouldn't be reading a thread about it! :)

I think the Season 2 premiere debuted last Sunday . . . I didn't realize and missed it, caught it today on the CW app.

So, Kate Kane's (Ruby Rose) plane mysteriously crashed over Gotham, and while her batsuit was found in the wreckage, there is no sign of Kate's body. What happened to Kate Kane?

Last year, the star of the CW's Batwoman decided to leave the show as the stunts were too grueling for her, and she had suffered some serious injuries on set. I enjoyed Ruby Rose's portrayal of Kate Kane/Batwoman, I'm disappointed that we won't get to see the character develop further . . . but I totally respect the actor's choice to leave the show, as disruptive as it will be to the remaining cast, crew, and fans.

There's no ideal way to move forward when the star of your superhero show calls it quits . . . I've been hesitant and hopeful that the showrunners will be able to pull it off. I did briefly entertain hope that we might see a version of Barbara Gordan take the mantle, or perhaps adapt the storyline from the animated "Mystery of the Batwoman" where three women shared the mantle of the Batwoman . . . but the CW decided to create an entirely new character, Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie). Wilder is a troubled young woman who happens upon the wreckage of Kate's plane, finds the batsuit, and decides to use it to exact her own revenge . . . . I'm interested to see this character take form and I'm hopeful.

What I like . . . creating a new character, rather than re-casting or bringing in an existing DC heroine, expands the mythos in potentially interesting ways. Ryan Wilder is an African-American woman, and brings a very different look and feel to the pale, red-headed heroine from the comics. She wears the flame-red wig in the premiere episode, but promotional stills are showing her wearing a black wig that looks appropriate for an African-American woman (and by that, I mean it actually looks like the natural hair of a black woman). The character's backstory and personality are pretty different as well, although the writer's contrived a beef with series villain Alice.

We get a lot of scenes of the series various character's processing Kane's absence and likely demise, with some very good acting and character moments. Alice manages to twist the knife rather effectively with Commander Kane. It didn't strike me until this episode, although in retrospect it's obvious . . . but Jacob losing Kate is like Jacob losing Beth all over again, especially with no body and definitive answer to her fate.

Sadly, Tommy Elliott/Hush wearing the face of Bruce Wayne is wrapped up in this episode . . . more of Tommy/Hush/fake Bruce would have been welcome, but admittedly hard to pull off without Kate Kane around anymore. The mystery of Saffiyah deepens . . . We get the Batmobile!!! A pretty grounded, but still awesome take on the iconic car. The episode's villain sings the classic, "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg . . . "

One thing that struck me as odd . . . in the beginning of Season 1, Luke modifies Bruce's batsuit to fit Kate. In this episode, fake Bruce Wayne is obsessed with recovering the batsuit so that he can become Batman . . . why is the only option altering the existing suit?!?! Why can't Fox just make a new one! In the comics, Bruce usually has a closet full of batsuits, many specialized for various purposes . . .

I really enjoyed Season 1 of Batwoman, I'm sad to see Kate Kane/Ruby Rose leave the show . . . but overall I enjoyed this episode and I'm cautiously optimistic that the showrunners will be able to survive this pivot and keep Batwoman a fun and engaging superhero show.

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