REVIEW: Batwoman, S1E2 – The Rabbit Hole

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Batwoman‘s pilot was rough, it can’t be denied. “The Rabbit Hole” was a massive improvement, but it still doesn’t reach the level of its Arrowverse predecessors. The good news is that it can continue to build on the new mysteries and deepened dynamics of this week, even if Ruby Rose’s performance still has a long way to go.

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Little Beth lost?

“The Rabbit Hole” deals with, appropriately, Kate’s theory that Alice (Rachel Skarsten) is her long lost sister Beth. The episode fills in the gaps between her disappearance and the moment Jacob (Dougray Scott) gave up on find her, and those scenes are far more compelling than they were last week. Young Kate is a brave and determined soul, wracked with guilt over not being there for her sister, which genuinely helps to garner more sympathy for her adult self. By the end of the episode, it’s almost certain that her father made up the discovery of bone fragments to free his other daughter from the interminable search. Which also explains the extent of Alice’s bitterness.

Alice spends a lot of “The Rabbit Hole” playing mind games concerning her identity with Kate, testing her by casting doubt on her knowledge and memories. She also murders the old couple living in her family home, making even Sophie (Meagan Tandy) consider her a threat that needs to be taken out. Despite this, Kate protects Alice from her father and the Crows. She even goes so far as saving Alice from drowning in a police car, in a beautifully shot full-circle moment. Jacob’s insistence on denying the possibility, on the other hand, calls his motives into question. Perhaps he doesn’t want to admit he purposely gave up the ghost when it came to his own daughter, but his shoot-first-ask-questions-later policy suggests he might’ve had something to do with Catherine Hamilton-Kane’s (Elizabeth Anweis) shady cover-up at the end.

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Life’s full of tough choices.

Another sister who made a splash in “The Rabbit Hole” is Mary (Nicole Kang), who is the sweetest and smartest character on Batwoman and consistently proves it in all her scenes. Between fighting for a better healthcare system, trying to make a dinner date with Kate happen, and fending off Alice’s goon until Batwoman arrives, Mary was at her best. The scene where she confronts Kate about not feeling like a real sister to her was a highlight of the night, and hopefully the start of something new for them. As long as her mom doesn’t drive a wedge between them, that is.

Sophie was torn between her concern for Kate, her tangled history with the Kanes, and her loyalty to her husband. It’s refreshing to see both ladies face their issues head on instead of tiptoeing around each other, with Sophie directly asking if Kate is Batwoman (even if Kate lied in response) and Kate directly asking if Sophie was happy with her partner (even if Sophie probably lied in turn). It’s unclear where the story will go from here, but the potential for a return to their romance is definitely there.

As always, Rachel Maddow’s Vesper Fairchild voiceovers were a highlight. Perhaps she can start narrating entire episodes?

Batwoman airs Sundays at 10/9c on the CW;