REVIEW: Batwoman, S1E11 – An Un-Birthday Present

batwoman 111 un birthday present

Batwoman hits another creative high with “An Un-Birthday Present,” which centers around Beth (Rachel Skarsten) adjusting to Kate’s (Ruby Rose) world while Kate realizes her lifelong dream of having her sister back. Elsewhere, this world’s Alice tries her hardest to shake Sophie’s (Meagan Tandy) resolve during an intense interrogation.batwoman 111 un birthday present alice

As silly as it is that this other Earth’s Beth just happens to have a degree in Astrophysics which allows her to perfectly comprehend the multiverse – especially when Mary (Nicole Kang) easily reached the same conclusion in a drunken ramble – it’s still very lovely to see Kate interacting with Beth as she could be. And it’s particularly emotional for her to imagine a life where she had managed to save her sister, as it complicates her feelings towards Alice even further and certainly the guilt she’s carried all her life.

Mary adds an interesting element to the triangle as well, and it’s one that evolves over the course of “An Un-Birthday Present.” She’s understandably jealous over competition from yet another blood-related sister, and she’s additionally traumatized by Alice having recently murdered her mother. Thankfully, getting to know the new Beth helps ameliorate her pain on both fronts, and by the end of the episode she and Beth are devising battle plans with Luke’s (Camrus Johnson) help.

A plan is needed because Kate is kidnapped (on her birthday, no less!) by Mouse as retaliation for Alice’s arrest near the start of “An Un-Birthday Present.” Though Jacob (Dougray Scott) had advised Sophie not to engage with their nemesis, she pushed forward with an interrogation in the hopes of gleaning insight into Alice’s Wonderland. While she did get plenty of walks down memory lane, she also got plenty more comparisons between Beth’s days as a prisoner and Sophie’s own closeted life.

batwoman 111 un birthday present sophieWhether anyone agrees with this warped assessment, Batwoman no doubt used it as an opportunity to show how close Kate and Sophie are. Close enough for Alice to notice and comment on. Between their “secret language” taught by survival training and Alice’s choice not to actually hurt Sophie, it seems like the developing relationship might even meet the deranged sister’s approval.

“An Un-Birthday Present” almost ends on the heartwarming note of the season, with a surprise party for Kate thrown by her sisters and with a protest for Batwoman outside of the GCPD. But then the cliffhanger comes swiftly, suggesting that Beth and Alice can’t keep existing on the same Earth. Hopefully there’s a way out of that predicament, because Skarsten did an amazing job playing both roles.

Batwoman airs Sundays at 8/7c on the CW.