REVIEW: Batwoman, S1E12 – Take Your Choice

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The gift from the multiverse in last week’s Batwoman quickly becomes a curse in “Take Your Choice” as the fast and loose rules of the post-Crisis world dictate that only one Beth (Rachel Skarsten) can remain alive at any given time. Kate’s (Ruby Rose) fateful choice is sure to have consequences that last the rest of the season, and the horrible circumstances demand series-best performances from much of the cast.

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A tale of two sisters.

While I undoubtedly have high praise for this episode, I must first discuss the continuity issues with the Arrowverse at large. How can Supergirl have an arc about two Winns occupying space on one Earth (with no issues other than the daddy kind) at the same time and still expect fans to believe they take place in the same ‘verse? It’s certainly a case of the right hand not knowing what the left is doing, because the time-space continuum is giving Alice nosebleeds whereas Winn gets nothing more than the possibility of jail time.

But back to “Take Your Choice,” which really is a good episode. The universe really does seem to be against Beth, because not only is she on the verge of death thanks to her doppelgänger’s existence, but she’s also a Wanted Woman. Sophie (Meagan Tandy) goes so far as to put out a kill order to the Crows, declaring that they should shoot Alice on sight, and proceed with searches and seizures for anyone passing through. It’s tough to watch her take such drastic action, but after what happened to Jacob (Dougray Scott, who keeps taking hits in prison this week) there is some sense to it.

At least when push comes to shove, Sophie chooses to listen to her better instincts – and to Batwoman’s voice inside her head – and not pull the trigger on Alice (who was actually Beth, but more on that later). Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the outcome of “Take Your Choice,” because an even bigger bad comes back to into the picture that Alice or Mouse: Mouse’s father. Turns out the Wonderland Gang only thought he was dead, but he’s been hiding behind someone else’s face all this time, and he’s none too happy that his son chose Alice over his own abusive self. It’s a twist we should’ve expected, but it doesn’t make his presence any easier to swallow.

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Luke wondering when he gets a storyline.

Mary (Nicole Kang) is once again a standout in “Take Your Choice,” as she not only takes initiative to hide Beth from the Crows at the start of the episode, but she’s also the key to finding the solution near the end. After Alice confronts her better self, and comes to the heartbreaking realization that Kate saved her in another life, she attacks Mary for her blood. Why? Because some of the antidote is still in her blood, which would cure the multiverse disease. That doesn’t sound like solid science fiction, but Mary gives Kate her options anyway: either give the cure to Beth, or give it to Alice.

The fact that Mary leaves it in Kate’s hands is generosity itself, considering how obvious the answer should be. Thankfully, Kate agrees, even if it kills her to do so. She cures Beth, amidst a bittersweet discussion about the other Earth and Kate’s soulmate on it (tell me it was Sophie!). Then she proceeds to visit Alice, and remain with her for her final moments in lieu of saving her life. It’s truly heart-wrenching, and both actresses give it their all in both scenes.

Of course, this is when “Take Your Choice” reaches its dreaded climax, which was inevitable since there was no way Alice would die halfway through the first season. Just as Sophie chooses not to take aim at her ex’s sister, Mouse’s father does. Believing that he is ridding his son of Alice, August Cartwright shoots Beth down and she dies in Luke’s (Camrus Johnson) arms. Which means that Alice is fine now, and madder than ever that her sister chose not to save her twice. Can’t wait to see how that plays out next week, though I’ll admit I’m still bummed it had to turn out this way.

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