Everything that happened in the Batwoman Pilot


Welcome to Batwoman recaps! Buckle up, women, because we have a LOT of opinions.

The long-awaited show streams Monday nights, and AE will have the hot scoop Tuesday morning. You don’t want to miss this groundbreaking show starring Ruby Rose as a canon lesbian character, BUT in case you do, we’ve got you covered.

If you haven’t watched anything from the CW’s Arrowverse, here’s the gist: The various live-action series take place in a shared DC comics universe, including Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, and now Batwoman. The network does a solid job with “crossover events” where characters from one show end up in another show to team up against a Big Bad. As you can imagine, there’s a huge Arrowverse fandom.


A year ago, in the Elseworlds crossover, we got a teaser glimpse of a mature Batwoman who kicks butt and takes numbers. This Batwoman runs her sh*t. Also, Supergirl uses x-ray vision to see her tattoos?? It feels like they’re flirting. Are they flirting? See the scene here.

But the actual Batwoman show starts from the beginning, the origins of how Kate Kane (Bruce Wayne’s cousin) becomes the shero her city deserves when Batman has been missing from a divided Gotham for 3 years. So let’s begin!



The show starts mid-action. Like a sexy otter, Kate dives to the bottom of a frozen lake. She grabs a key to unlock the handcuffs on her ankles, and shoots back to surface. But wait! Someone suddenly covers the only escape hole in the ice. Ruh-roh!

As Kate’s losing consciousness, we flashback to childhood memory. A car accident leaves her, her sister, and mom dangling off a bridge. Batman shows up. We hear Kate yell that he’s leaving them to die, and we see his rope let go of the car. Only Kate is saved in time as the car crashes below. In a flurry of editing, we see Kate muster the power to break through the ice using her handcuffs.



It’s clear she still carries the rage of this event with the vigor of a triple Aries when some d-bag at the club hits on your BFF. In her mind, Batman didn’t care. We see Kate return shivering to a hut, where her sassy, tough-love guru says she wasn’t fast enough.

Meanwhile, in Gotham city, the bourgeoisie are arriving at an evening gala to turn off the Bat Signal and celebrate the new order of elite private security, The Crows, run by Kate’s dad—Commander Jacob Kane.

After taking selfies with the protesting proletariat, Mary Hamilton and her mother Catherine (yes to Asian representation!) approach the Commander, and it’s revealed that he’s her step-dad. Despite being a powerful man who is probably mixed up in some bad stuff, there is a playfulness and complexity to Jacob that will be interesting to watch.

Next we see Sophie Moore (played by Meagan Tandy from Teen Wolf), the golden girl of the Crows, running surveillance on the roof. All checks out. Until it doesn’t! A couple of agents are killed and the bat signal live stream is taken over.



Cue our villain. Alice looks like an evil hipster baby doll (I knew a few of these types in college). She’s crazy. We know this because she has crazy eyes. The sheer amount of whites around her irises should get this actress an Emmy.

Which made me think, why does she look familiar? A quick search of Rachel Skarsten made me gasp out loud. T-Tasmin?? From Lost Girl? For those of you who are not familiar with this obstinate, winged Valkyrie, you should honestly just stop what you’re doing and binge all 77 episodes of Emily Andras’ gay masterpiece. (Skarsten has also appeared in Andras’ Wynonna Earp, which we’ve covered here.) To this day, Lost Girl is still one of the finest and funniest representations of lesbians and bisexuals in the known universe.

Okay, back to Gotham: everyone is pooping their pants. Agent Sophie Moore chases down men in animal masks, only to be knocked off the railing and caught in a blanket by the bad guys. It’s a setup—she was the target! Sophie is rushed away in a van.

Kate gets a call from her step-sister Mary about the kidnapping, and gulps in lesbian. In a sultry flashback, we learn that she and Sophie were an item.



Fam. It happened. We got a kiss five minutes into a mainstream show. This must be a record right? The best thing is, while their relationship is treated with enough importance to be the plot catalyst, there is so much more to the characters than their sexuality.

In the flashback, we see they’re at a military academy. They need to be careful. Sophie jokes that she doesn’t want to get expelled when they’re so close to finishing, and they flirt about vacationing together. Sophie scribbles their initials into the wall with a heart. “Bold,” says a surprised Kate in reference to the love symbol. Wait—have these two not said those three words yet? Then literally then—yes RIGHT then— someone sees these goobers and Kate is expelled. Objection! (Mostly to the nacho-cheese timing of it.)



Kate asks Sophie to leave with her, but she refuses.

Kate: [mockingly reading letter] I hereby deny the below allegation of homosexal conduct. Blah, blah, kiss my ass. What do you say we burn these and scatter them across the Mediterranean?
Sophie: [painfully] I can’t. I’m staying.
K: …You signed it.
S: I told them what they wanted to hear.
K: You lied.
S: I need this school. I want to be here.
K: But they don’t want you.
S: Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of being offended by that. [pause] It may be best if just kept your distance from now on.
K: Hey, I know you love me. Tell me that I’m wrong and I’ll walk away and let you make the biggest mistake of your life.
S: [Tearfully] You’re wrong, Kate.

Kate’s behavior here is so CRINGE. She’s being a big ol’ trust fund baby and also just a baby baby. “I know you love me?” Ovary up sis. Tell her how YOU feel and let her make something of herself.

In the present, with news of Sophie’s disappearance, Kate books it back home, and visits her dad in The Crows’ high-tech lab. They haven’t seen each other in a long time. He warmly embraces her, and despite disapproving of her new neck tat, seems happy to see her. Kate is all business, and wants in on the rescue mission. Jacob isn’t having it.



So Kate motorcycles over to the empty, decrepit Wayne building where she knows there’ll be camera footage. Our soft butch shimmies up the building facade and into the office where she used to play as a kid. No one has been there in years. Suddenly, she’s caught! Cool as a cucumber, Kate deftly grabs a paper clip.

She lets herself get handcuffed by one-man security force and total nerd Luke Fox (assumed to be related to Batman’s #1 tech guy Lucius Fox) and taken to the secure HQ room. Bam! She uncuffs herself, downloads the surveillance she needs, and handcuffs Luke, dropping the keys at his feet just out of reach. To me, this is Batwoman swagger at its finest. It’s what makes the Bat powerful, considering there aren’t any superpowers involved— wit, stealth, and sometimes playing dirty. I hope we get to see a lot more of this.



Kate runs home but is caught off guard by a surprise party. Her step-sister Mary tells vapid stories and her step-mom Catherine only cares about the political optics. She shows her dad the footage and traces the weapon back to an old orphanage. Of course it’s a creepy orphanage. Cuz why not. Once again, her help is denied, so she goes there alone, scooting through dark so comically I laughed.

This is made up by the following fight scene. It needs to be said, Ruby Rose has nice physicality. She follows through on punches and has good footwork. It’s believable that this scrappy dyke could win a fight. Plus, she breaks a man’s face with a cast iron pan. It’s hot.

Eventually she’s knocked out, and wakes up to villian Alice, who tells Kate her dad isn’t the White Knight everyone thinks he is, and wants to take his power. Kate offers herself in Sophie’s place, but Alice, in an eerily compelling and sympathetic way, tells Kate that Sophie means much more to her dad than she does.



Kate wakes up at an illegal, underground hospital, run by no other than her sister Mary! Turns out Mary is using her medical degree for good, and Kate admits this makes her “more deep.” I suspect that Mary is going to be full of surprises and quickly a fan favorite.

After getting stitched up, Kate has it out with her dad. He feels like he tried to give her opportunities, while Kate says he sent her away, and ever since the accident, doesn’t want to see her because Kate reminds him of her sister and mom. Both sides are nicely realized. It seems like Jacob actually wants to work through this, but Kate needs to give him a chance.

Kate goes back to the Wayne building office and asks our boy Luke where Bruce is. He has no idea. Personally, all I could focus on is both of their outfits— I don’t know which I want to wear more, his burgundy suit or her diamond-quilted leather jacket.

Kate quickly sees an object out of place on the mantel and, voilà! Secret door opened. Down the hatch she goes into the Bat Cave, where she discovers her cousin’s identity.



Luke tells her that Batman thought he had secured the car her mom and sister were in, but the engineering was wrong. It haunted Bruce his whole life. Kate always thought Batman cared more about the bad guys than saving people, but now she knows the truth. She orders Luke to make her a female version of the suit, saying “it will be perfection when it fits a woman.”

Downtown, Jacob Kane and The Crows are keeping the public movie night event safe. He gets a bad vibe from an adjacent building. His senses were right— Sophie is up there with Alice. Jacob gets a phone call, where Alice tells him there’s a bomb by the families in the park, while Sophie is strung up above on a plank pirate-style. He has to choose.



Before he can, cronies start disappearing one by one around Alice. Batwoman appears, and they duke it out. Kate knocks the bomb controller out of Alice’s reach and off the edge, while Sophie starts to fall. Kate throws herself off the ledge with gusto. The two careen through the air. It’s actually SO epic I had to watch it a few times. Kate buffers their fall as they crash, covered in debris, on a bed in a construction room. How very gay of them.

A stunned Sophie breathes, “You’re… not him.” Kate says nothing and is smooth AF, looking deep into Sophie’s eyes. Their faces are inches apart. The tension palpable. Kate finally gets up and goes to open the door, only to have it locked. She sheepishly smiles, unlocks it, and walks out. I loved this touch.



The next day the city is buzzing with news of Batman’s return. Jacob isn’t impressed. Only Sophie knows it isn’t Bat-MAN.

Sophie and Kate run into each other at Crows HQ, joking at the coffee machine, when suddenly a male agent walks up. For a few seconds, viewers are led to believe he’s perhaps Sophie’s boyfriend. But then we hear Tyler say husband. Kate’s eyes go dead, and I shouted “HUSBAND??!” to my cat. This bland thumb is with hottie Agent Moore? No no.

This time, though, Kate has grown up. She puts on a good face, and Tyler doesn’t suspect that there’s a whole U-Haul of romantic feelings left between the two women.



In the family penthouse, Kate talks with her dad. He levels with her. Yes, he wanted to protect her from the danger of a military life, but that wasn’t Kate’s dream. Jacob admits he was too terrified to let her see action. He couldn’t lose his last daughter. But if she wants to join the Crows, she can.

In the last scene, we see Kate in the Bat Cave, committing to her role until Bruce returns. Suddenly, she makes a connection between Alice’s bejeweled dagger and her own family necklace. They have the same red gem. The pieces all come together. It becomes clear that Alice is… Kate’s sister Beth. Say what???? We hear Alice’s voice say, “I’ll win you over, my dear sister. The two of us will rule Gotham, together.”



So, what did you think of the episode? Stay tuned for next week’s recap!