This week of Batwoman had some unexpected surprises! We finally met the illusive Safiyah, who is set to be the big bad this season, but also had a few other name drops for iconic Batman villains along with an introduction to CW’s Victor Zsasz. As for Batwoman, Ryan is starting to make the role her own starting with some suit updates.
The episode seems like we are walking through two separate storylines but as we learn toward the end this all leads back to Safiyah and this feud with her and Alice. First, I want to talk about Gotham and then talk about what is happening on Coryana.
The Hit List
The opening of the episode introduces us to Victor Zsasz. In both the comics and on the show, Zsasz is a hitman who marks his kills on his skin. We saw another version of him over on Fox’s Gotham as well. In the comics and on Fox’s Gotham, Victor did not feel any pain whatsoever, but he mentions to Ryan here that he enjoys pain. This implies that he does feel pain, but it almost stimulates him like a drug.
We first see Zsasz attack seemingly random people until he does a hit on Hamilton Dynamics which brings it to the Bat Cave’s attention. Ryan recognizes Zsasz because she runs in circles with known criminals as opposed to Kate who was from the more upscale law enforcement background. Now Ryan isn’t a bad person, just had a difficult upbringing which gives her different perspective and social circles. We do learn later how specifically she knows Zsasz. For now, she does know enough that they can track him based on his high-end baby’s butt skin cream.
Batwoman’s first encounter with Zsasz doesn’t go well. While he doesn’t know who she is, he knows that she is not the same Batwoman as before and questions her and how comfortable she is in the suit. This leads to her later transformation and really the ‘making it my own’ push. I say this doesn’t end well because Zsasz shoots a missile at her forcing her to jump from the window to narrowly avoid being blown up. On the bright side, she did snatch the drive that contained Zsasz’s upcoming victims.
In looking at the hits there doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to any of it, so Ryan suggests finding the person that is hiring Zsasz to find the connection. Except, how do they do that? Well, Ryan meets with Zsasz with a sack of cash from Mary. Ryan uses her previous relationship with Angelique to start the conversation with Zsasz. I do think that this was an intentional name drop and someone we will see on the show. In the comics, Angelique is the evil version of Hawkgirl. She wears a white angelic costume, has wings, and is armed with a flaming sword. Angelique was also the first lieutenant for Crime Syndicate’s Made Men. I think this will be a good personal arch for Ryan and is potentially the big bad after Safiyah. Being Angelique’s ex does seem to earn Zsasz’s respect enough to open the conversation. She then slides over the bag of money, but he doesn’t take the job. She mentions knowing who she needs to outbid but he also declines giving that information. They obviously knew getting information directly from Zsasz was a long shot, but there was a device sniffer in that bag that retrieved information from Zsasz’s phone. After going through the encrypted data, we learn that Safiyah is the one ordering the hits. Unfortunately, Mary and Luke are not in the Safiyah information loop.
At the end of the last episode both Alice and Sophie were knocked out by Safiyah’s right hand woman Tatiana. This week they wake up on the beach of Coryana where they have been brought to meet with Safiyah. For most of the episode Sophie spends her time with Tatiana waiting while Alice and Safiyah take care of business.
There was some background information on Alice and her relationship with Safiyah. Apparently, she ended up here after fleeing the house of August Cartwright. It is hinted that there was a relationship here which Sophie presumes is why Tatiana hates her so much. However, Tatiana says that Alice broke their most sacred rule. When Alice left the island the first time, she tried to take a Desert Rose with her. Safiyah tells Alice that she has forgiven her for that a long time ago but giving the Desert Rose to the people of Gotham for Safiyah’s attention was a major mistake. Alice justifies this by reminding her that she has been receiving notes from Safiyah. This happened when the Wonderland Gang was killed and again when Kate’s plane exploded. Safiyah denies doing either. Eventually they strike a deal with Safiyah admitting that Kate is alive and, in her possession,, but not on the island. In order for Alice to get Kate she has some unknown task she must complete for Safiyah. She then lets both Sophie and Alice go with them waking up back in Gotham at the end of the episode.
Meanwhile, back in Gotham, Safiyah is not done sending names for Zsasz to kill. When he comes after Mary, we learn that he is wiping out anyone that knows about or received the Desert Rose cure. Mary not only knows it would work on the poison, but also learned that it cured a patient’s cancer. This explains Safiyah’s desperation at keeping it secret.
Of course, Batwoman steps in and saves Mary but this time with her own look. She has a new wig and some other adjustments that made it hers. She knocks out Zsasz which leads to him being arrested. Later Luke and Ryan come to an understanding about her being in the suit whether or not Kate returns.
Joker and Scarecrow?
Jacob Kane this episode gave us some interesting things to maw on. In the beginning of the episode, they mentioned a new drug on the street called Snakebite. Batwoman even stops a drug deal in the opening of the episode. He explains at the Crows that this is a combination of both psychedelic mushrooms and Scarecrow’s Fear Toxin. This could hopefully lead us to the introduction of a CW Scarecrow!
As if that wasn’t enough. Kate’s phone was recovered from the scene of the plane crash and brought to Jacob. Once he gets in, he scans her messages and finds an image. At the top it says, Safiyah? But the painting in the picture was made by Jack Napier! Jack Napier is the Joker! Could we have the set up for seeing Joker? Yes, please! They have said in universe that Joker is dead, Batman killed him. However, some have been skeptical. Could he have been in Arkham? And was he released by Alice when she let inmates from Arkham go last season?
Sophie also drops the information to Jacob that Kate may very well still be alive, so I expect to see more searching in the future.
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