It’s a much better episode. While it’s not great, it’s at least enjoyable this time. The direction’s a lot better than the pilot; there’s not a lot of Batwoman action, but there’s a lot of action. Including civilian Nicole Kang having to defend herself from a bad guy because the show’s all in on the Batwoman (Ruby Rose) and Alice (Rachel Skarsten) are sisters and step-sister Kong is making Skarsten jealous by the end. It’s impressive, how immediately and seriously the show takes the whole sisters arc. Rose isn’t… great but she’s not bad and she’s definitely getting better. The show’s got a weird narrative distance with her, a lot more comfortable with Skarsten’s villain or even dad Dougray Scott’s private military force thing. The show’s desperate to namedrop Batman and Bruce Wayne, all of it entirely on Rose, and it’s all pointless.
There’s some really bad narration—Rose’s emails to Bruce or something—and it stalls the show’s momentum. But it doesn’t kill it, because this episode’s pretty good.
The weakest link—other than Scott, whose not Dennis Quaid enough for this part—is ex-girlfriend Meagan Tandy. She and Rose get thrown together, but they don’t have much energy and even less chemistry. The stuff with Rose and Skarsten—and there’s a ton of it; like I said, show’s going all in on it—that stuff’s good. It makes the episode and seems like it’ll help make the show.
And Kang’s really good. Yes, she’s got an interesting character built-in—ostensibly stupid famous social media influencer is actually a genius medical student who runs an underground clinic but Kang brings the right personality to the part. “Batwoman”’s got a tenuous grasp of its own reality and Kang’s a great grounding force. She makes Rose and Scott and all their nonsense seem a little less unreal, whereas Tandy just brings out the absurdity.
As the seemingly duplicitous mom to Kang, step-mom to Rose, Elizabeth Anweis is way too low energy. Though it could also be the thin part.
But, big improvement. Enjoyable episode. What more do you want.