‘Batwoman’ season 1, episode 4 review: Stumbling along

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On Batwoman season 1, episode 4, Kate deals with the many growing pains of having her own suit and protecting Gotham under her own mantle. Meanwhile, Alice confronts Catherine about what she did when Beth first disappeared.

After creating her own suit and getting her own nickname to roam about Gotham with, Batwoman season 1, episode 4 sees Kate as she deals with being Gotham’s new hero; though I’m a bit surprised the city wasn’t more curious about why “Batman” disappeared and Batwoman showed up immediately after.

‘Batwoman’ season 1, episode 4 review

Batwoman season 1, episode 4 is probably my least favorite of the series so far, but it’s nice to see (some of) Kate’s growing pains, though there were a bit more than I would have liked.

Batwoman season 1 episode 4

The episode is much more light-hearted than I expected from the series, and I don’t really think that’s a good thing. Gotham is supposed to be dark, and Kate is supposed to be a hero within the darkness, but Gotham just doesn’t seem like what it’s supposed to be (or what we’re told it is).

While this was still a solid, strong episode, it just had a few more weak points than the series should have only four episodes in.

Alice and Catherine

Perhaps the standout moments of the episode were those with Alice as she began to hunt Catherine and hold her secrets against her, particularly what she’s kept from Jacob and Kate about Beth’s disappearance for all of these years. Rachel Skarsten continues to be the shining star of Batwoman, though each of the characters are becoming very capable and interesting (except for one, which is due to the writing, as I explain below).

As the season continues, I would love to see Alice and Catherine come into contact more. The tension in their scenes was palpable, and it’s so intriguing to see how Catherine reacts to Alice; Catherine’s simultaneously afraid of, and standing up to, Alice in the same moment.

Regarding what Catherine did, I can’t wait to see it come to light and realize how much her one decision impacted Beth, Kate, and Jacob’s lives. What would have happened if they had kept searching? Would they have found Beth? (Maybe an alternate reality episode is something that could be done down the road, where Beth never goes missing…)

Kate’s various growing pains

I mean, it’s only realistic that Kate would have growing pains as Gotham’s new vigilante, but I think it was a little excessive. While the batarang difficulties were a great way to showcase this (for both Kate and Luke), I think her sneeze in Magpie’s lair was quite unnecessary.

As much as I want to see Kate grow and learn how to be a vigilante, I also want to see her kicking ass and proving that she has what it takes to be a vigilante already. It’s like when Arrow screwed over Laurel Lance by removing all of her fighting abilities previously showcased on the series in order to make learning to be a vigilante even harder. It wasn’t necessary because the vigilante life is tough enough.

There will always be obstacles for Kate and Luke to face in the field, so overloading an episode with little ones like these just took away from how believable it is to see Kate as the sole hero protecting Gotham. At this point, I’m unable to buy that Kate could be Gotham’s savior, which (I believe) shouldn’t be the case.

Sophie

At this point, I’m worried about what Batwoman is doing with Sophie. It’s already partially unbearable to deal with the same story that we’ve seen on Arrow, Supergirl, and The Flash during their first seasons (having the lead character pine after someone who is in a relationship with someone else). As if that isn’t bad enough already, Sophie is also being screwed over by the writing.

I don’t feel any emotional attachment to Sophie or her relationship with Kate because it’s all being told to us. Kate and Sophie’s scenes aren’t soft or romantic, or anything else that would presume there was a romantic relationship between them (other than a twinge of jealousy when Sophie sees Kate with Reagan).

It’s clear Sophie is struggling with her sexuality, her feelings for her husband, and for Kate, so why can’t we see this? Why can’t we see more flashbacks of their time together in order to make that relationship real? Being told how Sophie and Kate supposedly felt and feel about each other isn’t enough to establish them as the couple we’re supposed to root for.

I want Sophie to be an important figure on the show, but it seems like she’s being glossed over right now and her story is already being treated as unimportant compared to the others’. Her importance should not be diminished. Sophie should be thoroughly explored like the other characters, and we should already have at least a bit of an understanding about her feelings for her husband… so why don’t we?

‘Batwoman’ season 1, episode 4 final thoughts

As I said before, Batwoman season 1, episode 4 wasn’t my favorite episode, though it was still entertaining and led the story forward. It’s only natural to have some filler episodes, seeing as we have a full 22-episode season to look forward to now.

However, Magpie was just not interesting enough to be the villain. In fact, she was one of the most forgettable villains in the Arrow-verse so far. Plus, Kate and Reagan’s relationship lasted all of two minutes, and I would have liked to see more of them (and hopefully that would have led into developing and discussing Sophie’s feelings).

Seeing Luke and Kate work out their partnership as a team, both in and out of the field, was probably my favorite part of the episode. The growing pains aside, it’s very clear that Luke is an instrumental part of Kate’s journey as Batwoman, and I’m glad that his presence on the show isn’t overshadowed by anything else.

Batwoman is still amazing, and it’s still one of my favorite shows currently on the air, but I really hope next week steps it up.

Batwoman airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW!

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