We’re four episodes deep into Batwoman season 1, and there’s a major writing flaw when it comes to Sophie Moore, her character development, and especially her love story with Kate. This flaw needs to be corrected.
Of all of the Arrow-verse shows this season, I have to say, I’m the most excited to see Batwoman season 1 play out. However, as I explained in my review of Batwoman season 1, episode 4, which saw Kate with a new love interest and Sophie’s feelings about that, there’s a major issue with the way Sophie Moore is being written.
Aside from the fact that we’re already basically seeing the same story play out again (as we’ve seen on The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl ’s first seasons, where the main character is pining over someone unavailable), Batwoman has an even bigger flaw than those shows: Sophie isn’t being properly written or developed.
So far, Sophie is coming across as a very one-note character, which is a tragedy because Meagan Tandy and Sophie have so much to offer to the story, especially considering Sophie’s role in both Kate and Jacob Kane’s lives.
Sophie’s role on ‘Batwoman’ season 1
So far, Sophie has been relegated to the secondary character in almost every scene she’s been in. She’s been Kate’s former love a few times, a body guard (for Mary on Batwoman season 1, episode 3), Jacob Kane’s right hand on the Crows, but aside from her one brief scene with her husband, Sophie isn’t being written as a character in her own right.
We’re only just getting to the point of beginning to introduce her relationships and dynamics with other characters, but Sophie could easily be just another member of the Crows security team, rather than the important character on the show she’s supposed to be.
This is supposed to be Kate’s love interest, her endgame, but where is the writing to support that? We’re told Sophie is Kate’s love interest, but we’re not shown that, at least not for more than one second per episode. Even Kate’s one episode love interest, Reagan, was shown to have more chemistry and a much easier connection with Kate.
Failed by the writing of her character (or lack thereof)
As Kate Kane’s love interest in particular, the writing is completely failing Sophie. The short flashbacks we were shown on Batwoman season 1, episode 1 were from Kate’s point of view as her relationship with Sophie, which started at West Point Military Academy, blew up and left Sophie with one of the most impossible decisions she’s had to make. Because we haven’t seen this from Sophie’s perspective, she’s painted out to be the villain, even though that’s very clearly not the case.
What the writing has failed to do thus far, is paint the differences between Kate and Sophie’s reactions while they were told to either admit their sexuality, own their relationship, and leave the academy, therefore giving up their planned futures.
For Kate, someone from an upper class family, this was a no-brainer. For Sophie, who knows how she was supposed to handle this? We don’t know enough about her background to know why she chose to stay, though it’s very likely because Sophie couldn’t afford to lose her future.
Plus, Sophie did choose to marry a man, but we have no idea if her feelings for him are even real, or if she is forcing herself to be with him because she feels it’s the life she’s “supposed” to have. Because of her being villainized (by the show, the protagonist at times, and some fans) for not choosing Kate, and fans only seeing that one take on the situation, there’s a disconnect, and every scene between Kate and Sophie is hindered by it.
A similar disconnect from the character to the fans as ‘Arrow’ season 1, relationship-wise
Despite my love for Laurel Lance, the writing of Kate and Sophie’s relationship is failing like the writing of Oliver and Laurel’s did at the beginning of Arrow.
Because of the story Arrow was telling (Oliver returned from being presumed dead, after cheating on Laurel with her sister at the time of they both “died,” though it was thought Sara actually died), Laurel’s rightful and understandable attitude toward Oliver caused her to not connect with some fans. For one reason or another, this relationship just didn’t work, and that’s largely because of the story.
Laurel was painted to be the villain because of her unresolved anger toward Oliver, which was a completely normal reaction to what they had experienced, though it effectively ended any chance at a relationship between them. Likewise, Sophie, because her thoughts and feelings are not being explored, is being painted as the villain for making a tough choice (more than one actually), and the relationship is just failing to get off of the ground.
As we watched with Oliver and Laurel, and now with Kate and Sophie, we’re being told a love story exists, but the writing isn’t actually showing it. Much more goes into a relationship than an acknowledgement of feelings for the other person. Where are the longing glances? The stories together that develop both characters individually and pull them deeper to one another? In this case, where is Sophie’s story at all? Before it’s too late, Batwoman season 1 needs to rectify this enormous mistake and write Sophie Moore as both an important character and endgame love interest.
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW!