Episode 01/11 - "An Un-Birthday Present"

Discussion in 'Batwoman' started by Dr., Jan 11, 2020.

  1. Dr. From parts unknown

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    Scheduled airdate: January 26, 2020

    Synopsis:

    MAKE A WISH – On the Kane sisters’ birthday, Kate (Ruby Rose) and Alice (Rachel Skarsten) contend with demons from the past, and an unexpected guest makes a surprise appearance in Gotham. Also starring Dougray Scott, Meagan Tandy, Nicole Kang and Camrus Johnson and guest starring Sam Littlefield. Mairzee Almas directed the episode written by Chad Fiveash and James Stoteraux.

    *

    “They gave it me,” Humpty Dumpty continued thoughtfully, as he crossed one knee over the other and clasped his hands round it, “they gave it me--for an un-birthday present.”
    “I beg your pardon?” Alice said with a puzzled air.
    “I’m not offended,” said Humpty Dumpty.
    “I mean, what is an un-birthday present?”
    “A present given when it isn’t your birthday, of course.”

    - Through the Looking-Glass​
     
    #1 Dr., Jan 11, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
  2. Dr. From parts unknown

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    Episode promo:

     
  3. NotNickFury Registered

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    Curious about Alice and Beth having that migraine at the same time. Also, politics or otherwise, there was no real reason for the GCPD to not turn on the Batsignal. They've been against Batman and company for less and would still shine that light.

    Well, Gordon would, at least.
     
  4. vantheman77 Superman Fan 4 Life

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    As I’ve said before they’re making up for the lack of build towards Crisis as they’re continuing with its multiversal problem with the two Beths co-existing.

    They’re like batteries as they could absorb each other’s memories. I’ve been hearing talk about them merging into one and becoming Red Alice. The other solution could be to keep them at long distance as have Beth play tech for the Justice League.

    Majority of the episode had no Batwoman until the end. Good episode for Kate and Beth. Rachel Skarsten, like Jesse Rath last week, is the MVP of this episode.
     
  5. Dr. From parts unknown

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    Yeah… the refusal to light the Batsignal (and the assumed reason behind this decision) felt a little forced. Gotham is a large, modern city - which tend to be cosmopolitan and liberal. And though a couple of isolated incidents of homophobia have been depicted in the series, we haven’t really seen institutional bigotry. As one character said, “It’s 2020. Nobody cares about gay-straight anymore.”

    But at least this (sub) theme wasn’t a big to-do as far as the main characters were concerned. They were too busy with the immediate peril to speechify about the politics.

    And the end scene of the crowd chanting “turn on the light” and Batwoman’s appearance actually ended up as a nice, old-school "hero moment."

    One of the better episodes, I thought.
     
  6. Thome216 Registered

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    I'd say it was more than a little forced. That's the bat over the head, even for me. :cwink:
    Still, a real good episode. I liked it despite that. Seeing a good Beth was a nice change with even Mary saying how she understands why Kate fought for her so much.

    Sophie, unfortunately, continues to disappoint. I'd rather she went back to her husband having decided that Kate was not the one for her.

    As for the Beth/Alice migraine, I'm really hoping they get a solution that doesn't require Beth to die. Make them need to have a certain separation, or even have them merge as Vantheman77 said start Alice onto a redemption arc with alternate-Earth Beth leading the way.
     
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  7. Dr. From parts unknown

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    Well, I wouldn't go that far. :crso: The reason I cut some slack is because the Batsignal business was largely a background detail. And although some of the main characters took note of it, they didn’t - to their credit - fret over it. Indeed, just before she was ambushed, Kate was on her way to “suit up” to deal with the hostage situation. IOW, she didn’t care that she wasn’t “officially” signaled by GCPD. Duty called and Kate didn’t hesitate. Now, had Kate and co. gotten angst-y or preachy about the city’s apparent “rejection,” that would have felt weird and forced. :cwink:
     
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  8. Frodo Registered

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    I enjoyed the episode and I like Beth. I hope they don't kill her off or mess things up

    I think the actress looks uber cute as a brunette but that's justt me :hrt:.
     
  9. Sithborg Oooh, plot twist!

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    I kind of liked Mary and Beth interacting together. Sadly, I don't see Beth sticking around.
     
  10. raisethe3 Legion of Boom

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    So about the two Beth(s). I assume one is Earth-1 and other Earth-2???

    If so, which is which? Blonde= Earth 1 Brunette=Earth 2?? Vice versa.
     
  11. Dr. From parts unknown

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    Going with the “many-worlds interpretation” of quantum mechanics… ;nd

    It appears that a split in reality occurred back in 2003. On one branch, a young Kate couldn’t save Beth from the Joker’s attack. And according to the continuity we’ve become familiar with, Beth went on to become the bitter and perverse Alice. This is (or was) Earth-1. But on another branch (Earth-?), Kate did save Beth; and there never was an Alice.

    Now, thanks to Crisis shenanigans, both versions of Beth exist on Earth-Prime. I don’t think (?) this new “Arrowverse” has spelled out exactly how the merger of multiple Earths into Earth-Prime worked. For example, did multiple versions of (say) Alex Danvers get merged into one? And what of their individual personalities and memories? Or did the extra copies of Alex get deleted :(, leaving only the one we know from Supergirl? In any case, for some reason, there are two distinct versions of Beth on Earth-Prime - and, it would seem, they’re physically/physiologically incompatible. It remains to be seen how this incompatibility will be resolved.
     
  12. WereCoyote Registered

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    Beth probably came from the same wormhole that all the Brainiacs and Win Schotts came through on Supergirl.
     
  13. Dr. From parts unknown

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    I guess. Though, it’s starting to look like the only practical “benefit” to Crisis was the merging of Earth-1 and -38. I.e., there are still other Earths; and they’re accessible via portals or wormholes. So… same as before. :shrug:

    And if that’s the case, then good Beth - rather than dying due to inter-dimensional incompatibility - could be sent back to her own Earth. Kate would miss her, but at least she’d survive.
     
  14. WereCoyote Registered

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    Nope because those Earths are now gone, and the wormholes have closed. The wormhole people came through as the Earths were merging when they were re-created. As far as everyone on Earth-Prime knows, there are no other Earths now, and the Multi-Verse is dead. The other Earths we have seen at the end of Crisis are undetectable by Earth-Prime, and therefore at the current moment inaccessible until a new Crisis begins.
     
  15. Dr. From parts unknown

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    :thf:

    Well, I don’t think we know the “rules” governing this new Multiverse. Conceivably, good Beth was a product of the merger into Earth-Prime. But as far as she was able to tell, everything was normal. And she only learned that reality was amiss when she returned to Gotham and discovered that there was an evil Beth doppelganger. So under this scenario, there’s no other Earth for good Beth to return to. Earth-Prime is it.

    OTOH, Lex told (evil) Winn Schott that he managed to get arrested within “16 hours” of arriving from “another Earth.” This implies a more recent - post-Crisis - event. Moreover, and unlike good Beth, Winn didn’t appear too surprised at the notion of multiple realities. And that, in turn, suggests that Winn used some sort of deliberate means (a wormhole gizmo?) to travel from his Earth-? to Earth-Prime.

    Bottom line: methinks the writers are making this up as they go. :yay: So if they wanted to, they could arbitrarily decide that good Beth comes from another Earth - and could be returned to said Earth. Now, I’m not predicting this is what will happen. For all I know, good Beth will die; and that’ll solve the problem of two Beths. I’m just saying that travel to and from alternate realities doesn’t directly contradict prior continuity - because there is no continuity. Crisis erased the “rules.”
     
  16. Thome216 Registered

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    I'm in agreement that any other Earths that remain are now undetectable to Earth Prime, and probably to each other as well.
    In Supergirl, Brainy showed that there were no other alternates to be detected, but the fact that we had that short clip at the end of Crisis of other Earths proves that they are still there. They just can't see them anymore.
    Think of it like a computer. If you delete something, you are not really deleting that item, you are just telling the computer to erase the pathway to get to it. It is still retrievable, but not by most users. I think at some point they (being the CW heroes) will eventually rediscover how to contact them again, but for now they are considered 'gone.'
    But, like with The Brainys, Beth, all the people from the bar on Supergirl, in the jumble of the recreation of the universe some 'glitches' happened. Bleed-over ocured and some people got displaced to Prime, and probably vice-versa as well. And they are stuck. With any remaining universes pretty much invisible to anyone on Earth Prime there is no place for them to go.

    Which makes me wonder about all the people from the bar, like the (now) twin bartenders. Are they suffering the same thing that Beth/Alice is? Will they all?
    Or, as Dr. says, are they just making this up on the fly merely for the sake of drama? I'm sure they could explain it away with some techno-babble but I would like to have that explanation rather then leaving it as a mystery-event concerning just Beth and Alice.

    Well they didn't say when Toyman was arrested, just that it happened 16 hours after arriving. Nail down that date and we'd know when he showed up on Earth Prime. And considering how long he has been aware of the transition before Lex met him he probably had plenty of time to get used to the idea. Plus, he loco!:loco:

    Great way to look at it!

    It just seemed blatant in the way the very first question asked of the Commissioner is if the light was not on because Batwoman left the closet. For me, it was just an odd question to start with. But that could be because I would never consider even asking it!:gngl:

    On an aside, I just finished binging both seasons of Titans on DC Universe, and what a good show! (For the most part.) But what stood out was the Season 1 Finale where Dick returns to a Gotham being overcome with lawlessness. Compared to Batwoman's Gotham that is supposed to be in the same state, it shows that they really have a long way to go in order to depict the same thing as convincingly. It's like they left the 'Gotham in decline' part of the story behind...
     
  17. Dr. From parts unknown

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    Depicting Gotham as grittier or uglier might give the show a more interesting background flavor and texture. But I don’t think this - by itself - would materially improve things.

    I’ve defended Batwoman in a few areas. But I’ve also criticized other aspects. Two, in particular, come to mind:

    1) Fight choreography and fight “logic.” As a “mortal” superhero, BW’s physical skills are what distinguish her from the average Joe. Now, occasionally, a fight scene does impress; but more often than not, they look kinda average - if not underwhelming. Since Arrow’s stunt team is now out of work :oldrazz:, I’d strongly recommend they move over to Batwoman - and raise the bar on their choreography. In terms of “logic” (and quite apart from screen spectacle) it makes no sense that BW can subdue four guys in an alley but gets waylaid by Alice - who, as far as we know, has no special talent in martial arts. There needs to be better and more consistent “rules” governing who BW can (and cannot) beat in a fight.

    2) Something I’ll call “letting the bad guy go.” :word: This has happened a few times with Alice and, more recently, with Parker (the teenaged hacker and bomber). After an exchange of dramatic dialogue (which is arguably useful/necessary), BW just allows the villain to depart… :huh: Now, it would be one thing if BW was - according to her own moral compass - extending amnesty to the villain. “Go and sin no more” as it were. But inevitably, she still has to stop or capture this villain later on in the episode. I’m tempted to diagnose this problem as bad “scene staging.” I.e., instead of a simple face-to-face, concoct some kind of physical separation between the characters. That way, the dialogue can still occur - and yet it'd be obvious why BW couldn’t subdue the villain at that particular moment. This issue would be forgivable if it happened only rarely. But it’s starting to represent a pattern. :ebr:
     
  18. Thome216 Registered

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    One thing I like is that she does not win every fight she is in. No matter how good the fighter, rarely does a superhero win every one, and there have been a number of times where Kate has been thrown around like a ragdoll by opponents larger and physically stronger than she is.
    As the hero of the show though, of course she wins more than she does not, though they can be a bit cumbersome about it. I can see Alice surprising Kate with a bash over the back of the head or using lingering sisterly devotion to weaken her position, but no not in hand to hand.

    As to letting the bad guy go, I see it as the vigilante's prerogative. :funny:
    As a vigilante they are already outside the bounds of the law. They allow themselves leeway in not kowtowing to every rule and regulation that they feel gets in the way of true Justice. To take this last ep for example, Kate didn't see any value in turning the girl in seeing as no one was injured and that she would return the money she took. Something I think Kate would see too, as well the 'community service' she sentenced her with.
     
  19. Dark Raven The Gal from Themyscira

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    I have the feeling she'll die too or be merged into Alice. It seems too simple to just have two different characters and that Kate gets back her sister. I can even see Captain Kane's order to take out Alice backfiring and ending up killing the wrong person.
     
  20. Thome216 Registered

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    That would be tragic piled upon tragedy. If they have to choose between killing her off or merging them, then I'd hope for a merger.
     
  21. Dark Raven The Gal from Themyscira

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    From the preview it looks like one of them has to die in order for the other to survive, and it will probably be her.
     
  22. Lencho01 Shazoogle! Shazoogle!

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    Yeah, the whole Batsignal stuff was pretty forced issue that didn't really add anything to the story.
     

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