Batwoman Episode 1: Pilot
The character of Batwoman (Katherine Kane) was introduced in comics in the 1950s as a love interest for Batman. She was killed in the comics in the 70s, but was revisited again in the 2000s. The most recent version of Kate Kane is a lesbian, who is a cousin of Batman. It is this version that we see in the television series on the CW.
The show opens with Kate training, testing her speed, agility, and strength. When she escapes the test, her mentor tells her that she is not fast enough. She must do it again.
Back in time…
During her training tests, she has flashbacks of when she was younger. She and her sister, Beth were in the backseat of their mother’s car while she was driving. An out of control bus that Joker stole, rear-ended their car sending them crashing through the guard rail of a bridge. As the car is hanging dangerously off the edge, Batman comes over to help. He uses his grappling hooks to secure the car, while he goes off to help the kids on the bus. Kate was able to get out of the car before the hooks snapped. Her mother and sister were still in the car as it fell off the bridge. She never forgave Batman for abandoning her, like he is doing to Gotham now.
Kate has been training for 15 years to become a member of her father’s security team, The Crows. They help protect Gotham, since Batman disappeared three years ago. The city is having a gala while they turn off the bat signal. Kate’s father, Jacob Kane, is there with his new wife, Catherine, and his stepdaughter, Mary. Just as they are about to flip the switch for the bat signal, villains take out some of the Crows to show the fine folks of the city that this security team cannot keep them safe. One of the guards, Sophie Moore, is kidnapped.
Through more flashbacks, we see that Kate and Sophie were an item while they trained at the Academy. Kate was expelled, but Sophie was able to stay on after she signed agreements with the Academy.
Mary called Kate to let her know about Sophie. Naturally, Kate rushes home to help The Crows find Sophie, but her father doesn’t want her to help. Kate tries to convince him that she is ready.
Since the surveillance around the event was taken out, Kate decides to go to her cousin’s company, Wayne Enterprises to tap into their security. Bruce Wayne has been missing for the past few years (nope, no one has noticed the odd coincidence.) With the building abandoned and locked up, Kate scales to wall to break in. She gets caught by Luke, a Wayne Enterprises guard. She tries to explain that Bruce is her cousin, but he doesn’t believe her. The cuffs that Luke put Kate in were easy to escape from, and now Kate has cuffed Luke. She goes over to the computer to punch in the password and gets the files she needs.
Kate brings the footage back to her father and she notices writing on one of the weapons. It’s a phrase from the Burnside Orphanage. Jacob sets up a plan for the security team to get there, but Kate has already left.
Once Kate arrives, she takes out a couple of the villains, but ends up getting captured. She meets Alice, leader of the group, and she tells Kate that she kidnapped Sophie to get Jacob’s attention. Alice lets Kate go and dumps her at Mary’s illegal clinic that she runs.
Kate goes back to Wayne Enterprises and finds Luke again. She also stumbles upon the Batcave. Surprise! She realizes her cousin is Batman and asks Luke to fix up his suit so that she can wear it. The city needs a superhero again.
In an effort to prove the city is safe, there is a Movie at the Park event. The Crows provide protection again and one of them is working with Alice. He drives a truck with a bomb in it right up to the park. Across from the park, Alice has Sophie at the ledge of the building. Kate dressed in a modified Batman suit, swoops in to save Sophie and the city. Everyone thinks that Batman has returned.
Kate goes to see her father and realizes that he never wanted her to become a Crow because he is overly protective of her. He lost his wife and child and doesn’t want to lose her as well.
The show ends with Kate in the Batcave. The police never found Beth’s body and Bruce never stopped looking for her. Kate holds up a knife she took from Alice and notices the gem in the handle. It is the same gem that Beth always wore in her necklace. And then there is the big reveal that Alice is Beth.
I was surprised to see the ending plot exposed in the pilot episode. CW shows usually have a 22 episode season, and it seems odd to reveal the twist this early on in the season.
I also don’t understand how Kate isn’t a better fighter after 15 years of training. She should easily take on Alice and her band of villains. Maybe Alice/Beth has been training this whole time as well. I don’t know. But I would think that Jacob paid for the best training for Kate, and was disappointed to see that it didn’t really pay off.
Overall, I felt the pilot was a bit of a disappointment. There is always a mass of information thrown at viewers in pilots, especially with superhero shows where they need to set up the backstory for the character. I hope the show gets better as the season progresses and that we will watch Kate become more confident in the batsuit.
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