Kate Kane suited up as Batwoman for the very first time, this Sunday on The CW. Will you keep tuning in — same Bat-time, same Bat-channel?
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Many years ago, Kate Kane was on her way home from her bat mitzvah, sitting in the back seat with her sister Beth, when her mom’s car was nearly knocked off a bridge by a wayward, hijacked school bus. Batman was on the scene and used two grappling hooks to keep the car from teetering over the edge. But after Batman pulled her free first, Kate was left to watch helplessly when the grappling hooks gave away and the car, with mom and sis still inside, plummeted into the raging river below.
Years later, Kate (played by Ruby Rose) attended a military academy, hoping that in success she would join her father Jacob’s Gotham security force, called The Crows. There, Kate met and fell in love with fellow cadet Sophie Moore (Meagan Tandy). Alas, when their rule-breaking “homosexual conduct” was discovered, Kate refused to sign off on a denial, and quit. Sophie, however, lied about her involvement with Kate — and, worse, denied to Kate that she had feelings for her.
Kate proceeded to spend years trotting the globe, to learn any and all manner of survivor and fighting techniques, hoping to earn her way onto The Crows. But she would not return to Gotham until now, when she learned, via a phone call from half-sister Mary (Nicole Kang), that Sophie — now with the Crows — had been abducted by Alice (Rachel Skarsten) and her Wonderland gang, a crime organization that started to thrive in the three years since Batman’s mysterious disappearance.
Kate raced back to Gotham, sharing a slightly awkward reunion with her father (Dougray Scott), who again refused to let her join in the action. Undeterred, Kate slipped into Wayne Enterprises, which has been “defunct” since her cousin Bruce went AWOL (also three years ago, hmmm…), but which still runs top-notch surveillance. Defying Wayne watchdog Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson), Kate called up a video of the van that Sophie got dragged into and gleaned that the Wonderland gang is hiding out at an old orphanage. Breaching that building, Kate grappled with and felled several goons, but ultimately got KO’d. When she came to, she has been strung up and was face-to-face with Alice herself. Vexed to learn that Ms. Kane is back in town, the butterfly knife-wielding baddie explained that her beef isn’t with Sophie or even Kate, but Papa Kane, whose Crows, she argues, and Gotham’s problem and not a solution. She then taunts her captive with the fact that Jacob cares more about Sophie than his own daughter, ergo her choice of kidnapping target.
When Alice walloped Kate good with a paddle, Kate later came to in a makeshift, illegal “clinic” that Mary runs on the side. Kate returned to Wayne Enterprises, and this time found her way to a secret, bat-filled cave located far below Bruce’s old office. Luke followed her down, just as Kate discovered her cousin’s greatest secret — that he is(/was?) Batman. And that he had been tormented over the years for not being able to also save Beth and the girls’ mother on that fateful day. After tasking Luke to tailor the Batsuit to fit a woman, Kate showed up at the high-rise construction site where Alice was now holding Sophie captive, adjacent to Gotham’s first public event since Batman “left” them. Kate got the drop on Alice’s henchmen, then slugged it out with Alice herself, all while keeping the villainess from triggering a massive bomb down at the park. With bound-and-gagged Sophie about to topple off the open ledge, Kate grabbed hold of her and used her armored suit to brace their fall onto a car roof below, while Alice slipped away.
In the wake of cheating death, Sophie — who by the way is now married, to a dude — withheld from Jacob and the Crows her first-hand knowledge that the “returned Batman” is actually a woman. Kate meanwhile took a close look at a knife Alice lobbed at her, realizing that the gemstone embedded within it matched the necklaces she and her sister wore as kids. (“Beth…?!”) Alice, in turn, was seen regarding an old photo of her and Kate, while muttering her plan to one day turn her sister and rule Gotham together.
What did you think of Batwoman’s first caped crusade?