We reviewed the CW superhero series, Batwoman, on The Pilot Podcast. Join us as we explore why people even still live in Gotham anymore, how fab Ruby Rose is in this role and offer predictions for what the show will bring next. Would you trust The Crows to protect your city?
Three years after billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne and his vigilante alter-ego Batman disappeared, his cousin Kate Kane sets out to overcome her demons and become a symbol of hope by protecting the streets of Gotham City as Batwoman.
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Welcome to The Pilot Podcast!
Where we watch the pilot episodes of TV shows and answer your question: Should I watch this?
My name is BJ.
And my name is Mitu.
And this week we're checking out the new CW superhero series Batwoman.
So stay tuned to the end as BJ explains to us why tiny little masks conceal faces.
Clearly you can't recognize someone by their mouth and chin alone.
And their eyes.
I'm sure if you use face ID it would not unlock.
Did you see that one video - I don't know if it's real or not - that woman trying to open her maybe boyfriend's phone using face ID?
It looked like they were fighting?
Yes! I don't have face ID turned on. But that made me laugh very hard.
There's an easy way around that, listeners. If you put "attention required", you have to make eye contact with your phone. So you could just close your eyes and people can scan away, but it won't unlock
If y'all need to cheat, BJ got you.
That is not what I am supporting. Anyway, how about we get into Batwoman? Do you want to break down what happened?
Picture it: Sicily. I'm just kidding. [Both Laugh] We start in Gotham three years after Bruce Wayne and Batman have gone missing. Bruce's cousin Jacob Kane's Crows Private Security is trying to fill the bat-sized hole in the city's safety. And his daughter Kate returns home after she ran off because she couldn't join the Crows. In this first episode, her journey to becoming Batwoman and saving the city is put on the fast track when her former love interest Sophie is kidnapped by the Alice in Wonderland gang. Sophie also became a daughter-like figure to Jacob in Kate's absence. And we also meet Lucius or Luke Fox who becomes Kate Kane's collaborator and was Wayne Enterprises' technologist and we also meet Kate's step mother Catherine and her underground doctor step sister Mary. BJ, how did you like it?
I really enjoyed this. I will be honest, I went in with low expectations. And this is another superhero series joining the universe of CW superhero shows. So like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, CW has the Arrowverse, which was started by Arrow as their first superhero show kicking off this universe. And Batwoman is joining that. I've kind of fallen off most of those shows, unfor tunately. But this is really cool. I don't know much about Batwoman, the character, because I also was never really a big fan of Batman growing up. But this pulled me in pretty easily. I think what helped, and you brought this up while we were watching, is that the plot was pretty straightforward. They've set up some mysteries, they've set up some future plot points and drama, but it didn't get overly complicated. It was very to the point succinct, tight good action, costumes that I guess really do concealed people's identities.
And I liked it.
I also liked it; I didn't think that I would. I don't follow comic books. I didn't know about the distinction between DC and Marvel until more recently than I'd care to admit. And Batman is DC?
Go ahead! 10 points to Slytherin! But I thought it was really interesting. And Ruby Rose carries this role.
Mhmm, she does a great job.
She's fabulous. So I have some immediate questions about it, though.
Why is Batman missing?
He is disappointed in his performance.
I think it's a self esteem thing.
Wait, you're telling me that Batman put the whole city of Gotham in danger because he is in his feelings about doing a poor job as a superhero?
I think so. That was my impression, but it's also still a mystery. So maybe he got kidnapped?
I have a follow up question. Why do the people of Gotham show up to city-wide events?
I guess when you're surrounded by the Crows, the military private security force, you feel safe enough to be in a public area surrounded by tall buildings where people can shoot you.
This episode opens with the Alice in Wonderland gang - which there's a lot of ways I could see myself going down and one of them hopefully isn't being taken out by a gang called the Alice in Wonderland the gang.
I think it's pretty cool name.
Okay, I digress. In the beginning of the episode, when they kidnap Sophie, [they] infiltrate this Crows event.
And kill people, kidnap people, hurt people. And then I'm not sure within the realm of the universe how long it's been, probably a week or so, the Crows hold an outdoor movie night and people actually showed up including again, the Alice in Wonderland gang.
Correct. Gotham decided, you know what, even though someone has been kidnapped, people have been injured and killed, and one of our events to move on from the last battle man failed, let's all watch a silent movie in the park in the middle of the city. And you know, they were being optimistic but it didn't work out.
Just pop in their popcorn and hoping for the best. Last question.
Go for it.
I think I heard you ask this as well while we're watching. Why do people live in Gotham?
That is a question I've asked every time I've watched a Batman movie.
Why would you elect to live there?
I don't know. Gotham City just seems to be filled with vigilante criminals ruining everything. It's worse than any other superhero town I can think of. I feel like I've heard people say Gotham City is kind of a mix of New York and Detroit. So maybe people are just too poor to move.
Like the industries are there.
Yeah. But then it makes you question why the really wealthy live in the city and not out in the suburbs.
Yeah, you couldn't catch me in Gotham. All right. My questions are done. Back to Batwoman.
Okay, I have a question for you.
Oh, alright. Go ahead.
So this is something I felt mixed about. I want to gauge your opinion. Did you think it took too long for Kate to become Batwoman in this pilot episode?
I think with the casting of Ruby Rose, they perhaps expected a new audience like me to tune into the show. And this world building really felt like bumpers bowling, like very much tricycle, very much my hand was held through the episode. Because I was confused by just larger questions about the lore, period. But nothing in this episode confused me. I felt like I was spoon fed each plot point. And so I think the time that it took her to become Batwoman was them being like, "and now she's going to discover this cave, and Bruce Wayne, the name on this building, is actually Batman." It felt like that, but I really appreciated that because for me, I certainly wasn't surprised, but I enjoyed the journey. It was easy.
Yeah, I have to agree. And listeners while it may sound like Mitu was mocking the way it was presented, we actually appreciate that this was their formula.
And I think that goes towards Greg Berlanti, the showrunner who's been behind a lot of these Arrowverse series, is that he has a lot of experience now with introducing the superhero characters on TV shows. So I'm guessing after years of experience, he's like, "look, we got to do a paint by numbers at least in the pilot episode, get everyone hooked and then maybe we'll start getting things a little more complex and sophisticated."
Within this very gradual world building, they still had time to both develop Batwoman and Kate Kane, and all of these wonderful side characters.
Yeah. So how about we dive into Kate Kane's relationship with Sophie Moore?
Let's get into it.
So these two were friends. They were both in a military academy at the same time. And that's when they developed a romantic relationship, but they got caught hooking up. And that is when they got in trouble. And Kate was like, "look, y'all have to respect and understand who I am. I get we're not supposed to get together with our classmates, but I'm still a lesbian. And I'm not gonna hide that." So she got kicked out. But Sophie was like, "This is all I have." And so she followed the status quo and stayed in school. And so that put some tension between them. And then of course, Kate went off on her own for a while and then Sophie got kidnapped by the Alice in Wonderland gang. And that was actually what triggered Kate to return.
Yes. So even though Kate considers what Sophie did trifling, she still loves her.
And would do anything for her including dressing as a bat and saving her.
Although, can we just talk about how they jumped off of a tall building?
As Batwoman, Kate wrapped her arms around Sophie, and then they fell on what was supposed to be a soft pile of stuff, and they were both unharmed.
And that soft pile of stuff was perfectly placed at the bottom of the surprise drop that they took and then Sophie, millimeters from Kate's face, did not recognize her because of the tiny little black patch over her eyes. Like if one were to put on raccoon cosplay.
Well, you know, Kate's not a raccoon. So Sophie was thrown off.
How do you feel about Kate's relationship with her dad?
I think it is one of those situations where he is overprotective and thinks he's doing the right thing, but he's actually shunning her and hurting her. But I think the relationship is understandable. There's clearly love there on both sides. It does feel a little odd though, that Kate left and that Jacob remarried and moved on. He started the Crows and wouldn't let Kate join.
And Sophie became like a daughter to him in Kate's absence.
He was like, "Look, if you're gone, Sophie's decided to stay so pseudo daughter, ha ha ha."
I expected to really dislike him because of those things because he moved on in such an aggressive way as soon as his daughter tiptoed out of the picture, but he made such desperate pleas to her throughout the episode, especially toward the end for her to be safe. Explaining why he didn't want her to join the Crows. Explaining why he tried to prevent her from seeing too much action in the military. And I felt for him like you said what he's doing is not great, but he sounds more misguided, like a dad who really cares, wants his family to be safe, maybe it's not taking the best approach to do it.
So I like that they complicated his character because he would have been an easy just guy you hate.
True. That's a good point. They made him understandable. So even if you hate his choices, you don't hate him.
They did the same thing with Kate's stepsister. When she's initially introduced, I thought it would be like classic comic book show where you have - what we discussed with Raising Dion - where sometimes characters are introduced as one note so they're easy to understand throughout the comic book arc, and I thought Kate's stepsister was just going to be rich girl, annoying, bratty, maybe airhead even but she's not. She's a cool underground doctor.
She has her own clinic because the hospital won't help these people in need, when really people just need to leave Gotham. But you know, she's helping those who are still in Gotham. So speaking about Kate's family, what do you think about her traumatic past where she, her sister and mother were in a car accident, but she was the only survivor and she puts the blame on Batman for not saving her sister and mother?
So one thing that they did, taking a step back in this episode was introduced big things, and then immediately resolve them. I don't want to give spoilers away, but you're going to get a lot of answers when you watch this pilot. And she blames Batman, but then learns that that story is more complicated than she thought. And Batman didn't completely ignore her family and let them plunge off a bridge to their death. But it was a good classic superhero origin story. I feel like superheroes all have this inherent guilt.
That they should be doing better, are never doing enough. And not being able to save your family, having that level of survivor's guilt where you're the only one that didn't punch to your death, perfect basis for the personality that a superhero possesses.
It's interesting now that you mentioned that a lot. And by a lot, I mean the vast majority of superheroes have failed someone they care about in some way. Failed to save them, failed to be there for them or feel like they were helpless in their loved ones time of need. And that stayed with them so much so that they want to save everyone else.
And I think a lot of people in the military, or firefighters, people in healthcare probably have similar back stories. So speaking of superheroes, can we talk about the introduction of the Batcave and how all you had to do was solve an the escape room puzzle?
Y'all, CW's budget ran out by the time they film that scene, because this episode was delightful. But the way that Kate discovers that Batcave reminded me of this budget escape room that BJ and I did. She acted like she was solving this huge puzzle when ultimately there was just a depression in a shelf that anyone would have noticed. And she slipped the only thing next to it, which was also the only thing that would fit in that depression, into it. And then all of a sudden discovered the cave. Something no one had been able to do, including the alleged technical genius, Luke Fox, whom she meets at Wayne Enterprises. Luke, who has been back to Wayne Enterprises repeatedly trying to figure out what happened to Bruce Wayne.
That's really funny that a square peg in a square hole.
And Luke never took a little gander around that room to see, "what can I shift around? This guy was kind of crafty."
"This looks at a place. Click."
Yeah, let's actually talk about Luke, what do you see for him?
I hope that he gets some really cool development. I do like that Kate is not immediately relying on him. She's still very independent.
And so I do see him staying in that minor support role. Let me make sure your suit is clean and ready to go. Oh, by the way, I discovered Batman's new gadget. Here you go. I think he might be relegated to that position.
I hope he gets more than that, because they did such a fabulous job quickly developing side characters on the show, including even side characters around the villain, Alice in Wonderland. So I'm ready to see Luke also have development or even just have an opportunity to have his brave hero moment as well. And not just be the nerd who trips over a new weapon and then hands it to her as he finds them.
So in Arrow, there is a similar character Felicity who was the tech support. And in the first few seasons, she was really strictly at home base, but then she started to develop some storyline that let her get more involved in the case of the week. She also developed a romance with one of the main characters.
I think in this case, Luke's not gonna get with Kate Kane. [Both Laugh] But I can see him getting together with her stepsister, Mary,
Okay, that's a prediction,
They always keep things in the family.
So maybe he'll get a girlfriend, maybe he'll try to help that woman. It'll probably backfire, but you know, he's gonna want to get out there. I don't know if there is a sidekick type character for Batwoman in the comics like a Robin. If there is, he probably is fulfilling that role. And we're just not aware. If not, maybe they'll make a character for him to be.
Oof. Do you have any other predictions for the show?
I predict Sophie is not going to find out about Batwoman's identity for quite a while. Same with Jacob Kane. And I also predict that Batman's not going to come back this season. And those are my predictions.
Those are good.
What do you predict?
Okay, this isn't a prediction, per se, but I would love if her stepsister found out who she was. And they had that to bond over.
I think that's good, because Mary is already helping her with stitches and medical care.
Yes, that's my thought as she patches her up. She's like, "Hmmm I remember Batman falling from a building. And that sure is a lot of glass and Kate's back." And so I'm hoping she pieces the glass together and figures it out.
But what if Kate wears her raccoon mask to the clinic?
Mmmmm but she has very distinctive tattoos.
I thought she had very distinctive eyes and mouth, but you know. Speaking of her costume, if you have seen a lot of the promotional material for this series, or are familiar with the character of Batwoman, at least this rendition that they're interpreting, you would know that she wears a red wig, which is to throw off people as well. So people will think that she's a redhead in real life, but it's actually just a wig attached to her costume.
But she didn't have that in this debut. So when do you think they're going to go for that more iconic look that they've already been promoting in advertisements?
I see it coming later. Maybe she'll get fed up with people saying that Batman is back or maybe someone will cut it a little close, like her stepsister or someone figures it out. And then she goes, "All right. Someone took me to Party City. I need more."
And so then their alibi can just be "Did you see me today wearing long red hair? No. So that's clearly not me."
Would that fool you?
I would say it fooled me for my safety.
Oh, you're worried what would happen to you if you found out her identity and was sucked into that world?
Maybe that's what everyone in Gotham City is doing. So I take it back. I too would be like "Who? Is this Alice? Is this Batwoman? I don't know who these people are." And I would just keep shuffling to my job and shuffling back home.
Just play ignorant. Just keep your eyes shut and go about your day.
My bliss. Yes.
Hmm Interesting. Okay, last prediction that I want you to make.
What do you see as the future between Kate and Sophie?
This show is really good. I think it'll get another season. So I think I made this prediction for another show, but I see them going back and forth. In this first episode, Sophie has some complicated things of our own. I see Kate further complicating that. Maybe they come close to a kiss. Maybe Sophie gets a little closer to discovering who she is so Kate pulls back. And then we'll probably have a more solid potential coupling in the second season, but then after they couple up I bet they break up. You know, I think they're going to take us on a ride with us one.
I see that they have time to focus more on Batwoman being a superhero and then can bring in those "will they won't they" or more solid romance angles in later seasons.
My last thought not a prediction: Ruby Rose's American accent was decent. There were moments where I was like "that is not an authentic Gotham accent" but otherwise I thought she did a decent job.
She's Australian right?
Mhmm! All right, Beej. Are you ready to rate this thing?
Let's rate CW's Batwoman.
What would you give it?
Would watch again seriously.
CW has done it again. They've sucked me back in. They're bringing me back into the Arrowverse. Every time. First Arrow, then the Flash, then Supergirl and I guess now Batwoman. It's as simple as that. You should watch the pilot. That's my recommendation. Keep watching after that.
I agree. I'm not a superhero person. I'm not a comic book person. But this was good. I'm all in.
That says a lot.
I think so. Yeah, this is not my thing. I went into it, hoping that it was good for Ruby Rose's sake, because I always want the best for her. I have the biggest crush on her. But otherwise, I thought the show probably wouldn't be for me because I lack the background information. I lack the interest generally in superhero things. But this was really good. CW is good at breaking these things down for you because I also like Black Lightning, which is another show that I had never heard of Black Lightning the superhero before, but they really hand hold you into that story as well. So I would recommend to our listeners, even the ones who are like me who don't really know these worlds that much, to definitely check out Batwoman and to definitely watch.
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai