Considering the amount of backstory this episode had to pile on for her, I feel like we haven’t gotten that good of an impression of what her character/personality is like, so I feel like I can’t really make any strong positive or negative judgments on her just yet. But recognizing that we’re only just starting to get to know her, I think this was a solid first impression. I like that despite having every reason to be perpetually miserable at everyone and everything around her, she still seems to have a certain level of positivity while also remaining angry for the right reasons. Giving her a specific purpose in going after Alice was a good move not only because it gives Alice a reason to stick around post-Kate, but it should also provide plenty of opportunities to properly develop her character while she finds herself more. Her somewhat rough but still pretty good fighting skills should become a lot more refined over time, and I’m also really hoping we’ll get to see her fully being the out lesbian she’s described to be. After all, Kate got 3 romances in just 1 season, so it’s only fair that Ryan’s given a chance to catch up in that department
If you don’t factor in the circumstances that the writers had to work with, I do think this comes across as at least a bit too jarring. Perhaps if season 1 had been able to come to a more satisfying conclusion and wrapped up some of the threads before writing Kate off, it could’ve felt a little more natural. But as it stands, while some of those same threads are now finished, it’s only because Kate’s gone, not because they came to a more natural and satisfying conclusion.
But with that in mind, I also recognize the less-than-ideal situation the writers were in, so I also feel like they probably did the best job they could have given the situation. At least we were able to see Kate’s plane go down and everyone’s reactions to it in the immediate aftermath. W/ the way the CW was promoting the 2nd season, I honestly thought things were gonna start after all that had happened.
One specific thing I was disappointed in was the fact that Ruby Rose didn’t even provide a final voiceover for Kate’s letter to Sophie at the end of the episode. It would’ve been easy enough for her to send a voice file w/out actually going to a studio to record anything, and it could’ve been a last act of good faith on her part. This likely means that either she really didn’t want to have anything to do w/ the show anymore, or the producers never asked her. I’m not sure which option is better, and I feel like it could be years before we ever get the full story behind her departure, as I really feel like we haven’t so far
I do think there’s a real chance of seeing the real Bruce finally show up down the road, though sidelining either version of him for the time being seems like the smart move so that they can dedicate more time to Ryan’s character. The mysteries behind where he is and why he left Gotham are still unanswered, and now that there’s an actor to go along w/ the character, I feel like the odds are greater that we’ll get those answers on the show at some point, especially if they also tie into Kate’s disappearance. Since we know that that particular mystery will be a major factor during the course of this season and that Kate isn’t the first Bat to disappear, I feel like there’s a chance that both characters’ disappearances could be tied together, and if that’s the case, it certainly makes it even more likely that we’ll finally see Arrowverse Bruce Wayne make a proper appearance
I was initially under the impression that kryptonite radiation really only affects humans when they’re exposed to it in the long term (see various iterations of Lex Luthor), so I feel like my understanding of kryptonite in the Arrowverse is now not quite as strong as I thought it was. While I don’t necessarily see it having much of a long-term impact once Luke and Mary (presumably) help remove it from her system, it could also become a notable scar for Ryan that winds up being a lingering source of pain, or even just something that’s referenced from time to time. I certainly understand that something like this is written in to demonstrate how she’ll be resistant to asking for help, thinking that she can get through this all on her own, but then she’ll come to realize that she really needs help and that asking for it isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a general thread I’ve seen before, but combining it w/ this development that kryptonite can have more immediate side effects on humans in the Arrowverse does make it more interesting
While it seems incredibly unlikely given the circumstances, I’m choosing to believe that she is until we’re specifically told otherwise. The main reason for this is that back in June, showrunner Caroline Dries debunked a rumor that Scarecrow would be introduced and be the one to kill Kate. She specifically said how important it was for her not to even look like the show was participating in the “Bury Your Gays” trope, so while Kate might, for all intents and purposes be dead to the world, that doesn’t mean she actually is
Of course that then raises the questions of how and why she would’ve faked her death. I don’t think it would’ve been that difficult if she knew her plane was going to go down, which could also tie into the why. If she had gotten wind of Safiyah’s plan to kill her, perhaps last-minute, then maybe this was the best plan she could’ve enacted. I know it’s not the best theory, as it still leaves unanswered questions such as what she’s going to do next or why she felt it was OK to leave the Batwoman suit for potentially anyone to find the wreckage, but it’s really the best I can come up with at this point. I certainly hope the show will explain the full circumstances behind Kate’s disappearance even if we never actually see her again, but I’m not exactly holding my breath as far as that’s concerned