Arrowverse Couch Club Season Two, Week 1: Batwoman Season Premiere

SPOILER ALERT!

It’s been a long wait for the Arrowverse to return, but after more than seven months away, it’s finally back! And with this new phase of the universe comes a new Batwoman: Ryan Wilder. After a full season of Kate Kane, Ryan’s certainly gonna take some getting used to, but the season 2 premiere hit the ground running with Ryan putting on the suit right away to begin her quest of vengeance. Will she be able to fill Kate’s shoes and be the hero Gotham needs? Perhaps, but she’s got a long way to go, and we’ll be here to see every step she takes on this new journey at the Arrowverse Couch Club.

  • What were some of your first impressions of Ryan?
  • Considering that the writers hadn’t planned to write off Kate this soon into the show’s life, how do you feel they handled her abrupt disappearance? Did it feel like a natural progression of the story, or were the behind-the-scenes circumstances too obvious to ignore?
  • Though the storyline surrounding “Bruce Wayne” was likely cut short from what the writers originally intended, do you think we could see Warren Christie return as either Hush in disguise or the real Bruce?
  • While we have a decent sense of how Ryan’s kryptonite poisoning will likely affect her in the short term, do you feel that there’s potential to affect her in the long term as well?
  • Do you think Kate is still alive?
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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

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I felt they did a good job of tying her disappearance to existing storylines that had not yet been tied up. At the end of last season, she had said she was going to have to see a friend about the Kryptonite, so I felt this was a good reason for her to be out of town and then on a plane. Also they just introduced Safiyah (sp) as a potential threat so this sets her up as a new foil for Alice which is great.
For a new character, Ryan seemed ok and didn’t rub me the wrong way like it could be so easy to do. She seemed like a nice person inside who wants to do the right thing. Like she wanted to give the suit back because she felt she did not deserve to be that symbol yet she helped the homeless person caught in the crash. She wanted justice but also did not seem like she wanted to kill. My main issue is how freely Mary and Luke were with Kate’s secret identity information only because Ryan had the suit. Seriously if someone stole the Bat suit would they be as free with Bruce’s information? I would think they would keep it closer until they trusted them. I mean look how long they kept secrets from Mary even as she bent over backwards to help.
Do you think Tommy knew what he was looking for in the Batcave or was he just randomly throwing bombs? The bat mobile was cool looking, I did like that Luke did not know it was there.
I agree that it was nice and did not feel forced just coincidental that Alice had a tie to Ryan as well. Ryan also seems less dour than Kate and more likely to have fun as Batwoman.
I did feel the Bruce Wayne story ended too quickly but someone would have seen through it. Just thought it would be Luke over Alfred’s daughter but maybe Kate’s disappearance hit him harder than I thought. I hope to see the real Bruce Wayne but only in flashbacks showing why he disappeared so as to not take over the show from Batwoman.

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That’s a fair point to bring up, but I also feel that Ryan was probably more likely to find that fact out anyway. I figure something in the suit would’ve connected Kate to Batwoman, and they might’ve assumed that she already knew. That said, it would still be funny to see Mary make a snarky comment or 2 about how long it took her to know Kate’s secret compared to Ryan

I think he was specifically looking for the Batmobile or at least some kind of vehicle, even if he didn’t know exactly where it was. Even if he didn’t find it, maybe he could at least take some twisted solace in causing this kind of random destruction in the Batcave

I do think that’s probably gonna be 1 of the main differences between Ryan and Kate that they’ll continue playing up as the season goes on. Obviously she’s got plenty of darkness in her past that’ll continue playing a role in the present, but having a more fun-loving Bat could prove to be engaging. I wouldn’t be much of a Bat fan if I didn’t enjoy all the brooding to at least a certain extent, but the writers know they need to make Ryan unique in several different ways, so this has a lot of potential to be one of them

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What were some of your first impressions of Ryan?
I liked the backstory. Part of the bat-legacy is to witness the loss of a close family member to violence. The tie in to Alice makes it easier to keep the Batwoman/Alice rivalry going even tho it is not the sister in the suit. It would be good if they keep to “what makes a hero” motif throughout Ryan’s intro season.

Considering that the writers hadn’t planned to write off Kate this soon into the show’s life, how do you feel they handled her abrupt disappearance? Did it feel like a natural progression of the story, or were the behind-the-scenes circumstances too obvious to ignore?
the behind the scenes circumstances are irrelevant. Sometimes it’s the other way around, where the actor dies in real life and they write the loss into the show. There were a few forced moments, but I liked the episode overall.

Though the storyline surrounding “Bruce Wayne” was likely cut short from what the writers originally intended, do you think we could see Warren Christie return as either Hush in disguise or the real Bruce?
I am hoping very much for the real Bruce. The pummeling Hush as Bruce took makes me think he won’t be Bruce any time soon. This backdooring of Bruce in this show is not dissimilar to Superman showing up in season 2 of Supergirl. It makes me look forward to Wonder Girl if it comes to pass.

While we have a decent sense of how Ryan’s kryptonite poisoning will likely affect her in the short term, do you feel that there’s potential to affect her in the long term as well?
Did the Arrowverse establish the effects of kryptonite poisoning on humans? the question is how long does Ryan keep it a secret. I’d rather see her be open about the poisoning, but be looking for Alice on the down low as Batwoman to presumably kill her. Alice will stay a step ahead and maybe say some tropey things about whose wearing the suit as the successor of the one who wore it before and I’d say what I mean in a more confusing manner if I had it in me to do so.

Do you think Kate is still alive?
Let me state the TV trope about death: a characater is not dead unless that death is on-screen. I did notice that the letter kate left was not read in Kate’s voice.

For the record, I am okay if with her being dead. I also liked the character I met. I am glad that the impulse kill was as Kate and not as Batwoman.

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Tragic, but I can’t argue w/ you there. Hell, you can make the case that it’s a rite of passage for most superheroes, so Ryan’s well on her way in that department

Diana’s well overdue to make an Arrowverse cameo, and while I still don’t necessarily agree w/ giving an entire show to a character who only just debuted in the comics, a possible WW appearance would definitely be a big positive to come out of that

I remember Lex used kryptonite poisoning as the reasoning behind his cancer diagnosis in season 4 of Supergirl, but since that was just a ruse, I guess we don’t actually know its effects on non-Kryptonians. Plus we’re in a post-Crisis timeline, so that could be yet another detail that’s thrown into flux. While I’m certainly not opposed to kryptonite having a more direct effect on humans here, I’m just surprised that instead of learning about this on Supergirl or Superman & Lois, we’re apparently learning about it on Batwoman of all shows

part of Lex’s ruse was to expose himself to a high dose of radiation.

Wonder Girl: Do we know which Wonder Girl it will be? Donna Troy? Cassie Sandsmark?

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Yara Flor

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I am game to see how it plays out.

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