Arrowverse Couch Club Season Two, Week 3: Batwoman S2, E3


Gotham’s rogues gallery is only getting bigger, as this week’s Batwoman saw the debuts of Victor Zsasz and Safiyah. But while Ryan may still be new to the vigilante game, she does now have a new suit to help her in her journey toward being the city’s next hero. And as her experience as Batwoman grows, the mystery behind Kate’s disappearance only gets more complex…

  • After several episodes of buildup across both seasons, we finally got our first taste of the show’s newest big bad, Safiyah. What were your initial impressions of her character?
  • With his Arrowverse debut this week, Victor Zsasz now has more official live-action iterations (4) than such classic Batman villains as Penguin, Riddler, Poison Ivy, Ra’s al Ghul, Scarecrow and Bane. Between Batman Begins, Gotham, Birds of Prey and now Batwoman, which Zsasz has been your favorite?
  • With the way Safiyah was talking about Kate, the show seems to be creating this expectation that if Kate is in fact alive, the other characters will in fact see her again as opposed to someone like Bruce who’s just off where nobody can find him. But we know that Ruby Rose won’t be coming back to the show, so is there really any point in teasing this potential outcome?
  • Since it now looks like Desert Rose is back to playing an important role on the show going forward, could that end up being the cure for Ryan’s kryptonite poisoning?
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I’ve already seen people criticize Safiyah for being boring, as Shivani Ghai’s performance definitely wasn’t as crazed as Rachel Skarsten’s, but I actually appreciated her calm nature and thought she came across as calculated and cunning. While she’s obviously hiding plenty about herself, her agenda and the island, I do legitimately believe that she wants to keep this place hidden and protected from those who would use the Desert Rose for immoral purposes. She certainly has good reason to be defensive, though I also definitely get the sense that she’ll use that desire to justify taking some less-than-moral actions herself. While I doubt I’ll end up loving her as a villain as much as I have Alice, this first appearance was definitely intriguing enough to leave me wanting more of her. Hopefully we’ll also get to see some flashbacks to Alice’s training w/ Safiyah as well

Though I’m still waiting on a Zsasz that really captures the essence of the fully psychotic serial killer I was introduced to in the Arkham games, I’ve gotta go w/ Gotham’s version. I still don’t think of Zsasz as being a particularly funny character, but Anthony Carrigan was a delight to watch every time he showed up while still keeping a wide-eyed stare that let you know this man was unhinged. I did get some of that same energy from Alex Morf, and if he ends up returning to the Arrowverse for more appearances, then I could see my preference changing

I think this thread will only make sense if Safiyah is lying about Kate, which does seem to be the most likely outcome. Whatever her endgame is, she likely wants to take advantage of all the hurt surrounding Kate’s disappearance and manipulate at least Alice into doing her bidding. When I say it like that, it does sound somewhat disappointing that Alice would fall for such a ruse, but maybe she’s only playing along for the time being. I get that she’s experiencing real hurt over Kate being gone, but she’s still too smart to fully fall for this

But regardless of Safiyah’s intentions, I just wish the mystery surrounding Kate’s disappearance could still play out in a way that wasn’t teasing a possible outcome that we know won’t happen. Though I still don’t actually think that Kate is dead, nor should she be killed off, you could still build a mystery around the characters trying to figure out what happened to her while still objectively confirming that we won’t see her. Like maybe she leaves some sort of vague message saying that she had to disappear and how she won’t be found. Even if characters like Luke and Mary agree that they almost certainly wouldn’t find her, they could still pursue the mystery and find out more regarding the circumstances of why she left w/out actually finding her

I’m also left wondering how much of this thread w/ Safiyah is a result of the writers’ change in plans for season 2. I’d be very curious to know what they were gonna do w/ Safiyah before Ruby left the show. Since they had already teased Safiyah and essentially committed to bringing her to the screen, maybe they would’ve been stuck using a plot like this

I’m starting to think that it will be, and that the real challenge will be, like Caroline Dries said after the season premiere, Ryan’s reluctance to accept help even when it becomes a problem she can’t ignore, which she largely has for the last 2 episodes. I’m certainly wary of the Desert Rose playing a bigger role on the show, as it could potentially be used to cure any and all ailments the main characters end up suffering. Of course there’s not necessarily an unlimited supply of it at all times, but given its insane power, I could very much see Safiyah’s entire supply of it being destroyed later in the season. Not only would this prevent the writers from easy outs, but it’d also give Safiyah more of a reason to enact some hardcore vengeance


A typical no nonsense villain. I was actually surprised how well she treated Alice. But I imagine that is just building up to something Sayifah will do to Alice later. Almost like she’s saving Alice’s torment until she wants. The assassin, the drugging, and the waking up on the mysterious island all seemed standard villain fare to me.


Since watching him in Birds of Prey recently and now seeing him in Batwoman I really enjoyed this Zsasz a lot. The actor played him amazingly. He made me laugh and I was kind of disappointed how quickly he was taken out there at the end with the staff. I hope he comes back for a lot me episodes.

Yea I didn’t like this reveal. The reveal wasn’t bad but because of the fact that we know Ruby won’t be back what is the point in it? Will they stretch out the return so long that by then it will be ok to recast? They are even teasing it to Sophie.

Didn’t think of that. I actually completely forgot about it. That will be an interesting plot development. Maybe that will be part of the crossover?


Forgot about this part. I hope we get some great flash backs. I was trying to figure when she was there. Did she get out of the basement and go straight there? Tell me the timeline! Haha. How did safiyah know they were sisters?

Ahhhh, this makes more sense. I would like to fine out her reasons for lying though if this is the case. Why would she even need to lie, she doesn’t need to keep Alice in line. Alice was clearly showing that safiyah is more powerful considering she thought she would die on that island because of what she did in Gotham. Another theory to ponder.


Welcome back!

For sure, I’m definitely getting some strong indications of manipulation on Safiyah’s part. Between exposing Alice’s conflicting feelings for Kate and simply offering her kindness when nobody else is, she might just be able to wrap Alice around her finger, though certainly not permanently

Same here. Considering his status as a hired gun, I definitely wouldn’t be surprised to see him pop up again as more seedy Gothamites purchase his services

That’s a really good point and something that had crossed my mind as I thought about this. I’m sure the writers and/or network were worried about recasting Kate too soon after her last appearance (extended hiatus aside), and while Ruby Rose certainly won’t be completely forgotten, the added time after the season 1 finale combined w/ more time getting acclimated to Ryan could very well open the door to an actual recasting. I still don’t love the idea considering how much I loved Ruby in the role, but if it’s just for a cameo and maybe they managed to get someone who at least looks like Ruby, it’s something I’d be more open to seeing. I still can’t say I really think it’s gonna happen, but I don’t think the possibility should be ruled out either

About that…

I would imagine that she found out about Coryana shortly after escaping, but regardless of how exactly she got there, I figure we’ve gotta get the details on that sooner rather than later. As for Kate, Alice must’ve opened up to Safiyah quite a bit during her time there

I’d imagine she does for whatever endgame she has in mind. The more details we get on Safiyah as the season progresses, the more this should make sense

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Thanks! It took me a while but I made it!

Also boo about the crossover…another casualty of 2020.

Also is anyone else disappointed that the Julia/Sophie thing seems to be kaput now? I love Julia’s character so I hope she still gets screen time now. Just give Sophie some lovin!


Unfortunately. The sets are fragile enough as it is, and they’re definitely not gonna put people at even greater risk of getting sick by having different crews interact. Hopefully crossovers will be back in play when filming restrictions get lifted

Definitely. I really don’t get Sophie’s anger at Julia for not telling her that Kate was Batwoman. It’s like she said, it wasn’t her secret to tell, and I’m not sure how “But it was your secret to keep” constitutes a good rebuttal. It’d make more sense if she was upset at Julia for not encouraging Kate to tell Sophie, but that specific point hasn’t been addressed this season. I’m hoping this is more so a result of Sophie working through her understandable shock/anger over learning Kate’s secret, and that she’ll be more understanding when she’s able to process it better. I think she has every right to be angry at Kate, especially for kissing her back multiple times as Batwoman while she was still in the dark, so maybe since she can’t be mad at Kate directly, she’s taking that residual anger out on Julia


Sophie is not a dummy so I almost thought when she found out she would be like “I knew it!” But alas I’m hoping it just comes down to what you mentioned where she’s upset and can’t be mad at Kate so she’s taking it out on Julia.


And it’s also like she (didn’t) admit to Julia - she was still in love w/ Kate deep down and is also having to reconcile w/ that now that she’s gone. There are just too many complicated feelings on Sophie’s part for her to process that reveal smoothly

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You know, last week I think I said they were building her up to be a Ra’s Al Ghul character. After this week’s episode, it felt more like Wonder Woman. Seriously when they showed this beautiful island my first thought was of Themyscira. Then when Safiyah came out dressed like an Amazon anc all her help was female, I wondered if she was an offshoot or different sect broken off from the original Amazon’s. A way to get Wonder Woman on the show without her.
I also liked the break in stereotype as they built her up as this terrorist but then she comes out treating people kindly with an undercurrent of something else. I like the “bad guys” who seem charming and sorta helpful but can also be brutal when necessary. Sorry been watching a lot of Blacklist lately and she reminds me of Red in that aspect.


My favorite version is from Gotham. He had the right feeling of creepiness, but still highly skilled hitman. I liked how he could be loyal and still treat people with respect so he did not seem crazy. His interactions with Gordon were the best and he was just a likable killer.
I was all set not to like Batwoman’s version but he was fairly decent. He seemed to lean more into the fun killer personality and I didn’t feel the jokes were too much. He showed the crazy with the cuts keeping very much in line with character. I also liked him saying almost time to retire because running out of room for cuts. The makeup work that must take.
I am getting a little tired of Ryan being tied to every villain. First Alice which was ok because need tie to fighting her but does she need six degrees from Zsasz as well? She was ex girlfriend of someone he knew? I understand she ran with rough crowds but does not need direct link to everyone to help team Bat each time.


I agree. If they could not get her to voice over the reading of letter to Sophie they will not get her back to make a cameo. I know they said they would not kill her off but I do not see how long they can tease her missing unless they hold out hope they can get the actress back for just one performance. I mean they have kept Bruce off the show for a long time, I guess it’s possible just don’t tease sooner than later. Reminds me of Person of Interest where they made it look like Sarah Shahi’s character was gunned down and she was missing but referred to until finally she returned.
As long as they don’t treat it like 7th Heaven where Jessica Biel’s character was giving birth in the episode but they never show her face because she was not on show anymore. Major character major story no closeups


That’s a good point! I was also seeing some Poison Ivy reference with a character who does not like the use of her plants for immoral purposes. She seemed very protective of this plant.


I’m pretty sure Safiyah and Coryana have never had any direct connection to the Amazons and Themyscira, but there are definitely some clear similarities. If Safiyah is the leader of a hidden island filled w/ warriors, does that make her more like Hippolyta? :thinking:

If it ends up being this way nearly every episode I’ll definitely agree w/ you, but we’re still pretty early in the season. She’s only had connections to Alice and Zsasz so far, didn’t have a connection to Hush and they’ve gotta make good on the promise of her underground connections paying off for Team Bat. You’re right that it shouldn’t be that way for every single villain, but I feel like it’s still way too early to make that assumption

Safiyah :handshake: Ivy
Being highly protective of their plants


I like her. I know basically nothing about her comic wise. So, I’m excited to learn more. I like the calm, powerful woman approach she has. She’s a nice opposite of Alice.

I never finished the first season of Gotham and I forgot he was in Batman Begins. I liked both this and Birds of Prey. But I’ll say this one is my favorite. I hope he comes back.

It is rough to do this. I’m assuming Safiyah is lying about Kate. It’s easy to fabricate a necklace when you are powerful enough to own an island of super flowers. I would love for Ruby to come back for a quick scene or two. But I doubt that will happen. But, if there hadn’t been a big announcement of Ruby not returning, this would have been a great storyline.

Totally forgot about this. Doesn’t Kryptonite poisoning kill faster than this?

Overall, I am very curious what this season was supposed to be. I feel like they took a season’s worth of stuff and put it in the first two episodes.

I like Safiyah and I am excited for my favorite trope of ‘Multiple people working on the same thing but being too secretive to talk about it to each other.’ With Sophie and Jacob looking for Safiyah and Bat-team trying to find out who Safiyah is. Plus Alice playing whatever she is playing. It’ll be fun. I’m curious when the Bat-team will get the "Kate is alive’ news. I assume about 30 seconds after Luke says, “Yeah, I agree. Kate isn’t coming back.”

But I liked this latest episode and I’m excited for more.


They really do balance out to create a pretty even mood

That’s a decent point, but just think of the insane backlash the show would’ve gotten if everyone acted like Ruby was gonna stay in the role like nothing was changing only for the premiere to reveal that someone else was taking over as Batwoman. That wouldn’t have been like a major side character getting killed off or something. A decision that completely affects the direction of the show really needs to be explained beforehand. Plus it would’ve been pretty suspicious if she never showed up in any of the promotional material

Normally it’s supposed to kill humans very slowly, like over the course of years, but it clearly works differently post-Crisis


I meant the storyline of ‘If Safayah actually has Kate’ as a whole, not the practicality of it. If they somehow had been able to hide that Ruby Rose wasn’t coming back and that they had replaced her. That would have been impressive. But I bet a lot of people would have rage quit the show as soon as that plane hit the ground. Announcing that Ruby wasn’t returning and that she was replaced gives some space for fans to keep watching through and give it a chance.

But I do like that they are teasing us with a ‘Who Killed Kate’ mystery. Because if Safiyah didn’t do it. Who did?


Exactly. Given the circumstances, it was the best way for the show to try and move forward from such a dramatic change

Despite all the apparent indications that Kate’s dead, I still say she’s alive somewhere. I just keep going back to how Caroline Dries already committed to not giving in to the “bury your gays” trope, and I still feel like that holds a lot of weight. She may end up being dead to everyone on the show, but I still feel like the viewers will at least get some sort of confirmation that she’s alive


I agree. But there is still the mystery of what happened to the plane and where she went. Unless, Kate did all of this herself? She wanted to leave? Though, I feel like that being the answer is kinda a cop-out. No matter what, I’m interested to see what the rest of the season has in store.

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