Batwoman Season 2 Finale Review: Ryan Claims Her Power

The season finale of Batwoman closes the chapter on Kate Kane and solidifies Ryan Wilder as Thee Batwoman.

Luke, Ryan, and Mary in the Batwoman Season 2 Finale
Photo: The CW

This Batwoman article contains spoilers for the Season 2 finale.

Batwoman Season 2, Episode 18

Ryan pens a farewell letter to the city, just as Gotham needs her most. After Circe makes off with the Batsuit and an assortment of Batman villains’ contraband, Ryan says goodbye to the Bat, feeling momentarily defeated. But when Black Mask makes a stirring speech urging people to mask up and wil’ out, power goes off and the city erupts in chaos. The Bat team can’t sit idly by.

Roman Sionis wants the city to devour itself so he can swoop in and be its hero, a classic savior complex. He takes the venom that made Bane a hulking rage machine, and mixes it with Snakebite to turn Tavaroff into a… controllable rage monster? Whatever his intention, his plans don’t quite pan out. Mary takes the Snakebite from Tavaroff with plans to use it on Circe to unlock Kate’s memories.

Luke finds his childhood drawings of suits he imagined for a Black Batman, which leads him to the discovery of the suit his father made in that image. With Gotham in chaos, and Circe in possession of Batwoman’s suit, the timing could not be more perfect for Luke to suit up. When Mary is attacked by Raging Racist Tavaroff who is turnt off that venom and craving the Snakebite, Luke saves her from crashing after falling several stories.

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Luke gets to lay hands on Tavaroff, give him that work, and finally enact some type of justice—nowhere equal to what is deserved, but still satisfying. Luke wearing a suit that was, for all intents and purposes, made for him is powerful. It is a stunning moment, a well-earned moment, and it feels like an appropriate evolution of the character. I am excited to see more of Batwing in the upcoming season.

Ryan and Alice team up again to go after Circe and Roman. Alice uses the entire time as an opportunity to remind Ryan that she left her at the mercy of False Face and while she’s absolutely dead wrong to bring Ryan’s bio mom into it, she does have a point about Ryan not being above reproach. When the one comes to fifth, Alice takes on Black Mask, eventually using Joker’s flower to shoot acid into his face. Alice trusts Ryan to go after Kate, even though Ryan is convinced she can’t win.

Ryan in the Batmobile chases Circe on the Bat bike, and they throw their assortment of vehicular weapons at each other before throwing hands. Ryan holds her own in hand-to-hand combat—a too-rare fun melee moment— even without her suit, and is reminded that she is That Bitch. She’s able to slow Circe down long enough for Alice to unleash aerosolized Snakebite, which sends both Alice and Kate over the bridge into the water.

Alice gets hit with the aerosol as well and is trapped in her last memory of Ocean, where she gets to say goodbye. Ocean tells her to hold onto this feeling, “now that you know you’re capable of feeling it, chase it again.” Kate visits the memory when she almost finds Beth in the basement, but she opens the door and they reunite… Alice pulls her from the water, and Ryan starts compressions while guiding Alice through mouth to mouth. Kate awakes and says “Beth,” acknowledging her sister, then Alice is arrested by GCPD who apparently thought that was more pressing than helping the girl who was clearly in need of medical aid—but I digress.

Again, I wish a little more time had been spent this season allowing other characters to get to know Alice the way we have. Alice is remorseful, in her way. And her actions have—on the whole—have helped the Bat Team, especially where Kate is involved. She deserves some grace. That said, when police finally arrest her and she’s put in Arkham, that feels fair. I don’t want her to be absolved of her sins, I want her to be treated with care. The moment she gets with Ocean in her Snakebite-induced fantasy is beautiful and it reminds us that she is human. I just want other characters to remember that.

This season has been just as much about Ryan becoming Batwoman as it has been about Ryan finding herself. Without the suit, she’s still Ryan Wilder, as Sophie reminds her. And it’s a lesson she takes with her into her parole hearing, where she tells the board, “I changed because I stopped seeing myself the way you see me and started seeing myself as I am. A woman who has found her power.”

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Black Mask sent out masks for people to wear to cause mayhem, but people used them to project light—to create an adhoc Bat signal. The city was lit up by the people who refused to give up hope. And Ryan was reminded, “Gotham needs you and more importantly. Gotham loves you.”

Kate leaves Gotham after officially ending things with Sophie, seemingly closing the door on that romance for good. How much we’ll see of Kate going forward isn’t clear, but I imagine there’s a lot of her story left untold, especially in her relationship with Alice/Beth. Mary’s clinic is legit and the Bat Team are going to build their community center on top of it, fulfilling their promise to keep service at the center of their mission. 

Ryan goes to see Alice in Arkham to gloat, and Alice reveals Ryan’s biological mom is still alive. She could be lying but it hurts more if it’s true and Alice is nothing if not committed to doing the absolute utmost. This  could really shake Ryan up. Among the things that Circe stole from the Batcave, that wind up floating in the river is a jar of vines, which are unleashed. If that’s anything to go by, season three is going for maximum chaos, and I for one am here for it.