This article contains spoilers about the BATWOMAN season 1 finale.
Like several other shows on the CW and other networks, Batwoman ended early due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the Batwoman season finale was every bit as action-packed and revelatory as one might expect from a fun and refreshing freshman season of TV, complete with a cliffhanger that has us counting down to January 2021, when the show is slated to return.
Showrunner Caroline Dries says they “got lucky” with what they had in the can when they had to pull the plug on production – they got all of the scenes that they needed. Did they ever! While the original ending for season 1 may have given a few of these stories more room to breathe or tied up some loose ends, it’s hard to imagine a more dramatic finale than Batwoman’s descending on the football field and the confrontation and betrayal that ensued, or the reveal of Bruce Wayne’s face and what it really means for everyone in Gotham.
Den of Geek spoke with Dries to find out how she and her team got the greenlight to bring a live action Bruce Waye to the small screen, how that Alice/Mouse betrayal went down, and what we can expect for Batwoman season 2.
Why did Alice kill Mouse?
Alice and Mouse were on the lam with a faceless Hush after breaking out of Arkham Asylum, much to Mouse’s chagrin. But Mouse drew a line in the sand, telling Alice he was heading off on his own – to which his adoptive sister responded by poisoning him. Showrunner Caroline Dries says his decision to go is what ultimately sealed his fate.
“The second he said he was leaving her panic senses kicked in, and she knew she had to take control of the situation,” she says. “Alice is obviously all about controlling everything.”
Alice and Mouse get an incredibly moving moment to honor their trauma and try to put it behind them – or so we and Mouse thought, until Mouse realizes Alice poisoned him. It’s a surprise – Mouse seemed more likely to betray Alice at many points – but Alice had been disregarding his needs for a little while now.
As Dries says, “She was kind of starting to put blinders on to things that mattered to her. She just didn’t care, like when she let all the inmates out and told Mouse, ‘we gotta go.’ She didn’t appreciate the fact that he had finally found his home, and it’s because she’s now becoming so selfish in her agenda.”
It turns out this isn’t goodbye to her trauma, this is just another chapter, because Alice has now killed one of only two people she truly loves in this world – if she even still loves Kate. After all, since Kate chose Beth and put Alice in Arkham, our favorite rhyming murderer has been singular in her focus.
“She felt really bad for the character when he was dying in her arms, even though she had caused it,” Dries says. “But she knew that he would always hold her back, and she was so hell, she so hell bent on killing Batwoman that he was just going to be an obstacle and she just couldn’t deal with it.”
Jacob Kane’s War on Batwoman Continues
After striking up a risky truce that Mary, Sophie, and Julia rightly thought was suspect, Kate worked with the Crows to bring in Titan, a complicated villain who only became villainous after 10 years of head trauma that his football team covered up. Right when Batwoman got through to Titan emotionally, the Crows killed him. It’s a stark reminder of the brutality of police and self-appointed police in the real world. Within the world of the show, it’s yet another sign that the mercenary Crows don’t necessarily serve everyone’s best interests.
After they killed Titan, the lights went up and Batwoman was surrounded by Crows on all sides, guns drawn – they didn’t need to hang back during that bone-breaking fight after all. Going back on his work, Jacob Kane shoots Batwoman multiple times at close range, as do other Crows, before she escapes. While it doesn’t kill her thanks to her batsuit, it clearly takes a physical and emotional toll.
Dries says, “I really agree with Kate there when she said, ‘you know he loved Beth once too, but he can’t see past Alice now.’ And so I really feel for her and it feels like a real crisis for her and something she hasn’t had to go through, because she had the luxury of having a really loving dad when she came out to him years ago.”
As one of only two people in Kate’s inner circle who don’t know that she’s Batwoman, it’s hard to imagine that the war between Batwoman and Jacob Kane won’t affect the father/daughter relationship for Kate.
“Somebody like Jacob who’s stubborn and who’s had a lifelong vendetta against Batman, and the bat symbol, they’re hard to change, so it’s going to be a bit of a journey for him and Season Two to come to terms with this reality that his daughter’s Batwoman when he eventually finds out,” Dries says.
After weaving hints throughout the first season, including Sophie’s showdown with Jacob and firing, the finale sets up the Crows as antagonists for next season.
“We’ve seen the Crows sort of becoming more heightened in their power and becoming more authoritarian and scarier frankly,” Dries says. “They’ll kind of go from seemingly good to down a darker road.”
The Kryptonite Challenge
Luke spends much of the episode trying to destroy what he thinks is the last shard of Kryptonite on earth in order to protect Kate from whoever Reagan’s sister Magpie traded Lucius Fox’s journal to in exchange for her freedom.
Especially after seeing him struggle with his father’s legacy and the imprisonment of the wrong person for his father’s death, it’s good to see Luke get a win.
Dries says, “He will always kind of feel like he’s in his dad’s shadow because who wouldn’t when you’re that smart and you come from that legacy…Luke is really hard on himself.”
Looking to the future she says, “intellectually, season one he came into his own and now Season Two, now it’s all about him finding his courage and physical strength.”
Bruce Wayne had a shard of Kryptonite that he had been keeping safe for his friend Superman, in much the same way we know Kate was for Kara, in a sign of trust from the Kryptonians, in case someone ever took control of them or evil Kryptonians ever showed up, or some other disaster scenario. However, Kate was the only one from Batwoman from this Earth who participated in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, so she’s the only who knew about the second shard of Kryptonite or Kara’s identity.
In a sign of trust with her team, after Luke somehow managed to destroy the first shard, Kate showed him and Mary the second one and where she was keeping it. However, she didn’t tell them who Supergirl is or let Luke destroy it, since it’s not hers to share or destroy.
Since Kate said she needs to have a conversation with her “friend” before doing anything, will we get to see Batwoman and Supergirl chatting about Kryptonite over smoothies? Unfortunately, due to differing production schedules, the answer is no. As Dries says, “Kate needs to get those answers sooner than later. So we’re going to hear about it.”
Until they can have that conversation, are either Kara or Kate truly safe? With Jacob Kane inspecting the slugs the Crows shot at Batman and looking for something stronger, how long will it be before he figures out Kryptonite is the substance he needs and that it’s in Wayne Tower? Is there any chance Team Bat knows or suspects who Supergirl is?
Bruce Wayne’s Cameo
The episode ended with a jaw-dropping moment that some fans have been waiting for all season: a glimpse at Bruce Wayne’s face. Literally – just his face, attached to Hush’s body.
For Hush, who has long envied Bruce, this is the ultimate dream. A handsome new face (he rejected another one earlier on for not being up to his standards) and that of his rival/frenemy, no less. Behind the scenes, Dries says they knew when they brought back Hush that everything was teed up perfectly for him to take Bruce’s face, who was also the object of his obsession in the comics.
Of course, if we’ve learned anything from the modern era of caped entertainment, it’s that the politics of superheroes on screens isn’t always straightforward – just ask Tom Holland. Luckily for us, in this case it worked out.
“Our goal was getting that up the ladder at DC who’s (rightfully so) very protective of Bruce Wayne and Batman,” Dries says. “We agreed that if we told the story the way we ended up telling it, which is, we’re in on it. We know that it’s a ruse, and now we just sit and wait and watch our characters react and figure it out, that they would be okay with that.”
But one of the ways Mouse was able to get away with his impersonations is that he was a brilliant mimic and could do anyone’s voice. As far as we know, Tommy is not. Won’t the jig be up as soon as he opens his mouth?
Dries joked, “Well you know he has, he has until January of 2021 to figure it out, so I think he’ll be okay.”
More importantly, how will Gotham react to the return of “Bruce Wayne”? Dries says the city will be a “game changer” that “rattles the city.” Season 2 can’t come fast enough!
Batwoman season 1 is available now to watch free on The CW app.