NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Batwoman”, including a major character death, are present in this review
Batwoman certainly couldn’t have picked a worse time to start recently shedding narrative momentum, considering that the show ended up losing two episodes from its Season One order, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve come to the end of the line this week as well, with Batwoman’s twentieth episode now being forced to serve as its first season finale, two episodes shy of where the season was originally supposed to conclude. If there’s good news surrounding the premature end of Batwoman’s debut season however, it’s the fact that, “O, Mouse!” at least manages to be a pretty solid ending to a frequently uneven and disappointing first batch of episodes for The CW’s newest DC drama.
The storylines surrounding this episode nicely help to compensate for the fact that we’re saddled with another uninteresting villain-of-the-week, an obvious storytelling casualty from having to retroactively re-tool this episode into Season One’s conclusion. That villain is Tim “Titan” Teslow, a character that doesn’t appear to exist in DC Comics lore, and represents one of many Arkham Asylum escapees that ended up recently being freed by Alice and Mouse. The Crows however, alongside Jacob, blame Batwoman for the inmates’ escape, and this has motivated Jacob to declare war on Batwoman, along with anyone who abets her.
The growing tension between Batwoman and the Crows has been simmering all season, and it finally came to something of a head here, which was an unexpected benefit to this episode now having to serve as a season finale. After Mary inspires Kate’s vigilante identity to try and call a truce with Jacob, Jacob seemingly agrees to try and help Batwoman stop Titan, a gargantuan college football alum who suffered concussions until the pain centers of his brain stopped functioning. There’s obviously commentary here about the aggressive over-fixation on college football in the U.S., leading to deliberate ignorance of its physical toll, but that’s quickly buried underneath a character that’s easily disposed of by Jacob during the climax, without much meaningful development or suspense behind who Titan was.
What Titan is actually supposed to represent for Batwoman in the end is bait. Jacob and the Crows using Batwoman’s own desire to stop a killer as a way to trap her is very nicely dramatic too, if also futile. Kate’s Bat Suit naturally protects her from the Crows’ gunfire, but the fallout of this action is nonetheless felt. After letting his obsession with stopping Batwoman get in the way of his supposed principles, both Kate and Mary are forced to face what their father/stepfather has become. Jacob isn’t currently privy to the apparent fact that Kryptonite can penetrate the Bat Suit, but he nonetheless commands the Crows to find something stronger than a conventional handgun, since even a Desert Eagle is useless against Kate’s armour. Hopefully Jacob doesn’t go snooping around Kate’s office then, since she’s still carrying that shard of Kryptonite that Supergirl gave her during the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, something that Kate ultimately comes clean to Luke and Mary about as well, after Luke finds a way to destroy Batman’s old Kryptonite shard with a hydraulic press.
Emotions certainly run high among Team Batwoman and the Crows at this point, but they were also felt nicely with Alice and Mouse, who remain in hiding within Gotham’s sewers. With Hush continuing to demand a new face as well, Mouse has started to beg Alice to leave and start anew. Alice, however, doesn’t want to abandon her own obsession with getting revenge on her sister, creating an effective mirror of Jacob’s own growing obsession with stopping Batwoman, at any cost. That cost also came to its own dramatic head for the show’s arch-villains, once Alice appears to destroy her Alice in Wonderland book with Mouse, as an apparent act of moving on… Only to instead poison Mouse! Alice tearfully holding Mouse as he dies genuinely manages to be heart-wrenching too, in a twisted way. Alice is sacrificing all that’s left of her support system to keep targeting Batwoman, after all, something that’s bound to keep creating an even greater menace out of Alice during next season.
It’s thanks to Alice that we have a good climactic cliffhanger for this premature Batwoman season finale as well. While Julia contributes her own interesting tease for what’s to come, tipping Sophie off to the existence of Safiyah Sohail, complete with confirming that the two are being watched by someone, it’s Alice that provides the most exciting peek at what’s to come in January, when Batwoman’s second season is scheduled to debut. This is because Alice finally manages to deliver on her promise to Hush during the final moments of this episode, providing him with the new face he’s always wanted… And what a face it is! True to Hush’s inspiration from DC Comics lore, Tommy Elliot now wears the face of Bruce Wayne himself! This was a fantastic surprise to end the season on, and one that proved to come at a surprisingly opportune time! Alphas’ Warren Christie portraying the Arrowverse’s Bruce Wayne (albeit as a disguised Hush) is something that somehow didn’t manage to get leaked beforehand (especially when we already saw an older, deadlier incarnation of Bruce being played by Kevin Conroy on the pre-Crisis Earth-99 during Crisis on Infinite Earths), and the promise that Hush, as Bruce, is going to become a big villain next season actually does feel like a season finale-worthy cliffhanger, even though we were supposed to get two more episodes than we ultimately got this season.
For all of its many issues throughout its debut season, it’s nice to see that Batwoman was able to find its way to a solid finish, even after losing two planned episodes to pandemic-related production difficulties. “O, Mouse!” suffered from being saddled with another forgettable villain-of-the-week, but it did manage to effectively bring Jacob’s and Alice’s obsessive desire to destroy Batwoman to a new, consequence-filled level. The fact that Alice successfully gave Hush the face of Bruce Wayne is all the better, actually providing the massive climactic cliffhanger that a Batwoman season finale should command. In fact, it’s entirely possible that this Bruce Wayne face reveal, and Hush’s transformation into Bruce, was always meant to serve as the season’s ending cliffhanger, and this scene was simply inserted into this episode, when it was meant to be featured later, a concession trick that we already know is being done with Supergirl on this same night. Either way though, Batwoman manages to pull off another miracle for the Arrowverse with this week’s season finale, just as The Flash did last week, namely by defying its pandemic losses through nonetheless providing a strong end to its current season, while leaving viewers wanting more, when The CW’s DC dramas can finally return in 2021.
- Jacob's huge betrayal of Mary and Kate
- Alice killing Mouse to preserve her vendetta
- Awesome Bruce Wayne face reveal with Hush
- Titan is a dull villain-of-the-week