Batwoman: The Pilot

Pictured: Ruby Rose as Kate Kane/Batwoman in Batwoman -- "Pilot" -- Photo: Kimberley French/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Batwoman makes her mark by getting her own series after making her initial appearance during the Arrowverse crossover last season.

There are some mild spoilers here.

While we were previously introduced to Kate Kane (Ruby Rose), the pilot takes more of an approach in terms of an actual origin story.  Kate climbs her way out of the water while we see flashbacks of the day her mother, Gabrielle, and sister, Beth, died.  What we see in these clips are of Batman trying to save them from falling off the bridge.  Appropriately, more is learned about this tragic day throughout the pilot.

Kate’s dad, Commander Jacob Kane (Dougray Scott), starts up Crows Private Security as a result of Batman going missing.  He also has a second marriage–this time with Catherine Hamilton-Kane (Elizabeth Anweis). With the Dark Knight currently missing, the bat signal is going to go off for good.  Much to everyone’s surprise, Alice (Rachel Skarsten) makes her entrance and plans change.  Alice decides to take a Crowes agent, Sophie Moore (Meagan Tandy), as a hostage.  This is what drives the plot of the pilot and brings Kate back to Gotham City.  Step-sister Mary Hamilton (Nicole Kang), who runs an illegal medical clinic, gets the assist.  One of the questions going into the series was whether or not they would be keeping Kate’s sexual orientation.  Sure enough, flashbacks reveal a relationship between Kate and Sophie.

Kate takes the search into her own hands by breaking into Wayne Enterprises.  Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson) runs point for security and the two get into it.  She gets what she needs but it takes a bit before she makes her way to the Bat Cave, which is located under the offices rather than at Wayne Manor.  You can’t just have one Bat Cave!

“Find your own way,” Kate says when she finds the Batsuit.  Luke Fox catches up to her by this moment and there’s an exchange between them.

Kate Kane:  “An army may not scare them but that will.  I need you to fix his suit.”
Luke Fox:  “The suit is literal perfection.”
Kate Kane:  “It will be…when it fits a woman.”

The latter line is one that certainly deserves applause.  As far as the pilot goes, it’s an inspiring line.  It will also speak to the feminists tuning into the series, too.  Meanwhile, the first time that we see Kate in action while wearing the suit is a moment to behold.  Blake Neely and Sherri Chung’s score draws some inspiration from Danny Elfman’s iconic Batman score during this moment.

Then there’s the reveal of who Alice really is.  It is a complete misfire to place this at the end of the pilot–let alone including it in the pilot.  Obviously, those who read the comics will not find it to be that big of a surprise.  However, it’s much too early for a reveal of this nature.  Something like this really should play out until the season finale if not the mid-season.

Batwoman gets major points for setting the series in Chicago.  While there’s no way of knowing if this Bruce Wayne is the one portrayed by Christian Bale, I like that they make Chicago the home of Gotham City.  It is honestly some great fan service, too.  With regards to the city’s design, it would have been fun to see them go for what we saw in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight in terms of Wayne Enterprises.

As far as keeping Kate Kane Jewish, there remains a lot to be desired.  I honestly didn’t see much of Kane’s Jewish faith in the pilot episode.  While Judaism strongly frowns on tattoos, Kane’s look does keep in line with the comics.  Batwoman is off to a promising start but this series is going to need some more time to find its identity.

Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television produces the series with executive producers Greg Berlanti, Caroline Dries, Geoff Johns, and Sarah Schecter. David Nutter and Marcos Siega executive produced the pilot.  Batwoman was developed by Caroline Dries.

CAST:  Ruby Rose, Rachel Skarsten, Meagan Tandy, Nicole Kang, Camrus Johnson, Elizabeth Anweis, and Dougray Scott

Batwoman airs Sunday nights at 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT on the CW.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.