Batwoman’s two main plots converged Wednesday night for a mid-season finale that brought the Bat team to an all-time low.
Steadily, over the course of the season, Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) had her priorities pulled in two different directions. As Batwoman, she has spent the bulk of the season collecting a series of scattered villain trophies from Batman’s past. So far she’s clashed with various versions of the Mad Hatter, Killer Croc, and Mr. Freeze. The season’s main villain, however, will be Poison Ivy, who has infected Mary Hamilton (Nicole Kang). We got a peak of what Poison Mary’s capable of last episode, but the mid-season finale cemented her place as a baddie. She spent the episode on the run with Alice (Rachel Skarsten), who successfully convinced Mary to embrace her dark side in the episode’s finale moments.
In Batwoman’s civilian guise, Ryan has been dealing with her newfound family, Marquis (Nick Creegan) and Jada Jet (Robin Givens). At first, it appeared as if Jada was Ryan’s foe, but it turns out that Marquis is the villain, having suffered from a Joker attack in his youth. The mid-season finale managed to merge these storylines together as Jada developed a cure for Mary’s infection in exchange for Ryan delivering Marquis to her. Both plans ultimately fail, though. Mary rejects the cure and Marquis escapes, forcing Ryan to resign as Wayne Enterprises CEO and handing him the keys to the company.
This one-two punch hits Ryan hard. She’ll have to go into the second half of the season locked out of the Batcave and without Mary’s medical skills. Furthermore, Mary’s heel turn throughout the season was slow and steady. It wasn’t as simple as, “get infected. Become bad.” Her role in the group has been increasingly ignored, leaving her feeling lost and vulnerable. Alice masterfully plays to these insecurities, showcasing her as a cerebral villain still struggling with her own issues. And let’s not forget Marquis, who no doubt has devious plans as a Joker-like villain at the helm of Wayne Enterprises. The rest of the season is primed to be an uphill battle for Batwoman, as glimpsed in the following preview, when the show returns January 12th on The CW.