TV Review: ‘Batwoman’ Tries To Find Footing In Winter Premiere

by Frank Martin

After two wobbly first seasons, it seemed Batwoman had finally found its groove with Season Three. It started by leaning heavily into the Batman mythos with a loose “monster of the week” type format, revisiting villains like Killer Croc, Mr. Freeze, and Professor Pyg. All this played out over a subplot of Mary Hamilton (Nicole Kang) slowly descending into the role of Poison Ivy and Marquis Jet (Nick Creegan) becoming a Joker character to Ryan Wilder‘s Batwoman (Javicia Leslie).

The first half of season three ended with these two subplots reaching a crescendo as Batwoman lost control of Wayne Tower and Mary completed her villainous transformation. It was great television to see Mary’s pent up frustration unleashed using her “Ivy” powers, all while being coached into villainy by Alice (Rachel Skarsten), but now comes the question of where does the story go from here?

It seems the plot will shift as the original Poison Ivy (Bridget Regan) returns, but now the Marcus and Mary subplots have been elevated to the main storyline. It was fine during the mid-season finale because tensions were high, but the plot has to once again build that momentum throughout the second half. So far, it’s pretty slow. It did so in the first half, too, but all that played over the backdrop of the “monster of the week” style episodes. The slow-building subplot was just that: a subplot. Now, as a slow-moving main plot, it’s become a lot more noticeable.

That’s not to say the show has stopped being entertaining. This winter premiere has some twists and nice moments — especially as it explores Renee Montoya’s (Victoria Cartagena) past and motivations. But it’s going to need to pick up the pace and tension if it’s going to retain the audience’s attention as it builds to an awesome climax for the finale.

Batwoman airs Wednesdays on The CW.

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