The last time we saw Batwoman in action, she fought Black Mask and Circe to save Gotham City as its new protector. Season 2 ended with Batwoman victorious, Gotham City embracing their new hero, but all the trophies Circe stole from the Batcave ended up in the Gotham River.
Season 3 picks up not shortly after last. All the trophies lost have been making the rounds all over Gotham, and Batwoman and the yet-to-be-named Batwing have been tracking them down one by one. This leads the audience down what seems to be a villain of the week episode as we are introduced to a new Mad Hatter played by Amitai Marmorstein and a familiar face in Rene Montoya. When I say familiar, I mean familiar, as Victoria Cartagena is again playing the role of Montoya. Cartagena played Montoya in seasons one and two of Fox’s Gotham. If Ben Affleck and Ryan Reynolds can get live-action redemption, why not Cartagena.
I will give the show credit in that this is not a horrible Mad Hatter story. The hat and the functionality of the tech are fascinating choices and fit the Hatters modus operandi. As a surprise to no one, I think this is better than what we saw in Fox’s Gotham. The twist here is that the Hatter buys the stolen hat off “eBay” and uses its power to try and gain the attention of Alice while she is in prison. It is causing significant issues for not just Batwoman but Mary as well.
It seems one episode in that the theme of the season will be family. We learn more about Ryan Wilders mother in this one episode than we did last season, and it seems to be a significant subplot as we will advance. Mary and Alice are having daddy issues with Jacob Kane locked up in Metropolis. At the same time, Luke is dealing with similar problems himself and with his suit. All the while, Ryan, Luke, Mary, and Sophie have formed one big happy Bat-family. There is a lot of drama going down in the Batcave this season.
As she has been for the previous two seasons, Rachel Skarsten’s Alice is the best thing in the show. Skarsten plays a fantastic brand of crazy and steals every scene she is in, at times carrying the weight of her less talented co-stars. I will say that Cartagena’s Montoya, in the little we do see her do pretty much the same thing and looks to be an excellent addition to the show. I was all in on this version of Montoya after her little chat with the Mayor.
The episode is not without its faults; there are a few plot holes and questionable character decisions. I don’t know how many drunk dudebros end up wandering into the sewers, but this is Batwoman and the CW. The episode is fun and enjoyable when Batwoman and Batwing are on-screen kicking butt, and we are graced with a very ’66 inspired Batcave.
It does get brutal at times, and for The CW, I must say I was impressed with the amount of blood and gore in this episode. It’s not much, but I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this from The CW before. Overall it feels that Batwoman is carrying the momentum gained last season.
“Mad as a Hatter” is a decent start to the season, not remarkable but not a dumpster fire either.
I’ll see you all next week. Same Bat-time, same Bat-Channel! – Peter Verra