Alright, we are now into our fourth episode this season of Batwoman. The show has made giant leaps when compared to the season’s past. Ryan Wilder is her own Batwoman and not hiding behind anyone’s shadow as the show, and Javicia Leslie is coming into their own. But nothing can stand in the way of Rachel Skarsten and her brand of crazy. Can this week’s episode “Anti-Freeze” keep up the hot start to the third season?
The trophy of the week method that has worked so well this season has been abandoned. “Anti-Freeze” fills in some blanks about the people who abducted Nora Fries last episode, and we see why they needed Victor’s journal. Wayne’s new CEO is making the PR circuit in Gotham, and it is refreshing to see Ryan as the talk of the town. She is doing an excellent job at living it up in front of the cameras while avoiding her brother’s shady ulterior motives. That is until the episode takes a page out of “The Dark Knight Rises” playbook.
While used as a plot point, everything involving Sophie and her sister is the weak part of this week’s episode. The actual Bat-tactics part of trying to save Sophie’s sister is significant, and it doesn’t make me care about Sophie’s character this season. There was never a feeling of attachment, and the character was just a throwaway from the introduction. Sophie almost feels wasted, but there might be hope. We have seen both Luke and Mary become more captivating, just not while paired together. The jury is still out on Marquis, but at least Jada kept up her end of the bargain. While only appearing in this episode for one scene.
While the episode doesn’t revolve around Alice, Rachel Skarsten leaves her mark. Alice and her imaginary friend (Shaquan Lewis) love nothing more than being the wrench in the gears. Alice steals what should be Ryan Wilder’s coming-out party. Always in the right place with the wrong intentions, Alice finds life outside of Arkham much more entreating. At this point, I’m all in on an Alice spin-off.
“Antifreeze” is a significant change of pace for the third season—less about the trophies and more about the characters. With deep dives into the mentality and toughness of Ryan and Luke, the show has their determination on full display. At the same time, the elements of Ryan’s and Sophie’s extended families’ social interactions are not entertaining. But have no fear because Alice and Batwoman save the day with their combination of heroics and psychosis. This show is on a roll! – Peter Verra