After the first dud of the season, you wonder how Batwoman would rebound. Episode six, “How Does Your Garden Grow?” is the perfect episode to rally back with. This episode delivers character in a big way from multiple players; Montoya, Alice, Sophie, and Mary all have their time to shine in this one-hour episode. I’d even argue that this is the best episode in the three seasons of the show.
This episode of Batwoman takes everything that has worked this season to the next level. Rachel Skarsten delivers one of her best performances (and there are many) as Alice. Every moment Victoria Cartagena is on screen, she is a Dirty Harry badass that you can’t take your eyes off. The episode’s surprise was that I was into Sophie Moore for the first time this season and felt connected to her character. Then you have Nicole Kang/Mary taking over the mantle of Poison Ivy. I was into the Jekyll/Hyde bit; I was feeling the transformation, the motives seemed a bit juvenile, but I’ll let that slide because this felt enjoyable. It didn’t bother me that the big showdown looked like it took place at the Rain Forest Café. I thought Montoya, Mary, Batwoman, and Batwing were more than enough to please this fanboy. I was pleasantly surprised at how the show used effects and GCI to create Ivy’s plants’ control. I was critical of Kang’s acting in past seasons, but she has come into her own, and I can’t wait to see how this plays out.
“How Does Your Garden Grow?” focusing on the Bat-Family is long overdue. While I love the character of Ryan Wilder, the addition of her extended family is such a drag on the show. This episode was a wonderful romp around Gotham as we focused on all the right players. Sure, Batman is not in this show, but Batwoman and Batwing get into more and enough shenanigans to please a Bat-fan, and this episode is a perfect example of such. Jerry Shand and Natalie Abrams wrote this episode, and I would hope to see them return. The writers juggled the multiple storylines and characters with ease, and I was drawn into each one reveling in them interweaving with each other, bravo on all accounts.
Often this season, Batwoman has hit on so many levels. This season’s writing, acting, and vibe are so much better than what we got in the last two seasons. This episode showcased why we need more Montoya on screen. Alice, as always, is a scene-stealer, and now it seems like Mary/Ivy will be a significant player in Gotham. Things are getting crazier every episode in Gotham City. I can not wait to see how our heroes come out of this. Batwoman has fully embraced the comic book angle of the show, and it is lovely and fun to watch. – Peter Verra