BATWOMAN | “Broken Toys” Episode Review

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Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

After last week’s incredible episode of Batwoman, you might be thinking the show can’t possibly top what we just saw.  Well, strap on your seatbelts because episode eleven “Broken Toys: is just as much of a thrill ride.  This episode has every bit the emotional weight and action as the last episode.  Ramifications of past actions are realized, boundaries are pushed, and sacrifices are made.  All this happens in just under an hour.

Batwoman is riding high!  Broken Toys has pulled off the best audience numbers of the season, according to TV Line.  Rightfully so, the show has the most emotional depth of any CBTV show being broadcast now.  This season, the writers and actors are taking advantage of their 9 pm time slot.  The show, at times, displays elements of horror mixed in with hot and steamy elements that give off Melrose Place vibes.  You got family issues, relationship issues, and psychos all over the city.  It sounds like my type of comic book TV show.

In the last episode, we bid farewell to Bridget Regan and Victoria Cartagena and their fantastic portrayals of Poison Ivy and Rene Montoya, respectively.  However, the show is not at a loss for actors who are more than capable of carrying the torch and others on their backs.  Javical Leslie has wholly transformed this season.  She was a vast improvement over Ruby Rose in season two.   Now she has developed into a fantastic and well-balanced actress right before our eyes.  Leslie’s scenes with Robin Givens (Jada Jett) and Meagan Tandy (Sophie Moore) are powerful.  Ryan and her biological mother have finally become captivating, and all it took was a second attempt on Jada Jet’s life.  The romantic tension between Ryan and Sophie FINALLY hits its mark.  Sophie has had fantastic turnaround midseason, early on she seemed like an unnecessary character.  These are the moments that fans of the show have been craving.  Watching them unfold in this episode is nothing short of breathtaking; the writing combined with the high stakes and dynamic tension is just perfect.

While Ryan has two major character elements in this episode, Rachel Skarsten (Alice) and Nicole Kang (Mary Hamilton) also shine.  They may not be the sister combo that we thought would develop way back in season one, but it has turned out for the better.  Nick Creegan is still the weakest part of the show as he is in every episode.  While the actor claims that he is taking inspiration from Jared Leto, I can say that I would much rather be watching Jerome on GOTHAM (yes, I did write that).

This episode is written so well that even Creegan can’t ruin it.  While everything in this episode centers around him, he is hardly in it.  It is more of a bookend appearance, and his scenes are not that long.  I hope this is a trend that the writers and production team have realized in solving this show’s only issue.  They are utilizing all the talent around Creegan to dilute his overacting and cringe-worthy dialogue delivery.  The writers have written a fantastic revenge plan for Marquis Jet.  It’s just that he is trying way too hard while on the screen to make it believable.

“Broken Toys” delivers twists and turns with phenomenal action.  Mary and Alice are tracking down the Joker’s toymaker.  Ryan kicking ass as a civilian inadvertently revealing her identity and capping it all off is a Birds of Prey-style battle royal that could only be located at Amusement Mile.  Bravo to both the actors and stunt performers involved.  With every passing week, they outdo themselves.  The fight choreography is the second most impressive aspect of the show this season behind the writing.

I also must give credit to Batwing himself, Camrus Johnson, as he made his directorial debut.  The first time behind the lens, this man is comfortable and capable.  Wonderful shot selection and getting the best out of 99% of the actors on screen for your first time, he should be very proud of this achievement.  Johnson’s shot selection is so good that you will have difficulty picking out the star or the stunt double.

There is a saying in baseball that momentum is the next game’s starting pitcher; well, “Broken Toys” has done its part to carry on that momentum.  While this has been a great season thus far, let me repeat for the haters, THIS HAS BEEN A GREAT SEASON!  You do wonder if the quality might drop at some point.  Well, eleven episodes in, and I can only think of one dud, episode five, “A Lesson From Professor Pyg”.  Batwoman continues to expand upon the mythology of Batman and brings that emotional aspect that no one saw coming this season.  I am curious what you all are doing on Wednesday nights.  Batwoman should be discussed with Superman & Lois and Peacemaker when it comes to DC TV — it’s that good.  People are tuning in, the audience has spoken, and it’s clear, Batwoman > The Book of Boba Tea. – Peter Verra

GRADE: A

 

 

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Senior BOF contributor covering the Bat-beat since January 2017. Co-host of the "Straight Outta Gotham Podcast." Peter has covered the red carpet premiers of BATMAN: NINJA and REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN. Peter has interviewed various titans the industry such as producer Michael Uslan, producer James Tucker, stuntman Richard Cetrone, Kevin Conroy, Tara Strong, Loren Lester, Tony Todd, Will Friedle, Marie Avgeropoulos and Cress Williams just to name a few! Contact Peter on all social media platforms @PeteIllustrated!