Batwoman Season 1 Episode 11 Review: An Un-Birthday Present

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It's an "expect the unexpected" sort of day on Batwoman Season 1 Episode 11, and although it is stated explicitly that Kate does NOT enjoy surprises, I'm not sure anyone really appreciated their taste of the random.

And while I'm enjoying the introduction of the brunette, not deranged, astrophysicist Beth Kane 2.0 from Earth who-knows-what, I can't help but suspect that, like the kitten in Alice's backstory, this won't end well.

Alice Alone - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 11

I'm sure there are other instances of anomalous kinks in the conversion to a singular 'verse.

But it's amazingly convenient that Kate and Jacob finally come to understand that Alice has snuffed out all evidence of the Beth Kane they knew only to have a completely undamaged version of Beth come traipsing into their lives.

Kudos to showrunner, Caroline Dries, for using the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event (and its subsequent fallout) to further the twistiness of Batwoman's plot.

It's a huge, emotional trump card to play.

Beth is everything Alice can't be -- trusting, self-sacrificing, loving, forgiving.

A Swinging Time - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 11

Hence, my comparison to the kitten, Chessy.

Everyone loves Beth.

But no one outside Team Batwoman can know about her which makes it highly likely that she'll be mistaken for Alice by someone with an itchy trigger finger.

Or, even more likely, Alice or Mouse will take her out.

Alice and Mouse - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 11

Again, it's convenient that Beth is an astrophysicist and calmly accepts that her existence is the result of some giant melting pot of the multi-verse.

It's also cutely clever for Mary to drunkenly theorize the truth of the matter before dismissing it as too "out there" of an idea. Also "out there" is the fashionista backward belt she wears when she's sober. Very distracting.

Of course, Beth is still a bit discombobulated by being plopped into a world that doesn't know she exists.

Also, SURPRISE! Your whole family isn't exactly the way you remember them. It makes sense that she's going to have questions.

Beth: If Kate's been kidnapped, shouldn't we call my dad? He'll know what to do. He's Special Forces.
Luke: He's in jail.
Beth: What?
Luke: For killing your stepmother. But he didn't do it. Alice did.
Beth: Ok. Um, dumb question. Do POLICE exist on this Earth?

On the flip-side, Alice wasn't super keen on spending her birthday in the Crows' interrogation cell.

And then, SURPRISE! Her plan with Mouse DIDN'T work out because Kate and Sophie have a secret code.

Wait, aren't twins the ones who are supposed to have secret languages?

I'm stunned that Alice didn't kill Sophie, given that she sort of took her place in Kate's life.

But, then, there's something sadistic in allowig someone living with Sophie's sort of conflict continue to struggle on.

My dear, sweet little birdie. I may be free of my cage, but you're still trapped in yours. And you always will be because it's one of your own making. And that is a hell more than bearable.

Alice

It was very much an Alice move. It doesn't benefit her personally, but it's guaranteed to cause someone else prolonged pain, so she let it ride. 

Although it wasn't his birthday, Mouse got his share of surprises, too.

He was obviously surprised initially by Beth appearing in the scrapyard playing Alice and then altogether shocked by discovering how identical Beth is to his dear sister of the heart.

Mouse: How are they treating you?
Alice: Well, I'm chained to a table on my birthday...

However, he did take a lot of pleasure in surprising Kate by hitting her with the Wonderland Gang-driven truck.

There are a few logic gaps on that escapade though:

  1. How did they track her bike to time that collision so perfectly?
     
  2. Why would they take the bike with them to the scrapyard, since that's how Luke tracked her down?
     
  3. Why does Luke would have a tracker on the bike but not on Kate's person?

He also looked a little surprised when he found himself stuck on that nasty bit of rebar.

Kate and Mouse - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 11

There's a theme of birthday wishing that links Kate's current situation and Alice's flashback past. 

Kate stated that her birthday wish came true when they figure out that Beth is who she says she is.

Meanwhile, Alice (as young Beth) wished to see Kate and Jacob again, but Johnny's father, August, told her that saying it out loud guarantees that it'll never come true.

All this leads me to wonder what Alice's wish is in the present?

Mouse: How are they treating you?
Alice: Well, I'm chained to a table on my birthday...

There are a couple of leads buried by the whole Beth bombshell.

One is Alice's origin story. After the fiasco of the birthday wish, the destruction of her book, and the murder of the kitten, not to mention her conscription onto Johnny's face-making team, Beth assumes a new persona -- Alice -- rather than continue to suffer.

Alice is born out of a need to be at home in chaos and friends with crazy.

Her instability is both a comfort and a caution to Mouse because he figures he'll be the only one who will stick with her through all her ups and downs.

However, he would rest a lot easier with Kate out of the picture for good.

Kate Negotiating - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 11

The other buried lead is the city's acceptance of Batwoman as their hero, regardless of her sexuality.

As the kidnap victims point out, the GCPD's reluctance to turn on the signal is completely a non-issue in 2020.

So the biggest birthday surprise for Kate was probably the protest at the station, insisting that the signal be turned on.

And, yes, this is a necessary element to the narrative because a key part of Batwoman's persona is that she is a lesbian and out about it.

Gotham's acceptance of her for who she is and not just what she can do for them is the first time she's been more than a stand-in for Batman.

Welcome to the world we live in. I'm going to save them anyway.

Kate

That being said, the absence of a voiced-over letter to Bruce was noticeable and probably indicates that both Batwoman the character and Batwoman the show are ready to step out of the shadow of the Dark Knight.

There are a lot of things to mull over when you watch Batwoman online

Is Rachel Skarsten not AMAZING in the dual roles of Alice and Beth?

How will the two affect each other now that we know they suffer at the same time?

Sisters? - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 11

Can Beth be a solution to Alice or is she doomed to be like Chessy?

Let me know in the comments how you want the Case the Two Beths to get resolved!

And we sure would appreciate a follow of our new Twitter account as we work to rebuild our audience!

@TVFanatic

An Un-Birthday Present Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (4 Votes)

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Batwoman Season 1 Episode 11 Quotes

Welcome to the world we live in. I'm going to save them anyway.

Kate

Alice: Turns out we were both trapped in that awful place.
Sophie: I was in that house. Can't imagine what years in that place must've been like.
Alice: But you do know what it's like to feel trapped, don't you, Sophie?