Action packed ‘Batwoman’ starts on shaky note



Ruby Rose stars as Batwoman in The CW’s return to Gotham City after the end of ‘Gotham’ in April.

Katherine Daly, Staff Writer

“Batwoman” is the newest addition to The CW’s lineup of superhero content, and the pilot feels like a formulaic story to promote Batwoman’s upcoming adventures.

Surprising to no one, “Batwoman” just recycles plot elements and character tropes from old sitcoms. Nothing new happens as the beats fall into the same place. All the characters do the things they are expected to do. The bad guys get caught and the good guys win. Despite all that, deep down it seems to be a decent show as it demonstrates its boldness with good amounts of action and halfway decent actors.

The pilot follows Kate Kane, played by Ruby Rose, who has returned home to Gotham City, which is being terrorized by the maniacal Alice, played by Rachel Skarsten, leader of the Wonderland Gang.

There are plenty of flashbacks to fill in the details on Kane’s backstory as she suits up to protect Gotham as Batman has mysteriously disappeared.

There has been a lot of criticism of Kate and Rose’s sexual identities – Rose is openly gay but Kate does not have a girlfriend in the show despite Batwoman in the comics being gay. However, the character wasn’t changed at all for the television show and is very comic book accurate.

Batwoman’s sexuality isn’t something the show shies away from. Early on Kane is shown kissing a woman and it is done very respectfully. This show quickly reveals one of the first heroes in a leading role to be part of the LBGTQ community.

This role was meant for Rose. She shows off her acting skills as the fractures in Kate’s soul cracks with the authentic pain of personal experience, which is brought out by Rose’s dramatic emotional aspect. Many of the other actors gravitate toward her funky attitude and convincing swagger. Rose also plays Kate as a repressed, damaged woman denying her own internal torment, which brings new life to the character.

Another thing this show does well is establishing Alice as a villain.  Every good hero story needs an antihero, which is thankfully provided by Skarsten. She does an excellent job of pulling off a deranged mental patient and manages to hold her own.  She’s definitely more than just a Joker clone. It’s especially noticeable at the end when you actually feel sympathy for her, which is pulled off exquisitely by Skarsten.

It seems this show has a lot more in common with a Batman film than anyone thought. The pilot was filled to the brim with action sequences, such as fighting, stunts and explosions. Unfortunately, this did take precedence over elements like characterization or complex plotting. However, these events usually involved the effort on the part of the hero, which was pulled off in breathtaking visuals.

“Batwoman” is certainly going to have you glued to the screen. The intense action scenes will definitely have you shaking. However, it pretends to be something new, which it is not. It has the same old story and wasn’t the best foot forward for a new show.