blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Batwoman (2019) s01e03 – Down Down Down

Ruby Rose flirts with a bartender played by Brianne Howey from “The Passage,” which basically makes the episode. It's in the middle of Rose investigating Tommy Elliot (Gabriel Mann in a part he really ought to appreciate more), billionaire pal to Bruce Wayne who seems to know about Bruce’s other life. Rose has time for the investigation because Rachel Skarsten is taking it somewhat easy this episode.

Howey’s the first modern working actor to show up. Recognizable to me anyway. She adds a lot of class to the product. They didn't cast down acting-wise for a Rose love interest, they casted up.

The stuff with Mann gets a little too long in the tooth and must be even less interesting to people who don't know he's going to be coming back as villain Hush. The show’s doing long-term planning by episode three… which is confident, perhaps overly so.

The best parts of the episode, other than involve Rose’s step-sister Nicole Kang. She's stuck at Mann’s party, which ends up being an attempt to draw out the not available Batman (the city thinks Rose’s Batwoman is the original male model), and in danger, with only Meagan Tandy (Rose’s ex) and her dimwit husband Greyston Holt to protect her. Holt doesn't know Tandy used to be with Rose (or is bi) and Kang has a lot of fun teasing the situation. Even though Rose and Kang are on the outs from last episode, Kang’s still getting a lot, which is good. Kang’s the best regular cast member… Skarsten might usurp that title but not yet.

Speaking of Skarsten, she gets the C plot this episode. The plotting details on whether Skarsten is Rose’s long lost twin sister aren't amazing—they're trying not to be too confusing—but the pacing of the plot is good. Even in this episode, which gets a little long.

Of course, if it didn't have Rose’s terrible letters to Cousin Bruce as narration, it might not seem so long. They're really, really bad. They seem bad at the beginning of the episode, then they get worse. The last one implies the first three episodes are the real pilot too—Rose gets her full Batwoman outfit for the last fight, along with portentous “I will not fail my city” narration nonsense.

So a significant dip down from last episode, but not necessarily in as bad of shape as after the actual pilot.

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