Relationships are shifting all over Gotham City–that’s the running theme this week. The storyline around Safiyah and Coryana is becoming about more than just Kate, and Alice is finding new motivations. Luke is finally learning, and Mary has to tell the truth. This week feels like filler, though. Lots of pieces moving but nothing actually changing. Spoilers follow for Batwoman Season 2, Episode 6, “Do Not Resuscitate.”
“Do Not Resuscitate”
Ryan Wilder’s life is falling apart. Only just recently did she find her girlfriend, Angelique. She just moved out of her truck and in with Mary. She’s just getting comfortable as Batwoman. But the show is going to make her work to keep all of that, and the Batsuit can’t protect her from any of it.
You know what that means: interpersonal drama. This is a Batwoman-lite episode and the show suffers for it. Most of what goes on is about shifting relationships between two characters, and very little time is spent with a Bat onscreen doing what Bats do.
Ryan is caught in a potential love tug of war between Angelique and Sophie. Sophie isn’t a love interest yet, but it feels like the show is easing things in that direction. Ryan is in the middle, a hero who pursues justice in secret, doing it outside of the law. On one side of her is a criminal who let her rot in prison for a year and a half and continues to sell drugs while she hangs out with Gotham’s Fanciest–despite knowing her lover’s objections. On the other side is what amounts to a police officer, someone who pursues justice just like Ryan does, but who does it through an organization that went out of its way to make Ryan miserable and is directly responsible for her time in jail.
None of this makes sense
While the show is messing with Ryan’s life, the big set-piece for the week centers around Mary and Jacob. The scientists at Hamilton–the company formerly run by Mary’s late mother–have figured out that the blood transfusion-cure-thing is a literal Cure-All. The only other thing they know is that it came from Mary. One of the doctors has decided that the Cure-All is going to make him rich and famous, so he sends one of his patients after Mary to get more information out of her. The patient is the far-end opposite of Zsasz from a few weeks ago. Where Zsasz was an authentic-feeling interpretation of a classic Batman villain portrayed by a skilled actor, this guy just ain’t. He’s supposed to be the villain Amygdala, who is a Dave Bautista-sized guy with severe anger issues. Instead, we get a generic CW actor in hospital scrubs.
This whole plotline is threadbare, though. The show doesn’t really explain how they know Mary is the one who will know how to find the Cure-All. Presumably she revealed herself when giving Hamilton her blood sample in the first place, but that’s left mostly up to conjecture. The guy that comes after Mary captures her by t-boning the SUV she and Jacob are driving in with a huge trailer truck. Statistically, the impact would probably kill one or more of the passengers or permanently cripple them. And even making that jump ignores the idea that somehow the guy driving knew that Mary and Jacob would be at that intersection at that time, long enough for him to get up to full speed and hit them.
Once Mary and Jacob wake up, they find themselves in Mary’s underground medical clinic, where the patient terrifies them with extremely violent outbursts apparently caused by cancer in his brain. The only really interesting thing that comes out of this whole sequence is that Jacob finally finds out about the clinic his step-daughter has been running for two years and decides by the end of the episode to shut it down, significantly complicating their relationship in the process.
Through all this, Alice is still with Ocean, trying to decide whether to kiss him or kill him. Ocean has the authentic Jack Napier painting with him, and the Crows track them down, where Sophie forces Ocean to give the map up at gun point. She delivers it to Batwoman, who brings it to where Jacob and Mary are being held hostage. Batwoman handily stops the angry man, just in time for the doctor, who looks like Evil Kevin Feige, to show up and take the map from them.
The whole episode feels like a treadmill. Most of the stuff that happens is for nothing. Full-season CW shows can’t do big moves every single week, but we’re just six weeks into the new Batwoman, and it feels like its too soon for a filler episode. The theme here seems to be that Ryan needs to learn to lean on her friends the same way that last week was about them learning to trust her, but the story is so scattershot and unfocused that this only comes through when you sit and think about it. It feels like we got a heavily-edited version of the writer’s vision, and we’re left shrugging our shoulders.