Superheroes have been the source of our entertainment for decades. Comic superheroes from DC Comics to Marvel Comics have been featured on both the big screen and the silver screen, fascinating and inspiring audiences for generations. The CW has taken on this challenge with shows like “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Supergirl,” “Black Lightning” and “Legends of Tomorrow,” all of which have been major successes and fan favorites. A new hero entered the CW universe in the show “Batwoman.”
“Batwoman” stars Ruby Rose, an Australian actress, most well-known for her role as Stella Carlin in “Orange is the New Black.” Fans were excited to hear that Rose was going to don the batsuit as protagonist Kate Kane. Her appearance in “Elseworlds,” the annual “Arrow,” ”Flash” and “Supergirl” crossover episode, created lots of buzz and anticipation for her new show.
“Batwoman” opens with the protagonist Kate Kane, Bruce Wayne’s cousin, trapped under a frozen lake. As she struggles to break free, she has flashbacks of surviving a dangerous car accident when she was a young girl — a car accident that killed her mother and her twin sister, Beth. When Kane regains her strength and frees herself from the ice, it is revealed to the audience that she was training to become a part of the Crows, a private special-ops team lead by Jacob Kane, Kate’s father. Jacob Kane established the Crows to protect Gotham’s citizens following the disappearance of Batman.
When Kate learns from her stepsister that Sophie Moore (Kate’s ex-girlfriend and now Crow agent) was kidnapped by a terrorist group, Kate returns to Gotham to locate her. Upon her return to Gotham, she learns that Bruce Wayne was not who she thought he was. She discovers that Bruce Wayne is Batman, the same Batman that saved her life in that life-altering car accident from when she was a child.
Despite having a promising lead actress and a dedicated fanbase from the other CW DC shows, “Batwoman” has not done well in ratings and viewership. Many viewers have said that the pilot alone felt dull and unoriginal.
Compared to its CW counterparts, “Batwoman” lacks the excitement they all offered in their pilot episodes. Ruby Rose delivers a performance so unremarkable and — dare I say — boring, that it does not do justice to her character. The side characters are just as unremarkable: a ditzy stepsister, a frightened security guard and an uncaring father fail to bring anything new to the table. To add to this, everything about the episode was too quick and choppy. Many scenes were rushed through and not given much thought. “Batwoman” assumes that its audience knows everything there is to know about Kate Kane. By rushing through her backstory and simplifying her origins, it downplays the quality of the show.
Despite the show’s flaws, the fight sequences were well-orchestrated and exciting to watch. There was one sequence where Kane goes head-to-head with the series’ villain Alice. It is a tense moment on the rooftop where Moore is being held captive and hanging over the ledge. In a split second, Alice lets Moore fall, to which Kane immediately goes after her and rescues her. Kane returns to the building, only to discover that Alice is gone. She finds a knife that Alice used at the scene, and shockingly discovers that she has a connection to Alice.
Despite high hopes for the series, the CW ultimately fails to impress in their newest pilot, “Batwoman.” Though the series’ first outing lacked originality, the series’ opener hints at a potentially promising run if the series can gain its footing with its surprise ending.