Batwoman Season 1 Episode 16 Review: Through the Looking-Glass

at .

It's an unusual strategy that Batwoman Season 1 Episode 16 uses in its narrative and I have to believe it is purposeful because it's impossible that the story could dovetail so perfectly by accident.

After Kate killed August Cartwright on Batwoman Season 1 Episode 15, you could be forgiven if you assumed that this follow-up would be some sort of cathartic therapy session. And it sort of was.

However, the fact that Julia Pennyworth is brought back on the scene (YAAAAAAAS!) and Coryana's pirate queen is poised to make an appearance, moves the action along speedily where it could've been bogged down by a minor, though effective, asylum adventure.

Just Hanging Out - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 16

At the eye-roll end of the interesting spectrum, we have Alice playing with Kate's trauma at having killed someone for the first time.

Although the scenes from Alice's life with Mabel Cartwright did foster some pity for our main baddie, it remains difficult to identify with someone who has killed so unrepentently and repeatedly.

Alice: Just help me and you will never have to deal with me again.
Kate: Fine. But on one condition. We do it my way.
Alice: Considering your way involved strangling a man until he choked to death on his own blood... I would love absolutely nothing more!

Good on Kate for extorting a promise of no killing before their trip to Arkham but who really expected Alice to stick to that oath?

Admittedly, it was satisfying to see Kate figure out Alice's whole execution-by-sister plan for August and really let loose on her for it.

A Pain in the Bat - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 16

However, the dynamics of their relationship are not nearly as consistent as when the characters were first introduced.

After everything that happened with alt-world Beth, and the multiple times Kate has stated that Alice is just too damaged to redeem, it was incredibly difficult to believe that she was willing to team up.

Alice: Kate, have I ever lied to you?
Kate: Literally, dozens of times.
Alice: Yeah, well okay.

So the double-cross at the end was inevitable. Kate had to choose herself over Alice and the only tangible way to do that was to make sure Alice is locked up and not free to roam the world.

I will admit that having Jacob show up at the reveal and him and Kate walking away from Alice exactly as they did in her Fear Toxin induced hallucinations made me cringe for her pain.

A Family Resemblance - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 16

Nothing like living through your nightmare only to wake up and have it happen in real life. 

But, honestly, this isn't new. Alice is a very damaged individual and Kate and Jacob see her clearly for what she is and make hard choices based on what they know.

The only thing I feel guilty about is I don't feel guilty.


The only new twist to the situation is Alice's tangible anxiety over her "friend from Coryana" catching up with her the way her Wonderland gang was caught up to.

Not sure what was the point of having the many, many leghole traps lying around as that obviously wasn't the method of execution. And they would've been really heavy and cumbersome to lug into the headquarters just as decor.

Creepy Look - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 16

Now the last time the nation of Coryana sent an emissary to Gotham, it was The Rifle and a lot of people got shot.

Interestingly enough, a lot of people were getting shot here too.

However, how Jacob was able to take out a sniper from across a parking lot in poor light with a pistol is some crazy TV magic right there.

Jacob Kane - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 16

And the dead guy was NOT The Rifle. Why Jacob even bothered questioning him is also pretty odd.

So, while it's possible that Coryana isn't pulling a two-fer and dealing with both Alice and the loose ends on Lucius' death while they're visiting Gotham, I'm not buying it.

I went to a dark place, Bruce, to avenge Beth, Alice, my Mom. But in saving my sister, I became more like her. And in taking out a killer, I became one myself.


Comic canon has Coryana as the base of operations for The Many Arms of Death, a terrorist weapons-dealing organization.

They don't play well with any of the Batman Family and Lucius Fox was instrumental in Batman's operation.

Bad News for Luke - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 16

Ever since Batwoman Season 1 Episode 6, we've known Luke was in for a bad time as the man convicted of his father's death was on the list of people eligible for retrial.

Reggie Harris' involvement with Jacob while in prison (and his subsequent calling in on the debt Jacob owed) set the stage for the investigation into the case.

So, my question is, how does SOPHIE end up with a bounty on her head? Who knew she was investigating and why would they care so much about her?

Mary: You're Kate's...
Sophie: ... ex, I know, we covered that.
Mary: I...I was going to say 'assistant' but that's much more fun.
Julia: Julia will suffice.

My theory is that the whole bounty on Sophie thing is a device to bring Julia back in and, hell yeah, I'll accept it purely on that basis.

I would happily and gratefully binge a full season of the adventures of Julia Pennyworth.

Even her overly-convenient timing in finding Kate solo-drinking and dangling her legs hundreds of feet over the streets of Gotham doesn't bug me as much as it ought to.

You don't have to say anything but a friend wouldn't leave you drinking on a ledge.


When we saw Julia last, her mission was tracking The Rifle in the interests of busting his higher-ups. If her radar was tipped by a bounty on Sophie, I'm going to assume the bounty had something to do with Coryana.

The good news? Julia's bound to be around for a while now.

The interesting news? We have a mystery on our hands and Luke and Mary have proven that they're pretty good at sleuthing.

Courtroom Drama - Batwoman Season 1 Episode 16

The bad (but potentially crazy-action-filled) news? Alice is now INSIDE Arkham with access (eventually) to ALL the VotWs that we've seen this season.

I mean, seriously, Arkham has break-outs more often than fire drills. It's only a matter of time before Alice musters her minions.

So the monster who ripped this family apart all those years ago has brought us all back together. Oh, Irony, you are one SICK bitch!


So as you watch Batwoman online, decide exactly how much crazy the streets of Gotham can handle in one go.

Who will represent Coryana in the final arc? Will it be Queen Safiyah in all her splendor or maybe just a Knife in the dark?

Through the Looking-Glass Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (13 Votes)

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lifelong fan of smart sci-fi and fantasy media, an upstanding citizen of the United Federation of Planets, and a supporter of AFC Richmond 'til she dies. Her guilty pleasures include female-led procedurals, old-school sitcoms, and Bluey. She teaches, knits, and dreams big. Follow her on Twitter.

Show Comments
Tags: ,

Batwoman Season 1 Episode 16 Quotes

I went to a dark place, Bruce, to avenge Beth, Alice, my Mom. But in saving my sister, I became more like her. And in taking out a killer, I became one myself.


So the monster who ripped this family apart all those years ago has brought us all back together. Oh, Irony, you are one SICK bitch!