Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5 Review: Gore on Canvas

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Well, now, they're just showing off.

Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5 is the encore edition of the Batwoman writers trotting out their last-minute punchline to tie together disparate narratives.

When they did it on Batwoman Season 2 Episode 4 with the Angelique reveal, I was impressed and gave them their kudos for the cleverness of the script.

Twice in two installments gets a little bit of an eye-roll. Not that Ocean having the Napier painting -- aka map to Coryana -- that everyone was looking for wasn't clever. It just smacks a bit of procedural planning, and that's not what this season has been about.

The Stare Down - Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5

For most of the hour, we watched two very different approaches to solving the Kate-Kane-is-being-held-on-Coryana dilemma.

Jacob and Sophie take the old school route of beating information out of would-be assassins, and, despite her reservations, Ryan teams up with them, infiltrating the Collective art party with the intent to steal the painting.

I have a few problems with the plan in general.

One, if the Crows know where and when the Collective is throwing the party, and they know everything on auction there is illegal, why aren't they just raiding the place so that they can legitimately acquire the Napier painting?

Sophie on the Radio - Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5

Two, even if Sophie is up-front about respecting Batwoman's boundaries, it's highly unlikely Jacob would hesitate to have surveillance of some sort inside the hanger to get eyes on who Batwoman is on her days off (or when she's undercover).

Three, Angelique's gotta be ten kinds of blind if she hasn't figured out Ryan is Batwoman by now.

Angelique: Hey, what is this?
Ryan: It's a work injury.
Angelique: You fall on a corkscrew?

Mind you, she didn't notice Ryan's "work" injury when they were "reconnecting" all night so that's not an impossibility.

Also, she apparently didn't notice that Ryan left in the middle of the night to crash Jacob's alley meeting, capture an assassin, lock him up in the Batcave, and then return for breakfast.

Maybe she's a really heavy sleeper?

Too Sexy for This Catwalk - Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5

But for Ryan to show up at the Collective party with a Batarang? I'd be checking that apology gift bracelet for a tracking/listening device. But I'm cynical that way.

All in all, Angelique's an interesting addition to the landscape. She has a different perspective on and approach to Ryan as a person.

Their shared history is one of trauma and a long-term commitment to each other.

In fact, in comparison to Sophie and Kate's backstory, there's way more to root for in the Angelique-Ryan reunion.

In my experience, when the Crows fly together, they call it a murder for a reason.


The entire exposition of how Ryan ended up in Blackgate for eighteen months was a heartbreakingly believable background for not only Ryan and Angelique but for Ryan and Sophie as well as Ryan's base distrust of the Crows.

Luke and Ryan - Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5

And it's perfectly (and unfortunately) appropriate that she and Luke were able to bond over how the Crows had screwed them both over.

That Sophie has to be the one to insist that the Crows serve a noble mission despite the wrongdoings of a few "bad apples" is the basis for a discussion way more wide-reaching than this review has the scope to explore. (Feel free to start it in the comments though.)

Evan's story of Kate's influence on his life was equally touching, reminding us that Ryan isn't the only one who has felt powerless in their life.

If Evan Blake is the style guide, this party's about to look like The Hunger Games.


For Evan to find it in himself to become Wolf Spider -- no matter how whimsically chaotic his intentions -- illustrates the confidence and abilities that can be honed once a person finds their raison d'ĂȘtre.

Blinged Out Blake - Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5

As a side note, his moves as Wolf Spider reminded me strongly of Neal the Eel on the animated Carmen Sandiego. (With a live-action production in the works, they should probably tap whoever was in the spandex for that part.)

More questions, this time regarding Wolf Spider.

One, why does an art thief (and graffiti tagger) need to have martial arts skills?

Two, why did he feel he needed to steal the painting as Wolf Spider when he was already the doorman for the event? He would've had access to everything before, during, and after.

Three, how did he dodge a bullet but not an SUV?

Alice in the Light - Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5

Now, the other route to Coryana/Kate is Alice's via Ocean's death. This, of course, led through a seedy bar by a seedier motel and five shots of whatever it was they were drinking.

What do you call it when you're sure you've met someone you're sure you've never met?


The mystery of their shared memory gaps promises to be a soapy-style Coryana love story gone wrong.

In light of all that was revealed, I'm walking back my guess that Ocean is Black Mask. For the moment, at least.

Alice: Shall I explain?
Ocean: I do wish you would.
Alice: Some lunatic on a faraway island is holding my sister hostage and she won't hand her over until I gut you and airmail the evidence.
Ocean: This woman got a name?
Alice: Enough women want you dead I need to be specific?

The most entertaining moment for me was Ocean's point-by-point critique on Alice's assassin skills, hands down.

Knife in Hand - Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5

To be fair, it did seem pretty audacious for her to walk up to his motel room door with the Coryana knife in plain sight.

But, then again, it's Alice. It's probably a good thing he had her tied up while he gave his notes.

Alice: I have spent more years of my life in captivity than any elephant in the Gotham Zoo. The key to surviving? Keep yourself entertained.
Ocean: Rough childhood?
Alice: You could say I come by my abandonment issues honestly.

As they puzzle together their memories, hopefully, we'll also discover why he has Napier's painting.

And, seriously, what are the chances The Joker splatters his victim's guys all over a map to a mythical island that grows an immortality rose?

But Is It Art? - Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5

As you watch Batwoman online, riddle me this.

What was Safiyah pillaging on that yacht when she found Alice? Why would the Queen of Coryana need to come all the way to Gotham Harbor for anything?

What is it with the Arrow-verse and five-year stays on islands?

Who the heck thinks it's a good idea to forge a painting out of pig's blood?

Ah, Gotham, your weird is always so twisted. Hit me in the comments with your most burning WTHs!

Gore on Canvas Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (7 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 X.

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Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5 Quotes

What do you call it when you're sure you've met someone you're sure you've never met?


Angelique: Hey, what is this?
Ryan: It's a work injury.
Angelique: You fall on a corkscrew?