There was bound to be an (even more) exposition-heavy narrative presented before we got to the climactic showdown on Coryana, and Batwoman Season 2 Episode 7 does not disappoint.
The twist to the big backstory reveal is that Ocean really. Does. Not. Care. Giggle-snort.
Meanwhile, Jacob and Sophie are still kicking around for ... reasons (?). I'm assuming contractual obligations?
And the kryptonite infection is seriously complicating things for Team Batwoman 2.0 in that, half the time, Luke and Mary have no idea where Ryan is, and they're rescuing her the other half.
The whole secret identity thing is also pretty problematic as Ryan has to confront Alice without the cowl, thinking that Gotham's biggest bad-ass would remember one victim out of the Wonderland Gang's myriad of casualties if she just saw her face.
The fact that Alice takes that as another feather in her cap is rightfully maddening.
I get it. Mommy died, and now you're a woman on fire which means I'm responsible for spawning, not one Batwoman, but two!Alice
Unlike some previous scripts, this one (out of necessity) operates on completely separate plotlines.
There's the Coryana flashback-based exposition. There's Jacob and Sophie's futile search for the map.
Then we have Ryan's kryptonite-fueled obsessive vendetta which is aimed at finding Alice but somehow ends up on Angelique's fire escape?
Seriously, how has Angelique not yet figured out Ryan's secret identity?
But color me impressed with how efficiently Luke and Mary were able to transfer Batwoman to the back of Luke's car.
Luke: I'll meet you at the Batcave.
Mary: Why are you giving me the key?
Luke: I'll take the Batmobile.
Mary: I can take the Batmobile.
Luke: You've never driven it before!
Mary: I've never driven your car before!
I'm less impressed with the GCPD chopper that couldn't track said car (and Batmobile!) back to the Batcave.
Mary's insistence on driving the Batmobile was a much-needed moment of levity in an hour of deep emotions.
Good news, I got to drive the Batmobile. Bad news, the wipers button and the rocket launchers look very similar. Someone should label those.Mary
As was her implying that she might've blown something up when she went to clean the windshield.
One day, we're going to have a serious talk about this show's issue with mothers.
Gabby Kane, Catherine Hamilton, Mama Cora.
It might just be a Bat-Family theme, but if I was Luke's as-yet-unseen-onscreen mother, I'd be watching my back.
I'm just saying, mothers on this show are either dead or toxic. Some of them are both.
And I get it, the kryptonite thing is not only damaging Ryan physically but mentally too.
Still, one would hope that it wouldn't require a vision of your dead mother to remind you that she wouldn't want you to become a murderer in the name of getting justice for her.
But, then again, maybe it would.
After all, Gabby's head haunts Alice, but her ghost has never popped up to counsel her wayward child.
Tatiana: The man you were willing to change your life for. The one person who offered you a second chance and freedom from your past is the same man Safiyah convinced you to stab through the heart. (laughs)
Alice: I'm sorry, that's it? That's your big mic drop moment? Surprise! You killed your soul mate... that you don't even remember. Yeah, I found my mother's head in a freezer so if you're trying to shock me, you're gonna have to do a little better than that.
And Mary's line in the sand keeps slipping every time Ryan points out Alice needs to face consequences for killing their mothers. Maybe having Catherine send a message from the afterlife would set her right again.
Moving on to the Coryana saga, it was helpful to have the Alice-Ocean backstory filled in by Tatiana although, honestly, she was far more helpful than I would've expected.
Also, it was kind of amusing that she wasted her maniacal villainous laugh on Alice, who was, frankly, underwhelmed by the whole story.
LOL. As blasé as Alice was to Tatiana's face regarding her killing her big love, Ocean is even more aloof and disinterested in the grand romance that led to his memory being wiped and him being exiled from Coryana.
You don't need to learn how to fight, Alice. You need to learn how to feel.Ocean
Tatiana's diagnosis that Alice's most current issues stem from the Enigma treatment is fascinating.
Can an argument be made that Alice hasn't been in control of her actions this whole time?
It throws back to the comic source material where Alice eventually recovers and reforms and becomes Red Alice, a hero of sorts who rescues Kate from Nocturna.
With Ocean thought dead by Coryana but actually running around, having drinks and whatnot, it seems like he should be a part of whatever confrontation is coming with Safiyah.
There is a whole world outside this island that you know nothing about. Books, food, electricity. And Safiyah likes to keep it that way so that you stay close and loyal and uninspired.Alice
And yet, he just walked out the door, telling Alice to live her life.
The romanticism of the whole soul-mate concept would lead us to expect something a bit more dramatic, but we also don't know what Enigma's hypnotic programming did to Ocean.
Safiyah's instructions for Alice's programming were extremely clear and detailed.
And from the perspective of viewers who have watched Alice from her first appearance, Safiyah's description of what Enigma would do to Alice is quite prophetic.
You are going to go home, Alice. You are going to embrace this fairy-tale persona of yours, and you are going to imbue it with fury! You will build your own army. You will become your own queen. And you will carry out the vengeance on your family that you so desperately crave!Safiyah
Regarding Safiyah, I have a few -- actually, quite a few -- questions.
Seeing the note that was left for Jacob and Sophie makes me question whether she didn't send the first note that led Alice to believe Coryana was behind Kate's plane crash.
If she lied about that, why wouldn't she lie about having Kate?
Also, now that we know that she has a powerful hypnotist in her loyal army, why wouldn't she just reprogram Alice again when Alice returns to the island?
In fact, that could've been her whole plan all along.
Alice: I heard there was wine.
Safiyah: Sounds like training's going well.
Alice: I have yet to see the point of an army. You have no crime here. Everyone walks around with a smile. I'm in Roman Pleasantville.
Step 1: Kill Kate so Alice has no reason to stay in Gotham and lure Alice back to her with the first note.
Step 2: Send Alice to kill Ocean as a way to eliminate her rival and get vengeance.
Step 3: Dangle the hope of a live Kate to assure that Alice will return to Coryana.
Step 4: Have Enigma turn Killer Alice into the perfectly loyal consort.
Tatiana's probably going to have a few thoughts on the matter, but since she is the epitome of loyalty, she'll toe the line.
Tatiana: Gotta admit. I didn't think you had it in you. [gets knocked out by Alice]
Alice: You really shouldn't be thinking at all, Tatiana. It's not your strong suit.
There's a lot to process here as you watch Batwoman online.
Since they've now effectively cut off alternative methods of finding Coryana with the destruction of the map and the massacre of the doctors looking for the Desert Rose, Ryan's magically-planted tracker is the only way to find the island.
Ocean is still a wild card and, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there still the False Face Society and Snake Bite (which Ocean helped produce) to deal with in Gotham?
Is the drug scene just in a holding pattern until Batwoman's back on the prowl?
Granted, she'll be better equipped for the job once she's all Desert Rose-patched up, I guess.
How do you see the Face-Off on Coryana going down?
Will The Many Arms of Death survive a bat invasion?
Will Alice find Kate? Will she be the Kate we recognize?
Hit the comments with your wildest theories!
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.