A good story is a good story, and while the story here may only be a transition from one arena of conflict to another, the production team of Batwoman Season 2 Episode 9 should be applauded for managing it and its many moving parts well.
If I was counting correctly, there were FIVE separate plot threads introduced in this single hour.
From most anticipated to most surprising, they would be: Roman Sionis (aka Black Mask) making his public move on Gotham; Alice's psychotic break; Angelique's climactic exit from Ryan's life, leaving the field open for Sophie (WTH?); Julia discovering a mysterious gap in her memory; and Sophie's little sister.
Yes, there's the whole thing where they've basically planted a Lazarus pool into the Batcave wall, but it seems like the plot sun has set on Desert Rose shenanigans for the moment. Granted, I'm sure it'll come up again later.
While the Snakebite drug epidemic and the False Face Society have been a going concern since the season began, it was kind of the writers to save Black Mask's entrance until after the showdown on Coryana.
Comic canon informs us that Roman Sionis is a longtime enemy of Batman and Wayne Industries, blaming them for his own failings in business and life.
It appears that we're getting a different take here with Sionis still very much in control of Janus Cosmetics and Black Mask's vendetta focused on Batwoman for killing his daughter.
It shouldn't take a business person to step in here, but I have made a career out of concealing blemishes. And, quite frankly, the makeover this city needs comes from an ugly I've never seen before.Roman Sionis
Of course, his chat with Batwoman laid out the clues out they'll use to figure out who he is eventually, but it also demonstrated a -- dare I say it? -- funny side to this sadistic psychopath.
Black Mask: Oh please enlighten me. Who am I?
Batwoman: You're a sadistic drug lord.
Black Mask: Okay, I can see why you might think that. But it's Gotham that's sadistic, not me.
Since the start of the series, we've only ever had one true lifer of a villain. It's always been Alice, no matter who the Villain of the Week was.
Now that Black Mask looks to be just as deranged and with less Kane family baggage, it'll be interesting to get to know the quirks of a new baddie.
Speaking of Alice, I shudder to think what she was actually cuddling during her hallucinations.
Alice: You're not real. This tea's not real. And this cup is not real.
Young Kate: Correct. But you don't want reality. That's the point.
Her decision to forget everything to do with Kate is ambitious, to be sure, but it's not like she hasn't had giant chunks of her memory removed before.
I liked the way that her brain worked through the situation by using Young Kate instead of, say, one of the Cartwrights or the head of her dead mother.
That cat, though. Ugh.
Does that mean we're going to see a Beth 2.0 hit the Gotham scene?
What does repressing every memory of and interaction with one's own twin actually look like?
Will she just invent a whole new life and backstory for herself?
I wonder if the Desert Rose cures crazy?
I mean, that would be amazing, right? It should just become Gotham's mandated vaccination. They could close Arkham in WEEKS.
As I mentioned above, Alice has been a foundational element to The CW's Batwoman from the beginning.
However, I'm not averse to seeing them evolve her character into an ally for Good (even if she never quite makes it to Lawful).
Gotham's never lacked for villains and crazies and crazy villains. If Red Alice is the direction they're going in, I trust they'll make it interesting at the very least.
Alice: How does one deal with grief exactly?
Young Kate: That's the problem. You've never done that before. And you're scared of what it'll make you do.
I predict that she'll still be in play for whatever Black Mask and his Kate Kane 2.0 plan has in store for Gotham though.
Angelique's been an interesting thorn in Ryan's bildungsroman. She was both her savior and, in some regards, her dependent.
There were a few continuity issues with Angelique's reemergence in Ryan's life.
For example, I'm not sure why she'd be impressed with Ryan knowing Batwoman when she literally threw said costumed superhero off her fire escape on Batwoman Season 2 Episode 7.
Also, who wears identifying jewelry when driving a getaway car?
It can also be assumed that Black Mask got the jump on her (and knew about Ryan) because her phone was bugged. Didn't she just dump Ryan because her phone went buggy with the Crow software?
Well, it's not hard to believe the Crow software was terrible but still.
In any case, I liked the idea that they would reconcile even if that would complicate Team Batwoman a lot.
Their relationship has always been more equitable than Kate and Sophie's ever was. And even Zsasz was rooting for them.
So the incredibly clunky way Angelique was shunted to Blackgate and some sort of chemistry is assumed between Ryan and Sophie borders on gross.
Sophie isn't written to be liked so why they keep insisting she deserves a romantic relationship leaves me mystified.
Yes, she's getting better, and yay(!) she saved Batwoman from the sawmill blade, and maybe having her little sister hold her feet to the fire might actually change her into less of a bureaucratic suit in the mud.
But that doesn't excuse her many, many bad choices in life and love.
Perhaps with Jordan's appearance in her life, accepting her sexuality and urging her to grow a social conscience, she'll develop into a more sympathetic character.
Here's hoping because I genuinely like Jordan. She shakes things up.
There's a non-zero chance that Enigma is responsible for Julia's brain blank which leads me to wonder if Black Mask and Safiyah are somehow connected.
If not, Enigma gets around.
Since Ocean was supplying the False Face Society (anyone else amused by the acronym, F.F.S.? LOL) with their mushrooms, there's already a tenuous degrees-of-separation sort of relationship there.
Did Safiyah arrange to have Ocean work for Sionis? Hmm...
With the show off next week, you have plenty of time to watch Batwoman online and comment below with all your thoughts about how the back half of the season will play out.
How many times do you think that Desert Rose plant will prove useful in the remaining nine episodes?
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.