Batwoman Season 3, Episode 1 Recap: The Dork Knight Rises

Curiouser and curiouser…the Mad Hatter hat washes up on the shore as two hikers find it and post it online to sell, which is done almost immediately by a man who seems to be the biggest Alice fan there is. All signs point to this man being up to no good, especially when Alice is an inspiration.

Before we learn more about what he has planned with that hat, we cut to Ryan dressed as Batwoman, fighting some good ol’ bad guys with Luke by her side in the suit his father designed for him. Meanwhile, Sophie is at a club dancing and making out with a girl, basically living her life to the fullest. At Arkham, Alice is reading a postcard from her dad and adds it to the wall of postcards he’s sent, and then is told she has a visitor.

We go back to Ryan and Luke, who seem to be looking for the poison ivy that had gone missing. They look through each cate until they find it, but it looks like it’s grown since they last laid eyes on it. Luke, in the meantime, is trying to create a name for himself since he’s become Batwoman’s sidekick. He’s thinking of “Black Batman,” which Ryan turns down quickly then jokingly makes the suggestion of “Dork Knight,” which is apt since, well, Luke is a big dork. Their lighthearted moment, however, gets interrupted as more goons come in guns blazing. Ryan begins to fight them but Luke’s suit malfunctions and he isn’t able to do anything. But, is it the suit or does his nerves have something to do with it?

Back at Arkham, Mary sits across from Alice in the visiting center and tells her she’s graduating from med school tomorrow and her dad’s one wish was to visit her and make sure she’s not falling off the deep end. Alice tells her she’s been perfectly fine and actually writing with their dad, which bothers Mary, so she goes to leave. But before she can, Alice just has one question about Ryan.

And speaking of Ryan, she and Luke have returned to the Bat Cave with the poison ivy, now having retrieved four of the items, but still having many more to find. Mary then comes striding in with her graduation tickets in hand, upset from her visit with Alice because her and her dad have become pen pals while he hasn’t talked to Mary at all. Mary then tells them that Alice wanted her to ask Ryan about her birth mom, knowing she’d know what it meant. But, Ryan lies to the both of them, saying she doesn’t know.

We then go to our newly minted Mad Hatter, who is taping himself in the train tunnels, talking about how Alice should be free. Two drunk guys come sauntering in and start to make fun of him and mocking his affection for Alice, saying she should be behind bars. But then the Mad Hatter says that they’re wrong, and one of the men agrees with him.

It seems as if the hat emits something that allows the wearer to influence others and put them under a certain mind control. And he takes advantage of that by having one of the men kill his friend against his will.

The next day, a seemingly new character, Renee Montoya, gets told that there’s news about a Mad Hatter like the one when Batman was around, but this one is not the same. She makes her way to the crime scene, where the man who was forced to kill his friend is telling a detective that he had no control over this and was made to do it. The detective notices that Montoya is there and doesn’t seem to happy, because it turns out she used to be a cop and is now a part of the Rogues Unit in City Hall. Feelings aside, she says she knows it’s a copycat Mad Hatter who must’ve gotten the hat, and it’s not going to get any better the longer it’s out there being used to kill people.

We then cut to Luke telling Ryan and Mary that this man is a Mad Hatter imposter, which means he found the hat, and plays the video he made of the man killing his friend. Luke explains what the hat is and what it does from the journals his dad kept, and a way to stop the mind control, now they just need to find the hat and what the imposter is wanting to do with it.

To aid in that quest, Ryan goes to see Alice and asks her what she’s planning with her Mad Hatter super fan, but she tells Ryan that she doesn’t know him. Alice then changes the subject, saying she nows Ryan came to ask about her birth mother, but Ryan doesn’t believe her that she’s alive because she saw the death certificate. Alice takes a beat then says it looks like the Mad Hatter is planning a tea party. She doesn’t know what he will do, but she sure knows what she would. But Ryan is done playing games and goes home.

At home, Ryan is joined by Mary and Sophie for a girls night with drinks, but Ryan tells the two of them that they won’t be talking about Alice and are just going to focus on Mary and her graduation. So to change the subject, Mary asks Sophie about the Deja girl she ditched her for last night, to which Ryan says, “I thought her name was Riley.” But apparently she was the week before, and Sophie stands up for herself, saying she’s allowed to date multiple women at once. Ryan then asks about Kate, but Mary responds for her friend, saying “Oh no, they’re good. They’re friends, but it’s too complicated for anything more right now.” Which is also code for, we most likely won’t be seeing Wallis Day’s return, which I think would be okay, because the show needs to move forward from the character the Ruby Rose once played. We have a new Batwoman now, and truthfully, the show has been better for it. But, moving on, Mary can’t shake the tea party thing that Alice told Ryan about. Ryan tells them that Alice is just doing it to stay relevant because she doesn’t matter anymore and that they really need to stop talking about it before it kills her buzz, and goes to get more champagne. Sophie goes to check on her  as Mary goes to practice her valedictorian speech. Sophie asks Ryan what happened at Arkham, and she tells her that nothing happened because everything she expected to happen happened. But Sophie senses something, and asks Ryan, “Then if she was everything you expected, how’d she get under your skin?” She gives in and tells Sophie that Alice told her that her biological mother was alive, but she hasn’t told Mary or Luke. Sophie understands keeping this secret, and asks her if she wants her to look into it on the down low, and Ryan gives her approval.

The next day, we see the Mat Hatter at the auditorium where Mary is having her graduation and gathers all the security on stage, using the mind control powers of the hat to get them under his spell. “It’s a wonderful afternoon for tea,” he says, as he drops a bag of Rabbit and Chesire Cat masks.

Meanwhile, Sophie begins her investigation into Ryan’s mom, calling city records to obtain her birth certificate. But they are mail only and take over a month, so she decides to take a shortcut and hack their system. She finds it and looks up her attending physician, Dr. Anthony Quadracci, who seems to be a bit sketchy, and her suspicion is solidified when she stumbles on something that makes her jaw drop.

Montoya is on her own quest, finding the newly elected Mayor to tell her that the Mad Hatter is a copycat and that she needs to listen to her before it becomes Jim Gordon’s Gotham all over again, which is a statement that definitely gets her attention.

It’s now graduation time, and Sophie and Ryan are in attendance. Ryan hands Sophie a drink and tells her it’s a two drink limit, so sip slowly. Then, Sophie tells her that Alice was right and that Nia. A Wilder doesn’t exist. She explains to Ryan that the doctor who signed her death certificate also signed Ryan’s birth certificate and two months later, the doctor lost his license for an unrelated wire fraud. So, she started to dig deeper and look at his patients, and it seems like on of his patients (Ryan’s mom) paid two million dollars to cover up her pregnancy. Sophie pushes over an envelope, which she says has Ryan’s mom’s name in it, in case she wants to know. Luke then comes over to then, exclaiming “Two drink limit?!” before he asks what they were talking about. Ryan ignores it and tells them that they should find their seats.

Elsewhere, Mary is getting nervous about her speech and that her family isn’t there to see her on one of her most important days. Well, that day is about to be interrupted, because she runs into the Mad Hatter imposter, who is very happy indeed to see her. We can only assume she’s been mind controlled when we then see her on stage starting to read her speech, but it starts to change to something else entirely. Ryan knows that this isn’t Mary talking and that the Mad Hatter is here. But she doesn’t have to look for him, because he comes out on stage with Dr. Hall, Mary’s teacher, who is passed out on a medical table. The Mad Hatter tells everyone to be seated and that Mary is to remove each organ from Dr. Hall until he dies. Everyone is now under his control except for Luke, Ryan, and Sophie, who have figured out that if they play a higher frequency than that on the hat, it won’t affect them. And now the only way to undo the mind control of this audience, Luke believes, is to break Alice out of Arkham, because she’s the only one who can convince her super fan to.

We go to Alice, who is in a group therapy session and she’s telling them about her correspondence with her dad and how he’s going to get her out of here. But, the doctor tells her that he’s incarcerated too, so he won’t be helping her at all. As soon as he says that, however, Batwoman comes running in to get Alice, taking down the Arkham guards. Alice doesn’t like that Ryan came to get her, though, and runs to her cell, Ryan following behind. Alice tells her that her dad is coming for her and that he’s been sending her postcards, and that she’ll wait for him. Ryan takes a look at her wall and we now see that those postcards that were on there are in fact not postcards, but just garbage. Ryan tells Alice that her mind is playing tricks on her, and Arkham hasn’t been helping her. “If you help us, you can run, and I won’t stop you,” Ryan tells her, seemingly desperate. So, Alice willingly goes with Ryan.

At the spoiled graduation, Luke has changed into his suit and is on the top of the building, where he’s able to channel into the network and emanate a buzz out of everyone’s phones, causing them to break from the mind control. Mary, however, is still under the control, and still removing organs. Sophie runs onto the stage and tells her that they can kill him another way, like shocking him so he goes into cardiac arrest, and that will hopefully break the mind control for her, and then hopefully she can save him. As the two of them deal with that, the Mad Hatter runs to turn the electricity off so he’s able to put the audience under control again. He does so, but takes a violent turn, telling the graduates to wrap their stethoscopes around their throats. They all begin to choke themselves, while Luke runs in to turn the electricity back on but gets attacked by the security team and his suit goes out again. Meanwhile, Mary is able to bring Dr. Hall back alive. The Mad Hatter doesn’t realize, though, as he’s looking, with glee, at the graduates choking themselves. He only gets happier when Alice walks onto the stage, telling him she had to meet her number one fan. She appeases his behavior but then tells him he needs to tell them to stop strangling themselves. He is disappointed, and asks her if she thinks he’s crazy while using the hat, and Alice says no—whether she’s mind controlled or not, however, we don’t know. But, it works, and he tells the students to stop killing themselves and leave. He then turns to Alice and asks her if that earned him a hug, so she goes to hug hum, but not before stabbing him in the back. “You really are the monster they say you are,” he says in the most hypocritical, misogynistic manner. Alice just responds, “That’s me.”

Alice walks off the stage but Luke drops in to stop her from leaving. “Who the hell are you?” she quips, not having seen Luke in costume before. She turns around and Ryan is there. “Don’t worry, I didn’t kill him,” Alices tells her. But, that isn’t enough for Ryan. Luke handcuffs Alice as Ryan tells her, “You didn’t think I was actually gonna let you go?”

Alice tears up, calling Ryan a two faced bitch. Ryan tells her that saving the people today doesn’t make up for all the others she’s killed. Alice responds by saying that this was all payback, nothing more, because Ryan’s found out her family is as screwed up as hers.

Later in the evening, Mary reads her actual valedictorian speech to Ryan, Sophie, and Luke. She then says that today was awful, and Liam, the Mad Hatter copycat, is obviously sick, but he did make some good points about the medical community. And one of those points is how they should stop referring to troubled people as crazy lunatics. Ryan then gives her a toast, and Luke dips out early to figure out what’s going on with his suit. Then, Ryan comes up with a possible, and the best so far, superhero name for him: Batwing. Luke tells her he’ll consider it and leaves. Then, Ryan tells Sophie she wants to show her something downstairs, leaving Mary alone upstairs in their apartment “keep(ing) the champagne cold.” Downstairs, Ryan tells Sophie that Mary, Luke, and the Bat is her family. She does’t want to be disappointed with who is in that envelope, so she’s not going to open it. Sophie accepts that, telling her to “consider it out of your life.”

That may not be the case, as it usually is in shows like this. We see a helicopter landing in Gotham, and a woman gets out of her and is told of a security breach and that someone’s been fishing about certain data on her. This woman, we can only assume, is Ryan’s mom. Her name and who she is, however? That is still a mystery.

Ryan will be keeping busy elsewhere, though, as she gets called by the Bat signal. When she arrives, Renee Montoya is waiting and gives her a list of the items that had gone missing from the Bat Cave. Ryan asks her how she got the list, and Alice comes out saying it was from her, in exchange for her freedom. Renee tells Ryan that her and Alice are going to team up to find all of these items. And if she’d rather not, it would be just as easy for her to shut down her operation, and calls Ryan out by name, meaning Alice spilled not one but two secrets. Renee asks Ryan if they have a deal. Alice is totally in and Ryan is ultimately left with no choice but to work with the woman she hates most. Although, based on their interactions during season two,  I know that this will be an interesting, dynamic, and funny team-up. Who knows, maybe they’ll become sworn enemies to friends.

Isabel Maina

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