‘Batwoman’ Struggles To Match Early Season 3 Tension

by Frank Martin

In the second half of its third season, Batwoman continues a plot with little sense of direction. The first half was phenomenal. It introduced new villains with callbacks to Batman’s original rogues. Each of these updated characters had goals. The threat was clear and present. Therefore, Batwoman’s (Javicia Leslie) struggle to stop them was also clearly defined. But as the second half set up Marquis Jet (Nick Creegan) as Batwoman’s Joker, it started to lack that feeling of purpose: particularly once Marquis revealed himself.

It’s not necessarily the plot’s fault, though. Joker, by definition, is a tricky character to write. His goals are often malleable, ranging from pure chaos to making an ideological point. As Marquis Jet is finally able to get the revenge he desired, the moment falls flat. The family tension the show hopes to create from Batwoman and Marquis’s relationship with their mother, Jada (Robin Givens), never rises to the drama the show hopes it would.

That doesn’t mean that the episode isn’t without its moments. We continue to see the aftermath of Poison Mary (Nicole Kang) — along with her relationship with Alice (Rachel Skarsten), who has easily been one of the standouts of the show from the beginning. Alice is a tortured woman, continuing to fight against her past and present. Her journey and struggles have been a high point for the entire show, and it’s a shame it takes a backseat in this episode to the Marquis plot. Also, Ryan and Sophie (Meagan Tandy) continue to explore their relationship. It’s joyous drama the show relishes in, although I won’t be surprised if it ends on a sorrowful note.

There’s just one episode left to the season and, hopefully, Batwoman will redeem itself in the finale. It’s set up quite nicely, too, as Marquis discovers the Batcave within Wayne Tower. That moment sets a high bar for the finale. I just hope the show finds its earlier tension for this season’s climax.

Batwoman airs Wednesdays on The CW.

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