Batwoman has a whole new secret identity and takes on the challenge of keeping Gotham safe in Batwoman: The Complete Second Season (released on DVD and Blu-ray September 21, 2021).
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of Batwoman: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray that I reviewed in this blog post. The opinions I share are my own.
I was pretty worried about Batwoman’s second season when it was announced that Ruby Rose had officially exited the series after only one season. After all, how many other shows do you know that survive the loss of their titular character? I can’t name a single one. Thus, I was certain Batwoman’s second season was going to flop. All of the character development and relationships were tied to the character of Kate Kane, so with her gone, what was supposed to happen? Well, The CW did the impossible and calmed my worries within the first handful of episodes of their sequel season. I’m not even ashamed to say that I liked Batwoman’s second season more than the first.
Batwoman’s second season’s biggest obstacle was cutting loose the old story-arcs that had to be abandoned following Ruby Rose’s exit, while also writing a thoughtful and conclusive end to the character of Kate Kane. For example, the first season left us with the newly introduced Batman villain, Hush, taking on the identity of Bruce Wayne, as well as Alice’s hunt for a Kryptonite bullet so that she could take down her sister, and the new war between Jacob Kane’s police force and his own daughter. However, these plot lines ended up getting tossed out the window just as soon as season two began because those stories needed Kate’s character in order to make sense.
The other obvious elephant in the room was the fact that Kate’s actress was suddenly gone without a goodbye or proper send-off. As a result, Ruby’s exit from the show led to a rather soap opera way of getting rid of a character, i.e. the character disappears in a mysterious plane accident.
Surprisingly, I thought that such a choice worked in the show’s favor. Instead of just saying that Kate retired and went off to live somewhere with Bruce, the audience was led through a series of episodes wherein the question “is Kate Kane actually dead?” retained the main focus. This also helped put all of the characters on the same page in regards to their main objective of trying to figure out if Kate’s dead, rather than have each character explore their own side story and take away from what was meant to be Ryan’s introduction into the titular character of this show.
Season two of Batwoman set out to be more culturally and politically relevant, especially in our day of the Black Lives Matter movement. Ryan Wilder is a queer black woman who has been wronged many times by the unjust legal system and is also still dealing with the loss of her mother due to Gotham’s gang violence (ahem, Alice’s gang). Personally, I felt as though this made Ryan more of a compelling Batwoman than Kate. Sure, Kate was fantastic, but she kind of just became Batwoman because she was Bruce Wayne’s cousin and wanted to figure out the mystery behind Bruce’s disappearance. And while Kate faced her share of injustices due to her sexuality, Ryan feels more realistic in the grand scheme of things.
Kate’s sister and arch-nemesis sticks around despite the casting shakeup. I was actually scared that the show would find a way to get rid of Alice due to her connection to Kate not being able to be explored anymore. But alas, Batwoman surprised me again. First, by electing to keep Alice around for the fun of it. And second, for finding a way to put her in Ryan’s path so that Alice still felt like a relevant character to have around. Other Kate-connected characters did not fare so well (ahem… Kate’s father, Jacob). What really kept me interested was that the show decided to turn Alice into somewhat of a more complicated and sympathetic villain, as opposed to just being insane for the sake of being insane. Alice spends the majority of the second season searching for her sister’s whereabouts and occasionally (although begrudgingly) teaming up with Batwoman.
There were two episodes that I really enjoyed — episode 204 “Fair Skin, Blue Eyes” and episode 213 “I’ll Give You a Clue”. The first of my favorites was an episode that focused on how missing children are overwhelmingly taken seriously when it’s a white kid that has been kidnapped, compared to the low level of urgency if a black kid goes missing. It’s a really interesting episode wherein a villainous (innocent-looking white woman) kidnaps black kids and then proceeds to feed them into organized gang-related crime. Personally, I thought that it offered some great commentary on things that really happen in our world.
And then the second of my favorite episodes is just a fun time. The whole episode involves Cluemaster (the poor man’s Riddler) trying to get revenge on Sophie. Naturally, Batwoman and friends try to help, but end up getting trapped in one of his “riddles”. It’s a great episode because the villain is wild and there are a lot of Easter Eggs that link back to iconic Batman villains. We also get to meet Stephanie Brown (aka. the fourth iteration of both Robin and Batgirl).
Now, onto the things that I wasn’t too crazy about. The main villain. Well, one of them. In the first season’s finale, we are introduced to the name Safiyah, who just so happens to be one of Batwoman’s villains in the comics. This was one plotline that wasn’t dropped following Ruby’s exit from the series and as the season carried on, I kept asking myself why they even bothered to keep Safiyah as one of the main season’s antagonists.
Safiyah’s whole plan throughout the season felt as though it shifted around and you can tell where they patched up the holes left behind by Kate not being around anymore. Sometimes Safiyah’s jealous, sometimes she just wants to be antagonistic, sometimes she just wants to be manipulative and team up with Black Mask, and sometimes she just wants to get revenge on Alice because… well, I still feel like the motivations behind Safiyah’s vendetta against Alice are murky, at best. It’s obvious that Safiyah was supposed to have some kind of romantic revenge-fueled relationship with Kate, but all of that shifted onto the character of Alice. And while it did humanize Alice, I thought Safiyah was slightly boring.
Another thing that was sorely missed this season (and actually all seasons of the Arrowverse) was the annual crossover event. Last year, we saw the Arrowverse tackle the iconic Crisis on Infinite Earths comic storyline. However, any hope of a major crossover event this year was squashed due to the ongoing pandemic. As a result, each of the Arrowverse shows, including Batwoman, guest-starred David Ramsey’s Arrow character John Diggle. And honestly, this just wasn’t very interesting. Diggle showed up for a random episode in Batwoman to show support for Luke, however considering the fact that neither characters are particularly close, it felt very odd and random.
Batwoman: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Bonus Features:
- Villains Analyzed: This featurette sits down with Batwoman’s Executive Producers (Caroline Dries, James Stoteraux, and Chad Fiveash) and the cast to talk about some of the iconic villains from the show’s second season. The focus sticks to the season’s main villains (Alice, Black Mask, and Safiyah) while exploring the thought process behind creating interesting and fun supervillains, while also making sure that they have an ounce of relatability despite being the bad guys. (15 minutes)
- Never Alone – Heroes and Allies: This featurette isn’t Batwoman exclusive, but it’s still incredibly interesting to watch. It’s a thorough examination of the dynamic behind Arrowverse superheroes and their sidekicks. Characters like Pat (Stargirl), Lois (Superman and Lois), Luke and Mary (Batwoman), and Team Flash (The Flash) are analyzed. This feature also explores the origin of the “sidekick”, visiting early comics and how sidekicks became popularized in DC Comics following the introduction of Robin in Batman comics. (20 minutes)
- Gag Reel: As usual with Arrowverse shows, there’s a fantastic gag reel included with home releases. Batwoman’s gag reel is even more exciting to watch because the show, itself, is pretty dark and gritty. So it’s enjoyable to watch these characters (some of which play villains) making jokes and fooling around during scenes. (8 minutes)
- Deleted Scenes: There are 12 deleted scenes total available on the 3 discs that come with this set. (10 mins)
Both the DVD and Blu-ray release of Batwoman: The Complete Second Season are currently available for purchase and include a 3-disc set with all 18 episodes from the season. Both releases also include four special bonus features, including deleted scenes and a blooper reel. The DVD edition of this season is marketed at $39.99 SRP ($44.98 in Canada), while the Blu-ray edition of this season is marketed at $44.98 SRP ($44.99 in Canada). Batwoman: The Complete Second Season is also currently available to own digitally from digital retailers.
For those wondering, Batwoman has already been renewed for a third season by The CW. The third outing is looking at an October 13, 2021 debut.
We are also doing a giveaway of the Batwoman Season 2 Digital Copy over on our YouTube channel. The giveaway will end on September 27, 2021, just a minute before midnight (PST). So, you have time to try your luck!
Are you guys picking up a copy of Batwoman: The Complete Second Season?
Let us know in the comments below!
Rodney has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Aspiring to one day write television shows and novels, he’s an avid slash-shipper and enthusiast for all things gay. Rodney’s especially a lover of magic, mystery, and superheroes—holding Harry Potter, the X-Men, and Scooby-Doo close as his own personal favorites. But when he’s not fantasizing about how cool it would be to have magic, he’s busy writing fanfiction and re-watching old TV shows.
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