A whole new era of the Arrowverse begins tonight, as Batwoman makes its long-awaited debut on The CW. The pilot episode covers just some of the origin of Kate Kane/Batwoman (Ruby Rose), long before she joined the Arrowverse's other heroes in the "Elseworlds" crossover. The episode established a whole new take on Gotham City -- and here's what you need to know about it.
The episode opens on Kate Kane, who is participating in a swimming exercise in freezing water. She briefly gets triggered into remembering a car accident that she was in as a child. Batman had briefly arrived on the scene only to leave soon after, sending her mom and her sister Beth plunging to their deaths.
In Gotham, protesters march outside of a formal event, which is to officially turn off the Bat-signal after three years of Batman's absence from the city. A Crows Security truck transports Kate's stepmom Catherine and stepsister Mary to the event. They are visited by Kate's father, Jacob, who started the Crows in the years since Batman's absence. The Crows guard over the event, including an agent named Sophie Moore. The Crows' surveillance feed is quickly overridden, and two of the guards are killed by a villain named Alice. She addresses the crowd at the event, and says that they're no longer safe without Batman. Chaos ensues, and Sophie is kidnapped.
Back in the Arctic, Kate receives a call from Mary about the attack, and immediately makes her way back to Gotham. In narration, Kate reveals that she had spent years traveling the country and training in Special Ops, with the goal of eventually joining The Crows. Kate arrives at The Crows' headquarters and offers to help find Sophie, but Jacob shuts her down.
Kate breaks into Wayne Enterprises and visits Bruce's office. She is found by Luke Fox, but quickly gets the upper hand. She downloads information about the Crows and then leaves.
In a series of flashbacks, Kate remembers kissing Sophie during their time at West Point, which ended in them being outed to their squad. Kate refuses to sign the paperwork and is expelled from West Point because of it, whereas Sophie pretends they were never together and stays.
Kate arrives home, only to find that Mary organized a surprise coming home party for her. She catches up with Mary and Catherine. She shows Jacob and the rest of the Crows the security footage from Wayne Enterprises. They spot a paddle in the video that's from Burnside Orphanage, and Kate heads there herself. She fights a few of the masked thugs, and is ultimately captured by Alice. Alice tells her that she wants the Crows to stop bullying Gotham City into submission, and that she kidnapped Sophie to send a message to Jacob. She knocks Kate unconscious.
Kate wakes up in a secret hospital run by Mary, who patches her up. Kate confronts Jacob, and says that she's no longer going to help him anymore. She then visits Luke, and eventually finds an entrance to the Batcave. She realizes that Bruce was Batman, and that he spent years regretting the fact that he couldn't save Kate's family. She then decides that Gotham needs another symbol to scare away criminals, and tells Luke to update the Batsuit so it can fit a woman.
Jacob and The Crows guard a movie in the park. One of The Crows' operatives, Dobson, is revealed to secretly be a member of Alice's gang. They kiss, and then she calls Jacob, and reveals that she filled one of the Crows' trucks with explosives. She gives him an ultimatum -- to save Sophie or the civilians attending the movie. Kate shows up in the retrofitted Batsuit and begins to fight Alice. She saves Sophie from falling to her death, and then disappears, but not before the crowd at the movie spot her and mistake her for Batman.
The city goes wild over Batman's return. Sophie spots Kate in the Crows' office, and they reconnect -- but not before Sophie introduces her husband, Tyler. Kate meets with Jacob, who admits that he was initially too protective of her to let her actually join The Crows. He offers her a role on the team, but she turns him down. Kate returns to the Batcave, and begins to write a letter to Bruce.
She then inspects one of the daggers from Alice's gang, and realizes it matches the gemstone on the necklaces she and Beth wore. That's when she realizes -- Alice is her sister, Beth.
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.
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