Batwoman delivered a wallop of a plot twist in its latest episode, with a pretty unexpected reveal regarding the fate of Kate Kane (Ruby Rose). Shortly after the airing of the series' latest episode, "Survived Much Worse", news broke that the series would be recasting Kate after all, something that the series' cast and crew had initially denied after Rose departed the hit The CW series last summer. With Kate now set to be played by Krypton alum Wallis Day, and her return set to be juxtaposed with the establishing of new Batwoman Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie), fans are definitely surprised to see the series pivoting into this direction. As Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries explained in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the plan was never to kill off Kate Kane, but to only bring about her return at the right time.
"Once we sat down and huddled for season 2 and decided, 'Look, we are not killing Kate Kane. That's not the way we want that character to go out,'" Dries explained. "We looked back at what our options were, and to me, this seemed like the most organic option to tell in this space we had for our season 2 launch. Ultimately, we [thought], 'What's the midpoint of our season? It's probably about episode 8 or 9. Let's make this reveal here.' And the way we revealed it was very specific which is we have the Bat Team and all of Kate's loved ones looking for her for the first half of the season, and they definitively learn that she's dead so that they can now close the book on Kate and grieve, but the audience is let in on this huge secret that she's alive, and that then propels these two parallel stories moving on to the second half of our season which [are]: the Bat Team coalescing without Kate, and Kate going through her mysterious journey as will unfold as the season goes on."
"I don't think of it as being quick at all," Dries continued. "I mean, we saw eight very long episodes of TV, so again, to me, it's the midpoint of our season, so it felt like a natural place to introduce her. I understand that the audience maybe felt a little tortured because they don't understand how we're actually going about bringing back an altered version of Kate Kane, but for us, we just trusted the storytelling, and we knew, 'Look, we can only have the characters looking and this being sort of their central drive for so long before that gets old and boring, so we thought eight episodes felt like a good span of time.'"
Day's casting as the new Kate Kane definitely came as a pleasant surprise to some fans, especially after she had become a pretty popular fancast to fill the role after Rose initially departed the show. As Dries explained, the fan movement did have some impact on the ultimate decision, as well as other factors.
"I believe she auditioned for Ryan Wilder," Dries revealed. "So when I met her via Zoom audition —those super awkward Zoom auditions — she was super cool and had great swagger and poise, and I just really liked her. At the same time, I believe there was sort of like this internet campaign — I don't know how widespread it was, but it got my attention — that Wallis should be Kate Kane, and she does sort of look a lot like Kate Kane, so it drew me to her. And ultimately when we were going through the audition process again, her name rose to the surface, and she just killed her audition, so we went with her. But it helped that I had known her previously just from those past auditions."
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.