Batwoman is only seven episodes into its first season, but it's already established a surprising amount of canon for Kate Kane's (Ruby Rose) world. In addition to the ongoing fight against Alice (Rachel Skarsten), the show has laid the groundwork for Tommy Elliot (Gabriel Mann) to become Hush -- and included an unexpected namedrop in last week's installment. In an exchange between Alice and The Rifle (Garfield Wilson), the name Safiyah was mentioned, possibly hinting at the show introducing the criminal organization The Many Arms of Death. Safiyah, in particular, has a close tie to Kate in the comics, which certainly sets the stage for her eventually being an emotional antagonist in the series. But in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries revealed that the name-drop doesn't necessarily mean that Safiyah will appear in the immediate future.
"Our plans for this season is just to drop little teases like that. So if you get you catch it, and you read the comics, you'll be like, 'Oh, I'm intrigued!' and if you don't, it's not a big deal. It just seems like it's a bad guy somewhere else," Dries revealed. "I think laying the pipe is our task for this season, at least as far as I can see what we're doing in Season 1. So just creating intrigue."
Safiyah's mention certainly does create intrigue, especially since she and Kate have a romantic tie to each other in the comics. When readers first meet her, Safiyah Sohail is the ruler of a pirate nation called Coryana, who saves Kate's life during the middle of her post-coming-out trip around the world. Kate and Safiyah become lovers, but they ultimately part ways when Kate accidentally carries a deadly disease onto the island, and Safiyah blames it on an innocent man.
Years later, Safiyah has become a leader of the Many Arms of Death, a terrorist organization with reach across the world. Kate tracks down Safiyah, who has apparently kidnapped and drugged Beth in order to bring back the "Alice" personality. Alice then becomes the leader of the Many Arms of Death, and Kate and Julia Pennyworth have to stop her.
So, while it sounds like we might not see Safiyah appear in person on Batwoman anytime soon (even as the series just got a full season order), it certainly sets the stage for an interesting conflict in the show's future.
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Batwoman airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.