We're more than halfway through Batwoman's second season, but there have been a lot of updates surrounding the series both in front of and behind the camera. Shortly after the airing of Season 1's final episode, it was announced that series star Ruby Rose would be leaving the series, and that the series would be following an entirely new character instead of recasting Kate Kane. After twelve episodes surrounding that new character, fan-favorite Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie), The CW dropped a major bombshell by revealing that Kate would be returning to the series after all — albeit, with a different look. Krypton alum Wallis Day was confirmed to be playing a "revamped" version of Kate in Season 2, and now, we just got our first glimpse at what that will entail. Spoilers for Season 2, Episode 12 of Batwoman, "Initiate Self-Destruct", below! Only look if you want to know!
At the beginning of tonight's episode, fans got their proper introduction to Day's version of Kate Kane, which you can check out below. In the opening scene, Roman Sionis/Black Mask (Peter Outerbridge) placed a replica mask of his own daughter, Circe Sionis, onto Kate's face. With the help of some brainwashing from Enigma (Laura Mennell), Kate was triggered into forgetting all memories of who she was, instead adopting the personality and memories of Circe.
Later, armed with a white overcoat and two blades, "Circe" goes to the docks and tracks down Batwoman and Alice (Rachel Skarsten), who are trying to save Angelique (Bevin Bru) and Ocean (Nathan Owens). Kate engages in an epic hand-to-hand fight with Batwoman and Alice — and almost comes close to killing Alice. In the episode's final scene, Alice is held captive by Sionis and "Circe", who decide they have a reason to keep her alive.
Day's casting as the new Kate Kane has arguably been a long time coming, after she became one of the most popular fancasts for the role following Rose's departure last year. And after teasing that Kate would be returning to the fold in a new capacity, it looks like we have finally started to see the extent of what that will entail.
"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,'" showrunner Caroline Dries explained in a recent interview. "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.'"
Batwoman airs Sundays at 9/8c on The CW.