Batwoman has gone through quite a lot of changes over the past year, beginning with Ruby Rose stepping down from her starring role as Kate Kane after Season 1. Going into Season 2, the series elected to create an entirely new character — Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) — to take on the mantle, something that just got way more complicated after the series' most recent episode. With confirmation that Krypton alum Wallis Day has been recast in the role of Kate Kane, and that she will be returning pretty soon in Season 2, fans are already curious to see what that will mean for Ryan and her ongoing trajectory as Batwoman. As showrunner Caroline Dries recently explained to Entertainment Weekly, Kate Kane's complex return definitely won't mean the end of Ryan's story as Batwoman — but will add an emotional layer to it.
"Seeing Ryan grow into the Batsuit has been priority one from a storytelling point of view, and it's been a beautiful journey so far witnessing Ryan take on that mantle, and she's proven to the city by episode 8 that she is Batwoman," Dries explained. "She belongs in the suit. And when Kate comes back, and when they discover Kate's back, that confidence will be rattled a little bit, and she'll start to wonder, "Well, where do I fit?" And so while the city believes in her, full heartedly, Ryan will go through her own journey of learning to believe in herself, and that's really something we focus on towards the later part of season two."
These comments will surely comfort fans, as the idea of Ryan having to give up the mantle so quickly has the potential to get a little dicey, especially given the significance of Leslie being the first Black actress to play Batwoman. Based on Dries' comments, it sounds like Ryan's journey as Batwoman will still be profoundly affected by Kate — even before she learns that Kate is actually still alive.
"We do, which we never do on our show, a little bit of a time passage of one month so that we can allow the characters to grieve and have a funeral, and then a month goes by, and we can not have them sobbing in every scene because nobody wants to watch that," Dries revealed. "So, there's a little bit of sense of moving on and healing, and what's central to the show now is the Bat Team coalescing, coming together, and Ryan looking at the Batsuit and realizing, 'Oh, she's not coming back.'"
"For Ryan Wilder, everything in her life that's ever been good has been ripped away, and in the back of her mind, she always knew, 'This is too good to be true, this is going to be ripped away from me,'" Dries continued. "Especially with the notion of Kate still being out there. And then when it's definitive, Kate's not coming back, Ryan looks at the suit and is like, 'I'm Batwoman. What does that mean? What can I do for the city, not just as Batwoman, but as, her journey in episode nine is, as Ryan Wilder?' Kate Kane gave so much back to the city just as Kate. Bruce Wayne donated so much to the city as Bruce. What is Ryan doing just as Ryan [going] to give back to the city? So she really starts to sort of design her own Bat code, so to speak, and her own rules for the Bat Team, and embraces the job full-heartedly at this point."
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.