Last week, Kate Kane got a big surprise when, in the final moments of Batwoman, she found herself face to face with a woman claiming to be her sister with this Beth Kane not being the diabolical madwoman calling herself Alice. It was a stunning reveal that prompted major questions about the state of Earth-Prime following the events of "Crisis on Infinite Earths" but Sunday night's episode of The CW series offered a few answers about the Beth situation and may have just given a hint at a major challenge Earth-Prime will face as it settles into its new normal.
Spoilers for Sunday night's episode of Batwoman, "A Very Un-Birthday Present".
Early in "A Very Un-Birthday Present" the identity of the mysterious Beth Kane is sorted out. It turns out she is, in fact, Beth Kane just from another Earth. On her Earth, Kate did go back into the car after the crash when they were teens and rescued her successfully, cementing their bond as not just sisters but friends. For Kate, it's a world-altering realization. While she does feel some guilt about not having saved "her" Beth, she also feels like she's been given a second chance to finally have her sister in her life the way she always wanted to.
To that end, after surviving Mouse's attempts to kill Kate and two important sons of Gotham, the sisters celebrate their birthday along with Mary and Luke at Kate's bar. While Kate is looking forward to this new familial status quo, however, Beth suddenly cries out in pain. She clutches her head and goes down on her knees as she is stricken by some excruciating pain in her head, though it's not clear what's happened. The episode then cuts to a freshly-escaped Alice walking through an alley when she, too, cries out in pain and clutches her head, falling to her knees just as Beth does. The implication is that both Beth and Alice are feeling the same pain at the same time.
But, how can that be? It's possible that we're seeing the beginning of Earth-Prime and the new Multiverse trying to "correct" for any duplicate people who may have somehow survived the merging of the worlds. The rules of the new Multiverse aren't entirely clear, but one of the things we've seen previously in The CW's approach to the many realities is that each Earth has its own vibrational frequency. It is possible - and we suggest this in the broadest of strokes - that with whatever Earth Beth is from no longer existing, her own vibrational frequency is creating an issue. It's also simply possible that with Earth-Prime appearing to be closed off from the rest of the Multiverse as was established in last week's Supergirl, reality is just doing some clean up. There shouldn't be two Beth Kanes so, perhaps, what we're seeing is some strange merging of the two.
There's also the possibility that reality simply abhors a duplicate and much in the way that the Speed Force cleans up those who break its rules with Time Wraiths, it's cleaning up the doppelgangers. One of the things we haven't really seen in the Arrowverse is a situation in which two versions of the same person existed in one reality for a truly extended period of time. Even on The Flash, it's generally been one version of Harrison Wells each season (visits from the Council of Wells notwithstanding). As such, we don't know how reality will respond - especially in a situation in which the duplicate really doesn’t have a home to go back to.
It's also possible that there's some other reason entirely for Beth and Alice's shared pain.
Whatever the situation is, as the Arrowverse moves further and further out from "Crisis on Infinite Earths" it will be interesting to see how the new reality of Earth-Prime settles, just as it will be very interesting to see how Batwoman resolves the tale of two Beth Kanes and which one remains standing in the end.
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.