The CW's Batwoman was thrown into pretty uncharted territory this past week, when it was announced that Ruby Rose will be stepping down from the series' titular role ahead of Season 2. As the actress announced in a statement on Tuesday, she made the "very difficult decision" to walk away from playing Kate Kane/Batwoman, an openly-lesbian crimefighter who is part of the network's Arrowverse franchise. It's pretty safe to say that Rose's exit has taken fans by surprise, as she helped introduce the beloved DC Comics character to an entirely new audience, while also having a lot of fun in the process.
In light of Rose's departure - and the fact that Batwoman is now on hiatus until at least January of 2021 - we thought we'd look back on the evolution of her iteration of Kate Kane. From her live-action debut in the 2018 "Elseworlds" crossover, all the way until last week's Season 1 finale, here are some of the best and most epic moments of Rose's portrayal of the character.
"Elseworlds" - Kara and Kate
"Elseworlds" undoubtedly had a lot of ground to cover -- the body-swapping hijinks of Barry and Oliver, the establishing of the Arrowverse's Gotham City, and a pile of set-up for "Crisis on Infinite Earths", just to name a few. But one of the biggest highlights from the three-night event was absolutely the dynamic between Kate and Kara Danvers/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), which served as a pretty big turning point in the Arrowverse's strengthening of female friendships and relationships. The pair bonded over their similar superhero legacies, and how to balance their own crusades with those of their much more mainstream cousins. Plus, the duos simple and slightly-flirty exchange about x-ray vision and tattoos launched an entire ship in the process.
1x02 - Sisters
The cat-and-mouse game of Kate and her estranged sister, Elizabeth Kane/Alice (Rachel Skarsten), has arguably been at the center of Batwoman's entire run. While another show would have easily dragged out the sisters reveal for episodes on end, Batwoman chose to address it right out of the gate -- and got some genuinely emotional moments in the process. A scene in the series' second-ever episode - where Kate's first civilian meeting with Alice in years takes a dramatic turn - definitely fits within that category.
1x03 - Batwoman vs. Tommy
Leading up to Batwoman's debut, fans wondered how the series was going to introduce Tommy Elliot/Hush (Gabriel Mann), a character whose entire modus operandi in the comics centers around an obsession with Batman. In a way, that made Batwoman's approach to him all the more fascinating, as Kate and Tommy's dynamic could have easily gone in multiple different directions. Long before he lost his face and got his iconic bandages, Batwoman confronted him on a Gotham rooftop -- and the end result was genuinely exciting to watch.
1x07 - The Restaurant
Batwoman has dealt with the prejudice and adversity of the LGBTQ+ community essentially ever since the modern-day iteration of her character was first created, something that came up in a particularly noteworthy way in the seventh episode of Season 1. Kate and Sophie Moore (Meagan Tandy) decide to meet at a restaurant that Batwoman had recently saved, only for the owner to grow uncomfortable and tell them to leave. Kate proceeded to call out the owner for his thinly-veiled homophobia, and was eventually convinced to open a gay bar across the street from him. The moment was uncomfortable to watch, but incredibly earnest, and showcased just how heroic Kate is even outside of when she's wearing the cape and cowl.
"Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part 2" - Drinking Buddies
"Crisis on Infinite Earths" put the Arrowverse's band of heroes through the proverbial wringer, and that was especially the case for both Kate and Kara. The Batwoman hour of the event focused on the two embracing their roles as Paragons of the universe - Kate as the Paragon of Courage, and Kara as the Paragon of Hope - even as recent events in their lives seemed to go directly against it. A scene towards the end of the episode hammered that home, as Kate and Kara talked over a beer, reflecting on their recent losses and how they could help each other move beyond them.
1x10 - Batwoman Comes Out
Another pivotal moment for both sides of Kate's persona came just after "Crisis on Infinite Earths", after Kate met a young girl named Parker Torres (Malia Pyles) who had been struggling with her own queer identity. In an emotional sequence of events (partially set in motion by a literal ticking time bomb from Alice), Kate unmasked herself in front of Parker, and Parker acknowledged the significance of openly-lesbian Kate Kane operating as Batwoman. Kate soon took that significance a step further, by deciding to have Batwoman publicly come out in a cover story for Catco magazine.
The moment was a genuine turning point for the series, and adding a different and incredibly profound layer to Kate's role as Gotham City's protector.
1x12 - Alice Lives
One of the biggest surprises to come out of "Crisis on Infinite Earths" was the arrival of an alternate Beth Kane, who had been displaced onto Earth-Prime during the reconstruction of the multiverse. The season's twelfth episode, "Take Your Choice", brought that dilemma to a deadly head, with the threat that only one iteration of Beth could survive. In the episode's final moments, that took an unexpected twist, when August Cartwright (John Emmet Tracy) shot the alternate Beth, bringing a seemingly-poisoned Alice back to life.
Rose's acting in that sequence - from the personal turmoil of having to poison her sister, to the genuine shock when Alice came back to life - was genuinely fantastic to watch.
1x16 - On a Ledge
While the tail end of Batwoman's debut season almost has too many great moments to count, an emotional exchange between Kate and Julia Pennyworth (Christina Wolfe) stands out. As Kate wallows in her recent choices while drinking on the ledge of Wayne Tower, she and Julia proceed to have a heartfelt exchange, and Kate begins to realize that she needs to let people into her life.
The trope of a hero doubting themselves - and shutting out the people around them - is certainly nothing new, but Rose brought it to life in such a raw and relatable way. The sequence also adding another layer to the budding love triangle between Kate, Julia, and Sophie, something that has been taken to fascinating heights throughout Season 1.
1x17 - Kate's Panic Attack
Another trope that Batwoman - and Rose - turned on its head occurred in the season's seventeenth episode, as Kate tried to deal with the trauma and inner turmoil of having killed Cartwright. Throughout the episode, Kate started to get PTSD over the killing, and doubt whether or not she deserved to continue being Batwoman. One of the episode's earliest sequences - where Kate literally has a panic attack while wearing the costume in public - portrayed the anxiety and weight of that moment with genuinely chilling results.
1x20 - Team Meeting
Rose's now-final scene on Batwoman, which occurred at the tail end of last week's season finale, might be one of the most underrated examples of how much she's come into the role. After Batwoman was betrayed by Jacob Kane (Dougray Scott) and The Crows, Kate began to question if her father would ever end up accepting her superhero persona, resulting in an incredibly-earnest conversation between her and her stepsister, Mary Hamilton (Nicole Kang). Then, once Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson) entered the room and provided an update on their ordeal with Kryptonite, Kate came clean about the shard she still had from "Crisis", and how she needed to talk with Kara before agreeing to destroy it.
In the span of a couple of minutes, the scene simultaneously showed the vulnerability and the confidence that Rose brought to Kate, while also teeing up what are sure to be some interesting conflicts in Season 2.0comments
Batwoman is scheduled to return with new episodes in January of 2021.
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