Batwoman Hints The Joker Is Dead in the Arrowverse

Batwoman returned from a lengthy hiatus on Sunday night, and it brought quite a lot of Season 1's various plotlines to a head. At the center of the episode was the emotional turmoil of Kate Kane/Batwoman (Ruby Rose), who has felt traumatized after killing August Cartwright (John Emmet Tracy) a few episodes back. As Kate came to terms with having killed a man - and what that means for her role as Gotham's symbol of hope - she and the audience learned something surprising, with regards to one of Gotham's longest-running villains. Obviously, spoilers for this week's episode of Batwoman, "A Narrow Escape", below! Only look if you want to know!

Throughout the episode, Kate clearly had PTSD about having killed Cartwright, which manifested in her having a panic attack anytime she even got near the Batwoman suit. As events went along, she realized that she needed to rise above her trauma and continue to protect Gotham, just as Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson) began to confront the truth of who really killed his father, Lucius. They realized that a Crows agent named Miguel Robles had been behind the killing, as well as multiple other killings as a new iteration of The Detonator. In an emotional moment, Kate convinced Luke not to kill Robles, by also admitting to her PTSD about Cartwright.

The next day, Kate apologized for not telling Luke about killing Cartwright, and admitted she didn't do so because she was embarrassed for having defied Batman's moral code. Luke admitted to her that Batman didn't always follow that moral code either -- and used one particular example. He rhetorically asked her why The Joker hasn't been seen in Gotham in five years, and pointed out that it's not because he's in Arkham Asylum.

So, if you were hoping to see a version of The Joker appear somewhere on The CW's Arrowverse... you might be out of luck. Granted, the Clown Prince of Crime has certainly toyed with death a lot in the pages of DC Comics, but it certainly seems like Batman canonically killed him, shortly before going missing within Gotham City.

Not only does this line of dialogue add another layer to what we know about the Arrowverse's Batman, but it takes one of the most-speculated (and depending on who you ask, most-overrated) DC villains off of the table for Batwoman. Given the world of the show, that certainly seems to be for the better, as the freshman series already has multiple antagonists who are as chaotic as The Joker. For one thing, there's Elizabeth Kane/Alice (Rachel Skarsten), who has become more humanized and engrossing as the season has gone along. And there's also Duela Dent, who was unexpectedly introduced a few episodes ago, and certainly fits the bill of a terrifying villain with face scars.

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Batwoman airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.