Batwoman is nearing the (earlier than planned) end of its first season, but not before expanding out the show's mythos in some pretty major ways. The Crimson Crusader has already gone toe-to-toe with multiple villains since she first started suiting up, many of whom are currently working together from inside Arkham Asylum. But as we learned in tonight's episode, there are definitely more foes for Kate Kane/Batwoman (Ruby Rose) to go up against -- one of whom has been lurking in the shadows throughout the season. Spoilers for this week's episode of Batwoman, "A Secret Kept From all the Rest", below! Only look if you want to know!
The episode sees nearly every member of the show's ensemble hunting for Lucius Fox's journal, with Julia Pennyworth (Christina Wolf) seeking out the journal for someone else entirely, to Kate's dismay. As the episode went along (and Julia was kidnapped and nearly tortured to death at the hands of Alice), Julia finally provided Kate with some insight into who she was working for. As she explained, she was able to make The Rifle leave Gotham many months prior by agreeing to do business with his boss, Safiyah Sohail. Kate revealed that she didn't recognize that name -- but Julia reassured that Safiyah knows about Kate's crusade as Batwoman.
Given how often Safiyah has been mentioned across the show's first season, this newest name-drop certainly seems to tease the villain making her presence known on Batwoman sooner than later. As showrunner Caroline Dries told ComicBook.com, that definitely is the case, as they plan to have Safiyah be a significant villain in Season 2.
"We know viewers are like, 'This show is only missing one thing, and it's lesbian pirates,'" Dries said with a laugh. "I love the Safiyah storyline in the comics, and we knew we wanted to bring her in at some point. But we didn't want to waste her or blow out her character in Season 1 when there are all these other hijinks happening. So we're really kind of teeing her up to be our baddie in Season 2."
That reasoning behind delaying Safiyah's debut certainly makes sense (and is something Dries has expressed in the past), especially considering all of the elements that have been in play.
In the comics, Safiyah is the ruler of a pirate nation called Coryana, who saves Kate's life during the middle of her post-coming-out trip around the world. Kate and Safiyah become lovers, but they ultimately part ways when Kate accidentally carries a deadly disease onto the island, and Safiyah blames it on an innocent man. Years later, Safiyah has become a leader of the Many Arms of Death, a terrorist organization with reach across the world. Kate tracks down Safiyah, who has apparently kidnapped and drugged Beth in order to bring back the "Alice" personality. Alice then becomes the leader of the Many Arms of Death, and Kate and Julia Pennyworth have to stop her.
The fact that Kate doesn't have an existing relationship with Safiyah - but both Alice and Julia are clearly terrified of her - also creates an interesting subversion of that comic dynamic, and will be really fascinating going into Season 2.
Are you excited to see Safiyah appear on Batwoman? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!