Batwoman's second season is now in full swing, and it's bringing some significant changes to the DC Comics superhero mantle. Following the departure of Kate Kane (Ruby Rose), the series is now focusing on Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) -- and just over the span of the first two episodes, Ryan has already gone up against some major threats. Viewers got to see the genesis of Ryan's role as Batwoman in this week's episode, "Prior Criminal History" -- but amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some sequences in the episode might have left fans scratching their heads. Spoilers for Season 2, Episode 2 of Batwoman, "Prior Criminal History", below! Only look if you want to know!
After learning that Kate is no longer operating as Batwoman -- and might have been killed in a fiery plane crash by Safiyah Sohail (Shivani Ghai) -- Alice (Rachel Skarsten) decided to react to that news in a very specific way. Ryan, Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson), and Mary Hamilton (Nicole Kang) realized that Alice was potentially going to attack a pro-Batwoman rally in downtown Gotham, and that Ryan would need to don the Batwoman suit to try to disperse the crowd. Ryan did as much, but it didn't work out, and Alice ultimately showed up and used an electronic transmitter to sic a horde of poison-carrying bats onto the crowd.
While the episode resolved that arc pretty quickly - with Alice ultimately giving Mary the antidote, intentionally drawing the attention of Safiyah in the process - the sight of the crowds at the pro-Batwoman rally, which did not feature any of the mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines that have become commonplace amid the COVID-19 pandemic, might have caused concern among some viewers. As showrunner Caroline Dries and executive producer Chad Fiveash confirmed on Twitter during the episode, the sequences were filmed before the pandemic became widespread last spring.
Fun facts about this rooftop scene: a version was what we used for the Ryan/BW audition and @JaviciaLeslie killed it. We shot the crowd scenes pre-Covid last year. Little did we know this would be impossible today...— Caroline Dries (@carolinedries) January 25, 2021
I love love love the concern y'all are putting out there for our awesome #Batwoman cast & crew re: COVID! FYI: You can rest assured that the large crowd scenes in tonight's episode were shot PRE-COVID!
We do superHEROES. Not superspreader events!@CWBatwoman— Chad Fiveash (@ChadFiveash) January 25, 2021
Given the fact that COVID-19 shutdowns ultimately caused Batwoman's first season to end two episodes earlier than originally planned, it was safe to assume that sections of those unaired penultimate and finale episodes could have already been filmed. That, combined with the show having to narratively pivot amid Rose's exit, seemed to have presented an opportunity for the scenes to be used in Season 2.
"It's really a bummer from just a creative point of view. We had these last two episodes written and one of them was ready to be shot, so it was sad in that regard," Dries told ComicBook.com of the pandemic's impact on Season 1's finale last year. "However, I saw the writing on the wall happening with COVID a little bit before we shut down. And I just looked at what we had and I was like, 'You know what? This is going to work out.'"
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.