Batwoman Season 2 premiere recap: Ryan Wilder suits up

Batwoman -- “What Happened to Kate Kane?” -- Image Number: BWN201fg_0021r -- Pictured: Javicia Leslie as Batwoman -- Photo: The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Batwoman -- “What Happened to Kate Kane?” -- Image Number: BWN201fg_0021r -- Pictured: Javicia Leslie as Batwoman -- Photo: The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

The Batwoman Season 2 premiere gives fans action, drama, and a ton of twists that will have you at the edge of your seat. What a return for the CWVerse.

The Batwoman Season 2 premiere: “Whatever Happened to Kate Kane?” introduces viewers to Gotham City’s newest hero, Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie), and hints at the arrival of a terrifying villain. Shot during the pandemic, the opening episode of The CW show is action-packed and full of heart. If this is what Season 2 has to offer, fans are in for an amazing ride!

Batwoman Season 2 premiere: Where is Kate Kane?

At the end of the previous season, Kate Kane was in a pretty good place. She’d taken down some major villains, sent others into hiding, and she’d created a solid Bat-team around her with her stepsister, Mary Hamilton (Nicole Kang), and Bruce Wayne’s confidante, Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson).

But at the start of the Batwoman Season 2 premiere, all that success goes down the drain—or rather, the Gotham rivers.

Kate was on a flight to National City to discuss how to destroy the kryptonite in her possession with Kara Danvers/ Supergirl—kryptonite being the only thing that can damage the Bat-suit and hurt Supergirl. That flight suffered engine failure on the way back. As far as Mary and Luke know, Kate was on that flight when it crashed.

Of course, that isn’t enough for Kate’s father, Jacob Kane (Dougray Scott), leader of the Crows and general Bat-person-hater. He does everything in his power to continue the search for Kate, but by the end of the episode, there isn’t much hope for the survival of the former Scarlet Crusader.

Batwoman Season 2 premiere: Who is Ryan Wilder?

But Gotham City still needs a hero—and maybe it needs someone who isn’t a millionaire to don the suit.

Batwoman Season 2 premiere
Batwoman — “What Happened to Kate Kane?” — Image Number: BWN201fg_0078r — Pictured: Javicia Leslie as Ryan Wilder — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Ryan Wilder is a down-on-her-luck Gothamite living out of a van when she witnesses the crash. While anyone else would have run away, her first instinct is to dive into the fire and look for survivors. She manages to save the person she finds—it’s not Kate—but she also finds the Bat-suit, which she takes.

As the Batwoman Season 2 premiere progresses, we learn more about Ryan Wilder. She had a difficult start at life—her father died before she was born, her mom died in childbirth. Ryan went through a bunch of group homes and became a runaway.

Ryan was eventually adopted by a woman who loved her dearly and helped her get a better hold on life. But then Ryan was framed for drug possession and spent 18 months in prison. Worse, just as she had found a home for the two of them, they were attacked by “squatters” in their new apartment. Ryan was badly hurt but her mother was killed. The perpetrators? Alice’s Wonderland gang.

Now, Ryan has nothing but a van to live in and a plant for a friend. There’s also the unsympathetic parole officer who wants Ryan to get a job and a place to live. All of which is impossible with an ex-con’s record. It’s no wonder that Ryan gravitated to the suit.

And she does a decent job with it. Donning the suit to fight some bad guys, Ryan takes a while to get used to the controls and the gizmos, but she still manages to take the villains down and look extremely cool doing it!

Batwoman Season 2 premiere: New Accomplice

It appears that the premiere takes place soon after the end of the previous season. Alice had unveiled her newest accomplice, Tommy Elliot, now with Bruce Wayne’s face (Warren Christie). She deploys him in this episode.

Fake-Bruce arrives at Wayne Tower and tries to take up his former friend’s place. Luke is excited and maybe a little bit worried at seeing Bruce again, but with Kate’s disappearance, having Batman back seems like a good thing.

Luke is clearly off his game because he doesn’t realize that Fake-Bruce’s hesitation at entering the Batcave has less to do with letting Luke take charge and more to do with Tommy not knowing the secret key to the entrance.

Unfortunately, despite his lack of knowledge, Fake-Bruce manages to convince Luke to give him the kryptonite. With weapons accessible in the Batcave and the kryptonite in hand, Fake-Bruce and Alice can take down Batwoman easily.

Batwoman Season 2 premiere: Alice, Not in Wonderland

If Tommy and Alice can work together, that is. Tommy is enjoying living Bruce’s life, whereas Alice is mourning the loss of her chance to murder her sister. After all, she had an elaborate plan for Kate’s death.

Batwoman Season 2 premiere
Batwoman — “What Happened to Kate Kane?” — Image Number: BWN201fg_0054r — Pictured (L-R): Rachel Skarsten as Alice — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Alice would have had Jacob call Batwoman using the Bat-signal and he would have used the Bat-killing gun (powered by kryptonite) to take her down. When Batwoman’s mask was off, Jacob would realize that he had killed his own daughter. Sweet revenge for Alice for being abandoned in hell for most of her life.

That’s all ruined and Alice is furious, and a bit tipsy. She’s squatting in Wayne Mansion and being a thorn in Tommy’s side. But he’s got Bruce’s face and he plans to use it.

As Fake-Bruce, Tommy tells Jacob where Alice can be found and Jacob races over to the mansion. Alice is there, not even afraid because she’s Alice. She tries to shock her father by revealing Kate was Batwoman, but he doesn’t believe her. So, she tells him to do the one thing that gets Batwoman’s attention—turn on the Bat-signal.

Batwoman Season 2 premiere: Sophie and Julia

Kate’s disappearance in the Batwoman Season 2 premiere is extremely hard on everyone she cared about. Despite their relationship ending years ago, Sophie Moore (Meagan Tandy) is devastated. She’s searching for her as hard as Jacob, but Sophie’s also more practical—she has a very strong feeling Kate isn’t coming back.

Batwoman Season 2 premiere
Batwoman — “What Happened to Kate Kane?” — Image Number: BWN201fg_0059r — Pictured: Meagan Tandy as Sophie Moore — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

This drives an unexpected wedge between her and her current partner and co-worker Julia Pennyworth (Christina Wolfe). Sophie thinks their run-in with Safiyah, an old enemy of Julia’s, might have some connection to Kate’s plane going down but Julia denies it.

We do know, from the previous season, that Julia isn’t completely on Team Batwoman—she has allegiances to Safiyah, though she wants out of that situation.

With it becoming more obvious that Sophie still cares for Kate, Julia decides to take a step back. And that means giving Sophie a letter that Kate had left for her in case of an emergency.

The letter explains that Kate is Batwoman and why she had to hide her identity from Sophie. Kate also declares how much she loves Sophie in the letter, which is probably not what Sophie needs right now. Where will this leave Sophie and Julia’s relationship? Not in a good place.

Batwoman Season 2 premiere: The Showdown

When Julia isn’t delivering bad news to girlfriends, she’s dishing it out to Team Batwoman. She bumped into Fake-Bruce in Crows HQ, and he recognized her solely as Alfred Pennyworth’s daughter. He didn’t know the codename they had for her father, nor where Alfred was currently residing (good to know he’s not dead in the CWVerse, unlike in the DC Comics).

Since Fake-Bruce had a drink in Jacob’s office, Julia scanned for prints and found out it was Tommy Elliot. Alice can make a great fake face but the rest of the body, not so much.

Team Batwoman learns this information just in time. Tommy steals the batmobile—which had been hidden even from Luke—and goes after Batwoman, aka Ryan.

Luke and Mary alert Ryan, who makes a quick getaway. But she’s in a van and that’s not going to outrun the batmobile. Fortunately, Mary has a brainwave to hack the batmobile, which Luke manages to do.

Even without the fancy car, Tommy keeps going after Batwoman, and he successfully shoots her with the kryptonite gun. But surprise-surprise! She doesn’t die. Batwoman takes a moment to recover but then she hits back and wins. Ryan does go a little too hard on Tommy, so she probably needs some help with anger and frustration. But Tommy ends up in Arkham, so it’s a win.

Batwoman Season 2 premiere: What’s Next?

When Luke and Mary had first found Ryan in the Bat-suit, they had wanted the suit back because they didn’t think she was worthy of it. But the more Mary learned about Ryan—and the fact that they had both lost their mothers to Alice—the more she wanted Ryan to be Batwoman.

Unfortunately, Ryan takes their words to heart and returns the suit after defeating Tommy Elliot. It’s got a hole in it from the kryptonite, but Ryan seems to be fine. Or does she?

As Ryan looks up at the Bat-signal, she notices a green infection around the bullet wound. This is not a good sign. Perhaps the weapon doesn’t kill instantly, but causes a slow death? That’s not what we want for the new Batwoman!

The Bat-signal’s failure to conjure Batwoman means one thing—Jacob has lost yet another daughter. This man is so bad for the women in his family—he’s lost two wives to psychopaths, one daughter, who eventually returned as a villain, and now his hero daughter. Mary should stay far away!

Meanwhile, Alice takes Tommy’s loss quite well. She’s made a home for herself in the sewers but her cozy retreat is soon disturbed. She’s informed that Kate’s plane crash was caused by Safiyah. Alice is concerned—enough to unearth the dead body of her ‘brother’, Mouse. If Alice and Julia both fear Safiyah, Gotham is in danger this season.

Final Thoughts: Batwoman Season 2 premiere is a thrilling start

There is tons to love about the Batwoman Season 2 premiere. Ryan is already an amazing character with a rich, tragic backstory that hinges on real-world problems, plenty of personality, and easy chemistry with the cast. I can’t wait to see what more she has to offer the show.

I love the dynamic between Luke and Mary—it’s great to see how well they work as Team Batwoman. Does this hint at more to come for their characters? Who knows?

Alice’s return is always welcome. That she had a hand in Ryan’s mother’s death is shocking—she’s already made an enemy of the new Batwoman. This is an amazing start to the season and fans will be delighted. Bring on more!

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What did you think of the Batwoman Season 2 premiere? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Batwoman Season 2 is airing weekly on The CW.