Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5 recap: Who’s Got Bad Blood?

In Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5, “Gore on Canvas,” an uneasy partnership is forged, more revelations about Safiyah emerge, and a new player arrives in Gotham.

Team Batwoman takes a step closer to become a better unit in this installment of The CW show. Though Luke Fox and Ryan Wilder don’t quite bury the hatchet, they do come together in their dislike of the Crows.

Ryan shares how the Crows caught her for holding drugs for Angelique, who is once again her partner. Ryan fought two Crows who were harassing her while she was carrying Angelique’s drugs, and they basically threw her in jail for it. No wonder she hates the Crows.

And Luke’s father, Lucius Fox, was killed by the Crows, as we found out in Season 1, so his hate for the Crows is understandable.

Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5

Batwoman — “Gore on Canvas” — Image Number: BWN205fg_0023r — Pictured (L-R): Camrus Johnson as Luke Fox and Javicia Leslie as Ryan Wilder — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Working together is more important than ever—especially as a new partnership puts the team and their latest mission in danger.

Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5 – The Painting

Ever since Jacob Kane saw that picture of Jack Napier’s, aka the Joker’s, painting, “Gore on Canvas,” on Kate’s phone, he’s known it has something to do with Safiyah taking her.

Jacob is doing everything to get Kate back, and a contact of his shares a possible location for the painting—it’s with a group called the Collective—moments before Safiyah’s henchmen, the Many Arms of Death, kill the man.

Batwoman manages to grab the henchman, but she’s not about to share him with Jacob. It’s a race between Team Batwoman and the Crows as to who can find Kate first in Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5.

Jacob has another trick up his sleeve. Kate’s old friend, Evan Blake (Lincoln Clauss), is known for his ties to the Collective. Evan wants to find Kate as much as anyone—she helped him come out as a teenager. It’s great how the show continually honors Kate even without her on-screen.

But when it comes to helping the Crows, Evan backs out immediately. Yet another enemy the Crows have made.

Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5

Batwoman — “Gore on Canvas” — Image Number: BWN205b_0089r — Pictured: Javicia Leslie as Ryan Wilder — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Of course, the Crows have more ideas. Sophie enlists Batwoman’s help for a new plan—infiltrate the Collective’s latest sale, which will feature “Gore on Canvas.” Batwoman hates the idea but eventually acquiesces as long as she gets to go in on her own with the Crows as backup. Sophie agrees.

It takes some Mary Hamilton magic to get Ryan looking like she belongs with the Collective—but it almost doesn’t work. Evan is suspicious of her and practically sends her away at the door, but Angelique comes to the rescue.

It turns out Angelique has brought party favors—the kind that gets people high—but she herself is clean. This relationship might work, after all. But first, Batwoman needs that painting.

Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5 – “ACAB”

Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5

Batwoman — “Gore on Canvas” — Image Number: BWN205fg_0047r — Pictured: Javicia Leslie as Batwoman and Lincoln Clauss as Wolf Spider — Photo: The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

A quick analysis of “Gore on Canvas” shows Luke that there could be a map to Coryana hidden underneath. They need the physical painting to get the map—Ryan needs to steal it.

As she heads into a bathroom to change into her Batsuit, another player shows up—Wolf Spider. This spandex-wearer has been painting symbols around Gotham. What do they want with the painting?

It takes a while for Batwoman to get to Wolf Spider—that kryptonite bullet is hurting more than Ryan will admit. Even with Mary’s antibiotics, the infection is spreading.

A showdown between Batwoman and Wolf Spider could go either way—the art thief has some serious skills. And Batwoman’s injury practically lays her down. So, Sophie sends in the Crows.

At the start of Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5, Batwoman had put Jacob in his place by sharing Gotham’s description of his organization—”All Crows Are Bastards,” or ACAB. They ruined Ryan’s life, killed Luke’s dad, and they kept Sophie in the closet. There’s another life they’re after now.

Wolf Spider is fast and agile—they dodge bullets and speed past cars. But they’re still human. When a Crow rams his vehicle right into Wolf Spider, the thief is out for the count. And the Crows? They take the painting and leave Wolf Spider for dead.

Batwoman arrives in the nick of time to take Wolf Spider to Mary. When they take off the thief’s mask, they find the person underneath—Evan Blake.

Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5

Batwoman — “Gore on Canvas” — Image Number: BWN205b_0655r — Pictured: Lincoln Clauss as Evan Blake — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Like Team Batwoman, Jacob, and Sophie, Evan has been looking for Kate. He stole the painting to find the map, as well. And all it got him was a meeting with the Crows. Thanks to Batwoman’s timing and Mary’s ministrations, Evan is at least alive.

Sophie tries to mollify Batwoman—she’s had the two Crows dismissed from their jobs. But what does that do? The rot is in the organization, not the people. Can Sophie implement change from the inside, or are the Crows too far gone?

Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5 – Meeting Ocean

Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5

Batwoman — “Gore on Canvas” — Image Number: BWN205a_0374r — Pictured: Nathan Owens as Ocean — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Team Batwoman aren’t the only ones on a mission—Alice is out to find Ocean in Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5.

Safiyah had tasked Alice with finding the elusive man, and though Alice seemingly hadn’t ever met him, a memory of him surfaced unexpectedly. Alice tracks Ocean (Nathan Owens) to Burnside Motel.

DC Comics readers will recognize Burnside as the city under Batgirl’s protection—no sign of her in the show, though.

Alice finds Ocean at a bar nearby—after she sends off a potential suitor in the most Alice way possible. Though Alice and Ocean spend some time swapping fake life stories, it becomes clear that Ocean appears to have no memory of her.

So, Alice does what she does best—she tries to break into Ocean’s room to kill him. But Ocean gets to her first and knocks her out.

Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5

Batwoman — “Gore on Canvas” — Image Number: BWN205a_BTS_0474r — Pictured: Rachel Skarsten as Alice — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

When Alice comes to, Ocean shares an unexpected fact—he’s Safiyah’s brother, though not a blood relation. Why does Safiyah want her brother dead? Because he had something she wanted.

We get an idea of what that was when Ocean touches Alice—a memory resurfaces for him that he hadn’t had before. It looks like Safiyah did something to both Alice and Ocean that stole their memories. Why?

Then Safiyah’s henchmen turn up to kill them. But they’re no match for Alice and Ocean working together. They make a good team.

As they escape, Alice checks on a wound on Ocean’s arm, and another memory resurfaces—of her and Ocean being intimate. Is that why Safiyah had their memories removed?

At least we know why Safiyah sent her people after Ocean. It turns out the “Gore on Canvas” painting the Crows have is fake—the real one was with Ocean all along. Could Alice now be the key to finding Kate?

Final Thoughts – Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5 Shows Why Superheroes are Political

The ACAB plotline in Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5 is a callback to the Black Lives Matter movement, and it played out brilliantly in the episode. It’s a pivotal point that I hope the rest of the season explores, especially with Sophie being in the Crows.

Another excellent step was the inclusion of Evan Blake. Episode writer Daniel Thomsen wrote the non-binary character into the plot and increased the show’s gender and queer representation even further.

Every episode of this season seems like a game-changer. The narrative is tightly woven, the characters are growing all the time, and the relationships are becoming more meaningful.

Ryan putting her foot down about Mary and Luke listening to her more because she’s the one putting her life on the line was an important moment of growth for Team Batwoman. They’re still working things out, but they’re listening to each other.

Alice and Ocean’s relationship should make for a fascinating exploration—especially since Safiyah seems to have been very interested in Alice. If her interest in Alice was more than platonic, that might explain her hate for Ocean.

We are clearly in for a rollercoaster of a ride with this show—and that’s exactly what fans want.

What did you think of the Batwoman Season 2 Episode 5? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Batwoman Season 2 is airing weekly on The CW.