By Ani Bundel
This made reporting on the panel difficult, because there was a big fat spoiler at the end of the episode. Actresses Rachel Skarsten, who plays the villain “Alice” and Meagan Tandy, who plays Sophie Moore both discussed in depth as part of the interview. Tandy’s character is Kate Kane’s (Ruby Rose) love interest. They were teen lovers caught kissing during military school. Sophie renounced her sexuality to stay in school, while Kane rebelliously dropped out. But years later, when Skarsten as Gotham’s newest villain randomly kidnaps Sophie, Kate comes back to save her.
Warning: major spoilers for Batwoman episode 1 and beyond below.
Kane’s path to saving Sophie takes her to her cousin Bruce Wayne’s house, and her exploration of Bruce’s home leads to her finding his Bat-secret. But the real spoilers come at the very end. First, Sophie is now married (to a man), which Tandy says is a real marriage, in that it happened, it’s legal, and she’s trying to cleave to it. Tandy says it’s the kind of story that won’t just resonate with LGBTQ+ audiences, but one that will also resonate with the African-American audience.
But then there’s Alice, who turns out to be Kate’s long-lost twin sister Beth, who had been believed dead for 15 years. (Beth was supposedly killed in a car crash caused by Joker as the two were on their way home from their bat mitzvah.) Alice’s plan in kidnapping Sophie was to bring Kate back and convince them to join up. Until, that is, she is interrupted by Batman… er, Batwoman.
As the moderator noted, a twist like Alice’s would have been held back in a regular show until the mid-season finale, at the very least, if not the end of the first season. But not with this show. Skarsten says that’s deliberate. This is not just a story about Kane and her backstory, but the two sisters and how they were raised. Kane, as the daughter of upper-middle-class people, had one kind of childhood. Beth, we are assured, had a very different one. Season 1 plans to reveal that backstory, along with watching her build up her gang of “Wonderland” thugs.
For the record, only Alice and Sophie know it’s a woman. Everyone else believes Batman is back. And Bruce Wayne hangs heavily over the entire series, much like Superman does in Supergirl. For Alice, it’s the hero who left her to die, and who she will have a lot of emotions about, even as she doesn’t know it’s her own sister she’s fighting. And it will also cause problems for Kane as well. Other villains, like Hush, will turn up throughout the season, thinking they’re coming to confront an old foe. Kane will have to deal with them, and they will have to deal with the discovery Batman has changed a bit since they last met. Magpie also will turn up this season as well.
Batwoman joins the DC Universe line-up on the CW on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET. Make sure to stay up to date on our recaps of the show, too!