After Super Bowl and Oscars delays, Batwoman is back with S1E12 “Take Your Choice,” and it’s time to resolve the Beth/Alice multiverse conundrum. This week’s episode is directed by Tara Miele and Ebony Gilbert. All that I’ll say for now is prepare yourself for zigs where you expect zags. Actually, just always be ready for them. Constant vigilance and all that.
This is a full recap of Batwoman S1E12: AKA beware of spoilers.
“There’s not enough room for both of us.”
We open as Sophie (Meagan Tandy) and Jacob (Dougray Scott) make their case to Dr. Campbell – a scientist who’d be able to prove Mouse (Sam Littlefield) is using flesh masks to impersonate people. He’s not confident about their story, until Sophie tells him that they have Mouse in custody and available for interrogation. Hearing that, the doc agrees to testify if he’s allowed to talk to Mouse and, deal forged, he heads out. Then, Jacob gives Sophie a pep talk. Somebody’s gotta lead the Crows while he’s in jail, and it’s her.
Back at Crow HQ, Commander Sophie gives the order to shoot to kill Alice on sight (hopefully no one sees Beth). Meanwhile, Luke (Camrus Johnson), Mary (Nicole Kang) and Beth (Rachel Skarsten) are trying to get Beth to a hospital to figure out wha’s causing her head pain. To get there, they have to move through a police checkpoint and Luke, ever the good boy, has a hard time deciding on a lie. Mary tries to use her Hamilton clout to get through, but it’s no good. The Crow forces them out of the car and Beth is discovered in the backseat. Thankfully, Batwoman (Ruby Rose) isn’t far off. She lays down some cover and the crew makes off alright.
Vesper Fairchild (Rachel Maddow) fills us in on what we’ve missed. Apparently, with Alice having escaped the Crows once again, checkpoints are riddled throughout the city. She points out the police state reality and begs Batwoman to figure things out. In broad daylight, Alice stabs a Crow and experiences the same headache Beth did.
In Wayne Tower, Mary is doing her best to find out what’s causing Beth’s migraines. This Beth, an expert in astrophysics has a cute moment with Luke before theorizing that she may be in pain because her current universe is literally tearing both her and Alice apart. Mary guesses both women only have about seven hours left to live.
That in mind, Kate pours her a glass of the good stuff. She rallies the crew to try and find a solution, then decides the best one is to find a hospital outside the city limits. AKA, she’ll have to talk to Sophie. Naturally, Luke points out the risks of doing so and Kate shrugs it off.
Speaking of hospitals, that’s where Alice is now, disguised as security. She’s here to break Mouse out, who’s extremely confused given his previous encounter with Beth pretending to be Alice. Scared, he tells her about last episode’s events. Alice’s ear begins to bleed as she realizes there are bigger fish to fry. She tells Mouse she’ll be back for him and scoots.
Out in the city, Sophie and the Crows hunt down Alice. She meets up with Batwoman and confronts her about the earlier assault of law enforcement. Things are tense as Batwoman warns Sophie that the people are afraid of her, that she’s jeopardizing innocent lives. Batwoman asks her to call the Crows off, but Sophie won’t let it happen.
“You once told me you trusted me.”
Luke is still trying to come up with a plan for Beth, but the closest they’ve got is cryofreeze which – is not great. They acknowledge, finally, that for one to live, the other has to die. Lo and behold. There’s the other. Security really sucks around Wayne Tower, huh?
Beth is explaining the whole situation to Alice when Kate walks in. Alice goes through the whole kooky villain threat, which Beth takes really well, surprisingly. Then, Beth references the events of the car accident again – the one from her universe– and Alice finds out that this other version of Kate saved her sister. Alice becomes more and more upset as she comes upon the solution to her migraine problem. She chucks a knife at Beth, which Kate swiftly nabs, then, another round of multiversal induced headaches for both of them.
Meanwhile, Jacob finds himself at the butt end of a lecture about how the Crows only ever protect the rich. He realizes then that he owes another inmate a favor and we transition over to his step-daughter.
Over in the clinic, Mary is surprised by Alice (how did she get here?), who demands that she heal her. When she refuses, Alice takes the situation into her own hands, whacking poor Mary over the head with a surgical tray.
Elsewhere, a big old twist reveals itself. It’s completely out of left field, albeit not in the best way. The best thing to come from this scene is the
Alice is relatively successful, but Mary is quick to wake up. While Alice has her back turned, Mary jumps her. They fight again and this time things go much better for Best Girl. She smashes Alice over the head with a wall mounted telephone and handcuffs her to a bed. In a super cathartic exchange, Alice begs Mary to help her. Her response? “I know. And I can’t think of anyone who deserves it less.” She walks out on her, then Alice makes one final move. Using the telephone that just bruised her skull, Alice calls the Crows and says:
“You’re looking for the leader of the Wonderland Gang?”
There, at Wayne Tower, Kate tells Beth that Mary is on her way with a cure. Beth’s developed a cough now and is barely holding on at this point. They talk about how they always depended on one another, were never jealous. Kate did have a soulmate, though we don’t find out who. Before she can say, Beth is interrupted as the Crows arrive with Sophie (HMMMMMMM). Luke and Kate lock the place down and go to the safest place in the building: the Bat Cave.
Another twist back at the clinic; Alice presents the ultimatum that’s the episode’s title and, for some reason, another level of depth to the major issue that only seems to compound things in a way that was already clear? It’s a well done scene, but the science falls apart a little quicker than you might hope, even for comic book logic.
Speaking of jealousy, in the Bat Cave, Beth tells Kate she’s a bit envious of the whole Batwoman gig. Beth throws back to the paragon of courage mantle with a touching compliment – which is cut with Luke’s arrival and the news that the Crows are closing in. Kate gets a call from Mary and meets up with her outside. Mary tells her about the solution, putting Kate in a situation that audiences want to be pretty simple, but, in its complication, does a good job of shining a light on how heavily Kate’s guilt affects her.
From here, all the way through the end of the episode, we’re in quite the Chinese finger trap of do not reveals, so bear with me. The show puts itself in a really tough spot with this episode’s premise and whether it works or not is one thing, but there are definitely some strong scenes to follow. Kate is left with no choice but to confront head on her feelings on trying to redeem Alice; it’s emotional and, thanks in large part to Skarsten, hits hard. Rose, too, does her part and it sucks in the best way.
Once the titular choice is made, Luke hops on the Bat bike in a melancholy scene as Kate tells him to leave her behind. Some earlier DNR events, meanwhile, tease at the final final twist.
Batwoman S1E12 “Take Your Choice” is a wrap and boy do I have whiplash. This episode was packed with so many twists and complications that it was difficult to fully cope with what was going on. So many times, right as it became time to accept, the rug gets pulled out in a way that undoes some of this episode’s best parts. Frankly, the changes to the status quo, and the resolution to the last few episodes are a bit disappointing compared to what could’ve been.
On the micro level, as mentioned above, Rose, Skarsten and Kang are standouts this episode, especially in executing on their complicated relationship as sisters. The directing, too, has its moments – but it’s hard to ignore the sour taste it leaves. Let’s cross our fingers for next episode, S1E13, “Drink Me.”