Ruby Rose Steps Into the Role of the Caped Crusader in ‘Batwoman’
A DC superheroine gets her chance to shine in “Batwoman,” the new CW series starring Ruby Rose as Kate Kane, a cousin of Bruce Wayne and the daughter of a prominent leader in Gotham, Jacob Kane (Dougary Scott). At the start of the series, Bruce has been missing from Gotham for three years. In what the residences believe is a sheer coincidence, Batman went AWOL around the same time. The episode begins with a ceremony to officially turn off the Bat-Signal and make the Crows, Jacob’s security force, the sole protectors of the city. What they didn’t count on is having villain Alice (Rachel Skarsten) and her Wonderland gang crash the event and kidnap star Crow Sophie (Meagan Tandy). Now, it’s up to Kate to step into the rule of the Caped Crusader and save the day; and, yes, it’s personal.
Like her cousin, Kate has a tragic backstory that has shaped much of her life. When she was a little girl, she was sitting in the backseat of her mother’s car with her sister, Beth, when the vehicle was knocked off a bridge by a hijacked bus. Fortunately, Batman came to their rescue, but unfortunately, due to an error on his part, he was only able to save Kate. To make the situation even more devastating, Beth’s body was never recovered.
Additional flashbacks show Kate’s subsequent life. With her mother and sister gone, her father is now the driving force in her life, and she makes it her goal to become one of her dad’s Crows, but she gets kicked out of military school for having a lesbian affair with Sophie. While Kate takes a stand and leaves, Sophie, a woman of color, explains that she doesn’t have that luxury, and she signes a document “disavowing homosexuality.” Joshua then sends Kate out of the country for additional country, and she complies, still holding onto that dream of becoming a Crow.
Back in the present, Kate gets a call from her stepsister, Mary (Nicole Kang), informing her of Sophie’s abduction. Although the two young women have never had the opportunity to be close, Mary, a med student who we later discover steals supplies to help the poor, feels a connection to Kate nonetheless, and makes sure she knows about Sophie, as she discovered evidence of their relationship in a box of photos Kate kept hidden. Kate makes the bold decision to end her exile to assist with Sophie’s rescue, but Joshua refuses to include her in the search. Desperate, she break into Wayne Enterprises, making use of the surveillance equipment there to find her lost love. Despite some pushback from Bruce’s assistant Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson), Kate is not only able to get what she needs to locate Sophie, she also discovers her cousin’s big secret, that he was Batman. Now, she must take on the role of the Caped Crusader in order to defend Gotham from Alice and her thugs.
Although “Batwoman” breaks ground with its LGBTQ protagonist, it still treads a lot of the same territory seen in various Batman adaptations, and it will be interesting to see how the series comes into its own over time. While Bruce was an orphan, Kate still has Joshua, although their relationship has been strained for years. According to Alice, who hurts Kate with her words more than with her weapons, Sophie has become more of a daughter to him. “I took Sophie because she’ll actually get your father’s attention. Your father doesn’t want you, Kate, she says (Ouch).
Rose, who is genderfluid, channels Angelina Jolie, the rare female actor who takes on action roles originally written for men, in “Batwoman.” What sets the series apart from other action shows and films is that fact that this is a world of women, as almost all of the key players are female. Alice, with her wit and cunningness, is set up to be a fun and worthy foe to Batwoman, but just when the viewer things they have her endgame figured out (absolute control of Gotham), a major twist is introduced. As for Kate and Sophie’s happy ending, there’s a major obstacle in their way — Sophie’s husband.
“Batwoman” premieres Oct. 6 and airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.