Batwoman season 2, episode 3 review: Bat Girl Magic!

Batwoman -- “Bat Girl Magic!” -- Image Number: BWN203b_0001r -- Pictured (L - R): Javicia Leslie as Batwoman and Alex Morf as Victor Zsasz -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights
Batwoman -- “Bat Girl Magic!” -- Image Number: BWN203b_0001r -- Pictured (L - R): Javicia Leslie as Batwoman and Alex Morf as Victor Zsasz -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights /

“Luke makes it seem like Kate’s coming back. You make it seem like she’s not. Which is it?” Spoilers for Batwoman season 2, episode 3 follow.

As Ryan continues to learn the ropes of being Batwoman, she must contend with her first super-villain in the form of Victor Zsasz.

Meanwhile, Alice has lured Safiyah out and managed to get herself and Sophie captured in order to try and kill her in revenge for her hand in Kate’s death. Here’s what went down in the third episode of the Arrowverse show’s second season.

Enter Victor Zsasz

One thing that can be said about the DC Comics shows on The CW are that they have an over-reliance on the “villain of the week” structure of their shows. However, Batwoman has never really felt that problem compared to the other shows. Sure, the series has had other issues throughout its run so far, but its usage of the “villain of the week” has never really been a problem for the show. However, oddly enough, the lack of different villains week in and week out is also frustrating. It really hasn’t hit that sweet spot yet. However, this season seems to be on the right track with its usage of villains, especially with Victor Zsasz in this episode.

Zsasz in this episode is honestly really great. He seems like a great combination of all the character’s previous appearances in Gotham, Birds of Prey, and the comics. He’s both a serial killer and hitman, but is also very charming in his own twisted way. That’s something that’s never really been done with Zsasz before. Alex Dorf chews the scenery every time he’s on-screen and goes toe-to-toe incredibly well with Javicia Leslie. There’s not a ton of depth to the character, there never is really, but he’s still incredibly fun in this episode.

Ryan’s slow adjustment

As for Ryan though, her only problem in this episode isn’t just Zsasz, her main problem is the fact that she doesn’t feel comfortable while wearing the Batsuit. This is something that has been hinted at over the first two episodes of the season, but there’s really an emphasis on it here in this episode. Ryan may be willing and emphatic about putting on the suit, but it’s still not her suit, it’s still Kate’s.

This lack of knowledge, and general fitting, of the suit makes so for some pretty humorous moments early on in the episode, especially when she first confronts Zsasz. Her constant confusion as to where things are on her belt and even how to activate her bo staff while Zsasz just relaxes and makes some drinks. It’s a genuinely fun, light-hearted scene that also builds on Ryan’s character and struggles in a great way.

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And finally, despite Luke’s wishes, Ryan makes adjustments to the Batsuit in order to make it her own. Just from a production perspective, these changes, mainly to the wig, helps differentiate Ryan from Kate just from silhouette. It’s a great, simple fix to help the audience mentally switch from the idea of Kate being Batwoman to Ryan being Batwoman. But it also works well for the character for much the same way it works for the audience. Ryan is embracing the role and thus, making it her own, which she clearly hadn’t done yet.

Safiyah and Alice

The weakest part of this episode concerns the first appearance of Safiyah, which honestly, it’s a bit lackluster. She kidnaps Alice and Sophie to basically do nothing but complain to Alice about how she took a poison, used in the bats from the previous episode, from her. There’s not even a grand entrance after all of the build-up over the 23 episodes so far. It is very, very disappointing.

The only real revelation in this episode is that Safiyah didn’t kill Kate and actually wants to team up with Alice to find who did it. This has so much potential moving forward, but right now, it’s just incredibly bland, especially because Alice doesn’t believe. Because Alice doesn’t believe Safiyah, their interactions go round-and-round in this episode with no real difference in their conversations from scene-to-scene. Nearly everything revolving Alice and Safiyah in this episode is just boring. It’s also not all the believable that she has Kate captive and rather is just using that thought to manipulate Alice. Hopefully though, Safiyah gets better as the season goes on though.

In its use of Victor Zsasz and Ryan’s character progression, Batwoman season 2 very much succeeds, but falls flat with its Safiyah/Alice story.

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What did you think of Batwoman season 2, episode 3? Have you been enjoying Batwoman season 2 thus far? Let us know in the comments below!