Batwoman season 3, episode 3 review: Freezing out

Batwoman -- “Freeze” -- Image Number: BWN303b_0190r -- Pictured: Rachel Skarsten as Alice -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Batwoman -- “Freeze” -- Image Number: BWN303b_0190r -- Pictured: Rachel Skarsten as Alice -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

It’s time to focus on family on Batwoman season 3.

Following Ryan’s confrontation of Jada Jet to reveal that she was, in fact, Jada’s long-lost daughter, Batwoman season 3, episode 3 picks up relatively soon afterward… to Jada condemning Ryan to a mother-less life. But before Ryan can even begin to unpack all of this newfound trauma from her cold-hearted birth mother, another of Batman’s trophies — Mr. Freeze‘s canister of liquid nitrogen — begins causing trouble around Gotham.

Meanwhile, Alice is struggling, mentally, and her “sick day” leads her down an interesting path with Mary, who is recognizing her place on the Bat Team with a little help from her sister. Altogether, Batwoman season 3, episode 3 is another super captivating hour, teeing up a number of interesting stories and dynamics that seem to be coming to the forefront moving forward.

Batwoman season 3, episode 3 recap: Freeze

After Jada tells her to hit the road, Ryan meets her older brother, Marquis, who is the Executive Vice President of Jeturian Industries. Hesitant after Jada’s threats to ruin her and Wayne Enterprises if she doesn’t stop seeking answers and connection with her birth family, Ryan is baffled when Marquis shows up unannounced at Wayne tower and confesses that he knows they are siblings. (Nannies talk, you see.)

Marquis has an interesting proposal for Ryan, suggesting they work together behind Jada’s back. But, considering Jada’s power and influence, Ryan deems this opportunity too dangerous, as it would put her loved ones at risk.

Because she’s not feeling well, Ryan and Luke move forward to deal with Mr. Freeze’s lost liquid nitrogen without Alice’s assistance (which is definitely a bummer considering we haven’t really seen Alice and Ryan work together now that the possibility of Alice escaping is no longer on the table).

When Nora Fries and her sister, Dee, are kidnapped by mercenaries that want to use the liquid nitrogen, Ryan is led to a warehouse where she’s trapped inside the machine that froze Nora and is nearly frozen to death. Luckily, some flirting and hard love from Sophie keeps her alive until Luke can break her out. Some more flirting, a car chase, and some badass CGI later, and the liquid nitrogen is recovered, leaving Nora to live out the rest of her shortened life as a “free” woman with her sister at her side.

Since Ryan and Luke have the Fries situation at-hand, Mary is stuck with her villainous sister. As the team doctor, Mary gives Alice a physical exam and finds that the symptoms Alice is complaining of do not exist. She’s faking… or is she? When Alice returns to Arkham after the liquid nitrogen is apprehended, we see what she’s seeing: Little bug-like movements coming from under her skin. Is it a delusion, like the magazine articles she thought were letters from her father? Surely so, since it’s gone just a moment later.

Alice is getting a reality check from Mary and returns the favor, making Mary face her role on the Bat Team. Given her knowledge of Luke’s condition, Mary is struggling with whether to tell Ryan what’s going on since it puts both her and Luke’s lives in danger when they’re out in the field together. Alice warns Mary that Ryan won’t listen if she tells the truth… which is exactly what happens when Mary decides to come forward.

Feeling like she’s on the outside, Mary heads out, having one last visit with Nora Fries and Dee to be the kind-hearted doctor we have always known her to be until she’s caught in Poison Ivy’s vine and dragged away.

Batwoman season 3, episode 3 review: Freezing out

Compared with season 2, Batwoman season 3 feels like an entirely new show (in a good way). There are so many changes that are working together for the better, including the introduction of Ryan’s biological family. One of my favorite aspects of the show that came with Ryan’s introduction was the shift in focus to chosen family, which we saw as her relationships with Mary and Luke developed and she continued mourning for her adopted mother. Because of this, Jada’s presence had me wary about this changing. So far at least, those worries are assuaged.

Jada already is such an interesting character, and it’s clear there are so many layers of her persona to peel back before we see who the real Jada Jet is. Learning that Marquis is Ryan’s older brother certainly shakes things up and makes the mystery of why Jada gave Ryan up more intriguing. Of course, it could just boil down to the fact that Ryan was the product of an extramarital affair, but that seems unlikely in Gotham. The secret of who her birth father really is seems to be something that we’ll be diving into later… another family member to cause trouble for Ryan.

How Ryan is handling this situation is beautiful, and really shows what a mature person she is. The fact that she was able to put her multitude of feelings aside to tell Jada there would be no judgment during their first real conversation on Batwoman season 3, episode 3 is just incredible. Despite what she’s been through, Ryan has such a big heart, and it’s really Jada’s loss that she’s just wanting to kick Ryan to the curb and pretend nothing ever happened. (Still, my belief is Jada is putting on an act because Ryan’s life could potentially still be in danger all of these years later.)

Ryan’s growing bond with Sophie is also a highlight of the season so far, and the possibility of them getting together soon is too exciting. They’re becoming a great pair, and their banter when fighting crime is lovely. It’s also wonderful to see how Sophie is there for Ryan and so deeply concerned for her well-being, which will hopefully be reciprocated in the coming episodes.

Nora and Alice

This new, post-Crisis on Infinite Earths version of Nora Fries on Batwoman season 3, episode 3 is much more enjoyable than the one we were introduced to during the Elseworlds crossover. Her life has been fraught with pain, and it’s sad to see how much those around her have fought and wasted their lives to escape the inevitability of her death.

While this liquid nitrogen canister was probably the least interesting of the Batman trophies we’ve encountered so far, it did lead to some fun moments for the Bat Team (and the CGI department). The bridge scene was incredible, and a great depiction of how Ryan and Luke can work together so successfully in the field. Have to love Sophie in the Bat Cave behind the monitors helping, too, and the unbelievable amount of flirting she was doing with Ryan, even as Ryan almost froze to death.

While the story of the canister was merely so-so, the parallels between Nora and Alice are quite interesting. Both trapped for such large parts of their lives, desperately trying to be free. It’s certainly no coincidence that the episode where Alice’s delusions are addressed is also the episode where fans learn that Nora had trouble returning to life after her 20-year stint in the ice maker.

Though, while Nora has always had someone trying to save her, Alice only had herself to count on, which Alice is never going to let anyone forget. Her “sick day” was a little disappointing since we haven’t seen what this team is really going to look like, as I mentioned before.

But, it’s always a pleasure to see the relationship between Mary and Alice explored. They don’t hold back with each other, and it’s so fun to see their banter. Like Nora said, they fight like sisters, which certainly caught Mary off-guard. There’s clearly some kind of sisterly relationship simmering between them — deep, deep down — but it’s possible the two will never get to the point where they’re able to acknowledge that and move past any of their issues.

Alice’s storyline on Batwoman season 3 has so much potential, and could really change who the character is on a fundamental level. She’s been so busy seeking revenge since she escaped from Cartwright’s farm, now that she has nothing but time to think at Arkham her trauma is bubbling to the surface. How long have these delusions been occurring, and how many errs in judgment were caused by them? Bringing Alice’s story back to the emotional turmoil of being a victim and her mental health is a great way to move her story forward, instead of leaving her stagnant as a villain.


Batwoman season 3, episode 3 is obviously a big episode for Mary, too, who is confronted about her place on the Bat Team by her infuriating sister. It’s sad to see that Alice’s prediction of how Ryan would react to Mary calling attention to Luke’s health and the risk he’s putting them at in the field was exactly right. (Also, Alice does not get nearly enough credit for how smart she is and how incredibly well she can read people.)

However, it’s important that this is addressed. No one has ever taken Mary seriously, and she deserves that. It really feels like Alice takes Mary more seriously than anyone else has over the course of the show, including Kate and Jacob. Her family is Ryan and Luke, and it’s pretty messed up how Luke treated her for being concerned about his life.

Of course, this rift between the Bat Team is only going to be exacerbated by Mary being kidnapped by Poison Ivy in the final moments of the episode. Are Ryan and Luke even going to notice she’s gone? Hopefully, there’s some quick progress in restoring this beautiful family and making it even better than before.

And, can Mary stop being traumatized already? The girl has dealt with quite enough, give her a break.

Batwoman season 3 continues Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET on The CW.

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What did you think of Batwoman season 3, episode 3? Let us know in the comments below!