Batwoman: All 3 seasons ranked from worst to best

Batwoman may have been the Arrowverse's most underrated show, but which of the DC TV series' three seasons stood out as the best?
Batwoman -- “Broken Toys” -- Image Number: BWN311a_0204r -- Pictured: Javicia Leslie as Batwoman -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Batwoman -- “Broken Toys” -- Image Number: BWN311a_0204r -- Pictured: Javicia Leslie as Batwoman -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

DC TV had a home on The CW for over a decade as the network housed all of the Arrowverse programming. The shared universe of superheroes had almost all of the big DC heroes, including The Flash, Supergirl, Green Arrow, and Superman. References to the Bat-Family, however, were mostly absent throughout the first half of its run. That is, until Batwoman arrived and changed the game.

The show had a pretty tumultuous run, hampered in the beginning by a poor trailer and eventually by the departure of Ruby Rose after one season. But Batwoman stabilized, with new lead Javicia Leslie taking over the Scarlet Knight mantle and doing a great job with it. Unfortunately, when the show did find its footing it was cancelled, ending its run after its third season.

The show's cancellation had nothing to do with it, as it proved to be one of The CW's more consistent performers, but new ownership at both The CW and Warner Bros. resulted in it joining a long line of DC shows to be cancelled as the new DC Studios was formed.

Batwoman's run may have been short but there were times it was very, very sweet. Which of its seasons stand out as the best of them all?

Batwoman -- ÒO, Mouse!Ó -- Image Number: BWN120a_0258r -- Pictured: Ruby Rose as Batwoman -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved. /

3. Season 1

While Batwoman started on a high, it took a little time for it to ascend to the heights of its counterparts. Its pilot episode, while entertaining, didn't have the same larger-than-life feel as the likes of Arrowverse counterparts Arrow or Supergirl and there were often times it felt like a rushed Batman movie on a TV budget. It was very decent; just a little flat considering the hype surrounding it.

The good news is that the pilot episode (and whole first season) was leagues above the questionable trailer that had been released ahead of its premiere, and the show found a groove pretty quickly. The Kane family drama guided the season and added a layer of emotional gravity to the series; it also saw it through a series of standalone episodes, with Rachel Skarsten proving to be a scene-stealer as Batwoman's archenemy Alice (and Kate's long-lost sister Beth).

Speaking of standalones, Batwoman did those pretty well and there were some intense and well-choreographed fight sequences that restored that grounded nature the Arrowverse was once known for.

All in all, a great start for the show and a convincing debut for the Bat-Family's most underrated character.

Batwoman season 2
Batwoman -- “Rule #1” -- Image Number: BWN209b_0230r -- Pictured (L-R): Javicia Leslie as Batwoman and Meagan Tandy as Sophie Moore -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

2. Season 2

The second season of Batwoman was a turning point for the show. With Ruby Rose's departure, the creative team opted against immediately recasting Kate Kane and decided to bring in a new original character to become a new Batwoman. Fans weren't sure what to make of this idea at first because they had invested so much time in Kate's story, but those doubts disappeared as soon as Javicia Leslie made her debut as Ryan Wilder.

Ryan wasn't as broody as Kate but she was fighting her own battles, and she saw becoming Batwoman as a means of making a change, standing up to a broken system and protecting those that The Crows often forgot about. Leslie was incredible in the role, quickly adopting the gravity of the mantle while also adding a splash of fun to it, too. And as Gotham City could be a grim place, the show benefitted from that immensely.

Where season 2 struggles is the fact that it isn't quite sure what it wants to be at certain points throughout. The focus on Kate's disappearance and her subsequent return (with Wallis Day now in the role) took up a lot of screentime, and that often left Ryan feeling a little short-changed. It's understandable given that they were shifting lead characters, but that transition period between what Batwoman once was and what it was starting to evolve into took quite some time.

It did find strength in its performances, fight choreography, and Leslie's wonderful leading performance. It's portrayal of Black Mask was pretty strong, too, and there were also some awesome standalone episodes in there (the zombie one!). All in all, Batwoman season 2 reached its destination well, overcoming a few bumps in the road on its way there.

Batwoman season 3
Batwoman -- "Meet Your Maker" -- Image Number: BWN309b_0052r -- Pictured: Javicia Leslie as Batwoman -- Photo: Dean BuscherThe CW -- (C) 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

1. Season 3

To say Batwoman thrived in its third season would be an understatement. The show finally found that footing that it had spent the majority of its run looking for, and it all had to do with the show's sole focus on its new lead, Ryan Wilder. With the Kate Kane arc being left in the past, the third season could place the spotlight solely on her, and it was all the better for it.

Not only was it great to see Ryan involved in all major aspects of the show, this allowed for more exploration of her backstory too, as season 3 introduced her mother Jada Jett and brother Marquis. As a result, she finally felt like the main character of the show, and Batwoman was better off because of it. It was also better off because of its central narrative, which saw a second generation of Batman villains surface after weapons belonging to The Penguin, Mr. Freeze, and the Mad Hatter all found their way into Gotham City, meaning that the Scarlet Knight was about to be tested in a major way.

Speaking of second-generation villains, Marquis became Ryan's Joker, pushing her to her limits and raising the stakes in a way that only an unhinged Clown Prince of Crime could. It was a compelling watch and the personal stakes in the story made it every bit as compelling as the show's original sibling rivalry between Kate and Alice. That, and the awesome addition of Bridget Regan as the original Poison Ivy (as well as Nicole Kang as "Poison Mary"), made season 3 a thrill-ride from start through finish.

Batwoman shouldn't have ended after just three seasons but the creative team made sure it ended on a high.

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