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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Batwoman Season 1 Episode 11: Happy Un-Birthday

January 27th, 2020 by Todd Black Comments

So after the MAJOR shock from last weeks episode, “Happy Un-Birthday” had to deal with a lot. Thankfully, Supergirl unintentionally helped set the tone (via multiple Brainiac-5’s) and allowed this one to breathe on a more personal level. For this “new” Beth was indeed a “copy” from the Multiverse who had somehow gotten to Earth-Prime when the Multiverse was brought back to life. Oops.

What’s more, this version of Beth WAS saved by Kate in the crash when they were younger (though their mom still died), she was familiar with Luke and more, and obviously didn’t have all the horrible things happen to her that Alice did. Oh, and Kate doesn’t have tattoos on Beth’s Earth, neat!

A big part of this episode was everyone coming to terms with Beth being alive, and Ruby Rose really helped sell this, from the outrage she had at first, to the weight of understanding that this was real, to the comfort that she had in hugging the Beth she wished was alive the whole time. Their scenes together were brief (for plot reason) but really wholesome.

Meanwhile, Alice (being the brilliant tactician she is) was three steps ahead of everyone once again, and Mouse hatched a plan to get her out, that eventually ended up with Kate getting kidnapped, Beth having to try and save her, and then Kate saving everyone in the end. It was tense, and fun, and really well done.

We also got more backstory on Alice, and how she became that way. The mental pain that she had to go through, and the true “transformation” moment when her mind broke and Alice was born was really powerful. I know some people don’t like Alice, but I think she’s a perfect foil for Kate. And the subtle details really shined through in this episode. Like how Kate/Sophie had a secret code, but so did Alice/Mouse, and both sides of that equation played a big factor in the episode.

The ending was a little predictable, though I wish it didn’t happen so soon. Unlike in Crisis when Clark met Clark (Clarks?), two different versions of Beth can’t live on the same Earth, and thus, the universe is apparently trying to balance itself back out. We’ll see how this plays out, but it’s clear that Beth isn’t going to be around much longer…

The only truly bad thing about “Happy Un-Birthday” (aside from Mary’s clearly weird reasoning for being ok with Beth being alive…) was the whole “we’re not calling Batwoman because she’s gay” storyline. Seriously, that was the storyline. People were in danger, and the GCPD wouldn’t call Batwoman…because she’s gay. Really? And the funny thing is they had an out to shoot that down when the police commissioner (whose son was also kidnapped) noted that he’s worried about his sons safety, not politics. And yet, they KEPT HARPING ON IT! They kept noting that THIS was the reason Batwoman wasn’t called, it was really dumb!

However, the ending with the protest telling the GCPD to “Turn On The Light!” (referencing the Batsignal) was a cool moment, so a bright spot in a dark (and dumb) plot thread.

In the end, “Happy Un-Birthday” did a really good job of making Beth’s “return” memorable. How long it’ll last is debatable, but we’ll see how it goes.

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Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians (guardians-comic.com). He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!