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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Batwoman Season 2 Episode 14: Justice For All

May 17th, 2021 by Todd Black Comments

It’s a natural form of life that certain TV shows go and emulate the events of the real world. From the war of terror, to drug battles, and of course, civil rights movements. With everything that happened in 2020 in regards to Black Lives Matter via George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the way that many police forces and politicians have tried to “circle the wagons” in order to justify their actions it was only a matter of time before certain “BLM-focused” episodes hit television and ever since January, we’ve honestly gotten them in force, some on the internet would even argue too much. But, not unlike every TV show, you have to judge it based on what is presented, and how it’s presented. If you look at shows like Black Lightning and “The Rookie” you’ll see cases of this being used to good or even great effect, and then you’ll have episodes like “And Justice For All” where the message gets muddied and is as one friend of mine said after watching the episode “performative”.

I’ll start with the other things first so we can get them out of the way. A new batch of Snakebite entered Gotham and it started to turn its victims into ravenous people. Not unlike the infamous “Bath Salts” incident many years back. With a certain zombie movie coming out to Netflix this Friday (from a former DC Comics movie director…) this was a very funny coincidence. It was fun enough and delivered some interesting moments but honestly was more fluff than substance.

Meanwhile, Mary and Jacob had a much needed heart-to-heart about things and Jacob confessed as to why he was using Snakebite himself and Mary rightfully called him out for the “fantasy world” he’s trying to live in. It was a gut-wrenching scene, and yet, there was progress made with them as Jacob started to really see why Mary’s clinic was doing good.

Meanwhile, Alice’s revelation about Kate led her back to Enigma, and then…Ocean killed Enigma before Alice could learn the “password” to Kate’s mind. Why? Because he loves her and Kate didn’t. Wait, what? His logic had some good points but was ultimately flawed. She could’ve gotten the password and THEN had that conversation with her to make it her choice. But instead, he took it from her…because he loves her? Weird way of showing it!

Ok, and now to the Black Lives Matter storyline. While raising money for a fundraiser, the cops of the GCPD abused their power and arrested Ryan, Luke and then Sophie for basically just being black and disputing their authority. Which could’ve been a powerful storyline…if handled right. But not unlike many other shows trying to “force the issue”, they had the cops going and acting as 100% racist as possible in order to make it clear that they’re “racist cops”. It’s not hard to notice!

Fast forward to the “prison cell scene” and we see another reason why Sophie should be Batwoman and not Ryan because of her “I’m Sophie 100% of the time” line while Ryan continues to blast anyone who doesn’t agree with her own point of view, even calling Luke “privileged” even though…you know…his dad got killed by a corrupt Crowe?

Then, there’s Tamarov, who went from just being a gung-ho dick to being a 100% racist gung-ho murderer. And that made no sense because as Sophie noted, she’s in charge with Jacob gone! Yet he had the balls to not only insult her in front of the Crowes, but kill all those people when he was ORDERED to not kill them all because he said they were a “lost cause”. That’s grounds for firing, if not suspension, and yet the writers had Sophie react by quitting the Crowes. Which makes no sense because not only does she know that Jacob isn’t a racist or a bigot (he’s a jerk at times, yes, but he’s nowhere near who we saw tonight) but now she REALLY can’t fix the system from the inside…which is what she’s been proclaiming she would do all season, and last!

The, finally, we have the Luke scene, where he tries to stop a carjacking, gets blamed for it, and gets shot by a Crowe when he pulled out a phone because the officer “thought it was a gun”. Which is another BLM reference because sadly many black men have been killed in that very way.

This was the scene that my friend said was “performative” and they were right, because we KNOW Luke is going t survive, but the men who were shot in real life didn’t live. They’re trying to “make a story” with this civil rights push but they’re forcing the issue on all fronts and can’t seem to find the message that they’re trying to convey outside of “Cops and Crows are bad!” when even the showrunner admitted that the audience knows that’s not the case!

Black Lightning handled this movement beautifully with their tribute to Breonna Taylor (showing what would’ve happened had the girl not been saved by him and all that it would’ve caused) and The Rookie did a long-form storyline of Jackson (a young black cop) being mentored by a corrupt and racist one and all the struggles he had trying to bring him down from the inside. Those shows took the time and effort to not just “reflect the real world” but to make it their own and make it feel meaningful.

With this episode though, they were beating the viewers over the head with it, and this is the kind of episode that turns people off to wanting to talk about Black Lives Matter and other civil rights movements because “TV talks about it all the time”. And now we have to wait a few weeks to see “if Luke survives”. Not a smart way to play things, and this whole episode in ways was not a way to play many different storylines.

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 ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!