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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Batwoman Season 2 Episode 2: Prior Criminal History

January 25th, 2021 by Todd Black Comments

So here we are, two episodes into Season 2 of Batwoman and our new main character and I’m sorry to say that “Prior Criminal History” isn’t much of an improvement on the season premiere. In fact, they go into more cliche territory and try to double down hard on what they feel makes Ryan Wilder “worthy” and it again backfires.

For example, early on in the episode we see Ryan stop a robbery, but in the process get arrested for the crime. This is a trope that’s been used a lot, but it only got weirder and worse when we find out that Sophie has apparently arrested Ryan a lot and treats her like dirt. Including a very dumb “wrong place wrong time” line that was ultimate cringe. Almost as bad as Ryan proclaiming that the only reason Alice was alive…was because Jacob Kane wouldn’t kill a white woman. Wow.

As I noted in my previous review, racial storylines can be handled well in superhero shows as Black Lightning has shown many times. But this was just…too much. And then they used that to get Ryan to realize that Alice was Beth…and then she accuses Mary of being part of the “cover-up”. It was very frustrating, especially after the 180 she pulls when she hears the truth.

Furthermore, they push the idea that she was “destined” to be the bat by having her meet Batwoman in the past…because of course she would meet BOTH Alice AND Batwoman in her life. AND, Batwoman just so HAPPENED to write a diary entry about her…that she of course found and read.

And don’t get me started on the “I hate bats” line. Yes, Bruce hated bats, but his fear was deep-seated and he overcame that fear and used the bat to project his “dread” onto his foes. This was just…not that at all.

Not so ironically, everything that didn’t have to do with Ryan Wilder was mostly good. Outside of the very cliche storyline with Julia and Sophie, that’s just a CW standard in the “you don’t love me because of her” vein and it’s just not worth talking about beyond that.

Jacob and Sophie going to work trying to figure out if Mary and Luke knew about Kate being Batwoman was great. Mary holding up under pressure and Luke using Sophie’s feelings against her was honestly really fun to watch. And then seeing Mary and Jacob connect over their desire to see Kate alive makes me hope we get more of them in the future. Because you can see that Jacob is almost desperate to have Kate back and not make past mistakes and I WANT to see where that takes him.

Alice though was very much the MVP of the episode from start to finish. From her treatment of Mouse (as Luke wisely noted her “anchor” to her humanity), to using the bats to carry out the Desert Rose poison, to her chats with both Julia and Mary, and of course, the “reveal” of how she was sticking it to Safiyah. It was clear that she was having fun while also being very evil. And now that Safiyah will arrive next week I look forward to seeing how it goes with her.

In the end, “Prior Criminal History’ didn’t do much to build up the new Batwoman, and if things don’t change, it may be up to the supporting cast to carry this season.

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!