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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Batwoman Season 2 Episode 9: Rule #1

March 29th, 2021 by Todd Black Comments

After the rather confusing and “plot-twisting” episode of Batwoman last week it was going to be interesting to see how this time-jump episode moved things along with people believing that Kate was dead (she’s not) and how Ryan would handle being Batwoman without a “shadow”…about the same to be honest.

“Rule #1” did do some things right, no doubt. Including the ending where Ryan honestly made a great case for why the Bat-mantle needs to be more than just stopping criminals, it needs to be about bringing the community back to life and leaving something better in its place. Bruce and Kate each did this in their own ways (Bruce in the comics at least) and it’s good to see Ryan do this. It’ll actually be fun to see Ryan work with Jordan (if that is what happens) to make this community center as it would be a true focus for Ryan’s character.

Another good thing was the rise of Black Mask. Not only is he the one who has Kate (and they explain her face change and it was…satisfactory enough), he blames Kate and Batwoman and the Crows for the decaying Gotham and is using the False Face Society to change things “From the Inside”. An interesting take and obviously one who is a stark contrast from past versions, including the beloved version by Ewan McGregor in Birds of Prey.

Other things though didn’t stick as well, including the usual MVP of these episodes in Alice. But I’ll get to her later.

The death of Commissioner Forbes was a great way to escalate things and bring attention away from the past story arc and onto the False Face Society. However, how CONVENIENT was it that Angelique was the one who happened to be the driver right after she tried to get out of the group? Only to be kidnapped and told there’s “no way out”, that seems a bit odd, don’t you think? And her confessing to the crime just seemed like an equally convenient way to temporarily get her out of Ryan’s life.

Sophie’s sister was an interesting addition to the cast, but it was like Ryan dialed up to 11 with how she talked about everything from tagging to “express herself” not wanting to “be a snitch”, and even calling Batwoman a “part of the problem” when that doesn’t make sense at all.

Also, her intro with Forbes was infinitely cringe with him being so overtly racist it was laughable.

Oh, and thank goodness Sophie shutdown that “wing woman” speech because if they did setup Ryan and Sophie it would be so forced and dumb I might stop watching the show on principle alone.

Other things that didn’t add up was the explanation for Alice getting off the island (the island has sewers that lead to the mainland?) her sudden “mental break” that apparently happened a MONTH after she got off the island and a few other odds and ends.

Still, at its core, I’ll give credit where it’s due and state that this was a BETTER episode of Batwoman. It still needs a better direction and here’s hoping Black Mask can deliver it. But we’ll see.

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!