Kate Kane was Batwoman. Now, she’s not. But! She’s making her way back to the CW’s Batwoman, just...not as you may have expected.
Ever since Ruby Rose surprisingly exited Batwoman after its debut season, necessitating the arrival of a brand new Batwoman in the form of Javicia Leslie’s Ryan Wilder, a question on the minds of fans and the show alike has lingered over season two: just where did Kate Kane go?
Kate was believed to have been killed in an extremely explosive plane crash at the beginning of season two, but both Ryan and Kate’s nemesis-sister (nemesister?), Alice, have been searching for her, with the former wanting to save her predecessor in an act of martyrdom, and the latter wanting to kill her because, well, that’s what Alice does. Things came to a head last night in “Survived Much Worse,” when it was revealed to Ryan and Alice alike that Kate is not being held by the villainous Safiyah (Shivani Ghai) on the island of Coryana—and Team Batwoman seemingly find body parts from the crash site matching Kate’s DNA, leading them to believe she’s gone for good.
Except, comic books. It turns out Kate was never on Coryana and is in fact hanging out in Gotham’s sewers like some kind of Frankenkate to recover from her injuries. Injuries so severe she’s literally a whole new woman now—although only glimpsed last night heavily wrapped in bandages (save for, conveniently, around her trademark red necklace), the CW has confirmed that Krypton’s Wallis Day has been cast as Kate Kane’s new face.
“Obviously, this is a huge pivotal moment in the season and the series,” showrunner Caroline Dries told TV Line. “We specifically fold it out in the story in this way so that all of our characters go to Coryana thinking Kate’s alive hoping to find her and discover by the end of it that Kate is dead. It allows them to close that door on Kate Kane and allows them to grieve and move on. We decided to let the audience in on this huge secret that while our characters don’t know she’s alive, she is actually alive. We will watch these two parallel stories of our Bat Team moving on to protect Gotham without being in the shadow of Kate, and Kate going through this complicated and serious journey that will be tough for her and nail-biting to the audience.”
Part of that journey, according to Dries, will be Ryan and the team moving on from Kate now believing that she’s dead. “Always in the back of [Ryan’s] head, she thought this is too good to be true. Kate’s gonna come back, and it’s gonna be stripped away. Now Kate’s been declared dead, and she’s looking at the batsuit realizing, ‘Oh, this isn’t being stripped away. I am Batwoman now,’” Dries added. “Over the course of the next few episodes, she’ll encounter characters that make her look at herself as Batwoman and as Ryan Wilder and realize, ‘I need to embrace this role fully. Nobody’s going to come and take it away from me. So who am I? What do I stand for as Ryan Wilder?’ I would say [she gains more] swagger and confidence, and more conviction to put her stamp on the symbol and Gotham.”
Which means, inevitably, Ryan’s greatest challenge as Batwoman now is going to be how she reacts whenever the new Kate makes herself known to her former friends and allies. For now though, she and Alice alike get to be blissfully unaware that you can’t kill a Kane quite so easily, it seems.
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