“I’ll Give You A Clue” introduces a new villain, complicates some core relations, and builds to a big revelation.
This recap of Batwoman season 2, episode 13, “I’ll Give You A Clue”, contains spoilers.
“I’ll Give You a Clue” is so-called because it introduces Cluemaster (Rick Miller), a kind of Riddler-lite villain of the week that gives Ryan, Sophie, and Mary an excuse to bond and leads Luke to a potential romance. But the much more impactful developments of the episode have nothing to do with Cluemaster, but with Alice, Black Mask, and “Circe Sionis”, including the long-awaited reveal that the latter is actually a brainwashed Kate Kane. It makes for a serious cliffhanger after a particularly good episode.
Alice spends the entirety of Batwoman season 2, episode 13 as a captive of Black Mask, who wants Batwoman’s identity and is willing to cause Alice considerable pain to get it, and unfortunately for her Jacob is far too strung out on Snakebite to facilitate a rescue. Alice, though, is smart, and she knows that the real Circe died in Arkham, so there’s little doubt in her mind that this new, scarred version is an imposter – and also that, by extension, her claims of being Circe confirm that Roman Sionis is Black Mask.
The Kate thing, though, comes as a surprise after Alice has tailored her a new skin mask and recognizes the tell-tale blue eyes of her presumed dead sister. It’s a big moment, though “I’ll Give You a Clue” is obviously content to wait until next week to unpack it.
The other half of the episode is devoted to Ryan’s continued efforts to find Black Mask despite the interference of Agent Tavaroff and the Crows. But she’s waylaid by the reappearance of Cluemaster, an old villain from Sophie’s past who reveals himself during a ladies’ night in which Sophie, Ryan, and Mary are revealing a lot about their own selves with the help of some tequila that turns out to be poisoned. Thus begins a trail of clues and games that lead the three women to Cluemaster’s daughter, Stephanie Brown, aka Spoiler (Morgan Kohan), a not insignificant character from various DC Bat-Family comics.
Cluemaster’s whole shtick is basically the same as the Riddler’s – he believes he’s the smartest person in Gotham, so the fact that Sophie busted him when she was still a rookie doesn’t sit right. An interesting wrinkle in this story, though, is the fact that Sophie was tipped off by Stephanie and took the credit for the capture, all the same, lending her a bit more moral unscrupulousness even though she claims to have kept up the secrecy at Stephanie’s own request.
Stephanie is also immediately presented as a love interest for Luke – “I think this is how nerds flirt!” – when he’s brought in to decode the cipher that Cluemaster has daubed all over her body. He’s able to do so, but he’s immediately knocked out as a reward, though for unclear reasons. With Luke sidelined, Sophie has no choice but to reveal that she knows Ryan is Batwoman so that she can retrieve the grapple gun from the Batcave. Another big moment and one that you have to assume is going to secure Sophie’s membership in the Bat-Team, even if only temporarily.
Luke is able to save the day in Batwoman season 2, episode 13, which is perhaps just as well given how strongly the episode closes out with its big Kate reveal. There’s a lot going on here in terms of both character and plot and the season is really starting to hit its stride. What happens next is anyone’s guess.