“Kane, Kate” tees up a big finale with a number of intriguing developments.
This recap of Batwoman season 2, episode 17, “Kane, Kate”, contains spoilers.
After some recent focus on Luke Fox, the penultimate episode of Batwoman’s second season, “Kane, Kate”, really solidifies the conflict between Ryan and… well, Kate Kane, or Circe Sionis, or whatever she’s calling herself now. Perhaps she herself doesn’t even know for sure, and the only way to separate her warring personalities is with the help of Alice, who is dealing with her own personal crisis here after the loss of Ocean thanks to Safiyah.
Alice still seems to be undergoing some kind of redemption arc, though her interactions with Mary are a bit weird in Batwoman season 2, episode 17, and the idea that everyone can just let bygones be bygones is a bit farfetched. The same can be said of resurfacing Kate’s identity, too. This isn’t an easy fix. Even if it weren’t for the whole multiple personality brainwashing things, she has been through a tremendous amount of trauma. This brings the different perspectives of Ryan and Luke into starker relief. The latter – perhaps fearing for the Batwoman mantle if Kate regains her identity, though she doesn’t say so – is adamant that she can’t possibly be the same as she once was; the latter, blinded by his affection for Kate, is adamant that she can, and that Kate’s old journals – you might remember those from the first season, usually being read aloud to cap off episodes – will bring her memories back.
Unsurprisingly, it’s Ryan who is correct. Kate/Circe takes the journals straight back to Roman Sionis, which is bad news, and presumably another rung on the ladder Luke’s descending into vigilantism.
Speaking of Roman, he has a bit more to do in Batwoman season 2, episode 17, since he’s trying to recruit some corrupt law enforcement to his cause, including Agent Tavaroff. This has, obviously, been a major theme of the season, and it crops up again in this episode when Ryan, who has slipped away from the Batcave while all the attention is on Kate in order to investigate some files in the RV, gets arrested for possession of Snakebite syringes that the GCPD obviously planted on her. This fulfills a few purposes, narratively. It forces Ryan to admit to being Batwoman again, this time to her parole officer, which is symbolic given she’s grappling with the idea thanks to Kate’s return. But it also gets her out of the way. And without her, the rest of the Bat-team turn to Kate, who as soon as she is given access to the Batcave tranquilizes Mary, Luke, and Sophie, and goes snooping.
Thanks to Ryan’s confession earlier, she’s able to escape from the GCPD and return to save the day, although her climactic confrontation with Circe is cut short (Batwoman season 2, episode 17 is only the penultimate episode, remember, and that’s finale stuff.) Circe having accessed the Batcave, though, means that there’s all kinds of fun stuff out in the wild now, from Poison Ivy’s ivy to Bane’s venom. The ivy was intended for Safiyah so she can regrow Desert Rose on Coryana, but Alice puts paid to that plan by stabbing Safiyah with her Desert Rose knife, which will keep her comatose but able to suffer – both she and Roman seem to have some unpleasant plans for the future.
With Alice almost on Team Bat by default, and Luke’s transition to Batwing right around the corner, one can’t help but get that finale feeling in “Kane, Kate”. It’ll be interesting to see what next week’s episode delivers.