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"Both you and Bruce stared into the abyss. The question is how long are you going to let it stare back at you?"
Luke to Kate on her regret of killing someone.
"A Narrow Escape" is the seventeenth episode of the first season of Batwoman, and the seventeenth episode overall. It aired on April 26, 2020.

Synopsis

Batwoman encounters a new challenge when an old villain resurfaces, testing the heroics of Gotham's most stand-up citizens. Alice's limits are tested.[src]

Plot

At Arkham Asylum, Alice is inside her mind imagining what her life would be like if she and Kate were normal sisters. Eventually, she is ripped away from this fantasy by an unnamed male doctor, using electroshock therapy on her.

Somewhere else in Gotham City, Batwoman stops a jewel thief but while fighting him, he falls down the stairs, and initially looks like he is dead. She recalls when she killed August Cartwright a while back, and it scares her. Luckily, not too long after, the unnamed criminal regains consciousness, just as some cops are looking for him. Through the comms in her suit, Luke warns Batwoman that she’s got company. At the roof of the building, Batwoman takes off her mask, and takes a few deep breaths to calm herself down. Unfortunately, back at the Batcave, Luke is noticing that Kate’s heart rate is off the charts. She says she’s fine but looks up and sees the Batwoman signal flashing on the night sky.

One week later, the Bat-Signal is flashing late at night and inside a cop car for the Gotham City Police Department, a cop wakes up and hears some beeping. When he looks down, he realizes that a bunch of C4 blocks are wrapped around him. Taped to one of his hands, is a recorder with a note that says “play me” and on his chest, is a timer set to go off in less than twenty four minutes. When he does play it, the person in the recording addresses him as Officer Wilcox, and informs him that he has a bomb strapped to his chest, but that it’s easy to disarm. But when he does, another bomb will go off somewhere in Gotham and kill innocent lives because Officer Wilcox chose to save himself. That same person taunts Wilcox saying that the choice should be easy because a real hero would choose to save innocent lives. Even if they never know of his sacrifice. Ultimately the officer chooses to save himself, and just as promised, the villain identified as The Detonator has a bomb go off on a building somewhere else in Gotham.

The next morning, Vesper talks about the aforementioned villain and how he is back after a seven year hiatus. She continues by saying how The Detonator is out to prove there are no heroes in Gotham. Vesper touches up on the fact that the GCPD officer blew up a bank the night before to save his own tail. She is astonished as she reports how that same officer didn’t hesitate in his choice, since he didn’t let the timer run down into the single digits.

At Mary’s clinic, she treats the second copycat Batwoman in this week alone. The one coming in on this day got hurt after helping a guy out of the bomb wreckage from the bank and the ceiling collapses on her. Mary asks the young woman why she’s pretending to be Batwoman, and the other woman says that she felt she kind of had to since the real one is M.I.A. She also mentions how the city still has PTSD from when Batman left the city behind. After checking the woman’s ribs, Mary tells her that while her heart was in the right place, her ribs are not.

Meanwhile, Julia walks into Kate’s apartment and finds it to be a mess. Julia also tells Kate how Gotham is feeling ghosted by their caped crusader right now. Kate confesses that whenever she puts the suit on now, she just feels guilty after killing Cartwright. Ultimately, she doesn’t want to screw up again and kill somebody else. Julia understands her, but tells Kate that she needs to get over it because she is needed elsewhere. Before she leaves, she tells Kate that Batwoman’s vacation is over.

Back at Arkham, Mouse is talking about the trauma his father inflicted on him in a group that includes Margot and Alice, who feels like they are trapped in yet another cage thanks to her traitorous sister. Mouse doesn’t see it that way, and instead considers it a sanctuary; one where Alice’s family can’t hurt her and where Safiyah can’t find her either. He asks Alice what else she really needs when they at least have each other in here. Dr. M. Butler asks Alice if she would like to share during the group therapy, but Alice chooses to pass. But Tommy Elliot walks in, and takes over the group therapy. Choosing to talk about his obsession with Bruce Wayne that landed him Arkham in the first place. Tommy mentions that his estate has been frozen. When Dr. Butler tries to change to other topics, Tommy lashes out, and gets taken out of the common area.

Sophie and Julia continue working together and back in the Batcave, Luke has a punching bag set out and takes out his aggression on said bag. Luke tells Kate that the reason The Detonator is back has to do with Batwoman not being around to protect the city. He mentions how when the bat’s away, the crazies will play. Kate mentions that it’s only been a week, but he rebuffs her by saying how in that week, the bad guys have been getting comfortable.

Back at the Crows headquarters, Jacob mentions how The Detonator targets people the public view as heroes like firemen, cops, etc. That his modus operandi is to prove they aren’t as heroic as the people like to believe they are.

In the Batcave, Luke brings Kate a bunch of files with possible suspects since Bruce was obsessed with catching The Detonator. But he admits that the trail went cold before Bruce could catch the guy.

At Crows Security, Jacob mentions how all the bombs from seven years ago, and the one that took out Gotham City National Bank not too long ago had the 214 stamped on the plate. Another Crow agent mentions how this information was never released to the public, so it can’t possibly be a copycat now years later. One of those files was that of a guy named George Adler, Sr., who was a private black ops contractor. Adler was fired after getting caught taking selfies with enemy’s corpses. He was subsequently dishonorably discharged, and Kate discovers that the 214 number The Detonator is so fond of, is the same one they use for dishonorable discharge forms (i.e. DD-214). Kate mentions she only knows this since Point Rock also used that same code on her forms when she was expelled from said school for being gay.

In Arkham, Alice taunts Tommy when the two walk by each other by calling him a Bruce Wayne wannabe. She continues to egg him on by saying he will never be like Bruce Wayne, which ultimately leads Tommy to stab her. She hides that weapon and asks for a doctor while she laughs as Tommy is dragged away.

George Adler, Jr’s apartment, he confesses that something in his dad snapped all those years ago and wanted to to prove to people that it’s a lot harder to be a hero when you’re in the heat of it. He claims it’s not him doing things now, and that his dad died in 2013.

At Arkham, Mouse tells Alice once he finally sees her that they put Tommy in solitary. She begins to take off her stitches, where with an Arkham nurse, Alice was able to hide the knife from earlier. Which she tells Mouse will be part of their escape.

Somewhere in Gotham, Bobby Reeves, a lawyer who had previously helped get Reggie Harris out of jail for the alleged murder of Lucius Fox is The Detonator’s latest victim. He calls Jacob to request the Crow’s help. His timer is down to 21 minutes, but he hasn’t pressed the detonator yet, even if he doesn’t consider himself a hero.

Back at the Batcave, Luke talks to Kate through her comms, and wonders if George Adler Jr. didn’t just pick up where his old man left off. Batwoman says George was at work and his alibi checks out while she’s driving through Gotham on her motorcycle. Shortly thereafter, Luke gets some intel on his computers that The Detonator has another victim because The Crows and GCPD are clearing buildings now a mile from Wiget and Brighton. The two quickly realizes that area is right by where Mary runs her secret clinic.

At Mary’s clinic, she refuses to leave her clinic, and the people she is caring for there. The Batwoman copycat asks what she can do to help Mary out. To which the young doctor in training tells her that she can help by getting some people on the ground and covering them with a mattress as a precaution. Kate rushes to Mary but right as Jacob gives Bobby the go ahead to press the button, the building that The Detonator picked is Mary’s clinic. Kate gets hit by the blast. She eventually gets to Mary, but when she sees the woman dressed like Batwoman under some rubble, Kate feels like she can’t be there. She walks out, but Mary walks out hot on her heels, at which point she reveals to Kate she knows about her masquerading as Batwoman. She mentions how she just can’t believe she didn’t figure out sooner.

Mary recalls how Kate hunted down a guy named Derrick Peters and locked him in a urinal, after he ditched her at Homecoming. She continues by saying of course the maniac on the Bat bike was the same maniac who taught her how to drive. Despite Kate not having her licence and totally charmed her way out of a ticket after Mary’s ass got them pulled over. She reveals that Batwoman is the same person she has looked up to her entire life, and tells her step sister that now the city needs her as much as she once did. Kate tells her that it’s not that easy and that she’s not a hero. Mary responds by saying that Batwoman doesn’t take a sick day, and she’s not asking Kate to be a hero, just to keep going.

In Arkham, Mouse stabs Dr. Butler and kills him.

At Wayne Enterprises, Julia and Sophie tell Luke that it took a minute but they figured out the identity of the sniper who killed Reggie Harris. Their investigation led them to the discovery of the person previously living at 2420 Maple Street, which is the same place that previously blew up because of The Detonator copycat. Luke tells the girls about the real Detonator dying in 2013, and finds out it was Miguel Robles, who was a rookie cop at the time. Sophie mentions how Robles is now the Head of the Crows Homicide Division.

At the Crows Headquarters, Jacob gets hit in the back of the head by Robles. Jacob then wakes up and realizes he now has a bomb strapped to his chest. Robles shoots at Batwoman as he’s trying to leave town. Robles confesses to having killed Lucius Fox, when Batwoman asks him about it by saying he is good at tying up loose ends.

Unbeknownst to any of them, in the parking lot underneath Wayne Enterprises, a blue pick up truck with a timer is counting down. The timer is down to less than five minutes as Batwoman fights with Robles. Luke comes to where they are with a gun in one hand, and a gadget on the other, that puts the entirety of the Wayne Enterprises building on lockdown. A handy feature that Lucius planned for years ago.

Robles confesses that he killed Lucius Fox for money that came from the rich asshat known as Tommy Elliot.

Batwoman asks Robles, why in the world Tommy would want Lucius dead, to which Robles states that Tommy paid him 10 grand to rough Lucius up. He confesses to shooting Lucius in the chest by mistake. He used Luke as a way of getting Lucius to listen to him, but instead he charged at Robles. Which leads to the corrupt Crow agent to pull the trigger, and he admits that from there, it all just snowballed.

Seeing Luke ready to kill his father’s murderer, Kate confesses to feeling like a fraud when she puts on the suit after killing Cartwright. She gets closer to Luke and tells him that the world is short on heroes, so he should not let his anger turn him into someone he’s not.

Later, Jacob is telling Sophie he couldn’t have done any of this without her. Sophie tells him she’s really glad to be officially back. He mention that this the start of a major overhaul since Robles gave up everyone who took part Harris’ frame job to avoid the death penalty. Jacob goes on to tell Sophie that they are now draining the swamp. He goes on to further say that he just put a new strike team in place, that Sophie co-heading with Julia, who has just been recently recruited.

At Wayne Tower, Luke thanks Kate for talking him off the ledge the night before. He asks her why she didn’t tell him about Cartwright. Kate admits that it was because she sometimes feels like Luke sees him as some infallible hero that makes the right choice every single time. She adds that she just didn’t want to see the look on his face when he realized he was wrong about her. Luke, for his part, argues that he’s not wrong. Kate counters it by saying that she broke Batman’s code. Luke reveals that so did Bruce and asks her if she has ever wondered why the Joker hasn’t reared his head in five years. Luke tells Kate that the Joker is not in Arkham like the public has been led to believe.

Mary walks into Kate's office talking about the news regarding Batwoman. Luke tries to tell her that Kate and Batwoman are not one in the same, but Kate admits that her step sister already knows.

In Arkham, Mouse is now wearing Dr. Butler’s face and tells Alice it’s the perfect time to break out. But Alice has changed her mind, saying why be rats in the streets of Gotham when they can be royalty inside the walls of Arkham. Alice vows that just when everyone has forgotten them, they will make sure they never forget about them.

Cast

Starring

Guest starring

Co-starring

Gallery

Videos

Trivia

  • Originally scheduled to air on March 29, this episode was pulled due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
    • On March 30, 2020, it was revealed in another press release that Batwoman would return with new episodes on April 26, 2020 alongside Season 5 of Supergirl.[1]
  • The episode had elements similar to the horror movie franchise "Saw" where people awoke and had to play a tape to hear that either they were gonna die or someone else was. Coincidentally, "Jigsaw", aka "Saw 8" premiered on the Syfy Channel at the same time the episode was airing.
  • Mary finally reveals that she knows Kate is Batwoman and thus joins the team.
  • The speech Luke gives to Kate that mentions an abyss is likely a reference to the famous Friedrich W. Nietzsche quote, which says to "beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you."
    • This is also reminiscent of "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Two", when Earth-99 Bruce Wayne spoke with Kate, "It's like a wise man once said; 'Battle not with monster, lest you become a monster' (with Bruce also quoting Nietzsche). I've lost track of how many people I've killed. [...] You start with a code; you hang onto it with every self-righteous breath. But then, you take one life...then another...and another...and another. You'll see. My Kate. My Kate put on the cape...thought she'd succeed where I failed...all she did was get herself killed."

Goofs

  • Leading up to the detonation of the car bomb, the time left is shown to be 1 minute and 12 seconds, but forty seconds later it can be seen that there is 1 minute and 32 seconds. Twenty seconds after this, the timer starts the 10 second countdown.

References

  1. https://www.spoilertv.com/2020/03/the-cw-announces-spring-2020-return.html/ The CW Announces Spring 2020 Return Dates for Postponed Series - SpoilerTV
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