- "Red is a very symbolic color. It's the color of love, but it's also the color of passion, courage, war. At one point or another, you're going to have to wrestle with all of these emotions, and what defines your character is how you balance them. So keep me close to your heart, because I'll be thinking of you while I wear mine."
- —Gabi Kane to Kate and Beth Kane on the importance of their emotions and connections to one another
"Off With Her Head" is the fifteenth episode of the first season of , and the fifteenth episode overall. It aired on March 15, 2020.
|More of Alice's dark past is uncovered when Cartwright shares a twisted story with Kate while Jacob goes searching for his wayward daughter. Mary and Luke follow a lead on Beth's killer.|
On January, 26, 2003, newly 13-year-olds Kate and Beth are celebrating their Bat Mitzvah. Jacob has just finished packing up all the birthday presents, but as a result, the twins have to go with their mom in the other car. Gabi gifts her daughters necklaces with garnet pendants, their birthstones. She explains that red symbolizes love, as well as passion, courage, and war. Gabi tells Kate and Beth that they will both wrestle with all of these complex feelings in life, but how they ultimately balance them will define their character. She finishes her speech by advising Kate and Beth to keep her close to their hearts because she will be keeping them close to hers, showing off her earrings that match the twins' necklaces.
In the present day, a girl is walking the streets of Gotham City, and is telling someone on her cell phone that a creepy guy is following her. The young woman tells the guy that's following her to leave her alone, but he replies that no one "with legs like [hers]" really wants to be left alone. Batwoman shows up to save the day, but the guy isn’t one to back down so easily. He fights her and when her back is turned, he shoots Batwoman after she had asked the young woman if she was okay. He shoots her multiple times, but eventually she knocks him out with his own gun. The girl tells Batwoman that she'd ask for a selfie, but it looks like she is needed elsewhere and points to the sky.
She gets to the roof of a building that has the Bat-Signal, and finds August Cartwright there. Batwoman checks to see if he is breathing, and finds a note inside his mouth. When she unfolds it, it reads to "ask him about Mommy Dearest".
At The Hold Up, Jacob knocks on the door, and when Kate opens it, he asks his daughter what she couldn't tell him over the phone. Kate asks Jacob to promise her that he won't kill him. Jacob ends up not promising anything, and barges into her bar.
He sees an unconscious August tied to a chair, and asks Kate to explain. She hands him a drink, telling her dad that he is going to need it. Kate reveals that Alice isn't really dead, and that she thinks she left August for Kate to find.
Meanwhile, at Mabel Cartwright's old house, Alice goes in search of Mouse and hears the hissing of gas in the distance. She eventually finds him still tied up and attached to the gas mask. Mouse yells out to stay away from him. But Alice reassures him that it’s her, and that the caterpillar told him where to find him. Mouse believes Alice to be dead since his dad told him he had killed her. It's not until he slaps him, and recites their password that he believes her.
After Mouse tells her that the house they are in right now used to belong to the Queen of Hearts, Alice recalls when on a cold winter day, Mabel Cartwright came to live with them. A young Jonathan asks his father how long his grandmother is staying with them. August chastises his son, and reminds him that there is no way of speaking of his grandmother, and that Mabel can't live on her own anymore.
Mabel meets Alice, and praises her young milky complexion. Alice in turn bows and calls Mabel, her majesty and compliments her purse. Mabel notices the necklace Gabi had gifted Beth and asks where she got it. Alice plays with it, but says she actually can't remember.
Back in the present, Kate and Jacob find out that August Cartwright was in reality using his own human face masks to pose as Ethan Campbell.
August wakes up and Kate gets right to the point, asking him who Mommy Dearest is. He tells them that he's not about to play Alice's games, and refuses to answer.
Over at the decrepit house that once belonged to Mabel, Alice asks Mouse why his own father would keep him in this house and torture him with the fear gas. Mouse reveals that it was so that he could realize what his greatest fear was. Which as it turns out, is Alice herself. Mouse blames Alice for destroying his family and ties her up to the same chair he was on minutes earlier. He then turns the valve on the fear toxin gas and puts the mask onto Alice.
Mouse escapes, but Alice ends up coming face to face with the burned face of Mabel who yells out, "off with your head!" to Alice.
August taunts Kate and Jacob by telling them that Mouse has undoubtedly snapped and likely doused Alice with the fear toxin. He tells the father and daughter that unless adrenaline is administered to Alice quickly, she will be gone forever.
He continues by saying that fear toxin will get rid of whatever sanity Alice has left and is clinging to. August admits that prior to this, all of Alice's plans have been calculated and methodical; with casualties minimized. But that with the fear toxin coursing through her veins, she will either commit suicide or out herself to Gotham and go nuclear. Jacob begins to choke August, but Kate stops her dad from ultimately killing him.
In the past, Mabel tells Alice that she was once as beautiful as she was. But now she sees herself as a circus act. She tells Alice that she has no idea how lucky she is, and reveals that she wasted her life being with a man who never loved her and took too long to die. She tells the young girl that now, not only is she alone, but she's also old.
Mabel then takes a sip of the tea Alice has brought to her, and frowns. She asks her if she has ever made tea. When Alice says she has, Mabel tells her that she should know better than to make it so sweet and slaps her hard across her face. In between the past and present, Alice recalls the times when Mabel would torture her by pouring the boiling hot water for the tea in her hands. Alice screams as she further recalls, when Mabel cut her long hair because she liked it short on her.
Some time passes, and Alice is now older, and desperately searching for the cream that Mabel wanted. She can't find any in the regular fridge, so she goes to the shed to look for more. August finds her about to fiddle with a locked fridge. He tells her they don't keep any cream back here. Alice explains that she's desperate because the queen hates her. August tells Alice that his mother doesn't hate her. But Alice replies back by saying that she does because while she is young and beautiful, Mabel is old and haggard. As a result, August slaps her for how she spoke about his mother.
Jacob promises August that he will find Alice, and then he will skin him alive. Kate tells August as she's filling up a glass of water for him, that Beth used to be kind and good, and had a soft spot for people that probably didn't deserve it. August manages to get one of his hands free, and smashes the glass Kate left by him to slit his throat.
At the junkyard, Mary and Luke find the car that August had previously used, and in the trunk, they find the gun with ammunition that matched the bullet used to kill Beth. However, Kate as Batwoman calls Mary for help with an open wound. Mary asks the female vigilante if she thinks it’s the carotid artery. When she finds out it isn't, Mary tells her that's good, but Batwoman will need to find something to sew the wound up. The only thing she has nearby is a stapler gun, which Mary says wouldn’t be her first choice. Kate uses it to staple up August's wound and the blood stops coming out. Mary asks Batwoman to check if he still has a pulse, and when she finds out he does, Mary tells her that’s good even if he’s a bad guy. But that nevertheless, he will still need medical treatment after this.
When Luke asks Mary what is going on, she tells him that she can't tell him anything because it falls under doctor-vigilante confidentiality.
Back with Alice, the fear toxin has Alice imagining Mabel telling her that she's alone because no one cared enough to find her. She tells Alice that no one came for her then, and no will come to rescue her now.
Alice thinks that Kate came to save her, but it ends up being part of her nightmare and she watches as both her twin sister and her dad leave her after saying she is a lost cause.
August has regained consciousness but taunts Kate by saying she's not a killer yet. She tells August that she is everything that he stripped away from her sister: hope, honor and integrity. In other words, what Beth would have been, if it hadn't been for August.
Kate ends up getting out of August that he’s keeping Alice at 614 Williams Street, and proceeds to give this information to her dad.
At Wayne Tower, Luke finds out that the license plates to the car they found at the junkyard expired 20 years ago, and were previously registered to Mabel Cartwright.
Meanwhile, Alice screams and sobs and eventually is able to get out of her chair. She tries to get out, but the door is locked, and she yells out that she can’t do this again. She goes back down and smashes the glass of one of the basement windows. She is about to slit her throat, when Jacob smashes the door open and pleads with Alice to stop. She tells Jacob to get away from her, as she believes him to not be real. He is able to inject Alice with adrenaline, which nullifies the toxin, and tells her that she’s going to be okay now. She continues to cry and calls Jacob "Daddy" at this moment. Later, he puts a blanket over her and tells him Kate is with Cartwright and that thanks to her he was able to find her in time. Alice asks Jacob why he came running. He admits that it's because he still cares. He wanted to make sure she could still hang onto whatever sense of sanity she still has left.
Through Mary and Luke, Kate finds out that Mabel is dead and that it was August who was driving the car. He admits that he shot Beth, and mentions the earrings his mother coveted so much, which was the root of all these problems.
In the past once more, Mabel asks Alice how the earrings she just put on look. She asks Mabel where she got them, and Mabel tells Alice that they were a gift from his son.
Back in present day, Alice confesses to Jacob that it was at the moment she remembered where she got her necklace. She talks about how it was meant to match her mother's earrings. Jacob asks Alice where Cartwright got the earrings, but Alice tells him that some things are better left unsaid. When he presses for more, she tearfully tells her dad that they came exactly from where he thinks they were.
Back in the past, Alice gets curiouser and curiouser about why the fridge in the shed is locked and eventually gets it opened. Only to see Gabi's severed head sitting in the freezer.
Meanwhile, August explains to Kate that his mother was obsessed with having Gabi's face, especially as she got older. However, he always put it off, as August didn't want to deal with his mother wearing the face of a dead woman. Thus, he gave Mabel the earrings instead as something for his mother to live for.
In the past, Alice kills Mabel by using her oxygen tank as a makeshift flamethrower and burning her alive.
Back in the present, Kate chokes August and inadvertently kills him in a fit of rage. She tries to resuscitate him, but to no avail. Jacob and Alice get to The Hold Up Bar as well, and he tries to resuscitate August telling him to wake up and calling him a son of a bitch. Alice sighs and then congratulates Jacob, telling him that now both of his daughters are killers.
At Wayne Tower, Mary and Luke find out that Mabel died in a house fire seven years ago at age 70 from severe third degree burns. It was right around the time August disappeared. Luke gets frustrated and feels as though they should have seen this coming.
In one of her letters to her Bruce, she explains to her cousin that she crossed a line, and has become one of the very people she was previously fighting against.
She initially texts Sophie asking her if she's awake. Sophie texts back that it’s late and asks Kate if she’s okay. Kate begins typing that she just needs somebody, but instead erases the text message and leaves Sophie on read.
Alice gets close to her sister, and the two share sips of some alcohol. Alice explains they have a long night ahead of themselves because last time she checked, bodies didn't bury themselves.
- Ruby Rose as Kate Kane/Batwoman
- Rachel Skarsten as Beth Kane/Alice
- Meagan Tandy (credit only)
- Nicole Kang as Mary Hamilton
- Camrus Johnson as Luke Fox
- Dougray Scott as Jacob Kane
- Sam Littlefield as Jonathan Cartwright/Mouse
- Debra Mooney as Mabel Cartwright
- John Emmet Tracy as Dr. August Cartwright
- Nicholas Holmes as Young Johnny
- Gracyn Shinyei as Young Kate
- Ava Sleeth as Young Beth
- Michelle Morgan as Gabi Kane
- Briana Skye as Amanda
- John Jarret as Mad Dog
- Mike Kovac as Thug
- Nyla Alleyne as Teenage Girl
- This is the first episode of the series to not feature Meagan Tandy (Sophie Moore) besides the crossover episode "", as well as the first she is credited without appearing.
- The episode title is a reference to the Queen of Hearts' quote "Off with her head!" from Alice in Wonderland.
- One of the meanings of the color red that Gabi mentions is war. In Batwoman: Elegy, Kate mentions that red is the color of war when seeing her Batwoman uniform for the first time, connecting it to the kabbalistic tree of life.
- Mommie Dearest is a reference to the 1981 American docudrama film.
- It depicts Christina Crawford's adoptive mother, actress Joan Crawford as a criminal and how she kidnapped and abused her adopted children for fame and money.
- Dr. Jonathan Crane, otherwise known as the villain Scarecrow, was revealed to be a former colleague of August Cartwright.
- The outfit that a young Beth is wearing now that she's living fully in the "Alice" persona is very similar to the outfit that Alice wears in the 1951 animatic classic Alice in Wonderland.
- The flashback featuring Kate and Beth after their Bat Mitzvah was to be featured in "", but cut for time.
- There is a shot mix-up in the flashback; when Jacob jokes to Kate and Beth that he should give away some of their presents, Gabi is seen hugging someone. In the next shot as the girls answer, Gabi hugs the same person, as no one is seen leaving the synagogue in that shot.
- Oxygen itself isn't flammable, meaning Beth's makeshift flamethrower (oxygen tank) used to kill Mabel wouldn't work. However, she could've still killed Mabel by ripping her oxygen supply out of her nose.
- When Jacob injects Alice with the epipen, he does not remove the blue tab at the top, which is needed in order for the injection to work.
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