- For other episodes of the same name, see Pilot.
- "My dad was running from his pain, but I was running, too. Toward everything that didn't want me. A military academy, a private army, my own father. I spent fifteen years searching for a place I fit, and I think I've finally found it. Some see fear, others hope. I see the freedom to be myself, to play by own rules."
- —Kate Kane
Kate Kane never planned to be Gotham's new vigilante. Gotham is a city in despair, the Gotham City Police Department have been overrun and outgunned by criminal gangs. Enter Jacob Kane and his military-grade Crows Private Security, which now protects the city with omnipresent firepower and militia. Years before, Jacob's first wife and daughter were killed in the crossfire of Gotham crime. He sent his only surviving daughter, Kate Kane, away from Gotham for her safety. After a dishonorable discharge from military school and years of brutal survival training, Kate returns home when the Alice in Wonderland gang targets her father and his security firm by kidnapping his best Crow officer – and Kate's ex-girlfriend – Sophie Moore. Although remarried to wealthy socialite Catherine Hamilton-Kane, who bankrolls the Crows, Jacob is still struggling with the family he lost, while keeping Kate –– the daughter he still has –– at a distance. But Kate is a woman who's done asking for permission. In order to help her family and her city, she'll have to become the one thing her father loathes –– a vigilante. With the help of her compassionate stepsister, Mary, and the crafty Luke Fox, the son of Wayne Enterprises’ tech guru Lucius Fox, Kate Kane continues the legacy of her missing cousin, Bruce Wayne, as Batwoman. Still holding a flame for Sophie, Kate uses everything in her power to combat the dark machinations of the psychotic Alice, who's always somewhere slipping between sane and insane. Armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate soars through the shadowed streets of Gotham as Batwoman.
It's been 3 years since Batman disappeared and left Gotham City, which is currently being protected by Crows Security. Kate Kane has spent years training with combat and survivalist specialists all over the world so that she can become a member of the Crows. As she trains, she reminisces the day her sister, Beth, and mother died in a car crash after Batman failed to save them.
In Gotham, Catherine Hamilton-Kane leads an event to permanently turn off the Bat-Signal. However, the event is crashed by Alice and her gang, and Sophie Moore, a Crow agent, is kidnapped. Kate receives a phone call from her step-sister, Mary Hamilton, who informs Kate of Sophie's disappearance.
As the Crows search for Sophie, Kate returns to Gotham and reunites with her father and the head of the Crows, Jacob Kane. She recalls her time at Point Rock Academy, where she was dishonourably discharged due to her relationship with Sophie.
Kate breaks into Wayne Enterprises due to their considerable surveillance across Gotham, hoping to find a lead on where Sophie was taken. She is apprehended by Luke Fox, the head of Wayne Security, but incapacitates him and downloads a video file of Sophie being abducted.
Kate returns home to find her father, where she is surprised by a welcome home party, and reconnects with Mary and her step-mother Catherine. She presents the video to her father, where she recognises an item from Burnside Orphanage, and deduces that's where Alice has Sophie.
Kate sneaks into Burnside where is knocked out by Alice's gang. Kate awakens to find herself tied up, with Alice suggesting that Sophie is the daughter Jacob always wanted, and telling Kate to send a message to her father: that she isn't afraid of him. Kate is dumped at an illegal clinic run by Mary, who heals Kate.
Kate returns to Wayne Enterprises and discovers that her cousin, Bruce Wayne, is Batman. Luke reveals to Kate that Bruce was unsure what went wrong the day her sister and mother died after the Joker rigged a school bus. Kate takes Bruce's suit and gadgets.
At an event in the park, Alice threatens Jacob with a choice: saving Sophie or the people of Gotham from a bomb. She threatens to detonate the bomb if the Crows attempt anything, and it is revealed that Dodgson, a Crows agent, is working with Alice. Kate arrives, dressed in Bruce's gear, and saves Sophie from Alice. Alice disappears and Kate retrieves her butterfly knife.
Kate's exploits are misinterpreted as Batman's return. She reconnects with Sophie, and discovers Sophie is married to a man. Jacob confesses he never wanted Kate to be a Crow, but offers her a position regardless, which Kate declines. Noticing that the gem on Alice's knife is similar to the one on Beth's necklace, Kate deduces Alice is Beth.
- David Nutter was originally set to direct, but stepped down for personal reasons and was replaced by Marcos Siega. However, he still served as executive producer for this episode.
- Alice makes various Alice in Wonderland references:
- When asking if the people believe Crows Security to be capable of protecting them, she claims to believe "six impossible things before breakfast", a phrase used by the White Queen in Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.
- When she comes face to face with Kate, she quotes "Curiouser and curiouser", as spoken by the character Alice in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
- When introducing herself, she asks "how do you do?", a reference to the song "How D'Ye Do and Shake Hands" from the 1951 film.
- While on the phone with Commander Kane, Alice claims that "we're all mad here", following it up by saying "I'm mad, you're mad", as spoken by the Cheshire Cat in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
- Alice fills the Crows Security truck with explosives, calling them "Forget-Me-Nots".
- With the upper hand on the Crows, Alice directly asks ""How do you like the Queen?", said the Cat", quoting the Cheshire Cat regarding the Red Queen in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
- When Jacob asks why Alice is doing what she's doing, she replies with the infamously unanswered "Why is a raven like a writing desk?", asked by the Hatter in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
- Mary calls herself the "Meredith Grey of Sherwood Forest", referencing the titular character of Grey's Anatomy, and the tales of Robin Hood.
- The footage of The Mark of Zorro playing at the movie in the park pays homage to the comics; it was the film that the Wayne family watched the movie prior to Thomas and Martha's murder.
- When Alice has Kate tied up in Burnside Orphanage, a play on the lullaby "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" can be seen etched into the wall: "Twinkle twinkle little bat, how I wonder where you're at", a reference to Batman's sudden disappearance almost three years prior.
- ↑ "Batwoman - Episode 1.01 - Pilot - Promotional Photos + Press Release" - SpoilerTV
- ↑ "‘Batwoman': David Nutter Departs Pilot as Director, Dougray Scott Cast as Kate Kane’s Father" - The Wrap
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