Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 106, "I'll Be Judge, I'll Be Jury"

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Batwoman I'll Be Judge I'll Be Jury

It took six episodes, but BATWOMAN has delivered a one-and-done murder mystery that was both compelling and character elevating.

There's a new villain in town, who wears an executioner's mask and carries an axe. When he electrocutes a prominent Gotham City prosecutor, whose most famous case was the conviction of Jack Napier, aka The Joker, the GCPD fire up the Bat-signal, seeking help from the city's new bearer of the mantle. This infuriates Jake Kane (DOUGRAY SCOTT), leader of the Crows, and he vows to capture this killer before Batwoman (RUBY ROSE).

The evidence points to a recent parolee, who claimed his innocence down to the last, and who did not go gently to Blackgate when he was convicted and sentenced. After a second person is killed, by a virtual firing squad, Batwoman forms a pattern: the Executioner is using forms of capital punishment previously used in Blackgate -- electricution, firing squad (during the brief tenure of Cobblepot -- a Penguin reference), and the gas chamber. This gives Batwoman and Luke Fox (CAMRUS JOHNSON) the lead they need, as there's only one place in Gotham that stores the necessary components used to make the gas that was utilized for such executions.

While Batwoman cases the warehouse, the Crows chase down the main suspect on foot, taking him into custody. Upon hearing of his capture, Batwoman prepares to return to base, when she is plowed over by a truck that bursts through the warehouse doors -- a truck driven by the Executioner, who steals the components he needed and gets away. Fortunately, the suit, which records all impact data, is able to be used to partially identify the truck, and track it back to its owner, Bertrand Eldon (JIM PIRRI), who spent 20 years at Blackgate -- as an employee. He was the executioner there.

Batwoman slips into Eldon's home and finds the gas canister there, empty save for a thumb drive containing a video confession. Eldon learned that many of the convictions where he pulled the switch were innocent men, sent to prison because they were brown and poor, through the machinations of three corrupt law enforcement officials. Luke isn't buying it, however, because the prosecutor spent a lot of time with his family -- and was instrumental in sending Lucius Fox's killer to prison. If Batwoman proves that the Executioner is telling the truth, it opens the  door for this man to get a new trial. 

As the case unfolds, so do the subplots. Sophie's suspicions that Batwoman is Kate, her former lover, are confirmed. When Sophie (MEAGAN TANDY) is injured, Kate takes her to the underground clinic run by her step-sister, Mary (NICOLE KANG), giving orders not to let Sophie leave. Sophie won't be held, however, and when she tells Mary that she knows Batwoman's identity, Mary compares her betrayal of Batwoman to the way she betrayed Kate years ago in the military academy, which may or may not give Sophie pause in her determination to tell Jake Kane what she knows.

Also, Alice (RACHEL SKARSTEN) is reunited with Mouse (SAM LITTLEFIELD), the supernormal mimic, who sneaks into a laboratory to steal a weapon designed with a singular goal: penetrate the Batsuit. We understand why Alice may want such a weapon, but it's not explained why the lab was developing it for that purpose. However, Mouse is questioning Alice's determination, and is upset that she hasn't killed Batwoman already. Using his mimic talents on the phone with Alice, he learns the reason why Alice is so lenient on Batwoman -- and he doesn't like it one bit.

"I'll Be Judge, I'll Be Jury" is the kind of vigilante justice tale that is perfectly suited for the Bat-universe. Not only is it a neatly tied-up mystery, fitting into one episode, while still laying the groundwork for the season arc, it also provides some major character development touchstones for both Jake Kane and his daughter Kate. This is a turning point for both of them, and it will be interesting to see how things progress from here through the remainder of the season.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0