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BATWOMAN | S3 E7 Review: “Pick Your Poison”

Batwoman season three is an interesting one.  Seven episodes flew by but now is the time for the CW to lean heavily on holiday-themed programing.  Thus we have reached the mid-season finale. When thinking back on Batwoman; On one hand, you have a show that seems to have reinvented itself for the better.  On the other, you have a show that has two storylines going head-to-head against each other.  New characters, reimagined characters, a twist on the mythology, and a whole lot of chaos sound like a typical night in Gotham.

The mid-season finale “Pick Your Poison” is easily the most ambitious episode of the show, after two episodes that were minimal on the Jets.  Gotham’s worst-acted family is back in full force.  The show is at its worst when Nick Creegan/Marquis Jet is doing whatever the hell he thinks he is doing.  Marquis starts off this episode like a poor man’s version of Black Lightning’s Painkiller, and by the episode’s end, he takes a turn for the worse.

The show excels when Nicole Kang/Mary Hamilton is on the screen.  Kang was one of the weaker points in previous seasons, but in these last few episodes, given proper screen time, she has been able to shine, specifically in her new role of Poison Ivy.  Kang’s attitude and body language are different, and it is a beautiful transformation to watch.  The costume department needs to be put on notice for those boots.  Are they rain boots? I don’t mind the overall outfit; it feels Ivy to me, Smallville leather vest Ivy but still Ivy.  Those boots, on the other hand, must go!  Kang and Rachel Skarsten are a force to be reckoned with the whole episode.  The chemistry between the two of them is a sight to behold.  As the show progresses, you want them on the screen more and more.  I’ve compared Alice to Harley in previous reviews, but this Alice and Ivy could be a nifty fanboy version of Thelma and Louise.

The villain of the week method has worked wonders for the show this season.  Except for “A Lesson from Professor Pyg.” I think that has worked out much better than the Wilder/Jet subplot.  The Jets slow the showdown, and I find it uninteresting.  Now, what is going on with Marquis is becoming interesting.  It’s just that it’s the type of interesting that you know going to end horribly.  If Marquis becomes “the Joker” of the Arrowverse, he will officially take the title of worst Joker ever from Gotham’s Jerome/Jeremiah Valeska.  By the end of the episode, Marquis looks like a rejected backup dancing in Prince’s Batdance.  Other than the Jets, my only other issue with the show is that there is far too less Victorian Cartagena/Renee Montoya.  She gets more name drops than appearances, it seems, she is fantastic in that role, and I hope that changes after the break.  We need to see more Montoya.

One of the many improvements on the show is how they are not afraid to push The CW boundaries.  The fights have been brutal; there have been slasher film kills this season.   The fight choreography has always been good, but now “ferocity” adds to the scene.  I apricate that, in the past seasons, the fights might have been the only reason to watch.

This episode is a nice little microcosm of this season.  The vital elements such as Team Batwoman, Mary, and Alice do a great job overshadowing the harmful elements like the Jets and Marquis.  “Pick Your Poison” is a nice little cliffhanger of an episode that sets up the rest of the season on a tea.  It all depends on where the writers take the show when it returns on January 12, 2022.  Will they lean hard on Alice and Ivy, or will Marquis be Gotham’s new prince of crime?   Either or it was nice to hear that Swamp Thing exists in the Arrowverse! – Peter Verra

GRADE: C

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