Throughout the episode we have flashbacks and details of Ryan’s life before he died in childbirth – his mother died in childbirth and she spent most of her life in foster care, but thanks to his foster mother she was inspired to change her life. They move into an apartment to start a new life, but are immediately ambushed by a group of squatters in the apartment, who turn out to be members of Alice Wonderland’s gang. The gang members killed Ryan’s foster mother and beat Ryan before Alice arrived and ordered them to disperse.
The connection between Alice and Ryan is certainly unexpected, but intriguing. Not only does it maintain the dynamic between Batman and Alice in the comics, but it probably makes it more turbulent than the complicated connection Kate and Alice had. As Leslie and other reporters said at a recent virtual press conference, this rivalry will also highlight some of the bad things Ryan has done.
The interesting thing about this dynamic is that people do things that they sometimes don’t know the impact they can have on others. They do things blindly, as Leslie pointed out. And I think Alice spent most of her life doing what she wanted to do, and there may have been a specific goal, but she didn’t know how that goal affected other people. I think this season will be much like it has been in the past…. Think of how Alice was in that show. It sparked a lot of evil in Gotham, but the story never follows the homeless man in the alley who was hurt by her actions. She is now facing the consequences of her actions. It will certainly be a very interesting relationship between them. It will certainly be a big part of the season, in Ryan’s journey, in Alice’s journey.
Leslie also scoffed at the fact that Ryan’s desire to avenge his mother’s death would affect his entire approach to the role of Batman.
It’s a person in pain. She learned all these different martial arts to protect herself and her mother and her loved ones. And there was nothing she could do. She was taken from him and there was nothing she could do to save her mother. So I understand the driving. So I read the script and I naturally attack that way, Leslie explained. Because if I was brought into this world and this story that I was neglected, that my mother was murdered, that her murder was not solved and that justice was never done, I will have that kind of energy and that kind of drive every time I have a chance to avenge her death or to save someone.
Especially at the beginning of the season, it’s Ryan. She comes first, and that’s what I love about her, Leslie continued. I love the mess she can make because she has to find a way to refine it. She needs to find a way to focus. But I think that’s what makes it so special, because it’s very authentic. It’s very rough. She is very strong in her convictions. And indeed, it will take root. Mary will have to show her that there is a bigger picture, and sometimes that bigger picture will not include justice for your mother. It’s a journey she has to take to be able to forgive, or maybe not.
Batwoman Sundays at 8:07pm on CW.