Batwoman season 1 episode 5 review: Alice’s long, sad tale makes for Batwoman’s best episode yet

Batwoman -- Image Number: BWN105a_0129.jpg -- "Mine Is a Long and a Sad Tale" -- Pictured (L-R): Ruby Rose as Kate Kane and Rachel Skarsten as Alice -- Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Batwoman -- Image Number: BWN105a_0129.jpg -- "Mine Is a Long and a Sad Tale" -- Pictured (L-R): Ruby Rose as Kate Kane and Rachel Skarsten as Alice -- Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Exploring Alice’s harrowing backstory made for one of Batwoman’s best episodes yet — and set up Kate’s major conflict for the remainder of the season.

Last night’s episode of Batwoman finally helped fans understand the reasoning behind Alice’s anger toward her family and her subsequent actions. And even though viewers can’t justify her crimes, it’s impossible not to empathize with Alice’s backstory. Beth had a pretty traumatizing childhood after the tragic accident that took her from her family, and exploring that history made for one of Batwoman’s best (and most disturbing) episodes yet.

The episode opens with Kate capturing Alice, although she agrees to let her sister out from behind bars if she’ll tell her what happened following the accident. The two head to a diner, where Alice begins to tell her long, sad tale — and she’s totally right about needing a drink to ease the impact of the dark story she spins. Unfortunately, she only gets about halfway through before poisoning Kate. When Kate wakes up, she’s locked up in the house she soon finds out was her sister’s prison.

As it turns out, an older man pulled Beth out of the wreckage and brought her back to his home afterward. Something is clearly off from the moment Dr. Campbell is introduced. He assures Beth that he’s called the police to come retrieve her, but it quickly becomes apparent that he’s lying. And when Beth realizes that fact, he locks her in a room, where she becomes the supplier of skin for his son, Mouse, who has a disease that appears to have disfigured half of his face.

While young Mouse is persuaded to keep Beth’s captivity a secret, he clearly empathizes with the girl, and the two form a bond that will drive the coming episodes. It’s revealed later on that she broke him out of Arkham (though we haven’t discovered why he was there just yet). And the two seem to have some grand plan, one that’s going to free them from their difficult pasts.

But Alice also confronts that past when Jacob and Sophie come to save Kate. The emotional scene between Beth and Jacob is one of the best of the episode, and it showcases how close Jacob and Kate were to finding the third member of their family — and just how utterly they failed her. One phonecall all those years ago could have changed the course of Beth’s life, but Jacob was too quick to believe Mouse and Dr. Campbell’s lies, and it cost him his daughter.

It almost cost him more than that, too, considering that Alice attempts to kill him during this week’s episode. Sophie and Kate show up just in time, bargaining Mouse for Jacob, but it’s obvious that Alice’s vendetta against her family hasn’t ended simply because of one loss. And with the guilt building up inside of Kate and Jacob, they’re going to have a hard time taking her down.

This week’s episode was dark and full of flashbacks, making it extremely reminiscent of early Arrow. It also made for one of the better episodes we’ve seen, and the emotional connections between the characters drove the plot forward, for better or for worse.

To balance the darker, more emotional scenes of the episode, fans also got to see more of Mary and Luke — and these two are quickly becoming some of the best side characters in the series. After Catherine owns up to her lies, her daughter is disgusted and shows up at Wayne Enterprises to apologize to Kate. Kate isn’t there, but Luke does get to deal with an extremely drunk Mary — who even laments that she’s never killed anyone, so she should be Kate’s favorite sister. We agree, Mary. We agree.

Next. Batwoman season 1 episode 4 review: The truth will out. dark

Batwoman airs on Sundays at 8 p.m. on The CW. Check back here on Culturess for more updates after the episodes air!