Batwoman star Javicia Leslie teases how [SPOILER] will affect Ryan’s system

Batwoman -- “Prior Criminal History” -- Image Number: BWN202fg_0078r -- Pictured: Javicia Leslie as Ryan Wilder -- Photo: The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Batwoman -- “Prior Criminal History” -- Image Number: BWN202fg_0078r -- Pictured: Javicia Leslie as Ryan Wilder -- Photo: The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Thanks to Tommy Elliot, Batwoman is facing a new complication. But according to Javicia Leslie, it’ll take time for Ryan to accept the help she needs.

Gotham’s new Batwoman has arrived.

Though she hasn’t officially taken up the mantle just yet, Batwoman‘s season two premiere saw Ryan Wilder diving right in, donning the bat suit and looking to take on Gotham’s biggest fish: Alice.

But Ryan’s not the only one trying to harness the power of the bat. Now that he has Bruce Wayne’s face and Bruce Wayne’s money, Tommy Elliot wants Bruce Wayne’s suit.

Though Ryan is able to handle imposter Bruce, she doesn’t walk away totally unscathed. After all, Tommy came armed with a Kryptonite shotgun.

The good news is, the Kryptonite doesn’t kill Ryan — much to Luke’s surprise. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t have more serious consequences. In the closing moments of the episode, with Mary denied the chance to examine the wound, we see that the Kryptonite left a bit more than a bruise.

“Oh 100-percent it’s going to affect Ryan’s system” Leslie confirms to Culturess. “But you also have to remember she’s a very strong and proud woman, and her entire focus right now is to prove that she can be Batwoman, so she’s not going to admit the fact that she’s going through something.”

Obviously, Kryptonite poisoning is no small something. It’s a move that will undoubtedly complicate things, and how exactly Ryan will be able to hide her condition is a mystery. But the “why” is clear-cut.

“She doesn’t want to admit it because she doesn’t want to feel like she’s less than” Leslie says. “She’s been compared to Kate Kane so much that she just wants to show that she’s strong and she deserves to be able to wear this suit and save the world, you know?”

It’s that desire to feel and be powerful enough to help that drives Ryan Wilder through Batwoman‘s whole season. It’s what drives her to pick up and put on the bat suit without hesitation. And it’s a drive that Leslie fully understands.

Part of that understanding comes from having so much time to sit with and learn about her character during quarantine. But a bigger part of it comes from the fact that Leslie has seen aspects of Ryan’s life firsthand.

Her grandmother’s sister was a foster parent, giving Leslie a look at both sides of the system. While her aunt always kept up with her foster kids, even as they entered other homes and adulthood, not every foster parent is as devoted or in it for the right reasons.

“Those were the homes Ryan grew up in” Leslie says. “People just not caring about her, people not fighting for her. And she finally meets someone that wants her, that wants to love her, that wants to take care of her like she should’ve been taken care of her entire life, that wants to be her mother. And they have this strong connection and they’re together and she’s happy! She’s completely happy. And then that happens to her.”

That, of course, being her mother’s murder. Because, as it turns out, Ryan and Alice do have their own connection; when Ryan and her mother move into their new apartment, they startle a group of Alice’s Wonderland gang, resulting in the brutal murder of her mother while Ryan can do nothing but watch.

“So I understand the drive. I would read the scripts and I would innately and naturally attack that way because if I’ve sat in that world, in that history of feeling neglected, of my mom being murdered, of her murder going unsolved, that justice never prevails, I’m going to have that type of energy and that type of drive every single time I get a chance to avenge her death or save anyone.”

If that means running straight at Alice and the False Face Society, all while dealing with Kryptonite poisoning, then so be it. Our new Batwoman won’t be playing it safe this season. She may not know exactly what she’s doing yet, she just knows that she’s doing it.

“Yeah, especially in the beginning part of the season, that’s Ryan. She’s head first at everything. And I actually love that about her” Leslie affirms. “I love how messy that can come across because she has to find a way to hone it, she has to find a way to focus, but I think that’s what makes her so special because she’s very authentic, she’s very raw, she’s very grounded in her beliefs, and really, it’s going to take Luke, it’s going to take Mary to show her there’s a bigger picture, and sometimes that bigger picture will not involve getting justice for your mother. That’s the journey she has to go on to be able to forgive…or maybe she doesn’t.”

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Batwoman airs on Sundays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.