Being Batwoman is hard. Being Batwoman is even harder when your ex comes back into the picture.
Still, you can’t stop true love. Ryan Wilder and Angelique Martin have reunited (fittingly during the Valentine’s Day episode of The CW’s Batwoman), and Gotham has a new power couple. What exactly are we calling them? Rylique? Batgelique? We’ll figure it out.
In the meantime, there’s a lot to catch up on. After all, Ryan and Angelique haven’t spoken since Ryan went to jail for her. It wasn’t until Ryan was forced to confront the Candy Lady once more that she realized, “Maybe I missed the girl who always had my back.”
Clearly, the missing went both ways. After a quick pinky link and a few drinks, we opened this week’s episode with Ryan and Angelique basking in their first “morning after” in some time. Of course, the next question is, “Now what?”
For Bevin Bru, the actress bringing Angelique Martin to life, there’s hope for the two of them, even with Ryan’s new job.
“She loves Ryan to death” Bru tells Culturess. “She doesn’t know she’s Batwoman, but I’m sure if she found out, she would not be surprised that Ryan’s amounted to this incredible thing. She’s always, in a way, looked up to Ryan.”
That said, Angelique isn’t exactly operating above-board in Gotham. She’s gotten clean since Ryan last saw her, but that doesn’t mean Angelique has left Snakebite totally behind. So, where does that leave them? Do Ryan and Angelique have a future?
Read our full discussion with Bru below, covering the depths of Ryan and Angelique’s love and how things are going to look for the couple long-term.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Culturess: I’ve got to say, Angelique sure knows how to make an entrance. We meet you, and you’re immediately fighting Sophie Moore. Not the subtlest way you could’ve come in!
Bru: She’s not a subtle gal, I will say that much. And even this week, [you saw] she’s just not…it’s just not in her DNA.
Culturess: No, not even a little bit. Now, there’s a moment during that fight with Sophie, and you kind of stop and size each other up, and Sophie goes, “Do I know you?” Tell me, Bevin, does she know her?
Bru: I think it’s safe to say, Sophie is a Crow and Angelique is clearly in the Snakebite lab — it’s very possible Sophie has maybe interrogated her in the past, or even arrested her when maybe Angelique looked a little different, when she was younger, something along those lines.
Culturess: Ryan says that Sophie Moore has interrogated her enough that Sophie knows Ryan’s coffee order. With Ryan and Angelique’s past, they had to be rolling together for at least some years before her arrest, right?
Bru: Let’s just say, yeah, you know, as a criminal and as a cop, you’re bound to cross paths. Maybe it’s not so overt. Maybe it’s not directly that you’ve crossed paths, maybe it’s in the perimeter, maybe it’s been through another common denominator.
Culturess: Angelique can certainly hold her own against a Crow. In your mind, did Angelique and Ryan ever train and spar together?
Bru: You know, I’ve never thought about that. To be honest, I feel like my instinct is no here. Angelique is much more of a scrappy kind of fighter. If you look at her fighting style, it’s very, I like to call it “spring break.” Like, throw someone into a TV and over a couch kind of thing, you know? There’s no real technique behind it, whereas Ryan has martial arts training and stuff like that.
I feel like maybe Angelique was a little high, and then Ryan was practicing and [Angelique] was like, “You look really good doing those moves, babe. But I’m gonna let you do those moves babe, and I’m gonna watch you.” [Laughs.]
Culturess: It’s actually a very touching reunion that Ryan and Angelique have. These girls have history. I mean, you did the trope! You went from childhood friends, to lovers, to enemies, and now seemingly back to lovers. What is the emotional journey we’re looking at for Ryan and Angelique this season?
Bru: I mean, imagine your first love in high school, right? Everybody had that love, and nothing ever compares to it. There’s no high like that first love. And I think it’s a version of that, mixed with Gotham. Snakebite. Batwoman. Villains. So, you elevate that times a million, and it’s that feeling of “my soul will forever be connected to you, regardless of if my mind is not, or even my heart may not be, at the moment.”
There’s just this deep thing that, whenever you put these two back together, no matter what’s happened in the past, it all comes rushing back. Whether it is in the form of a full on partnership –girlfriends — or if it’s just best friends. But it’s like, “I just need you in my life. You’re the only person that I trust truly in my life.” So, it’s a beautiful, deep, deep bond. And especially coming from where they came from, the group home, it’s even deeper, even stronger because of that.
Culturess: Javicia Leslie has said that Angelique is Ryan’s kryptonite. No matter what happens, she’s always going to forgive Angelique. There’s always going to be that place for her. Do you think the same can be said for Angelique? Is Ryan her kryptonite?
Bru: Oh, 100 percent. And even more so, because Ryan doesn’t really mess up. It’s me who messes up. [Laughs.] So, it’s like, “Not only are you my kryptonite, you’re my Jesus. You’re my Jesus-nite.” You know, it’s like you’re my savior, my love, my everything.
Angelique is very childlike. I think that’s the Abbott and Costello of them. Ryan has this maturity to her, she has this grounded-ness to her, which is why she makes an amazing Batwoman. If Angelique had found that suit, oh my gosh, it just would’ve been a disaster, you know what I mean? That thing would’ve lasted two weeks, and I think even the villains would’ve been like, “Can somebody stop that thing?” Not even in a bad way, just get rid of it, she’s nuts, she’s ruining it for everybody! So, Angelique has that childlike element to her, which only makes her love for Ryan just so much more intense.
Culturess: You can see their bond right out. You guys have your night of “reconnecting” which, just saying, not very thorough, because Angelique notices Ryan’s Kryptonite wound in the morning.
Bru: [Laughs.] I know. I like to think, you know, I was just putting in a lot of work. Let’s just say I was making up for all the bad things I had done and I was just, I was focusing on one area and really trying to hit it home there. Got tunnel vision a bit. That’s how I justify that.
Culturess: That’s fair. But you see just how big Angelique’s impact is because, up to that point, Ryan’s been working through her Kryptonite poisoning. The very second Angelique tells Ryan she needs to get it looked at, the next scene is Ryan getting treated by Mary. As much as Angelique has been a bad influence in the past, do we maybe see that there is some good influence there as well?
Bru: Oh, 100 percent. Angelique is such a dynamic character because, as much as she is bad, she is 100-percent good. That is just her nature. It’s almost… It’s not volatile, but it’s “I’m gonna make a huge mistake, but then I’m also gonna save your life.” So, it’s that kind of balance.
And, look, Angelique may not have become Batwoman, but she did okay with what she did have, the resources that she had. You’ll see in the later episodes how she finds a way to provide value for Ryan. I think it’s fun for her too, to kind of play, for a second, the caretaker. To cook [Ryan] the meal, to present her place, her new place that she got with the money she’s been making.
So, it’s a little sense of pride for her because she loves Ryan. And she knows that her past is tainted, but she’s reformed, in a way. She’s trying to do better.
Culturess: Is she though? Because let’s talk about that money she’s making. Angelique is supposedly clean now, four months. But she’s not totally out of that world, dealing guests their “party favors.” Is Ryan really going to be cool with Angelique being at all still involved in that?
Bru: No. No, she was never. But this just goes back to Angelique doing the best with what she has, what she knows, what’s available to her. So, you can’t expect a girl who grew up on the streets, who is now making 10 g’s a month at least, let’s just say, selling Snakebite, to say, “Alright, you know what? Screw it, I’m gonna go work at Banana Republic and make $12.50 an hour and live a real noble life.”
It’s like, “Why would I do that? Look at all the money I’m making. I’m clean. I’m good, I’m clean, I ‘tick, tick, tick,’ all the right boxes, so what if I’m selling it? Who cares? I’m making a bunch of money, I’m getting my life together, I’m healthy. What’s the problem? What do you want me to do?”
Culturess: I do want to point out that Angelique is popping up in all of the Batwoman places. She’s in what appears to be Ocean’s lab, her name was first dropped by Victor Zsasz, she’s at the art show. Should we be wary of where Angelique is popping up and maybe how she could tie into Safiyah?
Bru: Here’s one thing about Angelique: She is not a top villain, she is not the brains of any operation, she is very much like Ryan — a person of a modest background. She came from the streets, there’s no superpower, there’s no nothing. I’m very much your average girl, just trying to figure her sh** out. So, I’m in these places because work calls. That’s my job. She’s not like some mega-mind by any stretch of the imagination. Her acquaintances… I think, you know, you meet people in circles, maybe at a bar, you start talking, you giggle, you get along. All criminals know most criminals in Gotham.
Culturess: That’s one of the things I love about Angelique. When you think Gotham villains, you think Joker, Scarecrow, Alice — these big personalities. Angelique is just a drug dealer, which I guess isn’t the worst thing you can be in Gotham.
Bru: I feel like, what she is, is the everyday villain. This is the funny thing that I think about often; she’s the kind of person that you would stamp a villain because you don’t understand them. And I think that that actually translates more into your everyday life. Everybody knows somebody in high school who maybe sold weed or knows someone with a shady past and would claim they’re bad, and write them off, in the same way you would Angelique.
But if you take a moment and stop focusing on what they’re doing, but why they’re doing it, where does that come from? That pain, that confusion. Just who they are. You realize that they’re not villainous. They’re just everyday people doing things that we don’t find normal or comfortable.
Now, I’m not saying anybody should be dealing Snakebite, personally. I am not endorsing that. I’m saying she’s your everyday villain. She’s of the people.
Culturess: Ryan did 18 months in prison for Angelique. As we’ve seen, those 18 months have defined a lot of her current circumstances. Now, Ryan says she’s forgiven Angelique, but is there still some anger there, and maybe some guilt on Angelique’s part?
Bru: That’s definitely going to be addressed later on in the season. Angelique has no idea, really. She thinks she knows what Ryan sacrificed for her, [but] you don’t really have an idea of something like that unless you go through it yourself. Angelique is saying “thank you,” but it can’t possibly come from the place it needs to come because she has no idea what Ryan really sacrificed for her.
It’s not a superficial mentality. I just literally mean it kind of hovers just slightly above the depth of a person. Like I said, she’s childlike. So it’s like, “You did a really amazing thing, thank you with all my soul, here’s a present! That’s good, right? And we’re okay?” It’s that naiveté about her, a little bit.
But, yes, there’s a lot of guilt. And also because they haven’t spoken, Angelique really has no idea what’s going on in Ryan’s life. Ryan, when she went in, she didn’t talk to her for two years. And that wasn’t on Angelique; that was because Ryan wouldn’t take her calls. Understandably! Still, it hurt my feelings a little bit, you know? I miss her, and I want to say sorry and I couldn’t. So, that’s going to be unpacked a bit more in a big way this season.
Batwoman airs on Sundays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.