Arrow 7.9 – Elseworlds (part two)

Had some maddening issues getting to watch part two of this story. The Flash played just fine in Google Chrome, but Arrow insisted that I had an ad blocker active when I didn’t, so I had to play it in Internet Explorer, which wouldn’t let me skip ahead afterward to get a screencap or two… maybe I can just get an old-fashioned VHS screener or something. Those never gave me problems…

Anyway, the second part of this story principally serves as an introduction to Kate Kane, who’s not-so-secretly Batwoman, and who is played by Ruby Rose. I wish Rose and the producers the best of luck in launching this show, but I am a little disappointed by the visual choices they’ve made for Gotham City. Our heroes learn that Gotham’s basically a complete hole of a town, and that there used to be an urban legend called Batman keeping the streets safe-ish, but the Batman vanished three years ago, around the same time that billionaire super-industrialist Bruce Wayne went missing.

Kate’s got an explanation, or as much as one as she’s willing to give to the infamous vigilante Green Arrow before telling him to get lost: after Batman left, the city fell further and further apart, and Bruce lost his will to keep fighting to make the city better. Interestingly, Kara lets slip that there’s a Bruce Wayne on her Earth as well, sort of best frenemies with her cousin.

But things sadly move to Arkham Asylum, and it’s so unoriginal and uninventive. Granted, the front atrium of the building becomes the center stage for Diggle (David Ramsey) to have a simply amazing brawl with about a dozen Arkham inmates. But the asylum is the same, dreary, dilapidated, moldy, bare-mattress building that comics and video games have been crapping into existence for three decades and just once I’d like somebody to depict it as a state-of-the-art facility based on an actual 21st Century psychiatric institution. Maybe Bruce Wayne could have spent some of his trillions fixing the Arkham plumbing and its decades-old flickering fluorescent bulbs instead of on more Bat-toys if he really wanted to do something to help the city.

There’s a nice wink at the ’60s Batman in the form of a Shakespeare bust in Kate Kane’s office. I wish the Batwoman show well, and I hope it doesn’t suffer too long from the Dark Knight-shaped hole in its floor.

Photo credit: The Hollywood Reporter

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