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'Batwoman' 2.06 Review: Do Not Resuscitate

"You can either keep telling me everything I can’t do, or you can make yourself useful and have my back for once." Tell him, Ryan!

Javicia Leslie as Batwoman.
(Image: © The CW)

Our Verdict

A few high points take it from "meh" to "okay!"

For

  • 🦇Ryan and Luke's confrontation in the Batcave came at the right time.
  • 🦇Mary Hamilton has really been given the opportunity to flourish this season.
  • 🦇Sophie finally getting to see what she causes is a nice touch.

Against

  • 🦇The whole kryptonite situation has dragged on for too long at this point.
  • 🦇The Angelique drama has very little impact because of her refusal to change.

This post contains spoilers for Batwoman.
Read our previous review here.

The truth is squishy sometimes. For Mary Hamilton, who’s never been on her father’s radar, the best thing she can do is keep her medical clinic to herself. Then, for Ryan Wilder, saving her girlfriend from a life of being hunted by the Crows means allowing Sophie Moore to bug her phone with technology that shouldn’t exist in a society that calls itself “free.” Both women are doing what they believe is the right thing, but they’re also living triple lives. Their lies in this instance don’t even touch on the fact the whole Batwoman thing! Of course, nothing ever really goes the way you want it to when you lie for what you think are the right reasons. 

“Do Not Resuscitate” focuses primarily on the continued quest for Coryana and, subsequently, Kate Kane. Mary (Nicole Kang) and Jacob’s (Dougray Scott) are both directly tied to that narrative, but in a way that ties more closely to the flower’s miracle cure and Mary’s involvement of it. We see them hit by a car and kidnapped nearly immediately. Their kidnapper? Aaron Hellzinger (RJ Fetherstonhaugh), a former test patient of Hamilton Dynamics who received brain cancer pressing against his amygdala. The cancer makes him prone to rage fits, which makes him prone to stabbing Jacob to try and get what he wants out of Mary, but he can’t get the cure without first going to the island.

On the other side of Gotham, Ryan (Javicia Leslie) spends some quality time with Angelique (Bevin Bru) in the hospital because of her kryptonite wound. They’re not able to give her answers, but we at least get a good scene with Angelique explaining implicit bias. The two will spend much of the time bickering this episode, but when they’re cute, they’re cute.

Superhero content often struggles with either expecting their viewers to know comic information, or overexplaining a situation to death. Regrettably, this kryptonite arc falls in the latter category. While the fact that Ryan is keeping her injury from Luke for logical reasons that serve the overall narrative, the injury-arc struggles because most of the show’s fanbase knows what kryptonite poisoning is. Even so, Luke (Camrus Johnson) knew from the jump that she was shot with a kryptonite bullet and he absolutely should have known what the rock does to humans when they’re overexposed to the substance. The endgame of the plot is strong, there were just ways to get there that didn’t play up the “what could it be” of it all.

By the time the news of Mary’s kidnapping reached the Batcave, Ryan’s injury has become so unbearable that it’s impossible to hide from Luke anymore. He’s frustrated she didn’t tell him, but he didn’t really create an environment where she felt safe to, so that argument is pretty short-lived. Same with the insistence that she’s in no shape to go save their friend. To be fair, Luke’s right. There’s just not really another option given the fact that Sophie (Meagan Tandy) is already preoccupied.

The Crows’ second in command is given more of a meaningful arc this week. Her desperation to find Kate results in her ruining Ryan and Angelique’s relationship but, given Angelique’s refusal to stop her drug trade, it’s kind of difficult to be sad that she’ll be out of Ryan’s orbit for at least a little bit. More importantly, the tech that resulted in the breakup means that Sophie is given a first-row seat to what her selfishness causes to happen in other people’s lives. She could use a few more doses of that, without question, but baby steps!

Batwoman manages to suffer through the pain long enough to save Mary, and Jacob (and eventually Sophie), but not without handing over the map to Coryana over Saphiyah’s (Shivaani Ghai) lackeys. To make matters worse, Mary’s hope that they’ll have a better chance at finding the island if they work together is squashed when Jacob immediately insists that she shut down her clinic the moment he finds out about it. It’s a messy day in the Kane-Hamilton family, but hey! When isn’t it?

At the end of the day, “Do Not Resuscitate” doesn’t have the same impact that the first five episodes of the season have, but it’s a twenty-two-episode arc. It’s not filler, it’s not exposition-heavy, it’s just an ok chapter in a much larger narrative! Ryan and Luke finally having their moment was a solid addition, as was her callout for him working with Alice (Rachel Skarsten) and Sophie. Ultimately this was the right episode to have run against the Golden Globes when your ratings were going to take a hit no matter what you put forward.