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We know Kate Kane isn't dead, but she sure looks like she is.
Tonight's premiere of Batwoman had a whole lot to accomplish as the show bids farewell to Kate (Ruby Rose) and says hello to its new Batwoman, Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie), and it got going pretty much immediately.
Ryan was, at one point, about to move into an apartment with her mother, but now she lives in a van and parks that van in a place where occasionally, an entire plane crashes to the ground. As Ryan was sifting through the wreckage of that plane and searching for survivors, Luke (Camrus Johnson) was trying desperately to get into contact with Kate, who had flown to National City.
Just as Luke and Mary (Nicole Kang) realized it was Kate's plane that had gone down, Ryan discovered the batsuit in the wreckage and took it back to her van.
We later learned that Ryan's biological mother died in childbirth, but she and her adoptive mother were set to move into an apartment together recently. But when they opened the door, the apartment was full of Alice's thugs. They beat both Ryan's mother and the building manager to death and nearly killed Ryan herself, but she survived and now talks to her plant like it's her mother. She also probably wants some revenge on Alice.
As for Kate, the assumption in Gotham is that she's dead. However, she left a letter in the suit for Sophie (Meagan Tandy) revealing herself to be Batwoman and professing her love. Alice (Rachel Skarsten) also got a note from Safiyah that claimed credit for whatever happened to Kate, though viewers know Kate is not dead.
After it was announced that Rose was leaving the show, showrunner Caroline Dries promised that the show would not become part of the "Bury your gays" trope, meaning they would not be simply killing off their LGBTQ+ main character.
"As a lesbian who's been working as a writer for the past 15 years, I'm well aware of the ‘Bury Your Gays' trope and I have no interest in participating in it. That's why it's important to me as the showrunner to clarify any misinformation out there about Kate Kane and recasting Batwoman," Dries said in a statement. "Like you, I love Kate Kane—she's the reason I wanted to do the show. We'll never erase her. In fact, her disappearance will be one of the mysteries of season two. I don't want to give away any of our surprises, but to all our devoted fans, please know that LGBTQ+ justice is at the very core of what Batwoman is and we have no intention of abandoning that."
If Kate's really not dead, then someone certainly has some explaining to do, but so far we're excited to see where this goes. Javicia Leslie is clearly a star and the villains of Gotham should clearly be very afraid.
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on The CW.