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The ending of Batwoman season 1 explained

Contains spoilers for Batwoman season 1

Batwoman's Kate Kane suited up for the last time in what will be a long time — and in true bat fashion, the CW series' season 1 finale left quite a few things hanging.

The latest addition to the Arrowverse, Batwoman sees Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) taking up the cape following her cousin Bruce Wayne's prolonged and mysterious disappearance. But the return of a bat to Gotham's skies isn't celebrated by everyone, and Kate regularly finds herself battling real and personal demons to protect both the city and the people she loves.

While Kate's alter-ego is a secret, her friends like Bat-tech extraordinaire Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson) and Alfred's daughter and British spy Julia Pennyworth (Christina Wolfe) have provided assists. Less intentionally, Kate's stepsister and medical student Mary Hamilton (Nicole Kang) as well as Sophie Moore (Meagan Tandy) — Kate's requited ex-flame and an agent at the private security agency The Crows — have also lent a hand. Throughout season 1, they've knowingly and unknowingly helped Batwoman take out Gotham's famed criminal underground.

However, some of her biggest adversaries and obstacles have flown closer to home than Kate would like. That certainly plays out on Batwoman season 1, episode 20, "O, Mouse!" — the show's makeshift finale. Unable to complete the season due to Hollywood's coronavirus-related production shutdown, the default Batwoman season 1 end is surprisingly fitting as characters face major betrayals, death, and one bat-tastic twist.

"We ended up dropping only one day of shooting, the way our schedule fell ahead of the pandemic," showrunner Caroline Dries told TVLine. "Losing one day of shooting sucks — I would have loved to have had those scenes in there — but at the end of the day, we had a really solid episode."

Here's the unexpected ending of Batwoman season 1 explained. As an added warning, major spoilers are ahead.

Jacob Kane makes a real enemy of Batwoman — and his daughter.

Throughout Batwoman's first season, Kate took on familiar Gotham villains like the Executioner and Nocturna, but one of the Bat's biggest haters is her very own father. In the Dark Knight's absence, Jacob Kane (Dougray Scott) and the Crows, the security agency he commands, helped give Gotham a sense of safety. It also convinced Jacob that masked vigilantes are the light that lures the city's deadly criminal moths. In a not-so-shocking development on season 1's penultimate episode, "A Secret Kept From All The Rest," Daddy Kane promises Batwoman that the next time they cross paths will be their last.

The finale, "O, Mouse!", sees Jacob make good on that threat, despite Kate's desire to prove to her father that Batwoman is one of the good guys. After a nasty run-in with the Arkham breakout Tim "Titan" Teslow (Terrence Terrell) — a local record-setting linebacker who was exploited and experimented on when he was younger — Batwoman teams up with the Crows to stop Titan's murder spree. But when Kate moves forward with the plan to stop Titan, Jacob reveals his alliance was a setup. The Crows riddle Titan's body with bullets before turning their guns on Batwoman. She escapes — but it's clear that, like Alice, Jacob has crossed a line and caused some serious emotional hurt on Kate's part. 

So, what will happen once he realizes the person he despises is his daughter? According to the series' showrunner, it'll be difficult. "Somebody like Jacob, who's stubborn and who's had a lifelong vendetta against Batman and the bat symbol, they're hard to change," Caroline Dries told Den of Geek. "So it's going to be a bit of a journey for him [on] season two to come to terms with this reality that his daughter's Batwoman when he eventually finds out."

Alice turns on her only confidant as she seeks revenge against her sister, Kate Kane.

At the end of episode 19 of Batwoman season 1, Kate's sister-turned-Wonderland-Gang-leader Alice (Rachel Skarsten) and her partner-in-crime Mouse, played by relative newcomer Sam Littlefield, break out of Arkam with the faceless villain Hush (Gabriel Mann). Consumed by revenge, Batwoman's twisted has all but abandoned her dreams of a "happy" life with her long-time confidant in trauma and crime, Mouse, who now fears they'll be captured and killed without Arkam's protection. On the season 1 finale, Mouse tells Alice of his plans to leave without her, and after failing to convince him to stay, she offers up a going away party as a consolation.

The party is pitched as a trauma-bonding experience wherein Alice and Mouse burn the copy of Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. It's what helped them mentally escape the torture they endured as children at the hands of Mouse's father and grandmother. But as Alice talks about their imagined future, Mouse's nose begins to bleed, and viewers realize that she's poisoned him. As he curls up and dies in her arms, Alice explains she couldn't let him abandon her, too — a gut-punching illustration of how far Alice is willing to go to stay in control.

Batwoman's showrunner Caroline Dries said the betrayal was about showing just how consumed Alice is with her want for revenge. "She didn't appreciate the fact that he had finally found his home, and it's because she's now becoming so selfish in her agenda," Dries told Den of Geek. "She knew that he would always hold her back, and she was so [...] hell-bent on killing Batwoman that he was just going to be an obstacle, and she just couldn't deal with it."

Kate's Kyroptonite is a callback to an Arrowverse crossover

Alice, Mouse, and Hush weren't the only things that emerged from Arkham during Batwoman's last episode of season 1. After Batwoman trades a pair of decoding glasses and a journal for Julia and Luke's lives, Alice and Hush both discover the one thing that can take the Bat down: Kryptonite. So ensues Luke's mission on the season 1 finale to destroy the Kryptonite in Bruce's care. After hammering out some possibilities with Mary, Luke discovers that he can crush it into dust with a hydraulic press.

But Kate has another bit of Kryptonite, and she won't let Luke destroy it because she's keeping it around "for a friend" — an allusion to the pact she made with Supergirl during the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover. Kate doesn't tell Luke and Mary who that "friend" is, but Dries told TVLine that's because that scene didn't get filmed before production was halted. 

"The frame that Kate swipes the Kryptonite out of, that was supposed to be a picture of Kara and Kate. When I saw the cut, it said, 'INSERT PICTURE OF KARA & KATE.' I was like, 'Guys, why is this still in the cut?' They said, 'We can't go and shoot a picture of them together, we're on lockdown," Dries said. "So that was kind of a bummer because I wanted to show that Kate had a picture of Kara in her library because they're friends."

The Batman-obsessed Hush is desperate for a new look, and gets one that's to die for

Batwoman's season 1 finale offers some significant twists that turn several characters inside out. That includes the parallel paths that Jacob and Alice are now on in their quest to take down Batwoman. This renewed focus is what ultimately brings viewers to the episode's battiest reveal.

In exchange for giving Luke's journal to Alice and Mouse, Tommy Elliot, a.k.a. Hush, asks for a new face. But when Alice gives it to him, Tommy doesn't take particularly well to it. So she tries again — and this time, instead of making him a no one, Alice gives Tommy and Gotham a face they love: Bruce Wayne's. Alice has turned Hush into the only other person Kate might let in on the secret about the Kryptonite whereabouts.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dries shared that casting Warren Christie (Alphas, Flashpoint) and his perfect jawline as Bruce ended up being a real negotiation with DC brass, who are generally pretty protective of depictions of the biggest Bat. She was able to do it in the end, of course, and now that decision serves as the finale for season 1. So how do Batwoman's writers plan to tackle season 2 following the return of "Bruce"?

"It's kind of easy to just take the two episodes that we didn't shoot and roll them into season 2. But at the same time, it's our responsibility as creators to tee-up season 2, to make it feel like it's its own thing," Dries explained. "I'm going to keep some of the elements we've already prepped — they take a long time to develop, so I'm really excited about that — and then other things we're going to shift around dynamics to make it feel like this is a new season [with] new dynamics, new drama."