Warning: SPOILERS for tonight's Batwoman episode, “Survived Much Worse,” are ahead!
Although Javicia Leslie’s Ryan Wilder is now fighting crime as Batwoman in the Arrowverse, the presence of the mantle’s previous holder, Kate Kane, has very much still lingered on the CW series. In the last several weeks, it’s been revealed that Kate Kane is still alive, but was being held captive by one of Batwoman Season 2’s main villains, Safiyah, on the island of Coryana. Tonight’s episode, “Survived Much Worse,” finally reunited us with Kate, albeit with her face bandaged. But once those bandages come off, don’t expect to see Ruby Rose’s face again, as Kate has been recast.
It’s been revealed that Krypton and The Royals alum Wallis Day has taken over the role of Kate Kane on Batwoman. While Rose expressed interest earlier this month in potentially reprising Kate somewhere down the line, the Batwoman team decided to go in a different direction and simply bring a new actress aboard. To clarify, Day did not actually appear as Kate in “Survived Much Worse,” and due to the injuries she sustained from the plane crash, the character is currently unrecognizable. But we’ll see Day portray Kate later this season.
Seeing Ryan grow into the Batsuit has been priority one from a storytelling point of view, and it’s been a beautiful journey so far witnessing Ryan take on that mantle, and she’s proven to the city by episode 8 that she is Batwoman. She belongs in the suit. And when Kate comes back, and when they discover Kate’s back, that confidence will be rattled a little bit, and she’ll start to wonder, ‘Well, where do I fit?’ And so while the city believes in her, full heartedly, Ryan will go through her own journey of learning to believe in herself, and that’s really something we focus on towards the later part of Season 2.
Caroline Dries also mentioned that with Season 2’s eighth episode marking the midpoint of Batwoman’s current season, she felt it was a “natural place” to bring Kate Kane back into play. As for why Wallis Day was chosen to succeed Ruby Rose as Kate, Dries mentioned that Day had auditioned for Ryan Wilder, and she thought the actress was “super cool and had great swagger and poise.” Combined with seeing people on the internet suggesting that Day take over as Kate, Dries and the other Batwoman creative minds decided bring her into the proceedings.
By the end of “Survived Much Worse,” Batwoman’s main characters are under the impression that Kate Kane did die in that plane crash, as body parts matching her DNA were discovered. But the audience knows better, but as an added twist, Safiyah also admitted that she lied about keeping Kate captive on Coryana (which has now been torched thanks to an angry Alice). Kate’s been nowhere near the island, and is instead being held prisoner somewhere in Gotham City. The latter half of Season 2 will delve into what Kate has been through since we left off with her in the Season 1 finale, and with Roman Sionis, a.k.a. Black Mask, also on the way, there’s a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks.
New episodes of Batwoman air Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. Keep track of when your other favorite shows are airing with our 2021 winter and spring TV schedule.