Even as Javicia Leslie keeps on making Bat-history as the first African-American actor to step into Batwoman’s iconic shoes, The CW had a big casting conundrum to resolve when original Batwoman actor Ruby Rose departed the show after one season. But the series has just found a clever way to address the lingering question of Kate Kane’s fate — while also introducing a new actor to play the part.
**Spoiler Warning: There are spoilers for "Survived Much Worse," the 9th episode of Season 2 of Batwoman, below.**
In “Survived Much Worse,” Sunday’s 9th episode of Batwoman’s sophomore season, fans received a major jolt when a bandaged and unrecognizable (but very much alive) Kate Kane turned up in the aftermath of what the show previously had teased could have been a fatal plane crash. Now a hostage and no doubt altered by the whole experience, Kate’s return didn’t reveal her “new” face by episode’s end. But as the season moves forward, the actor behind all those head wrappings will be Wallis Day (Krypton, The Royals).
Day swept in on Twitter as the big news broke Sunday, sharing with fans her excitement at joining the Bat-verse.
On Monday, Rose took to Instagram to congratulate Day, posting to her story: “I’m sorry I didn’t congratulate @wallisday yesterday...I knew about the casting beforehand and didn’t know when it aired so I forgot to...I’m seeing all the things I’m tagged in with people sad or wondering how I felt...I feel great I have nothing but good vibes.”
Showrunner Caroline Dries shared a little behind-the-scenes info from Sunday’s shocking reveal, explaining to Entertainment Weekly that it was key for the audience to know of Kate’s survival before any of the show’s characters could be let in on the twist.
“[T]he way we revealed it was very specific which is we have the Bat Team and all of Kate's loved ones looking for her for the first half of the season, and they definitively learn that she's dead so that they can now close the book on Kate and grieve,” Dries said, “but the audience is let in on this huge secret that she's alive, and that then propels these two parallel stories moving on to the second half of our season which [are]: the Bat Team coalescing without Kate, and Kate going through her mysterious journey as will unfold as the season goes on.”
Though Day didn’t actually appear in “Survived Much Worse,” The CW has big plans for her character moving forward — starting, of course, with escaping her confinement at a secret Gotham location and reuniting with the rest of the team. Day will portray Kate right alongside Leslie’s Ryan Wilder incarnation of Batwoman through Season 2, and it’s more than safe to say that Leslie isn’t going anywhere. “In fact,” as Deadline observed, “the re-introduction of Kate Kane further solidifies Leslie’s place as the one and only Batwoman.”
If Sunday’s episode was shocking for fans, just imagine how the Bat-family’s gonna feel when episode 10 rolls around. Catch new epsiodes of Batwoman at The CW each Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.
**Editor's Note: This post was updated Monday, March 22 to include Rose's reaction.**