WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “A Narrow Escape,” the latest episode of Batwoman.
Batwoman revealed why the Joker hasn’t reared his ugly head in Arrowverse continuity so far — and teased what that had to do with Bruce Wayne’s mysterious disappearance.
In “A Narrow Escape,” the latest episode, Kate struggled to suit up as Batwoman after she murdered Dr. August Cartwright, the man who kidnapped her sister Beth. For fear of disappointing her friend and confidant Luke Fox, she refused to tell him the truth, which led to a tense reveal towards the end up the episode. This inspired Luke to tell Kate what really happened to the Joker.
As Luke loomed over Miguel Robles, the man who killed his father and got away with it, Kate begged him not to murder Miguel in cold blood. When nothing else seemed to work, she revealed she killed Cartwright, which finally got through to him. “I didn’t want to suit up because I feel like a fraud in this thing,” she admitted. “I had every chance to stop myself and I didn’t.”
Later, Luke asked Kate why she didn’t tell him the truth about Cartwright. “Honestly? Sometimes I feel like you think I’m some infallible hero that makes the right choice every single time. I just didn’t want to see the look on your face when you realized you were wrong,” she said.
“I’m not wrong,” Luke insisted.
“I broke Batman’s code,” she shot back.
“You think you’re the only one?” he retorted, giving Kate pause. “Ever wonder why the Joker hasn’t reared his head in five years? He’s not in Arkham, Kate. Both you and Bruce stared into the abyss. The question is: how long are you going to let it stare back at you?”
In no uncertain terms, Luke revealed Batman broke his “no killing” rule to stop the Joker. This admission not only proves the Joker did exist in the Arrowverse, but that there is a reason we haven’t seen the Clown Prince of Crime pop up since Kate took up the mantle. Further, his death rules out any chances of him appearing on the show down the line, however unlikely that was in the first place.
In the comics, of course, Batman was inspired to become a vigilante after his parents were murdered in front of him. This shaped his whole crusade and led him to implement a strict “no killing” rule. As such, his decision to kill Joker — regardless of whether it was a crime of passion — would have shaken him to his core.
According to Luke, the Joker’s death took place five years prior to the current timeline, where Bruce inexplicably disappeared three years ago. Notably, Luke suggested the magnitude of this action stayed with Bruce. It’s possible, then, that this is what led him to leave. However, the show has yet to reveal what happened to Bruce and why he really disappeared, so we’ll have to keep guessing for now.
Created by Caroline Dries and developed by Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, Batwoman stars Ruby Rose, Rachel Skarsten, Meagan Tandy, Camrus Johnson, Dougray Scott, Elizabeth Anweis and Nicole Kang. The series airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
The latest episode of Batwoman shook up Batman's mythology with a stunning reveal about Joker, as well as Bruce Wayne's last interaction with him.