White text tells us this happened fifteen years ago.
Batwoman, recognizable because of her bright red hair, as a
child, is sitting in the backseat of a car with her identical twin, Beth. Gabi
Kane, their mother, is driving, dressed in military clothing. Side-pitch: since
this is a women-focused story, but also just because it plays against type and
I think it would add to the diversity of the DCmovieU, I’d suggest
gender-swapping the parents. For the pitch I’ll assume we keep it as it has
been, but I strongly feel that would be the better story.
“You need to tell them, Jacob,” Gabi insists to Kate’s
father, who is in the passenger seat. “It’s the only way they can protect
themselves.” He unbuckles his seatbelt, to lean back and talk to them. He
hesitates, not knowing where to begin. Gabi intercedes. “Your father is doing
important work. Bad people have been infiltrating the military, people who
don’t think our country should be for all kinds of people, regardless of color,
creed, or who they are.”
“Right,” Jacob takes over. “I’m heading up an investigation
into those people. And because of the duty I’ve agreed to carry out, those bad
people and their friends have been making threats. Against me, against your
mother,” he has trouble forcing himself to say the next words, until Gabi takes
his hand, “and against the two of you. And I didn’t, I haven’t known how to
tell you. Because you’re too young to have to know how awful the world can be.
But my first duty is to protect you, and the best way to do that is to tell you
to be careful. These bad people can look just like you or me. They might come
dressed in BDUs. They might talk the talk, they might even have a life of
military service under their belt. But if you ever have a question, whether or
not someone is safe, you ask me, you ask your mother, and we’ll tell you
straight, even if the answer is we don’t know, and you need to be wary. Can I
trust you girls to be on overwatch for me?”
The girls stiffen up, and tell them, “Yes, sir.” They barely
get time to recognize his smile, because Gabi shoves him back into his seat, and we now see a large
dump truck barreling down on them before it hits. We see broken images, as Kate
goes in and out of consciousness. Gunmen in black paramilitary gear violently
open the car doors. One shoots Gabi Kane in the head as she resists (feebly,
because she’s groggy from the airbag). On the other side, one of them tells
Jacob he was told what would happen if he persisted, and Jacob is smacked in
the face with the butt of a rifle. A bag is shoved over Kate’s head, and we cut
to black, and modern day.
It’s a dark, stormy night. Commissioner Gordon is speaking
to the Mayor, trying to convince her that she’s going to be safe, that his men
can handle, “a little weasel like Jervis Tetch.” He’s got half the
S.W.A.T. team on the mansion grounds, anything short of Batman wouldn’t be able
to- he stops, because two of the S.W.A.T. officers are suddenly there, deserting
their posts on the perimeter. Gordon prepares to give them a dressing down,
when he notices the vacant look in their eyes, and tells the Mayor to get
behind him, as he pulls his gun.
We cut to the aftermath, as Batgirl and Batwoman patrol the
scene, one-upping one another as they reconstruct the events from the evidence.
There’s an added layer, as Batgirl is concerned about her missing father; the
rivalry is mostly a distraction from that worry for her; for Batwoman, it’s
very much that while she’s trained, and older, she’s also green, looking to
prove herself. But we start at the point that Gordon put a bullet into the door
frame. Batwoman insists he missed. Batgirl assumes, correctly, that the first
was a warning shot, an attempt to roust them from their stupor. When it didn’t
work, he gave each man a flesh wound. But there were more of them, other
officers flooded into the room. Gordon put up a fight, trying to protect the Mayor
long enough for her to get away, but that’s when Mad Hatter himself showed up
(casting suggestion: Jack McBreyer, Kenneth from 30 Rock; watch him in the ’21
season of Nailed It, he’s a manic little chaos gremlin who would be perfect
for the role and also kind of looks the part). Gordon was attacked by a new
player, a woman, judging by the height difference, and the hole left in the
drywall by her heel. Gordon was overwhelmed; blood on the scene is his type,
but there’s not much of it- they were clearly trying to keep from hurting him
there. He was carried off by two of the officers, along with the Mayor.
Batwoman is distracted, and she’s clearly thinking back to a
different night, a different kidnapping. Text, fifteen years ago. We don’t see
this flashback from Kate’s POV. Instead we’re focused on her father. He’s
riding along with a police team, including Gordon, at that point a Sergeant.
He’s wearing black, not his military uniform. Gordon notices Jacob is armed. “I
was asked to let you ride along, but there is no way in hell I’m letting you
inside with that firearm.”
“All respect due, Sergeant, if it were your little girl in
there, would anything short of someone putting a bullet in you stop you?” We
think it’s going to be a pissing contest, but Kane sees Gordon’s hand at his
cuffs, and relents. “I’ll stay out of your way, scout’s honor. But the second
I see my girls I’m getting between them and danger. I’m not failing them
again.” It’s the pain in his voice that stops Gordon.
“That sidearm stays in its holster, unless and until it’s a
matter of life and death. I don’t want them walking on a technicality.”
“I don’t want them walking, period- but it’s your rodeo.”
Gordon’s team kick in the doors. Kate is tied, blindfolded,
propped against a wall. There’s another body, definitely dead, obscured by a
hood but with a bloodied bullet hole in the head that everyone is going to
assume is Beth. Gunfire erupts, with Kate caught in the middle of it, exposed
out in the open. True to his word Jacob runs through the gunfire, and covers
Kate with his body, taking a shot meant for her head in the meat of his arm.
Gordon hesitates for a moment, his team at a severe
disadvantage with two civilians out in the open, before demanding the team
deploy smoke and lay cover fire. It buys Jacob a window to lift Kate up. Her
hood falls, and he begs her not to look as he runs back towards Gordon. We see
one of the gunman has the police flanked, and is drawing on Gordon, when a shot
rings out, and he drops. Gordon sees that Jacob is holding his daughter in one
arm, and his sidearm in the other. Gordon tells Kane to get his daughter
outside. For a moment, from Kate’s POV, we watch as she sees what she thinks is
her sister’s body on the floor.
They return to the Clocktower, and consult with Batman over
a video link. Also in the room with them are Black Bat, Oracle, Spoiler and
Question (the Renee Montoya version from Birds of Prey). Batgirl thinks she’s
in charge, having been at this longer and with less support. Batwoman, by dint
of being former military and older, thinks she’s in charge. Spoiler’s just happy
to be there- she’s only filled in for Robin a handful of times when they needed
someone to double so Tim could be in the same place as Robin. Cassandra feels
like she’s just thrilled to finally be on the team; she still loves Harley, but
she’s crazy. A great friend, and if you can only have one person in your corner
she would do literally insane things to protect you, but she’s not a role
model, either. And Question is really just there because of Batwoman; they
haven’t started dating, but each suspects the other is interested and they’re
at that point of mutual interest.
Batman tells them they’re going to have to handle Jervis-
that he and the other Batmen have been infected by the Fluoronic Man, that
while he works on an antidote, he can’t trust any of them to leave the cave, so
they’ll have to handle Mad Hatter. Oracle is able to hack the security cameras
at the Mayor’s mansion, and from that they realize that ‘Alice’ is the one
assisting the Mad Hatter. She looks, initially, like another of Mad Hatter’s
automatons, until it comes to fighting Gordon- then she comes alive, and the
results are brutal. They place a heart-shaped crown on the Mayor and on
Gordon, before carrying them out.
Batwoman reasons that if they’re assembling the most
powerful people in Gotham, there are some obvious next victims: Bruce Wayne
might make the top 10, but next up is definitely going to be the Colonel in
charge of the nearby military base. After forcefully making her case, Batwoman
breaks away from the rest of them, to make a phone call, trying to raise her
father. We start in on his phone, panning over his desk, including his name
tag, including his rank. She whispers, “Pick up, dad.”
We cut to earlier, Kate, with her hair cut military-short,
is wearing BDUs. She opens a door into a military office, a nice one, for the
colonel in charge of her base. We flash white text that says “Ten years
earlier” (though we’ll have to update that; the policy essentially changed in July
2011, on paper in September, so this needs to be set before that). She’s been
summoned. Her father is sitting in the CO’s chair, and spins around. Kate says
he’s not her CO. “Nope, kiddo. I’m here as a favor.” Kate assumes he means to
the CO. “No. To you. Your CO isn’t supposed to ask. But the problem is, you aren’t
leaving her room for plausible deniability that policy runs on.”
“It’s bad policy, dad.”
“No question. Impacts morale. Forces men and women of honor
to live duplicitously. Creates fractured loyalty. But even a full-bird Colonel
can’t change it- can’t even question it. I’m here, as proud father, as a man who loves you more
than any other ever will, asking, please, for your sake, to be discreet.”
“I can’t. Because my dad, and my mother, raised me better.
To be proud. To be honest. And I can’t be both while following that
policy. So maybe I can’t be here anymore.”
“I didn’t want it to go this way,” he says.
“But still, you knew it would.” She stands next to him, and
puts her head on his shoulder. “Thanks for being here,” she says, as a tear
rolls off her cheek and onto his collar.
We pan across a similar office, to see some blood pooled on
the corner of the desk. A hand grabs the blood, and a man pulls himself up.
It’s the Colonel, wearing his military hat with a blank look on his face. He
snaps to when Mad Hatter enters the room. Hatter snaps off a half-assed salute,
and says he doesn’t stand on ceremony; he only cares that the military has
access to the kinds of chemicals he needs.
The Batwomen infiltrate the military base. Batgirl is a
taskmaster, insisting that the military can’t know they’re there, that
the bats essentially have a détente with the American government, including its
shadier operators like Amanda Waller- and those shadier elements in particular
are just looking for an excuse to put Gotham under martial law. Depending on
where we are in the President Luthor storyline, we might well mention that part
of why he got so much support from the military was his tendency to elevate
them as the preferred alternative to superheroes. Batwoman bristles at a lot of
this, instinctively feeling like she belongs on the other side of that line-
even though she’s clearly on the vigilante side, now.
They manage to arrive at the worst possible moment, as the
villains make off with a stolen plane, full of chemical weapons. The Batwomen
end up stealing a plane of their own to hide their identities as the military
swoop in. Batwoman is able to baffle them with bullshit over the radio- with
just enough military and Colonel Kane knowledge to talk them out of shooting
down the plane, calling it a military requisition, one tacitly approved by
Colonel Kane himself, telling the officer to call him and ask- which he should
be doing before shooting down a military plane as it stands. Kate insists
Barbara land the bird, now, because it bought them seconds, not minutes,
and the military will shoot them down.
They scatter, and meet back up at the Clocktower later.
Oracle managed to trace the tracker on the other plane; eventually it lost its
mind, after it was hacked, because the tracker started flying in the opposite
direction mid-air. Batwoman argues it wasn’t hacked; simpler explanation is
that it’s Gotham, where impossible things just require doing a favor for the
wrong kind of man. Oracle agrees to chase the box with a drone, and we’ll
eventually see she was right, that it was Man-Bat who carried the tracker out
of the plane mid-air. But it was already beginning a descent for a landing at a
small airport outside the city. The Batwomen depart to intercept.
I think they manage to rescue all of Hatter’s kidnapped
victims, but Alice has already abandoned him, having gotten what she came for,
including chemical weapons and a plane. To get any useful intel, they have to
deprogram Mad Hatter; see, they captured him, but they didn’t just want his
cooperation, they encouraged obsession, obedience- Alice wrapped him so
thoroughly around his little finger that he thought he was the one in charge,
not her. Batwoman and the Colonel do the deprogramming, this not being his
first rodeo with this kind of thing- in fact, he suspects and his theory is
proven out that these are the same people he’s been fighting his whole career. That
was why he got stationed in Gotham all these years, and why he’s resisted
promotion or anything else that might take him away from the epicenter of their
activity. He tells them it was easier, during the War on Terror, because the
Church of Crime were basically Fundamentalist Terrorist, if their only
religious precept was to do crimes. He also admits to Kate that he’s been
trying to figure out for years how to apologize to her- that they contacted him
before she was outed. They were the ones putting pressure on the Department of
Defense to discipline her- that he was the reason she was forced out.
But there’s more to it than that. We get a montage, Batgirl
followed a hunch, or really, Oracle followed Man-Bat back to his belfry, which
turned out to be a Church of Crime stronghold. Batgirl drops a big, illustrated
Bible down on the table. Man-Bat, when she dosed him with Batman’s curative
agent, was similarly brain-washed. We get a quickie action scene flashback, the
other Batwomen kicking their way through some lower-level churchies, before
they take on Man-Bat. In close-quarters he’s at a disadvantage, and can’t fly,
and Black Bat is able to sneak up on him and dose him before he can escape.
Batgirl relates that Lykos wasn’t making any kind of sense, but he was pretty
sure Batwoman had been on their radar for a lot longer than any of them
realized. Batgirl opens to a page painted with a rendering of Batwoman. It’s
more gothic, more theatric, also old. Batgirl, at least preliminarily, has
tested the pages, and the chemicals react like it was painted more than a
hundred years ago- they’ve been waiting for her, and if half of what Lykos said
is accurate, they got tired of waiting, and decided to create her, instead.
Alice runs the Church of Crime (but outsiders call it the
Cult of Crime). She’s essentially David Koresh, if he wanted Waco, but also if
he expected to win Waco. That’s why she’s been gathering her army of
cops and military men, and has been training others using them to be even more
The Colonel breaks in to discuss his findings, that the
Church began with white supremacists and other far-right groups, because it was
where vulnerable, disaffected men were congregating. It was looking for a
certain kind of moral flexibility, and encouraged those men to become police,
military, anyone who could be of influence in their coming campaign.
So the finale is going to be showstopping, the Batwomen
having to infiltrate, all while keeping the Batman rule in effect (no killing),
because at least half of the military/police at the compound were abducted into
it. Once they’ve secured the facility, the Colonel rides in with the full army,
and secures them, but Alice has already gone, taken the chemical weapons she
stole up in the plane for the next part of her plan. See, fully 2/3 of her
agents have been returned to their former lives, and re-embedded in the
military and police. She plans to activate them when the fighting starts.
That’s how she plans to win. But the opening salvo is unleashing chemical death
on Gotham, killing millions and making sure that the forces of order show up in
force. The Batwomen take a plane up, one that Barbara can fly, so it’s Kate and
Alice and the other bats on the plane. Eventually, Oracle is able to get the
plane to return ‘home’ automatically, so Barbara can join the fight.
But the part that’s really a kick in the berries is
Alice herself. See, she locks her and Batwoman in the hold of the plane, where
the chemical weapons are, while her hench-people fight the others. She reveals
to Kate that yes, they created her. They knew that a Bat needs a tragedy, but
even losing her mother, losing her sister, wasn’t enough. Kate was too
resilient, took too well to military discipline. She needed to be a rogue
operator- so she had to be cut lose. She tells her it took years, a
hundred little stumbles, a phone call here, a temptation there, a roadblock
there, all to keep Kate pliable, self-destructive, angry. If they’d only
known that her father lied to her all these years, it might have been easier;
they had laid out her quest so carefully, and yet, Jacob refused to start her
on her journey. Her sister wasn’t dead. The girl was just some collateral
damage. But they had her sister for fifteen years, a lifetime, really.
For years they wondered why Kate didn’t come looking for her… it was only when
Alice took the Colonel that she finally learned the truth- that Kate didn’t
know. This entire time they’re fighting, Kate becoming more unhinged, more
angry, more brutal, closer to using lethal force. “All this time, I’ve been
trying to twist the knife, without realizing I’d missed the mark.”
Kate stumbles back, Alice’s knife sticking out of her chest.
“I’d started to think there was something about me, that maybe you just
didn’t care enough to rescue me. Sins of the father, huh?” It’s Batgirl who
manages to get the compartment open. Alice is convinced she’s won, that their
prophecies state that after she cuts out the Batwoman’s heart, she’s
unstoppable. It doesn’t matter what they do next- she’s already won.
“How’s our girl?” Batgirl asks.
“Woman,” Batwoman croaks.
Black Bat, who after getting shot in BoP2 has taken first
aid really seriously, is seeing to her. “Stable. Heart rate’s steady, and from
the sonagram it looks like the knife missed the heart.”
“Seems like trying to force your prophecy backfired.”
Batgirl tosses a pair of cuffs at her feet. “You stabbed my friend. You put
those on, and I’ll try to remember which side of the line I’m on.”
Spoiler, who is, still, pretty much just happy to be
included, “I’m just happy for a chance to kick you.”
“Two on one doesn’t seem all that ‘right side of the line to
me,’ Alice says, drawing two ornate pistols from under a large skirt. Batarangs
hit her hands before she can aim them, and she drops them.
“You can still choose the cuffs; they’ll just hurt more now,”
Batgirl tells her. Alice chooses instead to hit the button opening the rear of
Batgirl glances at the poison, and the two lines trailed
from it to the open door.. “It’s a gravity feed,” she says. Pilot tilts this
plane even a few more degrees and we’re going to start spraying poison.”
“But I wanted to kick her,” Spoiler groans. She runs out of
the room. We follow her, through the body, with lots of henchpeople, a few of whom
stir and she kicks back down. Then she gets to the cockpit door, which she
wires with plastique and blows. Then she puts the sharpened edge of a batarang
into the pilot’s throat, and tells him to keep it steady, or he’s drinking what’s
left of the poison. He tells her he’d rather die than betray his mistress. She
says he says that, but if she has to slit his throat, she’s pretty sure even
she can keep a plane steady. Only difference is he’d be dead and Batman would
scowl at her, and probably never let her be a Robin again- which she’s not sure
she’s got the legs for anyway, frankly.
In the rear, Black Bat is trying to hurry Barbara along,
because a few hour class from the Red Cross really doesn’t cover nearly-stabbed
hearts. Batgirl fights, but what she doesn’t realize, initially, is that Alice
isn’t focused on her, or the poison, but on Kate. She tears the batarangs from
her hands and flings them at Kate, sticking Black Bat to the wall with one. She
proves to have one more knife, and manages to get the upper hand with Barbara,
preparing to stab her and saying idly that perhaps it will make a woman out of
her- hoping that maybe killing Batgirl will count towards the prophecy,
instead. Kate shoves her, knocking her to the lip of the plane. Kate is
immediately, with a knife still in her chest, trying to help her up. “Beth.
Please. Take my hand. We can fix this. We can be a family again. We can be whole.”
“The only way I can be whole,” Alice says, letting go of the
door and reaching for the knife even as Kate tries to take her hand. Alice
twists the knife, and Kate drops her, and she falls towards the harbor below. The
plane lurches, and we watch poison start down the tube, before the plane rights
itself, and our characters rush to the cockpit. Spoiler is sitting in the pilot
seat, with the old pilot sprawled.
“I’m not really sure I can keep us level without hitting a
Black Bat arrives. “Yeah, I closed the back door so the
poison wouldn’t, you know, kill everyone.” Batgirl takes over flying. The
Colonel calls them over the radio, and Batwoman discusses returning the plane.
The military police want to take the bats into custody. The Colonel insists
that they were never there at all, that it would wound morale to have it
exposed that they lost chemical weapons to one of Gotham’s garden-variety crazies.
Batwoman is extra cold to the Colonel as she leaves.
Later, the Colonel shows at her cave. “Best divers at the
base couldn’t find her.”
“You told me she was dead.” Kate says, opening her
door. He doesn’t play coy.
“That’s what I thought, at the time. The girl they
mutilated, at least with her head missing, was a ringer for Beth. They fudged
the blood work; fudged the DNA, too. But somehow… I still knew. I stole a
sample myself, and paid to have it tested blind, at an independent lab. I tried
to tell you, a hundred different times. But you found a way to be happy. I
couldn’t snatch that way from you again- I couldn’t drag you back down into the
hell I was trapped in.”
“We could have been there together,” she says. “And I will
be blisteringly furious with you, for longer than may seem fair. But we’ll get
through this like a family, too.” They rest their heads against one another. “I
“Me, too, kiddo.”
Mid-credits scene: The Colonel pulls away from Batwoman.
“But, uh, this wasn’t a social call. That, gas… I know some of your people were
exposed, whether or not Batman wanted me to. But it’s spreading. I don’t know
if it’s just a change in the wind, or they’re pumping more of it out into the
streets. Gordon’s been trying to keep his men out of it; he lost a couple teams
before they figured out how noxious it is, that it can enter through skin, air,
water. We were lucky, the other day it was raining it stopped shy of the East
Side, or it would be in the drinking water by now. That luck won’t hold.
We have to do something.”
End-credits scene: Barbara is listening to a voicemail from
her dad. “This has been a long-time coming, Barbara. I’ve turned a blind eye,
pretended I wasn’t a cop, or a father.
And don’t get me wrong, the city owes you and your friends a debt, a
dozen times over… but we need to talk.” She hangs up the message as she enters
the Clocktower. Oracle tells her the caller waited to speak to her directly.
I’m largely agnostic as to which Siren we get. Marketing
would dictate we get whoever is most popular (likely Harley). Budget would
likely dictate we use whoever’s cheapest, and I’d say pinch those pennies,
because we’re going to need every single one of them for the next one, because
it’s basically Endgame for the ladies of the DCU (and we really should spend
accordingly). So our Siren (I’m just going to assume that it’s Ivy) tells
Batgirl they screwed up. They thought they could stop the Fluoronic Man
themselves. But now it’s clear he’s working at the behest (or at least to the
benefit) of the city’s male crime lords, turning anyone who is exposed to Ivy’s
altered pheromones into a violent misogynist.
Bonus: Birds of Prey 3: Birds of a Feather
The Birds of Prey (along with the balance of the Batwomen) have
to team up with the Gotham City Sirens, because the male crime-lords in town
partnered with Jason Woodrue to use Ivy’s pheromones against all the men in the
city (I’m thinking at least Penguin, Two-Face and the Ventriloquist will be our
fodder villains for this one). To complicate things, before the Sirens sit down
with the Birds of Prey, Ivy made a desperate plea to Alec Holland to try and
stop Woodrue… only for him to fall under the spell of her purloined pheromones.
We probably start the story en media res, with Harley, Catwoman and Black Bat
managing to break Ivy out of the clutches of Woodrue. This leads Woodrue to
unleash his altered pheromone into the city, where all of the men turn
incredibly hostile- basically normal men on the street attack them. The crime
bosses use this chaos to their advantage; Batman is able to quarantine Gotham’s
male heroes in the cave while he works on an antidote… all while being a pretty
demented bastard all the same on their video link. This leaves things up to the
ladies to fix. I think the way we first introduce this, is Harley is sneaking
off from Ivy to meet with Jason Todd. Black Bat knows that, because she also
knows the context: Harley feels terrible for her part in kidnapping and
torturing him. She’s trying to make amends, and at the same time there’s really
no one else who understands what she went through like Jason does. It starts as
a two-person support group, but will grow from there.
Harley is nervous being in the back of a plane again. The
last time she was in one, everybody died, and she’s having flashbacks. It’s
mostly an excuse to show a montage of moments from the Suicide Squad (I figure
if we build it into our mythos eventually people will watch it enough for it to
become profitable- and it is a fun movie- which is why next year I’ll pitch a
follow-up… but shhh). The montage ends with Flag, and we cut back to Harley in
the back of the plane, a tear sliding down her cheek, “I miss Milton.”
Black Bat notices, and sits beside her in the plane, and
takes her hand, “Harley, it’s going to be okay.”
“Is it?” she asks, trauma clearly having taken the wheel.
“At any second Waller might kick in the door and decide to try to kill me
again. And this plant dick took Ivy… I don’t know what I’d do if anything
happened to her.”
“I know,” Black Bat soothes, “we’re getting her back.”
“How’s our mental patient?” Catwoman asks, emerging from the
“Still crazy after all these years,” Black Bat says. “But
she’s good. Because she has to be.”
“She’s your responsibility. I’m getting Ivy out, because I
don’t like owing favors. But the headcase is yours to babysit. If she goes to
pieces, we may not have the space to put her back together.”
“I trust her. She’s just… her last time in a plane didn’t go
“We don’t have time for trauma. We need to jump in fifteen
seconds.” Catwoman flings a parachute at Harley, and it flies past, before she
raises her hand. Catwoman looks at Black Bat.
“She’s good,” Cassandra insists. “She’s rallying.”
Catwoman runs out of the plan and leaps gracefully into a
leap past camera. Black Bat helps Harley into her parachute. “What if I can’t
do this?” Harley asks.
“I’m pretty sure,” Black Bat glances at the cockpit, to see
the stick is tied in place with a whip, “yeah, by engaging the autopilot Selena
meant this stolen plane is going to crash as a distraction, so we don’t have
much choice. Come on.” Black Bat takes her hand and pulls her to the door and
jumps with her.
They’re buffeted by a bad wind, and separated, and Black Bat
gets caught up in a tree as a patrol arrives. For a moment it looks bad.
Then Harley pops up out of the grass and takes the patrol apart with swift,
acrobatic efficiency. Catwoman’s already up in the tree and slices Black Bat
out of her chute, and she falls with a somewhat comedic thud, before standing
and brushing herself off.
“Jumping out of a perfectly functional plane is just crazy
enough to be in my wheelhouse. What I meant was what if I’m not functional
enough to save Ivy, to infiltrate this ‘compound,’ to be the kind of partner
I’ve always wanted…”
“Harley,” Black Bat interrupts, “I love the brilliant,
fucked up way your head works. But the reason I trust you, even now,
with my life, is that when you follow your heart, I’ve never seen it steer you
wrong. So when I say you can do this, I mean that you will, if you can just
stay out of your own way. Okay?”
“Yeah,” Harley says.
“You two ever consider motivational speaking?” Catwoman
asks, slinking down the tree. “Or getting your own Lifetime movie? Or maybe
just starting a nationwide hug tour?”
“Ignore her,” Harley says, “she deflects genuine emotion
because she’s worried if she doesn’t immediately bat it away people will
understand how desperately she craves it, and to belong.”
Catwoman is not happy being analyzed; Black Bat puts
up her hands. “You poked that bear.”
“Doing this for Ivy,” Catwoman says, annoyed. “Silver
lining: maybe the two of you will get shot in the process.”
I’m assuming, since this is a big, ambitious swing already,
that we should just montage them breaking in, taking out some guards, and
rescuing Ivy, where we slow down again, because Harley wraps her arms around
Ivy and kisses her. It needs to be a moment… but afterwards, it needs to not be
a big deal, too (because I want them together, and happy, but if we make it too
much of a thing then it’s like there’s something atypical about women finding
love together… and there isn’t).
“What took you?” Ivy asks gently; she’s trying to keep it
light, bantery, and not let on how scared she’s been, how much being used by
Jason Woodrue has psychologically or physically taxed her, because she knows
Harley has been merciless with herself, so she has to compensate by
“Traffic,” Harley says, half a laugh, half a sob.
“No crying,” Catwoman says, almost accusatory, but we can tell,
too, it’s because it’s affecting her.
“In baseball?” Harley asks, raising her bat. The Sirens
stomp together, as we do another quick montage (because we have so much
story to get through on this one).
They get free, and we’re going to do a quick little
flashback. Again, I don’t want to make a thing about them, like there’s
anything odd about their pairing… but I like this moment. This is the moment it
all comes out in the open.
“I didn’t look for you because you were probably the only
person at Arkham who tried to understand me. I knew the tendency for a patient
to put their doctor on a pedestal; I told myself you were doing a job, and
doing it well, and that can be sexy, in its own right. I knew not to assume it
meant anything, either about how I felt about you, or about how you felt about
“But then I saw you, with Cassie, and out in the world, as
yourself, strong, confident, but with a heart so big and open that of course it
flashed like a giant kick me sign to a monster like the Joker, but also… that
showed just how warm, loving, and compassionate you were, how much you wanted
for someone to love you like you love everyone. And that you could see
people like us as… people. That’s a damning statement, to be sure, about our
society, and the mental health profession, but you’ve always been a diamond,”
she touches the diamond pattern on her right wrist, “and you’ve always deserved
someone who saw that,” she kisses her.
Black Bat interrupts the story, and we reveal that Harley
and Ivy are cuddling on a loveseat, while the other two are sitting in the same
room. “I’m out. It’s like listening to 2 out of my 3 moms talk about making
out. I’m out,” she reiterates as she leaves the room.
Catwoman sits quietly in her chair and stares.
“I had a cat like you,” Harley says. “Would just sit in the
corner of my room and stair. Until I brought a guy home. Or a girl home. Or
anyone else. And then, she’d lock eyes with me, and only then, she’d start to
bathe.” Catwoman frowns, trying to
figure out her meaning, before just leaving the room.
“I don’t mind an audience, but a part of me did want
you just for myself.” I want her to have that, too, so we’re going to fade to
We fade back in the next morning. I don’t care who wants
what, but I really want to emphasize the humanity in this moment, the
normalcy; one of them is snoring just buzzsaw loud, and the other has just left
a puddle of drool on the other. And even this, I know, could be filmed with the
male gaze in mind- but it shoudn’t. They should look like the room got
hit with a hurricane, their hair should be mussed, as little makeup as possible
(I mean, the characters are usually caked in it, so I’m genuinely not sure
what’s supposed to be their skin and what’s makeup), but they are frumped to a
degree that even Margot Robbie (and presumably Lake Bell, because that’s great
casting) look like normal human beings. Black Bat knocks on the door, and comes
in, keeping her arm over her eyes. “I really, really, hate to intrude on your
love nest- like, I don’t know the words in English to express how much I don’t
want to intrude,” (I like the idea of her spouting something in Mandarin or
whatever to prove that the words exist, at least somewhere).
Harley wakes up, and feels self-conscious, picking up that
Cass expects a sexed-up Adventureland, “Yep, the air is thick with the smells
of sex and sensual oils and lubricants and just,” and tries to mop up the
drool, wake up Ivy, all while making the both of them look a little more put
together than they were (this should be silly and fun, not for gratification).
“Okay, whoa, already way more information than I would have
ever wanted to know. But before I exit, you should know… it’s spreading. Ivy’s
pheromones, Woodrue had enough of them that he’s blanketing the entire city. It
isn’t just our neighborhood that’s a nightmare. It’s the entire city.”
“Let us get dressed.”
“Oh, God, no more,” Cassandra moans.
“We’ll be out in a minute.”
“Why didn’t you tell her the truth?” Ivy asks.
“What, that I took a beautiful woman to bed and then
proceeded to drool all over her stomach? That I was snoring so loud it bugged
me even in my own dreams. That despite my days being consumed with thoughts of
sex and death the entire time you were missing, once you were back, all I could
do was pass out next to you?”
Ivy, again, is gentle with her, recognizing Harley’s
spiraling. “I didn’t know if I’d ever see you again. I just needed you to hold
“And I couldn’t even do that right.”
“The drooling wasn’t exactly what I expected. But I slept
like a baby. I felt safe with you. It was exactly what I needed.”
“Yeah?” Harley asked.
“Being with someone isn’t just about rocking their
world sexually. You also want to be comfortable just being with them.
Feeling safe, and secure and, and loved.”
“Yeah,” Harley says, realizing how much she needed to hear
that, and cuddling up against her. “I love you, Ivy.”
“I love you, too, Harls.”
Damnit. Okay. That’s on me. I promise I’m going to try and
stop being so damned enamored of the two of them together that I can get back
to pitching. I think the best way to get this story moving again is to take a peek
at the other side of the aisle, namely the ‘good’ guys.
We watch Barbara walk by her suit in the Clocktower; she’s
wearing clothes for a run. She tells Oracle that she needs to pick up an
assignment from school, but then she’ll be back, and asks if Oracle needs
anything. She asks for a Yoohoo (or other product placement to be paid for
There’s something on the air as she puts in her earbuds and
puts on some music. We’re going to leave the music on for most of her run, at
least until the insanity gets to be so much she silences it, and suddenly is
faced to confront exactly how screwed up the few blocks she’s ran are. I figure
this is one long take (but possibly with some hidden cuts, if need be). First
she runs by a man who is clearly screaming at her, partially dodging to avoid
specks of spittle flying through the air. Unfortunately, this is Gotham, so
angry men yelling at random women on the street is a thing, and doesn’t phase
her. At a hot dog cart, a man and a woman with a baby in a stroller seem to be
altercating, when the man raises his hand. Barbara grabs the hook of his elbow
and uses it to roll him over her back without stopping. She runs a little
further, and a man takes a swing at her. She puts him down without any problem,
only for another man to attack her. And a third. She puts them all down with
ease, but we pull back, to reveal that this has all happened on the same
block. Barbara turns down her music and calls Oracle. “Oracle, what the
hell is going on?”
“You know that weird fog on the waterfront that turned any
man who came into contact into a woman-hating troll? Yeah, well, it’s spread
across the whole city. It’s chaos. Figured you knew.”
“I slept in. I’m going to head back to the Clocktower.
Something tells me we’re going to need to handle this.”
We cut to Batgirl arriving. “So I called Batman, like you
asked. He’s aware, by the way. Um… I’m struggling. I know this isn’t a typical
workplace or… anything approaching a normal situation. I guess I just never
imagined I’d ever hear Batman call me a c-word.”
“And he called you, uh, B-girl.”
“Well, that is my-” she realizes Oracle means the other
“Oh. I’m sorry you had to hear that.”
“It was more, comically surreal. But… he’s terrifying. Most of
the time I don’t breathe when he calls. And I even noticed he noticed, and has
tried to emote more, which should make me feel more comfortable, that he’s
trying, but it’s like watching the Tin Man try to be more emotional by wearing
Totos face. But it’s only right now, when I actually saw what he’s like when
he’s threatening. And the idea that he could stay like this…”
“We’ll fix it.
“Almost makes me feel sorry for criminals. Not because of
what he does do, but because… because of what he could do, what I now
realize he might do. Gives me the feeling he is one day where they give
him a shot of espresso instead of decaf from being Joker in a cowl.”
“Maybe that’s why he doesn’t drink caffeine at all- just
doesn’t trust himself.”
“Really? Does he even sleep? And he still doesn’t touch
caffeine? How does he stay up.”
“The Calvin Klein cologne? Does he chug it?”
“Will. Same way he’s still remaining functional, if a bit…
jerkier than usual.”
“Feels like an understatement, but yeah, he’s still working,
with all the other Robins, Nightwings, Red Hoods and whatevers in the cave with
him. He’s isolated the compounds. Definitely bears some signatures worth being
concerned over. Three names, at least trying to read between the lines; he was
editorializing some, especially when it came to Ivy. But it was her pheromones.
But they seemed altered, in a way that makes him suspect Swamp Thing and Jason
Woodrue are involved.”
“That’s bad,” Batgirl reacts. “Really bad. Ivy on her
own is trouble. Ivy and Woodrue are extinction level trouble. Swamp Thing would
have been our go-to guy to help with it, but if he’s working with them, or they
have him… call everybody.”
“Let me rephrase. Everyone without a y chromosome. Anyone
who can help, we need on standby, or here if they can swing it”
“What about Batwing?” Batgirl doesn’t follow. “They’re
Barbara sighs. “I’ll text Batman. If this goes down to the
chromosomal level, it might make sense to have Batwing sequester with the rest
in the cave. But if not, it’s all hands on deck.”
We’re back in Ivy and Harley’s apartment. Ivy is wearing a
shirt from Arkham (yeah, like she did in the first Arkham game), and is
drinking coffee. “So… I’ve been talking to some of the houseplants.”
“You, too? They only seem to want to talk to me about
celebrity butts. You?”
“That’s not them, hon, it’s a voice in your head. No, the
plants tell me Alec was here.”
“Alec, Alec… why doesn’t that name ring a bell?”
“He was my ex. Is sort of dead. And a plant elemental.”
“You used to bang the plant guy?” Harley asks, amused,
horrified, intrigued, confused. “I mean, there’s bumping uglies and then
there’s bumping uglies.”
“I swear, I did not know, or I would have at least
straightened up before he grew out of a few bags of fertilizer in the tub. He
said it was the fastest way to get here from ‘the Swamp,’ which I really hadn’t
expected to be all so literal. One of the bat people owed me a favor, got me
his number, when you went missing. I thought plant guy, wearing a trench coat,
he must be some kind of plant dick, and, not you know, your old plant d-”
“It was his friend who wore the trench coat. But it worked,
I guess. You found me.”
“We did… just not at first. He led us into a trap. A
trap for him, I think, or at least a trap for if he came looking for you.”
“Oh, no. A couple nights ago? When Woodrue’s experiments got
a lot worse.”
“Yeah,” Harley says meekly. “But he did get us the lead that
got you back.”
“For which I am grateful, but… do you understand what Alec Holland
is?” Harley shrugs. “He is basically a plant god. Meaning, he could take my
pheromones, and increase their potency. He could probably even reproduce them.
That’s why Woodrue didn’t put up much of a fight when you came for me- because
I was redundant. And now it’s a race against time, and we’re starting
from behind.” She finishes her coffee and turns around. “How much pull do you
have with these bat people?”
“Like I asked for a tour of the Batcave or for them to drive
us around in the Batmobile while we made out in the back seat.”
“And they said ‘no?’”
“No back seat. The rest all depends. Are we asking to work
with them, or trying to scam ‘em?”
“If you don’t at least leave the possibility of the latter
open I’m never talking to either of you again,” Catwoman says, pouring herself
a bowl of milk.
Ivy’s prepared. “I spoke with the city’s Economy Development
Corporation, and they estimate there are half a million cats in Gotham City. I
know cats are survivors and all, but what happens if jilted men decide to take
their anger out on women’s cats, or worse, if my pheromones end up working just
as well on male cats.”
Catwoman stops lapping at the bowl. “Can I at least steal
something, when this is all over, so I don’t feel like a complete sap?”
“Sure,” they both say with a shrug.
Birds of Prey/Batwomen assemble at the tower, with the
promise that the rest are dealing with a bigger threat outside of Gotham, but
will be there as soon as they can wrap it up. Then they get the call from the
Sirens, all agreeing to work together.
Oracle has been able to put together the records from all of
their Woodrue-related locations so far. And it seems he’s been using places,
money and resources from three separate crime families. Analysis of recent
police surveillance has proven that the three seem to be working together, and
that they need to hit all three crime bosses at once, to mop up as much of
their men and resources as possible. They split into three teams, with Ivy’s
team going to where they think Swamp Thing is/Penguin, Batgirl and the Birds of
Prey going after Woodrue/Two-Face, and Batwoman and the other Batwomen going
after the location where the pheromones are all stored to destroy them/Ventriloquist
(he’s squatting on old Joker territory; he lost clout after fallout from BoP2,
especially with his willingness to sacrifice his henchmen for a joke)- that
meant the Ventriloquist had a lot of territory with abandoned chemical
storage/disposal, perfect for the pheromones they pumped out of Ivy.
The Batwomen easily deal with the Ventriloquist, Scarface
and his vanilla mooks. Then they realize there was a lot more pheromone than
they realized- acres of it. Batwoman calls her father. The base is still
observing chemical weapons protocols, so they’re fine, if somewhat understaffed.
He agrees to help her bomb the pheromone storage (I think he loads a plane with
explosives and arranges for Kate to steal it, having learned since the last
movie how to fly a plane… ish- the main sticking point being her landings are
still mostly crashes in the simulator).
Ivy leads the Sirens to rescue Alec. Penguin, slightly
impacted by the pheromones (but having always been a dick) gets the snot kicked
out of him, and realizing how ridiculously powerful Ivy is, decide not to screw
with them and leave without much of a fight. The true brawl, though, is with
the Swamp Thing himself. He’s still under the influence of Ivy’s pheromones,
only a stronger, more robust variant he helped concoct. Thankfully, midway
through the fight Ivy realizes that the Swamp Thing they’re fighting isn’t Alec
at all, that he essentially grew himself a bodyguard, so while the others fight
him off (badly), Ivy reasons with Alec, that he’s a good man, the man she
admired, the one she fell for. She kisses him, and it brings him out of his
stupor, and then some. The bodyguard keeps fighting, but some of the life has
gone out of it; this is amplified by the fact that Harley, seeing the kiss,
goes berserk, and will hit him in the twig and berries frequently with
her big-ass mallet. Alec’s still a little influenced by the pheromones, and
clingy; Ivy says she thought he got engaged, and he says that’s complicated.
Ivy tells him things are a lot less complicated for her- that she found someone
who makes her happy, and looks over at Harley, practically glowing. Ivy uses
the Swamp Thing’s arm to pull Harley to her, and kisses her. Harley stammers
that she thought… before Ivy tells her she thinks too much, and kisses her. “I
do.” And they kiss again.
Finally, Two-Face’s place is where the real fight happens.
One half of his mansion is overgrown. The Birds of Prey split up, Batgirl
leading one segment into the overgrown side, since she’s got all the
weedkilling toys, and Question leading the other up the pristine side. Question
and Huntress make short work of Two-Face, before wondering where all his goons
are. Both Harveys smile. Woodrue knocks Batgirl and Canary through a door,
rolling into the room. Harvey tells them the reason he didn’t see a point in
putting his men in harm’s way tonight was that it was going to be a bloodbath-
that they were just waiting for all the guests to arrive.
At that moment, the Sirens and the Batwomen arrive. Two-Face
brags to Woodrue that his timing is impeccable. As you can see, we’ve got a
ridiculous cast of women here already… but things are about to go just
completely nuts. I wasn’t screwing with you when I said that this was Endgame
for DC’s women. Well, here it goes.
I think for the ending we bring in a big Big Bad;
personally, I’d swing for the fences and have it be Granny Goodness with a team
of male furies; Granny Goodness has basically been taken to task by Darkseid.
He thinks her Furies need to open up to male members, that she’s been
artificially holding her elite soldiers back. So she’s testing his hypothesis,
by recruiting a team of men. She explains that there’s a part of her rooting
for the women, because they’ll prove her right if they win, not that she could
ever gloat to Darkseid. But she wants her ladies back; she was the one who gave
Woodrue the necessary upgrade to be able to adapt Ivy’s pheromones.
At first, the combined Birds of Prey are outmatched. But
then… those other heroines we teased earlier on, who would show as soon as they
wrapped up the bigger threat… they arrive. This loops in all of the most
powerful of DC’s women for a fireworks finish as they beat a team of men under
Granny’s control, before all of the rest of the women show up. This list
is in no way all-inclusive, and will likely swell. But it should give you an
idea of who’s punching who.
Granny’s control rod)
Joker, like from the first Arkham game (can really be Clayface, if that’s too
Wherever possible/necessary, we can replace the menfolk with
their CGI counterparts (having the Demon in a fight wouldn’t necessarily
require paying Jason Blood to show; I’m all for paying him to show, mind, but I
know some actors really hate showing up to film what is essentially a cameo,
and it’s possible the budget on this will also be insane, so building in places
where we can cut costs might be helpful).
But the women are winning. Granny is conflicted; she’s
winning the moral argument even as she loses the fight. But she also knows that
Darkseid doesn’t brook failure… she sees an opportunity to slink away, taking
Jason Woodrue with her.
And, personally, I’d bring in at least 3 men, here:
Batman, Superman, and whatever other male Justice Leaguer would be most
impactful (could be Aquaman, given current box office). We start with whichever
of them has the most recognizable voice, calling from offscreen. Camera pans,
and we see those three, and think this is round 2 and it’s about to get brutal….
Only the men aren’t attacking. Or cursing. Batman explains that he’s
synthesized an antidote, that he’s got Flashes spreading across the city
Harley asks Wonder Woman if this means she’s in the Avengers- “I mean the Justice League, clearly you weren’t my safety squad.” Could be cute to have Ratcatcher 2 cameo, and Harley waves her off. Wonder Woman pretends not to have heard, and walks away. Harley is, for a moment, disappointed. But Batgirl is behind her. She tells her some people might look at them as minor league, but if Harley, Ivy, or Catwoman want, they always have a place in the, and before she says Birds of Prey, we go to black, and smash in the Birds of Prey logo. We quickly do the cast credits, before cutting back, immediately to the same scene.
Catwoman runs up to Harley and Ivy. “That thing I needed to
do, it’s done, and we should go. Now.” She turns, and we can see she has
a utility belt slung over her shoulder. It literally doesn’t matter which of
the Batmen she took it from, but it’s slightly funnier if it’s a Robin and he
has to hold his pants up. Batman bellows after Selena, and we cut again to
More credits. Then we’re on Apokalips. Jason Woodrue has
seen better days. Clearly, he’s been tortured for a while. Desaad is overseeing
that, but Darkseid is working with Woodrue’s figures. Desaad is becoming more
concerned, that he’s been working with Woodrue’s information tirelessly,
without speaking. Desaad is trying to get an answer from him, if the Antilife
Equation is complete, if he’ll be able to mold the minds of men to his will.
He’s not going to reply, but I would like to have him turn to camera, similar
to Thanos at the end of the very first Avengers, and smile. But while that CGI
Thanos looked a little cartoony, this one should be horrifying- and his smile
should be a thing of nightmares. That Darkseid is happy at all should be something
we’re all worried about.