It’s clear at this point that CW’s Batwoman’s mission is not to fight crime but to fight the police. We’re up to now four episodes condemning the police system, and this one may be the most brutal yet.
The May 16 episode “And Justice For All” opens with our heroes taking part in a local fundraiser. This being Batwoman, however, it’s spoiled by the stereotypical evil white cops who come in for a “noise complaint.” Things quickly go downhill because the series believes white police officers desperately want to arrest “a bunch of black and brown folks dancing.”
Imani: Welcome, officers. Can I help you?
Officer 1: Got a call about a noise complaint. What is this?
Imani: It’s a fundraiser for the Sheldon Park Community Center.
Officer 1: Explains it.
Imani: Explains what?
Officer 1: Why you people are so loud.
Imani: Heh. “You people”?
Officer 1: Need to see a permit for the noise.
Ryan: I’m the manager. Is there a problem?
Imani: They want a permit.
Ryan: We don’t have a permit. It’s a bar. We’re allowed to be open.
Officer 1: Not according to her. It’s a fundraiser. So if you don’t have the proper paperwork, you got two choices. You can shut it down, or you can pay a $2,500 fine and a mark on your liquor license.
Ryan: Really? This is Gotham freaking City. There isn’t a bigger crime happening right now besides a bunch of black and brown folks dancing to pop hits?
Luke: Ok. Uh, officers, it’s not a big deal. We are more than willing to turn the music down, so—
Ryan: We don’t have to turn anything down. The music has been the same level it always has been.
Luke: And we apologize for that, Ryan. Ok. So. We’re fine. We’re cool. Thank you.
Ryan: Screw that, Luke. They came in here trying to start stuff because God forbid too many of us gather together in one place.
Officer 2: I need you to come down—
Ryan: Don’t touch me! What are you doing?
Ryan: Get off of me! Stop it!
Imani: Stop! My God! Stop!
Officer 1: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, then one will be appointed for you by the court.
Soon afterwards, Ryan (Javicia Leslie) and Luke (Camrus Johnson) are also joined in their jail cell by Crows private security officer Sophie (Meagan Tandy). Despite her position, she is arrested for aggressively confronting the officers, though the episode clearly wants us to believe it’s because she’s the third black member of the cast. It also wants us to group private security officers with the police for some reason, so prestige TV this isn’t.
For what it’s worth, Sophie initially defends her position in law enforcement stating, “I want to show little black girls that they can go to top-tier schools and stand up to bullies and be trusted to make life-and-death decisions.” Of course, that lasts all of twenty-five minutes when, after their release, Sophie decides to quit her job, mourning, “Hate, ignorance, apathy– it’s bigger than me.” Ryan then congratulates her for joining “the good guys.”
But that pales in comparison to the final few minutes of this hour. After being set free, Luke comes across a white male carjacker who was also released that day. Almost immediately, the man is back to stealing another car when he’s confronted by both Luke and a Crows officer. Considering the carjacker is white and Luke is black, there’s obviously only one outcome from this: Luke being shot.
Luke: Whoa. No way.
Luke: He really is a car thief.
Luke: Oh. Eli I think is name was. We met in the holding cell, and he is full on jacking a car right now.
Mary: Get out of there and call 911.
Luke: Nah. I got this. I’ll call you back. Yo, Eli.
Eli: How do you know my name?
Luke: Dude from jail. “Power to the people.”
Eli: Right. Get lost. Don’t need heat.
Luke: Look. I’m not letting you do this. Hey, hey, hey! Hey, hey. Eli, knock it off. Hey, Eli. Stop.
Eli: Do yourself a favor. Don’t make me your problem.
Tavaroff: What the hell’s going on?
Luke: Ok. Look—
Eli: Sir, this man is trying to steal a car.
Eli: And now he’s attacking me.
Luke: Whoa, whoa! No! Ok. This guy is a known car thief. His name is E– Eli something, and I’m trying to stop him. You know what? I have photographic evidence.
The next episode promises to dive into this budding Black Lives Matter moment, but back in reality, we have to acknowledge the truth. Contrary to what this show believes, black people are not routinely shot or arrested for simply being black or pulling out cell phones. This show can make up whatever anti-police story it wants, but it can’t change facts. Unfortunately, this will probably not be the last time I have to say that this season.