Batwoman‘s secret identity is safe from her ex-girlfriend because she used an old Batman trick: having a double wear the Batsuit. While fans know Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) is Gotham’s new female Dark Knight, her secret has already spilled beyond the Batcave beneath Wayne Tower and her closest confidante Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson). Severely complicating Kate’s life is that her twin sister Beth AKA the crime lord named Alice (Rachel Skarsten) also knows she’s Batwoman.
In this week’s episode, “Tell Me The Truth”, Kate was worried because her ex-girlfriend Sophie Moore (Meagan Tandy) positively identified the caped crusader. Sophie, who is the second-in-command of Jacob Kane’s (Dougray Scott) security outfit called the Crows, threatened to tell Kate’s father who Batwoman really is. Luckily, a solution presented itself in the form of Julia Pennyworth (Christina Wolfe), the daughter of Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred. Not only is Julia an international intelligence operative, but she is also another of Kate’s former flames. Naturally, as Alfred’s daughter, Julia already knew all of Bruce Wayne’s dark secrets and was as familiar with the Batcave as her father was. The fact that Julia also happens to fit Kate’s Batsuit also came in very handy.
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With Julia’s help, Kate pulled off a simple gambit to throw Sophie off the scent that she’s really Batwoman: Sophie confronted Julia, who was dressed as Batwoman, only for Kate to walk in feigning surprise. A Bat voice scrambler made Julia’s voice sound like Batwoman’s and the illusion was complete – especially when the villain-of-the-week, the Rifle (Garfield Wilson) shot Julia/Batwoman and blew her out of a window. After Kate helped apprehend the Rifle, Sophie was left without any doubts about being completely mistaken that Kate and Batwoman were one and the same. Ironically, this deception comes straight out of the classic 1960s Batman TV series where Alfred himself dressed up as the Caped Crusader.
In Batman ’66, there were a couple of amusing instances when Bruce Wayne (Adam West) and Batman needed to be in the same place at the same time. Since Robin (Burt Ward) was too young to pose as his mentor, it left Alfred the Butler (Alan Napier) – the only person who knew the Dynamic Duo’s secret identities – to pretend to be Batman. In the Batman season 2 premiere, “Shoot A Crooked Arrow”/”Walk the Straight and Narrow”, Alfred donned the cape and cowl for the first time while Bruce Wayne made a public appearance. Alfred (using a Bat Voice Imitator) kept his distance by feigning a cold, but Commissioner Gordon (Neil Hamilton) noticed Batman was “looking a bit thinner” and he asked Robin to suggest that the Caped Crusader eat his vegetables.
Later in Batman season 2, Alfred posed as Batman again in “The Joker’s Last Laugh/The Joker’s Epitaph” and stopped the Joker from forcing Bruce Wayne to kill Robin, who was strapped to a printing press. Alfred used Batgas to force the Joker (Cesar Romero) and his robot henchmen (don’t ask) to flee. This time, Alfred didn’t have a Bat Speech Imitator but some quick ventriloquism from Bruce Wayne easily fooled the Joker into thinking he was facing the real Batman. Ironically, Joker never noticed the obvious white mustache on “Batman’s” face, but then again, the Joker himself infamously had a mustache underneath his white makeup that no one in the Batman TV show ever remarked upon, so perhaps everyone in this zany Gotham City simply had a blind spot when it came to mustaches.
The scheme of using a double to protect a superhero’s secret identity has been used many other times in the Arrowverse. For example, John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) have posed as Green Arrow to cover for Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) in Arrow and the Martian Manhunter (David Harewood) has shapeshifted into Supergirl to bail Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) out of jams. However, Batwoman‘s use of the deception is especially fitting because not only is it a fun callback to the classic Batman TV series but Kate Kane properly used Alfred’s daughter Julia to be her doppelganger.
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