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How Batwoman Recast Can Work In A Post-Crisis Arrowverse

With Ruby Rose leaving Batwoman, how can the show address the casting change and Kate’s change in appearance now that doppelgangers are not an option?

Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Batwoman's season 1 finale.

With the role of Kate Kane due to be recast for Batwoman season 2, many are wondering how the show will address the change in actors, especially after Crisis on Infinite Earths changed the Arrowverse. The possibilities are almost limitless, given the advanced science and magic present within the setting of the Arrowverse, though Batwoman is the most realistic and grounded series set among The CW's superhero shows.

Actress Ruby Rose stunned the world with her recent announcement that she was leaving Batwoman after a single season, just two days after Batwoman's first season finale aired. There was no question that the show would go on without Rose and that Batwoman would be recast, however, as the show had already been renewed for a second season and is The CW's highest rated show after The Flash. Still, the question remained; how would Batwoman address its title character changing within the context of the Arrowverse itself?

Related: Batwoman: What Ruby Rose's Arrowverse Exit Means For Season 2

Unfortunately, the events of the 2019-2020 Arrowverse crossover Crisis On Infinite Earths eliminated what would have been the easiest solution to the problem; replace Earth-Prime's Kate Kane with a doppelganger from another Earth, who shared her name and training but not her face. It had been previously established that the same person might look drastically different on alternate Earths, with Crisis on Infinite Earths featuring three versions of Superman who looked nothing alike. Sadly, it was established on both Batwoman and The Flash that when the multiverse reformed after the Crisis it became impossible for doppelgangers to survive on the newly formed Earth-Prime and everyone who had a twin from a defunct reality died a painful death when the new multiverse proved to be too small for both of them.

An elegant, if horrific solution presents itself in the face of Batwoman season 1's finale. The final scene of "O, Mouse!" revealed that Alice had used her skills as a plastic surgeon to give Tommy "Hush" Elliot the face of Bruce Wayne. Given that Kate Kane has said she doesn't recognize Alice as her sister anymore, it would be the height of dramatic irony (and a fitting bit of absurd literalism) if Alice decided to render her twin sister unrecognizable by giving her an entirely new face and making her a stranger to her allies and Gotham City at large. The confusion could fuel the drama of several episodes, particularly if Kate were unmasked as Batwoman just after having her face changed, leaving Jacob Cane and his Crows hunting for a woman he could readily identify yet not realize was his own daughter.

Another possibility lies in the one place where a doppelganger of Kate Kane might yet exist; the alternate Earth one version of Brainiac-5 trapped in a stasis bottle before Crisis on Infinite Earths. The existence of this world was revealed in Supergirl, season 5, episode 10, "The Bottle Episode." All the writers of Batwoman and Supergirl would need to do is contrive a reason for Earth-Prime's Kate Kane to vanish and for the Batwoman of the bottled Earth to be released, though this still would leave the problem of justifying the change in appearance to Kate's friends and family on Earth-Prime.

If nothing else, Batwoman can just be recast with another actor and the show can go on without acknowledging the change. Other television shows have done this in the past, with perhaps the most famous examples being the two Darrins on Bewitched and the two versions of Becky Conner on Roseanne. There is also a precedent for Batman changing actors without explanation in the films and the actors playing Catwoman changing three times across three seasons on the original Batman show, so there's no reason why Batwoman can't change actresses just as easily.

More: Batwoman: Why Ruby Rose Left The Arrowverse

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