Yep, as many fans guessed, the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover is definitely to blame for the appearance of a non-Alice version of Beth on Batwoman — and this exclusive sneak peek from Sunday’s episode confirms it.
At the end of last week’s installment, Kate (Ruby Rose) found a brunette (Rachel Skarsten) claiming to be her sister Beth standing in her office. Of course, Kate didn’t believe her since season 1’s big bad Alice (also Skarsten) is Beth and she was just captured by the Crows. Well, it turns out that Not-Alice Beth was telling the truth, and there are now indeed two versions of Beth running around Earth-Prime because of the crossover.
“It is an anomaly as a result of the universe collapsing,” Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries tells EW.
In fact, Kate ends up explaining all of this to Beth in Sunday’s episode. You’d think learning that no one knows who you are because the multiverse died would blow Beth’s mind, but it doesn’t because she has a masters degree in astrophysics, as revealed in the above clip from “An Un-Birthday Present.”
“The whole concept of multiple universes isn’t that bizarre,” says Beth, who finds one positive thing about this crazy situation. “On the upside, I guess none of my exes know me here either.”
While Beth may not have too much trouble wrapping her head around the recently-concluded crossover, the same couldn’t be said of Dries, who encountered an interesting Batwoman-specific obstacle when she and the other showrunners were planning the five-part event.
“I was heavily involved in the crossover, and the thing I’d been struggling with since the beginning was: How can we make Kate’s life a little bit more integrated with all of this madness of sci-fi and aliens, and the dense mythology between The Flash, Arrow, and Legends, and time travel?” says Dries. “What’s kind of our takeaway from the crossover that could really rattle the show without feeling like all of a sudden we have aliens on the show or meta-humans and stuff? You know, keeping it grounded as we started the season.”
But then crossover executive producer Marc Guggenheim framed the creation of Earth-Prime — which was the result of every CW superhero show consolidating onto one Earth — in an interesting way that opened things up for Dries and the rest of the Batwoman writers.
“Marc was like, ‘Yeah, this can reset people’s characters if you want. It can do a lot of different stuff for your stories.’ So I went back to our writers [and asked], ‘Is there anything we can do here?’ Obviously, the idea is Beth is Kate’s Achilles heel for this season, and so I think James Stoteraux pitched, ‘You know, what if Beth comes back?’ And I was like, ‘Oh my God, yes.’ So we decided to go with that,” says Dries.
Unsurprisingly, Beth’s existence on Earth-Prime presents Kate with a problem in Sunday’s episode.
“Kate luckily has gone through the Crisis so she understands some of the parameters of what could have happened. Whereas a character like Sophie [Meagan Tandy] who wasn’t part of it, there’s no way you could possibly explain this to somebody without springs coming out of their ears. For Kate it’s this struggle, how do I explain what’s happening to those who need to know what’s happening in without revealing A. that I’m Batwoman, B. this weird event happened that nobody would ever believe,” says Dries. “Regarding, Jacob it’s such a sensitive subject for Kate and Jacob — this idea of maybe Beth is back — and Kate really kind of struggles with what exactly to tell him, if to tell him anything. Is he better off not knowing for a little while?”
Having two Beths on Batwoman does raise one more question: Can we expect Skarsten to play opposite herself this season?
“Luckily we hired an actress who is so brilliant, [and] there’s really nothing she can’t do,” replies Dries.
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
This post has been updated.