Batwoman: My Thoughts (So Far) on Mary Hamilton's Heel Turn
Analyzing Mary Hamilton's transformation into Poison Ivy during the end of the first half of Batwoman's third season
So Season Two of Batwoman ended with the tease of the appearance of Batman villainess Poison Ivy, who, IMO, is quite underrated. Batman's collection of villains didn't have many females, but out of the few that were featured, Catwoman often gets the main spotlight, and even Harley Quinn has had bigger elevation than Poison Ivy. The vines started appearing in the final moments of Season Two, and we saw them a few times early in Season Three, and one episode saw them actually tangle Mary Hamilton, the affable doctor and member of the Batwoman team.
In the episode, "How Does Your Garden Grow?," we see a man entombed in a honeycomb containing honeybees, with Renee Montoya on the case. She had already been on the warpath regarding Poison Ivy, and suspects that Poison Ivy may be connected to this. As for Mary, she's in her lab before she is confronted by Alice, who informed her stepsister that she is the suspected Poison Ivy copycat. Mary scoffs at this, but in a shocker, the victim wakes up and loudly fingers Mary as the culprit. The man wasn't Mary's only victim, as she had also plagued Black Glove operative Virgil Getty, who was found buried neck up in soil.
Mary handcuffs herself, now knowing that she was infected by Poison Ivy's vines, but once sunlight hits her, she knocks out Luke Fox and is freed by Alice, who allowed the sunlight to bring out Mary's newfound evil side. What we later see is a heel Mary using her power over plants to subdue not only Batwoman, but Batwing as well, while accusing both of them of not hearing her and ignoring her before leaving with Alice.
Nighttime hits in the following episode, "Pick Your Poison," and similar to before, Mary had no memory of her villainous actions, though Alice was happy to debrief her. Alice used Mary's budding heel persona to convince her to remove the tracking nanobots from her bloodstream, all the while, we see Mary's powers increase, as her glowing green eyes allow her to control people as well. Meanwhile, a cure is found, and Batwoman manages to track and capture both Mary and Alice, while telling the former about the cure and that it would bring her back to normal.
However, after using her powers to find out that Batwoman had intended on holding her captive to prevent her from causing more harm to anyone else, the evil Mary refused the cure and continued her rant from the past episode; adding that Batwoman (among others) refused to see that what was in front of her was truly her, though it also helped Mary that Alice was in Mary's ear--reminding her that the old Mary was being used and ignored by those around her. This was an amazing scene, as it truly shows that Mary has completely embraced her new heel persona, which was cemented with this image from the final scenes of the episode:
Mary Hamilton isn't the first female Batwoman character to undergo a heel turn. Kate Kane turned heel in a very strange twist during the latter half of Season Two, as she went from being declared deceased to emerging as the evil Circe Sionis, though that was done due to hypnosis and mind control. While Mary's turn to villainy may have been caused by the vines, it definitely seems like there's another cause. There are many reasons why a hero turns villainous: greed, opportunity, jealousy, among others. The vines were a factor in Mary's heel turn, but her rants in both episodes show that she had feelings of being ignored and not being included, and no supernatural force is responsible for that.
I've definitely enjoyed Poison Mary so far, and it's partly because of Nicole Kang. Nicole Kang had done the villainess thing before; she played the psychotic Hana Mae in the first episode of The CW's Two Sentence Horror Stories, and after that, I wanted to see Kang as a villainess again, though I didn't think it would be on Batwoman, so that's a bonus. Kang is in huge territory; following in the footsteps of the legendary Uma Thurman, who played Poison Ivy in the big screen in 1997, and also becoming the first Korean-American actress to play the iconic villainess. And she's just getting started; her look is complete, and we will see more of Poison Mary beginning on January 12, 2022.
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Born on March 18, 1985. I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also love movies--especially comedy and horror--and among my favorite TV shows are The Simpsons and Family Guy