Now, I made quite a few cracks about the similarities between this Bruce Wayne and RDJ's Tony Stark and between Bane and the Red Hulk, but this show came a few years earlier than either of those things. So the similarities are unintentional... but absolutely hilarious. And you know what? That just make this episode even better, in my opinion. Even if this episode isn't your cup of tea, you can still have a bit of ironic fun with that.
But even in an unironic sense, this episode works. Bane is presented as a genuine physical match for the Batman, though his tactics leave a little something to be desired. But to be fair, Bane actually won in the comics. Of course they have to make him a bit less of a tactical genius, otherwise the rest of this season would be Bruce Wayne recovering from a broken back. Or he could just do some pushups, I guess, that seemed to work in The Dark Knight Rises.
This episode presents a threat for Batman, character development for the main characters, some nice drama between Bruce and Alfred, blah blah blah.
But this episode takes a big misstep and suffers for it, but only if you're watching the show in the proper order.
If you ever want to make a Batman show, here's a free tip for you. You shouldn’t whip out Bane in the second episode. This episode uses Bane as a temptation for Batman to quit being Batman, which I'm pretty sure is not going to happen at only the second episode. (Though that would be a great twist.) There's some honestly great character moments, but it all rings false when we know that Batman's going to overcome the odds.
I mean, metafictionally speaking, the audience knows that the main character can't die until everything shown in the intro happens. We haven't even seen characters like Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Penguin, or many of the clips shown. It's like watching a movie trailer over and over. Once you see the movie, you know that So-and-So isn't going to die because he hasn't said that really funny line that was in all the trailers yet.
But as a standalone episode, does this episode work? Yes. Heck, if you moved this to the end of the season, it would be a nice way to end it. Of course, at that point, you have to deal with the question of why the other villains aren't taking advantage to the complete lack of Batman. But you have to pick your battles, you know?
All in all, not the best episode to slot in as the second episode, but still a good one, nevertheless. Next time, a penniless Penguin does kung fu while stealing like a common thief. ...I can see what people mean when they say that this show takes liberties. See you then!