Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review: Beware the Batman "Safe"

The most important thing about this episode is that it marks the point where the subplots start moving forward. And it starts with Tatsu.

Tatsu Yamashiro
This episode opens up all sorts of questions about her. How did she get the sword? What's with her past as an assassin? Does she ever actually smile? While none of those questions are actually answered (except maybe the smiling), the fact that they're all set up lends itself to future story opportunities. From Tatsu's past with villains, to the fact that she's keeping secrets from Alfred and Bruce.

Silver Monkey
A generic evil ninja, but the fact that he keeps the sword's existence to himself hints at larger plans. How this plans out will remain to be seen.

Lady Shiva
Not a character yet; she's a voice.

Dr. Jason Burr
Dorky and annoying. But Tatsu started warming up to him, and he started mellowing out. A tad. Yes, Tatsu gets a love interest before Batman does. Is it any wonder that a lot of people only tuned into this show for her?

Speaking of this show, the writers said when they began production that they wanted to use more obscure villains so they could tell new stories. And yet, it seems like they're writing them like the more well-known characters anyway.

The stand-in for Damien Wayne. Not only will she become Batman's sidekick, but she's a former member of the League of Assassins.

The stand-in for Catwoman. Claws, flirting with Batman, being a thief, etc.

The stand-in for the Joker. Specifically, the Nolan-trilogy version with the love of chaos and lack of jokey gimmicks.

Silver Monkey
A stand in for the Batman: TBATB version of Fox, Vulture, and Shark. An Animal themed ninja who trained with one of the protagonists.

Humpty Dumpty
A stand-in for Toyman. Whoops, spoilers.

I really wouldn't be surprised if we ended up seeing the Puzzler show up leaving riddles everywhere and stealing Gothamites' intelligence through their TVs. Still, there's something to be said for giving the more obscure characters a chance. So I'm grateful for that, at least.

You're never really safe. Because no matter how far you run, your past will always catch up to you. Because there's always someone who wants what you have. Whether it be a sword or a bit of sci-fi, you're never really safe. Have fun sleeping tonight!

Because we live in a post-Nolan trilogy world, ninjas were bound to play a major part of this series instead of being just an occasional thing.

To tell you the truth, I'm actually somewhat impressed by this episode. Longtime readers (both of them) will know that I'm generally uninterested in "ninja episodes" of any Batman show, whether it be The Batman, Batman: TAS, Batman: TBATB, or whichever.

Because, you see, ninja episodes almost always follow the same dang formula.
  • World's best ninja wants a _______ (MacGuffin/Bruce Wayne) to ________(steal/destroy).
  • Batman stops them using his own ninja training.
  • Bonus points if Batman trained with the villain of the week years ago.
This one managed to stand out nicely by using Tatsu in an interesting way, while simultaneously finally teasing her backstory.

My opinion of this episode is an overall positive one, but it is a ninja episode, so I wouldn't call it my favorite. Still good, though, don't get me wrong. We'll see if we can get another good episode next time, when Humpty Dumpty appears in "Broken." See you then.

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