Now THIS is what I've been waiting for! Beware the Batman hasn't been a bad show by any means, but the previous episodes never really wowed me. 'Safe' totally changes that and I absolutely loved it. Sure, I do have my gripes, but overall this was a stellar episode and a total blast.
In this episode, one of Wayne's employees, Jason Burr (this series loves to name drop, doesn't it?) creates something called the Ion Cortex. Long story short: it'll solve the planet's energy crisis. Unfortunately for Burr, the League of Assassins really wants to get their hands on this invention and it's up to Batman and Katana to make sure he's safe. When standard ninjas fail her, Lady Shiva (AWWW YEAH!) sends in the very awesome character named Silver Monkey (do yourself a favor and read his comic appearances).
This episode doesn't really dive into why the evil group wants the device, but who cares because NINJAS. Seriously, if there wasn't sharp dialogue or some kind of amusing banter between Burr and Katana (I love her long pauses), there was a slew of ninjas making matters extremely amusing. From standard fists and melee weapons to vehicular warfare, this episode was super fun and delivered the perfect dose of action I was craving on a Saturday morning. Plus, it allowed Batman to give Katana a stern lesson in morals. It's along the lines of what we've heard him say before in plenty of other versions, but it was still an effective scene and concluded with a totally unexpected and hysterical remark. Also, this episode didn't bring Katana any closer to discovering Bruce's secret (or at least I believe it didn't), but it did manage to the kick the door wide open to much bigger storylines revolving around her. That's something I'm definitely excited to see more of.
Like I've said in the past, I'm happy the show is using individuals the general audience likely won't recognize, but it didn't really pay off in the previous episodes. Sure, there's room to see those foes return, but nothing about them really made me want to see them again. That's not the case with this episode and they did an able job establishing the League of Assassins in this animated world. I want to see them return and I most definitely want to see Lady Shiva now that the character has been teased. I was surprised/slightly disappointed the cliffhanger didn't reveal her, but hopefully they have big plans and her visual debut will be well worth the wait.
Batman's very skilled and so far he's had a surprising degree of trouble in hand-to-hand encounters with characters like Professor Pyg, Magpie and Anarky. These villains of course don't have training nearly on par with Bruce, so when he came face-to-face with the skilled Silver Monkey, I was expecting an epic uphill struggle for him and one of the best melees we've yet to see. Instead, we get Batman essentially humiliating the guy who has been hyped up to be an awesome assassin. Needless to say, it was disappointing to me, but at least his brief encounter with Katana was solid (even though he appears to be stronger based on the impact of his strikes and their grapple was even?).
Wayne Manor's defense system is one of those things that's sure to generate a laugh because of how ridiculous it is. Initially seeing it made me break into laughter, but it's one of those things that actually makes sense upon getting over the initial reveal and thinking about it. It's totally over the top, but given his resources and the secrets he has to protect, I'm cool with it. Plus, it generated a funny line when Wayne does indeed break in. But that begs the question: doesn't he have a secret entrance for the Bat-cave? He must since he exits it in the Batmobile, yes? Having the Batmobile leave through the front gate would be a wee bit suspicious, no? I understand not wanting to use it when he had enemies on his tail, but once he got rid of them, couldn't he have utilized that instead of taking the option which only had a 28% chance of success? Maybe the secret entrance was out of the way and he was pressed for time given the circumstances? Then again, one option had glorious explosions and the other didn't, so I can understand the decision for entertainment's sake.
Minor gripes: I thought the bomb needed the detonator to go off, or did kicking it disrupt it? I guess I'll have to assume the latter. Also, Katana's legs going on for forever still catches my eye from time to time, but whatever, I can live with the design. Lastly, I can understand if some people don't like a certain scene with Alfred, but I think it's suitable given the scenario.
While I do have small problems with the handling of Silver Monkey and a few other minor things, these gripes by no means counteract what I loved about this episode. Not only was it filled with great bits of dialogue and did a stellar job expanding the world, it also provided an overdose of legitimately exciting action. This is without question my favorite episode yet and I hope the show continues to get better and better.
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