Sunday, July 27, 2014

Beware the Batman - Attraction

Returning to Cartoon Network after being abruptly pulled back in October, the final 15 episodes of the series begin here with the first of two episodes included in the previously-released home video set. Misplaced affection and jealousy are the major themes of "Attraction" as Magpie (Grey DeLisle), misunderstanding Batman's (Anthony Ruivivar) guilt over her condition for romantic overtures, comes to the conclusion that the only thing stopping the Dark Knight Detective from openly returning her affection is Katana (Sumalee Montano).

Despite the concerns of both Katana and Alfred (JB Blanc), Batman continues to help Magpie believing she might still be saved (despite all evidence to the contrary). After Batman discovers madwoman has escaped custody and kidnapped and buried his partner alive in the grave belonging to Margaret Sorrow, Batman is forced to admit his error in judgement although it takes all of Batman's ingenuity and the help of Katana (who digs herself out of another grave) to spoil Magpie's trap and take down the villain.

Like much of the show the episode is a mixed success both in terms of style and storytelling, but the episode makes good use of Magpie's established origins from earlier in the series. "Attraction" plays on multiple levels including Batman's guilt over what happened to Margaret Sorrow, his relative inexperience dealing with the various colorful psychotics Gotham will become known for over the Caped Crusader's illustrious career, and Bruce Wayne's own trepidation that his role of Batman may eventually lead him to become as lost as Magpie.

I'm glad to see the show return to the air and am curious to see how the show's events and relationships will continue to develop over its single season especially with the tease of a greater involvement of Ra's al Ghul following the events of "Fall" (which will finally be broadcast next week). Cartoon Network certainly isn't do the show any favors by returning to air with little fanfare after months in the wee hours of Sunday mornings, but fans of the show will at least be able to record the episodes one by one (or wait until the second Blu-ray release) to see how Batman and Katana's partnership against the various villains and The League of Assassins is brought to an end.

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