Monday, August 18, 2014

Beware the Batman - Reckoning

Wrapping up the three episode arc, "Reckoning" forces Katana (Sumalee Montano) to face the truth about Alfred (JB Blanc), pits Batman (Anthony Ruivivar) not only against Ra's al Ghul (Lance Reddick) and the League of Assassins but also a collection of recently-freed super-villains who are sent after the Dark Knight by the Demon's Head, and offer the newest unofficial member of the Bat-Family a chance to shine. Before the episode ends, with the help of his friends, Batman will stand triumphant over not only the League of Assassins but also Professor Pyg (Brian George) and Mr. Toad (Udo Kier), Magpie (Grey DeLisle), Tobias Whale (Michael-Leon Wooley), Phosphorus Rex (Greg Ellis), and Cypher.

As Lt. Gordon (Kurtwood Smith) runs interference and Batman stalls Ra's al Ghul (after turning the various villains against each other), Barbara Gordon (Tara Strong) becomes the hero of the hour hacking into the Ion Cortex and loosening Ra's hold over Gotham City. Although Katana chooses Alfred over the League after learning the full story of her father, circumstances involving the release of his friend's soul from the sword (along with several other enemies all desperate for vengeance on the leader of the League of Assassins) causes Alfred to take stock of his life and make a major change.

"Reckoning" works well wrapping up most of the threads of the first-half of the season and teasing chances to come with Alfred leaving Wayne Manor. Still out-matched by Ra's al Ghul, Batman learns from his mistakes and uses everything available to him (a teenage hacker, souls of the damned, and Ra's own overconfidence) to turn the tide and save Gotham. I don't expect Alfred's departure to last long, but Katana's choice to stay as Batman's partner, and Barbara's increased inclusion in the show, suggests Bruce's war against the criminal element won't be fought alone.

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