Editor’s Note: This is the second episode of Beware the Batman that was not previously aired during it’s original run on Cartoon Network late last year. No official screens or videos have been released by WB for the remaining episodes.
Episode 13 of Beware the Batman begins with a flashback to Alfred’s spy days. Ra’s al Ghul is confronting him and informs him that his partner betrayed him. His partner is Katana/Tatsu Yamashiro’s father. Further flashbacks reveal this is the night the elder Yamashiro died and that Alfred promised Katana’s mother to take take care of the young Tatsu, just a baby at the time.
In the present day, Alfred, Katana, and Bruce Wayne all head to Wayne Industries to see Dr. Jason Burr turn on the completed Ion Cortex for the first time. However, when they arrive, they find Burr’s office ransacked and the Ion Cortex gone. A video left by Burr reveals that he has accepted an offer from the League of Assassins to give them the Ion Cortex. After the video concludes, the office blows up. Strangely though, they survive, and the only injuries sustained are some minor scratches to Katana. While she is bandaged up by Alfred, Bruce uses the company’s computers to discover that the League is using a Wayne Industries truck to transport the Ion Cortex. The hunt is on.
Subtly following them at first, Batman and Katana begin their pursuit of the League of Assassins, but soon they find that Jason Burr has jammed the signal on the truck’s GPS. Forgetting all pretenses of a stealthy pursuit, Batman and Katana begin an all-out effort to find the truck again and to stop the League. The chase leads them to a power station in a cave on the outside of Gotham. Batman informs Katana that if the Ion Cortex goes online here, it could wipe out power for all of Gotham City. Batman and Katana need to get into the power station, get past the ninjas with rocket launchers and machine guns, and stop Jason Burr (who is still suffering from Cypher’s mind control) from starting the Ion Cortex.
Interspersed between these scenes are flashbacks to Alfred’s early days as the Wayne’s family butler and the steps he took to protect young Bruce, including teaching him to defend himself and overcome his limits. This early peek into Bruce’s life offers a glimpse into how Bruce was molded into the crime-fighter he is today and how much influence Alfred has had on his life.
This episode plays like a movie. Fast paced and action-packed with a cliff hanger for an ending, this episode definitely ups the ante for Batman and Katana. The added pressure makes the suspense of the episode more enjoyable. However, while it is good that “Fall” plays like a movie, it also bad because it plays like a specific movie. The showdown with Ra’s al Ghul, the impending doom for Gotham City, the series of flashbacks, and discussion of Bruce’s limits are reminiscent of the Christopher Nolan films, especially Batman Begins. Furthering the failings of the writing are errors of continuity. When the chase reaches the wilderness outside of Gotham, there is snow on the ground. While they were in the city, there were no signs of winter at all. Also, when fighting the League in the power-station cave, Batman and Katana had to dodge gunfire. Previously, the League had only used swords and archery. Why the sudden and dramatic change in their modus operandi?
The writers deserve credit for crafting a dramatic climax to the League of Assassins story arc, but fail on measures of creativity, originality, and continuity.