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GUIDES - EPISODE REVIEWS - "PERFORMANCE"

Performance
Original Airdate - April 7th, 2012
The team goes undercover at the Haly International Traveling Circus to locate a thief stealing weapons technology across Europe ó but a thief isnít all they find.

Written by Jon Weisman
Directed by Michael Chang
Review by GregX
Media by Warner Bros. Animation


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Clip 01 (QuickTime)
 
Clip 02 (QuickTime)


Review:
Another character focus episode, this time on Robin. I will admit, up front, I don't have quite as much to say about this episode as I do others. It's not to say I didn't like this one, because I definitely did. A lot. But, I write reviews, and I certainly won't ignore this one. As Gandalf the White would say, it's the deep breath before the plunge.

Out of all the characters this season, Robin has gotten the least amount of focus. This is forgivable though, as Dick Grayson is the most famous and well known character on the team. Hell, before the press release for this show, I had no idea who Aqualad, Miss Martian, Kid Flash, and Artemis were. My knowledge of superhero sidekicks was limited to Robin, Bucky, Batgirl and Kitty Pryde (assuming they count), and Launchpad McQuack. Hey, Stan Lee thought sidekicks were lame... and I didn't disagree with him. I didn't watch "Teen Titans," but this show has made the concept grow on me. But Robin is the iconic teen sidekick, and you could find a nomadic tribe in the Sahara and chances are at least one of them would recognize Robin thanks to countless TV shows, movies, and pop culture references over the last several decades. But I enjoyed his story, it felt natural. The circus was his home, it was where he grew up. As much as I am enjoying the Light conspiracy, it is nice to take a small break from that as Dick wants to help a man who was like a father to him.

I thought this episode's version of the Parasite was an effective, and sometimes even scary villain. I definitely preferred this version to the one in "Superman the Animated Series" who was content as long as he had a big screen TV in his prison cell, and cable TV. This is a guy who should be terrifying, and this episode did that. Adam Baldwin was a great pick for his voice. Parasite was working for Intergang, who have ties to Apokolips. Was Parasite really trying to destroy Geneva with a black hole, or was that a giant boom tube? I suppose we'll find out soon.

I absolutely loved hearing Clancy Brown as King Faraday. As far as I'm concerned, he does good guys just as well as he does bad guys. I loved him as Captain George Stacy, and I loved him here. I do wonder if this was a small homage to George Stacy as the character design and voice seemed to match quite well. Either way, it put a smile on my face. I really enjoyed the reference to H.G. Welles "The War of the Worlds." If there is one thing you can always count on to appear in a Weisman-helmed production, it is literary references. "Gargoyles" was full of them, it certainly didn't stop at Shakespeare; "W.I.T.C.H." had a few, my favorite being Xanadu. "The Spectacular Spider-Man" had plenty of Shakespeare as well as a classic reference to Dante's Divine Comedy. I'm a sucker for this sort of thing. But, to quote another reviewer named Dread: "I can say the biggest difference between this show and "Ultimate Spider-Man" is showcased in one detail; this show expects their audience to know who H.G. Welles is, while "USM" assumes kids have never done anything but play video games in their room or watch MTV." It's a sad state of affairs to see a series promoted as much as USM push and cater to ignorance. But, I suppose Jeph Loeb thinks if he caters to children who don't know what a book is and that have parents that won't push them to find out, he'll get more butts in to seats.

Finally, there's Red Arrow coming around and deciding to be more trusting and that there is no mole. At this point, I'm ruling out Artemis, Miss Martian, and Superboy as they are all too obvious, and have seemingly been cleared. There is no chance in hell it's Kid Flash or Robin. Zatanna is too new. That leaves Aqualad and.... Red Arrow himself. I guess we'll find out on Saturday when it hits the fan.

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