Home > Episode Reviews, Tiger & Bunny > Tiger & Bunny Episode 12 – Pride Goeth Before A Fall

Tiger & Bunny Episode 12 – Pride Goeth Before A Fall

If Tiger & Bunny has a weakness, it’s that it only knows one way to make a villain challenging to its protagonists: make the former absurdly powerful. Lunatic was an example of this, capable of holding his own against two or even three heroes at a time. But he pales in comparison to Jake Martinez, who seems in a different league entirely from his fellow Next.

While Jake can’t be invulnerable (Mr. Legend did capture him 15 years prior), very little we’ve seen so far would indicate otherwise. In turn, this gives the heroes their one advantage against him: Jake is so arrogant that he can’t help but play with his victims before crushing them. That gives our heroes their one chance to take him down—but only if they don’t mimic his mistakes.

Jake is so sure of his own position that he doesn't think anything of marching into the city HQ to give orders personally

Jake, with the entire city as his hostage, decides to give the finger to the heroes of the city, whom he regards as race traitors. Ouroboros is founded on beliefs about the superiority of Next, and to have those with superpowers serving those without, rather than oppressing and ruling over them, is intolerable. So he decides to show how pitiful the heroes really are, by facing them one on one in an arena. If all the heroes lose, Jake will destroy the Stern Bild.

Of course, this, plus some intel Cyclone managed to glean before he was captured, gives Hero TV the knowledge they need to save the city. Jake’s subordinate controlling the mechs needs to convey her orders vocally to her puppets, meaning that jamming radio signals will cut off control. By having the heroes buy time fighting Jake one on one, emergency personnel can try to get the jamming equipment in place.

The careless way in which Jake randomly determines a challenger (done differently each time) matches the devil-may-care attitude he has toward everything. He sincerely can't consider the possibility he might lose

It’s Jake’s overweening pride that led to the situation; he even agrees to a delay in the battles in order to get a better time slot. In most respects, however, his pride seems justified, as he disables the first three heroes he faces without much trouble at all. Not only can he create impenetrable force fields that can also be used as weapons, but he has a knack for predicting and dodging attacks, even from superfast heroes like Tiger, that seems downright clairvoyant.

The one hit that’s scored on him comes by accident (an unpowered Tiger trips over himself and accidentally delivers a backflip kick), and I suspect that will be the trick to defeating Jake in combat. If I’m right, that means that Tiger did get in one useful thing this episode, which serves as a contrast to his other behavior.

Jake is so unused to being hit that he takes it very personally. Tiger sustains the worst beating out of any of the heroes, and not just because he's too stubborn to stay down

While Tiger provided the moral backbone of last episode, getting the dithering city council to act to save its citizens, this episode the show finally begins to admit some of Tiger’s flaws. Always impulsive, Tiger makes several key mistakes this episode—from misreading Jake’s abilities to falling for a deception that may have eliminated a chance to catch Jake—that stem from his inability to think things through.

Most damning, however, is his own failure to live up to his words about the importance of teamwork. Barnaby has slowly come to respect Tiger’s outlook, but when Tiger demonstrates, twice over, that he doesn’t trust Barnaby to keep his emotions in check and do the right thing, Barnaby is understandably annoyed. For all Tiger has argued for relying on one’s partner, he’s not willing to rely on Barnaby. And their developing partnership fractures as a result.

Barnaby isn't just put out by Tiger's careless actions; he feels betrayed

I’ve complained before about the show overplaying the conflict between Tiger and Barnaby, but it feels much less forced here. Some of that comes from letting Tiger genuinely be in the wrong; the show has worked so much to justify Tiger’ flaws that I’m happy that they are finally allowed to get him in trouble. But Tiger’s errors here, in many ways, mirror those of Jake. Tiger assumes that Barnaby needs him, and thus screws things up trying to prove it.

Other heroes seem perhaps a bit too cocky of their abilities. Sky High, given first crack at taking on Jake, is so used to being the “King of Heroes” that he doesn’t realize that his attacks aren’t working until it’s too late. And Rock Bison, even knowing the absurd strength of Jake’s forcefields, still deludes himself into thinking he can break through them. Frankly, the heroes aren’t used to losing, and given whom they regularly face, it’s not hard to see why.

Jake isn't killing those he defeats, probably so he can gloat at them one last time before destroying the city. Someone needs to watch The Incredibles and pay attention to the parts about monologuing

Next episode will accelerate the time table, as Barnaby faces Jake with half the city on the line. Given Barnaby’s personal stake in the matter, it will be hard for him to maintain the cool, calculating front he’ll need to discern Jake’s weakness and overcome him. Anything else, though, and it will be the upper levels of the city that will be falling.

You can watch the episode here.

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  1. August 13, 2011 at 9:49 pm

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