Home > Episode Reviews, Tiger & Bunny > Tiger & Bunny Episode 22 – Bound Together

Tiger & Bunny Episode 22 – Bound Together

I had several speculations about how this episode would unfold, which didn’t pan out exactly how I anticipated. Yes, Kaede had a major role in saving her father’s bacon, and yes, Barnaby remained unconvinced even after the other heroes came around. But the method by which that came about was decidedly different than the show was originally hinting would be the case.

Much of that revolves around the “Is Tiger a genius or an idiot” discussion that took up much of the last post. I stated last time that while Tiger was often slow on the uptake, he often pulled together clever deductions right when most needed by the plot. Last episode he announced he had a plan, and Tiger’s plans always seem to pan out.

This time it doesn’t, perhaps permanently resolving the genius/idiot question. Now I think it’s fair to say he’s an idiot.

Maverick deliberately has Barnaby wait before going in. Maverick says it's to let Barnaby calm down, but the latter is even more in a killing mood when he arrives. I think that was the real point

Tiger’s whole plan, from beginning to end, was just to show off in his old costume and assume it would convince everyone. Obviously, this convinces no one, so only when they come after him does he do what I would expect him to do, and start telling personal anecdotes that only Wild Tiger would know. Even this, however, doesn’t work, leaving Tiger stranded on a rooftop surrounded by heroes with his power timed out.

Maverick’s memory altering ability might be easy to contradict, but it requires some hard proof. Particularly when every other hero is backing up the official story, it’s not surprising that no one makes the leap of faith in Tiger. (Save Blue Rose, in a tentative way, showing how she her affection for Tiger is strong enough to bleed on to a “lookalike.”) In the end, Kaede has to save the day.

One funny moment is when Tiger asks if he has the face of a killer and all the heroes respond, "pretty much, yeah"

Although Kaede’s moment feels like a deus ex machina, it’s actually properly foreshadowed in the previous episode. There Kaede had a random encounter with Maverick, and accidentally copied his memory power. Once on the roof she subconsciously evokes it to restore everyone’s memories. Problem solved.

As I said, it’s not a deus ex machina because it was foreshadowed last episode. But something about it still feels ad hoc, just as it feels ad hoc that Sky High touches her before Barnaby arrives, ensuring she can’t do the same to him. (At least, that ad hoc quality is my excuse for not predicting that Kaede copied Maverick’s power.) Thus Tiger will need to spend the next episode making the plan that failed miserably this episode work then. And, via circumstances I hope won’t feel equally ad hoc, they of course will.

For reference, the last person to touch Kaede is Blue Rose. We'll see if that matters next episode

The main problem is that Tiger & Bunny feels like it is stalling deliberately here. Tiger’s attempt to convince his compatriots takes up a good chunk of the episode, as does the after the fact explaining and the first parts of Tiger dealing with Barnaby. It just drags; all the meaningful content could fit in half the time without much trouble.

Maybe, when the producers decided they were doing a second season, they moved their final plot to next time and had to draw out this one to compensate. I’m just speculating at this point. What I do know is that this is some of the worst pacing I’ve seen from the show, and I don’t see how it can be drawn out much longer without really losing the audience.

On the other hand, the fight between robot Tiger and the remaining hero corps should be reasonably exciting. Once again, I'm betting that Kaede will help out

What will make the next episode succeed, or not, will be how well the show can plum the depths of Tiger and Barnaby’s partnership, their friendship, over the past year. And I hope, desperately, that this will lead Tiger to admit his own weaknesses to Barnaby in a way that he hasn’t been willing to do up until now. For all its trappings as a superhero show and the clever ways it subverts those trappings, Tiger & Bunny is about Tiger and Bunny. And it will stand or fall on that.

You can watch the episode here.

Since one thing the show is good at is introducing plot elements well in advance, I have to think these characters, or at least the girl, will prove important later. given the attention given to them here

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