Home > Episode Reviews, Tiger & Bunny > Tiger & Bunny Episode 24 – Courage under Fire

Tiger & Bunny Episode 24 – Courage under Fire

It seems that both bear and I have been frustrated by stalled narratives as of late. Tiger & Bunny isn’t stalled, per say, but it’s going a lot slower than it needs to be. The central fight of this episode could have been over in five minutes if the writers wanted it that way.

Instead, the show has Tiger and Barnaby start fighting before their time-delayed powers are ready again (and why did they charge in early in the first place, knowing they’d be comparatively helpless?) so the two play wack-a-mole with H-01 for a while. Wack-a-mole, for reference, isn’t nearly as much fun when you’re taken the part of the mole.

I realize that rule of cool might be in effect, but having the suits light up whenever the pairs powers are ready and go dark once they pass their time limit seems really stupid. It's like broadcasting to everyone that you just ran out of bullets

That, in turn, gives the trapped heroes plenty of time to agonize over their fate, and much to my surprise, several of them actually consider pressing the button. All this fills Rotwang with glee; he even connects the audio and visual from a cell with a weak link at crucial moments, giving the remaining heroes just enough information to panic. Rotwang of course intends to kill them all anyway; he just wants the pleasure of seeing his views on Next being subhuman and heroism a joke confirmed.

Not surprisingly, it’s Blue Rose who manages to strengthen the resolve of her fellows, showing her trust in Barnaby and (particularly) Tiger. It’s also not surprising that Kaede, who Rotwang was foolishly keeping in the same room with him, uses her copied powers to escape, neutralize Rotwang, and free everyone. There was video of Kaede using some next ability before Maverick killed the feed, so you’d think he’d take some precautions.

Kaede does seem to be much better at utilizing her copied powers now

The annoying part is that it takes far longer than it needs to. Kaede waits until two-thirds of the way through the episode before she even starts to manifest her abilities, and only after H-01 is defeated does she take down the mad scientist. It’s to prove that our main protagonists have what it takes, of course, but the show still drags itself out longer than is necessary to prove it.

Tiger and Barnaby, meanwhile, steal a trick from The Incredibles to take down their robot opponent, using the robot’s own beam weapon against their otherwise indestructible foe. It’s not quite that easy, however, as Tiger has to hold the bot down while Barnaby takes the shot. And when Tiger’s power runs out before he has the opportunity to jump out of the line of fire, he no longer has the strength or reflexes to get out of the way.

There's some talk about how all of the robots designed by Barnaby's parents had a "don't hurt people" failsafe hardwired, and how undoing whatever Rotwang did to disable it would end the fight. Nothing has come of that revelation yet

The good news is that this does lead to the moment of honesty I’d been hoping to get from Tiger for the past six episodes or so. That bad news is that this revelation not only comes too late for anyone to do anything about it, but also, if it had been revealed earlier, might have kept the heroes from winning. Barnaby would have been far less willing to pull the trigger if he thought Tiger couldn’t dodge it at the last minute.

Thus, Tiger’s selfishness in keeping his secret, with all the betrayal of his partnership with Barnaby that this implied, winds up saving the day. That’s not quite the moral lesson I was hoping for. It doesn’t help that although the episode ends with Tiger seemingly dying, I’d be surprised if the show had the guts to really kill him. I sort of hope it does, though. Not only would that be the best way to salvage a moral out of this, but it would make next season far more interesting.

I also hope Lunatic stays on the loose. He's been given enough information to identify Maverick as the culprit, so he might take matters into his own hands at the last moment

With one episode remaining, all that remains is to take down Maverick and to tie up the remaining loose ends. Not all of them, of course; we’ll have another season to bring in new heroes and new villains, but there will be no small amount of continuity from the first to the second season. Unless the show makes a complete hash of the finale of this season, expect to see me around for the second.

You can watch the episode here.

As a side note, the girl from episode 22 had another cameo. Now I'm certain she's going to play a role next season

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