Birds of Prey
Primal Scream

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Going deep

Somewhere on the streets of New Gotham, Reese The Police is admiring his ring, the one with the Birds of Prey logo on it, given to him by Helena. Having already, I assume, shown it off to the boys down at the precinct, he decides to use its Page Huntress feature. He squeezes it, touching off a blue electrical flash on it. An ambulance drives by, lights flashing. Reese might want to pull over the people driving the phony ambulance, though; the word "ambulance" on the front isn't spelled in reverse for better readability in rearview mirrors. But he's got no time, since Huntress whooshes up on the street in front of him. "What can I do for you, detective?" she purrs at him. He's too freaked out by her quick response time, though, and she says she's known for it. Somehow it's supposed to be sexual innuendo, I guess, but I'm not following. Wait, maybe it wasn't supposed to be innuendo, since the writers haven't demonstrated much subtlety thus far. Let's call it "obviendo." And when the exchanges start taking on such elements of obviendo as this one does, you know you're supposed to think it's about sex, even though it's completely obvious it's not. Like, when Reese asks if Huntress has considered what he said, and she says, "About taking it to the next level?" and Reese starts blah-blahing lame lines about seeing if they're "compatible" and "if they fit together" and that kind of thing, you know they're not talking about sex. Reese says he figures this will be a good way for them to get to know each other. "Sounds good," says Helena, "because the truth of the matter is, detective, there's a lot of things you don't know about me." Reese says, "I don't even know your real name." Oh, wait, no he didn't. Just force of habit on my part.

Heavy guitar riff whips us through the city to some lame bar that looks suspiciously like the same place Guy destroyed a couple of weeks ago. It's very red. And the music sucks. And everybody's in slow motion. And some people riding motorcycles burst in through some double doors, as people start screaming, since these party-poopers are wearing animal masks and yelling ridiculous things like "let's get it on" and "thirty seconds" and "welcome to tonight's show. Price of admission: your valuables." Actually, they're not so much yelling it as they're saying it at a normal volume, while the screams of the terrified Crappy Club patrons are muted in the background. If any show could make an armed robbery completely devoid of tension, it's this one. Did one of the thieves just say, "Please, no knockoffs. We're a class act"? He did, didn't he? Why are these clubgoers screaming and not laughing? And please shut up, woman yelling "twenty seconds" in the classic clichéd way of showing what a really well-organized band of thieves it is. A woman wearing a cat mask -- WHOSE IDENTITY WE DON'T ACTUALLY KNOW, DO WE -- notices the bartender pulling out a shotgun. Bang! What's up with that thang? Helena -- I mean, "the mysterious woman in the cat mask" slides the length of the bar, knocking the shotgun out of the bartender's arms and into the air. She catches the shotgun and then downs someone's leftover drink on a nearby table, which is both nasty and also ludicrous, since her mask clearly doesn't have a functioning mouth. The timekeeper says, "Time! We're out!" and the rest of the gang busts out some rhyming quips that are really too mind-bogglingly annoying to reprint here. And the thieves leap on their motorcycles and peel out into the night, with the cat woman ripping off her mask. Oh my god, it's Helena! Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding, I'd start a revolution!

New Gotham Police. Reese is either leaving or arriving. Since any scene that starts with Reese walking somewhere by himself always turns into an annoying scene with Huntress, everybody pause a moment to get some Maalox, okay? When he does turn around to see her, he suggests that she appear in front of him once in a while, which she says would undercut "the whole broody, mysterious thing," and I can't explain how aggravating it is for us to accept Huntress both as a broody, mysterious heroine and as one who's always jokingly referring to how broody and mysterious she is. She asks if Reese was expecting her, and he says "all the time" and hands her a folder filled with surveillance photos of the robbery last night, all of which feature Huntress in her cat mask. "Is there something you want to tell me?" says Jesse, like we're really supposed to believe he's busting her here. She asks if the pants make her look too hippy, which makes an irritated Reese ask why everything's a joke to her, and I have to take issue with that, Reese, since jokes tend to be funny. They argue about the robbery, with Reese telling her that he brought her in on the case so they could work together, not so she could enjoy herself running around terrorizing civilians. Her response is that he brought her in because he needed someone with a more "casual" relationship with the law, since the gang would have spotted an undercover officer a mile away, which makes sense, since Helena looks like such a street-hardened thug. He says that when he brought Huntress in to work for him (which she quickly corrects to "work with you"), it was on the understanding that they'd do things "by the book." I have to say, that was rather stupid of him. Hmmm -- she's a mysterious vigilante with no regard for due process. She'd be perfect for this police action! He reminds her that she was supposed to call him with the target, and she says she would have if she'd known where they were going, but she's still in the "out for coffee" stage of the relationship. And the obviendo starts up again, with Reese wondering when they're going to move on to "heavy petting," and Helena says that after last night she's moved on to "second base," as if this stupid extended metaphor means anything at all. She tells him the gang's going to be hitting "Gobu" tomorrow night at ten. Reese is pleased, but cautions her that they have to catch the gang in the act to "make it stick." He asks if Huntress is ready for that. "All the time," she says, smirking. Then they stare smokily at each other for almost half an hour before the director finally gets around to saying "cut."

Over at New Gotham High, Barbara's class has finally gotten around to actual titles of books, as she's writing "Gabriel Garcia Marquez" and "One Hundred Years of Solitude," and since that's one of my favourite novels of all time, I'll thank Birds of Prey for not associating itself in any way with such a masterwork. You'd think they'd avoid referencing writing that's actually good, but there you have it. The long-absent Wade shows up with "coffee and company," and pretty much any time Wade opens his mouth I feel like punching him, but Barbara says "both of which I need" and asks how Wade knew, and Wade says he did some research and blah blah blah. Barbara hems and haws and asks Wade if it's bad that she thinks they should just sort of, kind of concentrate on the friends thing, and I have to say that maybe she should be just a little more decisive about it, so Wade doesn't sense there's an opening here -- which he does. "No, no, not 'bad,' it's just that…" he says, trailing off. Barbara prompts him to continue. "You're way cuter than my other friends. It'd be too distracting for everybody," he says, which I grudgingly concede is a good line to use. Naturally, Barbara likes it too, since she giggles and plays with her hair. She says they should take it slow, which he says is his favourite speed. Of course, he's lying, as he leans in for the kiss, saying, "Gear changes entirely at your discretion," and they start making out right there in her classroom. They break for air, and Barbara says, "Slow, right?" and he says "molasses" and I feel like punching him again, and then we zoom in through the Clocktower face (reading four o'clock) and Barbara and Wade are in bed together, apparently waking up, as Wade says "good morning" and she says, "It is, isn't it?" Are they at the Clocktower? That can't make any sense. They smile in that morning-after-sex way, and Wade makes the mistake of saying he wants to take care of her. Barbara's eyes pop open, and it kind of reminded me of the time I was in a similar…position, shall we say, and I was asked what I was thinking, which I contend is the single most insidious question a woman can ask you, and in hindsight I probably shouldn't have said I was wondering if the Oilers were going to pull through against the Stars that night, but in my defense, it was the playoffs.

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Birds of Prey




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