Birds of Prey

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Daniel: C+ | Grade It Now!
Split Personality

After the opening narration, the camera corkscrews down between the buildings of New Gotham, the cries of someone being brutally beaten as our soundtrack. Is it someone being assaulted by a thug? A hoodlum? A ne'er-do-well? Nope -- it's a suspect being beaten by Det. Jesse Reese the Police, who's throwing said thug hard up against iron fences and snarling things like "You have the right to remain silent!" The suspect apparently also has the right to punch Reese in the face, which he does, before running away. Reese overplays his fall, arms flying and flopping, looking for all the world like a soccer player diving to the turf after the slightest brush from an opponent. The thug runs out of the alley, Reese in pursuit, until he's flattened by a kick to the face from Huntress, who's strategically perched on the back of a truck.

As Reese wrestles the guy onto his front so he can be handcuffed, he resumes his Tough-Man Mirandizing. "Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law," he grunts. As Reese cuffs the guy, he has the nerve to scold Huntress for helping him out, criticizing her for beating the suspect "until he bleeds" and calls it "excessive force" and I'd like to point out to Reese that his suspect had just almost knocked out a police officer and was getting away, and Helena's kick was far less brutal than, oh, say, SLAMMING A SUSPECT FACE-FIRST INTO AN IRON FENCE. Huntress is a little put out by Reese's less-than-grateful response, but says she does like the sound of "excessive force," and Reese says he noticed, but the problem is it's illegal, as he hauls up the suspect, who, despite Reese's claims, is not bleeding. Helena chirps that she likes to think of the law as merely a guideline, while Reese self-righteously calls it the line between "civilization and lawless anarchy," and then slams the thug's face down on the hood of the police car to illustrate that his view of civilization is a police state. Huntress wonders if that's why she had to talk him out of shooting a suspect last week, prompting the newest suspect to shoot a concerned look Reese's way. "Don't worry, I didn't actually shoot him, I just thought about it. Now get in the car," he tells the guy.

Reese shoves the suspect into the back of his vehicle, then turns around to glare at Huntress. "What? Don't look at me, I thought he had it coming," she says, saying she only talked him out of shooting Mick because of the paperwork she figured he'd have to do. Reese considers this, then grouchily asks if she dropped by for any particular reason; she says she was just tracking the guy after seeing him hold up a store. Reese says -- knowing full well that she won't -- that he'll need her to come down to the station to make a statement, since she's a witness. "You know I can't do that," she says. He wonders why working with her can't be simple; she replies, "There's nothing simple about whatever it is we're doing." Reese begs to differ, telling her she's the one making things complicated. "Why'd ya have to go and make things so complicated?" he says. "See the way you're acting like you're somebody else gets me frustrated. Life's like this. You fall and you crawl and you break and you take what you get and you turn it into honesty, promise me I'm never gonna find you fake it." Helena just cocks her head and looks at him. He suggests she follow the rules like everybody else, but she says that if she did that, bad guys would get away, crimes would be committed that could have been prevented, and innocent people would get hurt. "Is that what you want?" she challenges. "What I want," he says, pausing to step forward and jut out his chin so we're supposed to marvel at the sexual dynamics at work, "isn't the point." He gets in his car, while Huntress quietly says, "You're welcome." Reese says, "Come on, you know what I mean. It's just not the kind of help I..." he begins, but as he turns back toward her, she is, of course, gone. "...need," he finishes. He should learn to speak a little more quickly, since there's always just one word left in his sentence when she vanishes, leaving nothing there but "New Gotham Coffee Shop" and between that and every other business we've seen on these sets, I think the New Gotham telephone book must just start at the letter N. Well, except maybe for AAAA New Gotham Pizza. Reese shakes his head and looks annoyed for about half an hour, even though he really ought to be used to this.

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Birds of Prey




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