Justice League Unlimited

Season 2 Episode 6

Only a Dream (2)

Aired Saturday 10:30 PM Oct 11, 2003 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
User Rating
140 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Four of the Leaguers are trapped in their dreams by Dr. Destiny - only J'onn and Batman can rescue them...if they don't fall asleep first.

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  • A Nightmare on JL Street

    This episode starts right off with an elaborate dream sequence that gives a good indication of exactly how goofy and childlike the Flash is - that makes the children turning against him a fairly subtle touch. The actual "speeding up past everyone" seems a bit much - the Flash doesn't seem that fast that he'd worry about this kind of thing.

    The Superman sequence seemed a bit short, although it was interesting to see him get back to Smallville. And the cameos by Lois and Jimmy were fun.

    Hawkgirl's was way too short and unelaborate. You'd think being an alien and all, she might dream...well, differently. Also, unlike the others, she needs help to get out of the dream (even Flash - Flash! - manages to find his "power within" or whatever) which kinda weakens the character.

    Green Lantern's was a bit more elaborate, although the first part doesn't really convey what was being pushed in the second part - that he's an extension of his ring. What does that have to do with not being able to read?

    With those four and their dream sequences taken care of, that brings us to the main focus of the story - Batman and J'onn. This is the first story since Injustice for All that gives us Batman in an appropriate setting. The heck with fighting mystical undead warriors and New Gods with his exploding batarangs - this is Batman doing detective work and scaring a bad guy with mind games. In the end it's Batman using mental discipline to defeat Destiny - there's no indication defeating Dee in the Leaguers' dreams would have beat him for good.

    J'onn doesn't have a lot to do - he's the rallying point and all but he functions more as a plot device to free the Leaguers then showing bits of character like in the preceding Tabula Rasa.

    Dr. Destiny himself is pretty impressive, and having him kill someone (his girlfriend) ups the ante a bit. Actual absolute death on this show was pretty rare last year, but we seem to be getting a lot of it this year - interesting if a little unusual for a "kids" show. Destiny does appear to know all the Leaguers' secret identities now, which might pose a problem if he ever returns.

    Overall, between the surreal dream sequences and Batman strutting his stuff, this episode ranks among the best in the series up to this time.moreless
  • They just had to have a bad guy that terrorizes dreams - but they did it right. Not only suspenseful, but creative and visually pleasing. Dr. Destiny is quite the creepy villain.moreless

    Every now and then a villain comes along in JLU that is really neat. Dr. Destiny is definitely one of those villains. First of all, he is human so didn't start off with any powers that would give him an easy advantage. Then the mind controlling powers he got was a reward of his own doing, not a "horrible accident" or something of the like. And mind control is almost always really cool to begin with, so that helps too. He spoke in a creepy way and wore that creepy cape, and best of all he had a crazy skeleton face (yeah I know it's just random, but it's still cool)! Definitely an awesome villain. Just the fact that he was the featured villain made the episode pretty good in itself, but then the plot was also quite interesting.

    J'onn's trip into the minds of the other JL'ers was really different. Their altered worlds were visited and the rules of a normal battle didn't have to be followed. Superman's trip to Smallville was really neat, and so was Green Lantern's trip back to his home town. Hawk Girl being buried was freaky, but her dream should have been elaborated a lot more. Flash's dream was funny at the beginning with the kid, but then it got random with all the people freezing.

    Batman's trek to stop Dr. Destiny was pretty exciting. He said he hadn't slept for days, and the combination of that and Dr. Destiny's increasing power as he got closer to him was a pretty tough obstacle to overcome. But it was one that Batman was best suited for, which made it so much better. Batman was fighting a villain that could easily have been one from the Batman universe. There was no disadvantage for Batman due to super powers of the villain, so Batman got to use his smarts and defeat Dr. Destiny. On a side note, I really liked the reference to the MC Escher drawing.

    Overall a very intriguing episode that seemed to me to be very well-thought-out and unique (with an awesome villain).moreless
  • Dr. Destiny should have appeared in more than 1 episode.

    I really enjoyed this episode becasue it introduced a cool new villain that, if you ask me, was underexploited.

    Anyway, it was really nice to see the heroes having to fight their fears and failing miserably. This episode just goes to show that soemtimes super powers aren't as important as a clever mind.

    Dr. Destiny is also a celver villain, having a taste for revenge on people with powers, and he looks a bit like Skeletor from Masters of the Universe.

    In addition, the ending was really nicely made, showing Dr. Destiny humming a song endlessly and Batman finally getting a good night's sleep.

    All in all, a good episode and a great villain.

  • Great Episode. Fun to watch, and gave us some insight to the fears of some of the characters.

    I personally liked this episode a lot. It had somewhat of a creepy feeling, because although you know that the Leaguers aren\'t in real physical danger, they are facing danger in their minds. It adds suspense...will they wake up in time, or will their nightmares consume them?

    The parts with Batman were great. I loved the actor\'s voice when he was humming..the deep tonal character of the hum struck me as being totally in character. His line..\"My brain\'s not a nice place\" was great!

    As for the preious review, GL wasn\'t having nightmares about not being able to read...he was having nightmare\'s of being alien to his own home, due to all his time in space and dealing with other civilizations from being a Green Lantern.moreless
George Newbern

George Newbern

Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El

Maria Canals

Maria Canals

Hawkgirl/Shayera Hol

Carl Lumbly

Carl Lumbly

Martian Manhunter/J'onn J'onzz

Kevin Conroy

Kevin Conroy

Batman/Bruce Wayne

Michael Rosenbaum

Michael Rosenbaum

Flash/Wally West

Phil LaMarr

Phil LaMarr

Green Lantern/John Stewart

William Atherton

William Atherton

John Dee/Dr. Destiny

Guest Star

David Kaufman

David Kaufman

Jimmy Olsen

Guest Star

Dana Delany

Dana Delany

Lois Lane

Recurring Role

Jason Marsden

Jason Marsden

Snapper Carr

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Although Dee's revenge is apparently against the entire Justice League, there is no reason given for Wonder Woman's absence, or the fact he doesn't seem to be bothering with her. She does appear in his opening dream in Part 1, so apparently he bears her a grudge as well so her absence from his plans seems kind of odd.

    • Although J'onn and Batman recover the sleeping Green Lantern from his downtown apartment, for some reason they then fly him a considerable distance out into the countryside to rendezvous with the Javelin-7.

    • Batman nods off at the wheel of the Batmobile and ends up sideswiping a truck. For some reason the trucker never stops.

  • QUOTES (8)

  • NOTES (5)

    • Al and Chris McGee (from "In Blackest Night") appear in GL's dream.

    • This is the first time we see Smallville (or a dream version) in the series.

    • Dana Delany and David Kaufman reprise their roles from Superman: The Animated Series as Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen respectively, even though they don't have more then a line or two of dialogue each. Perry White appears briefly but has no dialogue.

    • In the Flash's dream sequence at the beginning of the episode, the couple he is asking what is going on looks suspiciously like Dick Grayson (Nightwing, formerly Robin) and Barbara Gordon (Oracle, formerly Batgirl).

    • Wonder Woman doesn't appear in this episode.


    • Sign: Humuhumunukunukuapuaa
      On one of the signs in Green Lantern's dream, a sign reads "Humuhumunukunukuapuaa" - the state fish of Hawaii.

    • Batman: Whatever you do, don't fall asleep
      This episode is similar to the horror series Nightmare on Elm Street, particularly when Batman calls Superman and tells him not to go to sleep. The same thing happened in every one of the Nightmare movies.

    • Audio: Batman humming "Frère Jacques"
      The song that Batman hums to defeat Dr. Destiny is a French children's song titled Frère Jacques:

      Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques,
      Dormez vous? Dormez vous?
      Sonnez les matines, Sonnez les matines
      Ding Ding Dong, Ding Ding Dong

      or, in English:

      Brother John, Brother John,
      Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
      Morning bells are ringing, Morning bells are ringing
      Ding Ding Dong, Ding Ding Dong

      It is not clear who is the author of the song, but it dates back to Gustav Mahler, who took this song as inspiration to compose the third movement of his Symphony No. 1 in D major called Feierlich und gemessen. This symphony, also known as Titan, was written between 1884 and 1888.

    • Visual: Stairways in every direction
      When Dr. Destiny is trying to break Batman, he stands in what seems to be Maurits Cornelis Escher's "Relativity," a place that has floors, walls and ceiling in every direction.

    • Dr. Destiny: There's no place like (pause) home?
      This line is a paraphrase of the famous quote from John Howard Payne's poem Home, Sweet Home that goes:

      'Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
      Be it ever so humble there's no place like home!
      A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there,
      Which, seek through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere.
      Home! Home! Sweet, sweet home!
      There's no place like home!
      There's no place like home!

      This line became more famous when was used by Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

    • Flash: Sound Effect
      In the movie the Flash is watching, the old Six Million Dollar Man sound effect is heard when he punches Grundy.