Justice League Unlimited

Season 4 Episode 5

The Balance

Aired Saturday 10:30 PM May 28, 2005 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
User Rating
221 votes

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Episode Summary

When Felix Faust escapes the magical mirror in which he was imprisoned by Tala, Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl must go to Tartarus where Faust has overthrown Lord Hades and claimed the place as his own.

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  • Balancing character development and action

    Clearly this is the "Wonder Woman gets a story" story of the season (like last year's "Hawk & Dove"). We do find out a bit more about Diana's backstory - "Who's your daddy" and all that. There didn't seem to be a whole lot to it, really, perhaps because Hades hasn't appeared in three years so there's not a whole lot of animosity there.

    We also find out Wonder Woman has more "powers," even though what her tiara does isn't revealed. So in a sense everything in this episode vis a vis WW's character development seemed a bit rush. A lot of it seemed to be more throwing stuff at her and giving her a few seconds of reaction, rathe then dealing with any of the longer-term ramifications.

    Hawkgirl gets a little characterization, but not much. Refreshingly, she's not torn by angst by her betrayal or anything (although we'll see a bit more of that in "Hunter's Moon"). Here the focus is more on her betraying the League of that time - again, how non-core members react is seen in "Hunter's Moon."

    That brings us to the plot, which rather neatly ties up at least one thread - that of the Annihilator. Although it's a little odd that with this episode there were as many episodes that focused on the Annihilator as on Hades and Faust...when Hades, as Diana's father, is presumably a bit more important. And has a personality to boot.

    But it was nice to see Cadmus involved without them being a major part of the plot. Tala remains somewhat of an unknown quality - why is she working for Cadmus? Unfortunately, it sounds like this will be her last appearance as part of the conspiracy, so who knows?

    Felix Faust is...well, Felix Faust. With a new hairstyle and a look closer to the Mist in the comic books. He doesn't really do much and his motivation for taking over the Underworld isn't very clear. I guess it's just what evil sorcerors do in their spare time. Hades also doesn't have a lot to do and John Rhys-Davies' absence here is a bit of a disappointment. Guess he was too busy doing Revelations or something.

    There's also the requisite action sequences - fighting demons and taking on the Annihilator creation. The battle scenes are as usual well choreographed and animated. Hawkgirl's mace is rapidly becoming Plot Point #1 in the animated DC Universe - is the mace or its Nth metal going to be featured in every episode where Hawkgirl appears with dialogue? It's getting a little boring.

    Overall this episode did a bit with the characters and was up to the usual standards, but nothing incredibly outstanding. It wrapped up a plot thread or two (the Hawkgirl/Wonder Woman relationship, Wonder Woman's parentage, Whatever Happened to Felix Faust?) and kept all the balls in the air, but didn't really advance anything.moreless
  • "We're like Oil and Vinegar - we go well together but we don't mix" Shayera to Wonder Woman

    A great episode and follow up to "Paradise Lost"

    The disorientated spirit of Felix Faust haunts Cadmus Agent Tala (voiced perfectly by Juliet 'Drucilla' Landau) and tricks her into releasing him. Faust then possesses the armour The Anhaliator and immediately punishes Hades for he's betrayal in Paradise Lost. Wonder Woman is asked to rescue Themiscaria and Hades to restore the balance (hence the title). Shayera tags along and the pair have a rocky start. But once WW's full powers - protective armour, truth lasso (Linda Carter WW!) are activated by her mother, the pair kick butt and manage to reconcile. A great episode - nice to see the return of Faust, Hades and Hippolyta. Good to see WW and Hipp make up and good to see Shayera and WW make up too. Looks like Starcrossed will no longer haunt the former Hawkgirl.moreless
  • A good episode...

    The dissention between Shayera and Wonder Woman in the beginning is great fun to watch; obviously Wonder Woman still harbors ill will towards Shayera and when they’re forced to work together, you know things will eventually work out in the end. And of course they do, albeit with a strange sounding line (“We’re like oil and vinegar; we go together but we don’t mix.”). The dialogue was pretty strong throughout and the music was great as well. On the flip side, one of the best things of the episode was Wonder Woman. Not only did she get new powers, but her origin (tried and true from the comics, albeit with a twist of Hades helping sculpt her from clay) was thrown in as well. We haven’t heard jack from Wonder Woman’s origin since “Paradise Lost” and nothing from Themiscrya since “Fury” (albeit a brief appearance of Hippolyta in “Hereafter”) and this gave a nice fresh breath of depth to her character. It’s a departure from the overall Cadmus arc this season, but we got some depth to Wonder Woman, in addition to Wonder Woman and Shayera patching things up.moreless
Susan Eisenberg

Susan Eisenberg

Wonder Woman/Diana

Carl Lumbly

Carl Lumbly

Martian Manhunter/J'onn J'onzz

Michael Rosenbaum

Michael Rosenbaum

Flash/Wally West

Maria Canals

Maria Canals

Hawkgirl/Shayera Hol

Robert Englund

Robert Englund

Felix Faust

Guest Star

Bob Joles

Bob Joles


Guest Star

Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman


Guest Star

Juliet Landau

Juliet Landau


Recurring Role

Susan Sullivan

Susan Sullivan


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • Hades mentions to Diana that he and her mother sculpted her out of clay together. Technically speaking, Hades is Diana's father. But, in "Paradise Lost" he was surprised to see that Hippolyta had a daughter.

    • Trivia: There is a picture of a maiden riding a white bull in Diana's room in the JLU building. This picture represents a story of Zeus who takes the form of a white bull to be with a mortal lover.

    • Trivia: When playing Zatanna's lines backwards, she says "ALL IS LOST, FAUST SITS ON THE THRONE OF HELL."

    • As Hawkgirl says, "What does that tin suit run on?" her mace is on her right hand and the strap around her right wrist. She hits him and the mace is still in her right hand, strapped to her right wrist. But Faust grabs her and the mace strap slides off her left wrist.

    • When Flash and Wonder Woman enter, Fire and Ice are sitting by themselves. After they sit, Fire gets up. But only a couple of intervening shots later Fire is back at the table and Aztek has appeared there.

    • J'onn says all the League's magical members are stricken, but at least one established magical Leaguer, Johnny Thunder (and/or his magical Thunderbolt) are not present or referred to.

    • In the cafeteria, in the first couple of shots both Diana and Shayera have a bowl with fruit in front of them. But right after Flash takes something from Diana's tray and says, "You weren't going to eat that, were you?" there's an overhead mid-shot and the fruit bowl has vanished from Diana's side. Then it reappears after Wonder Woman says, "It's the sauce."

    • In the cafeteria scene, the relative placement of the various tables and occupants varies from shot to shot. When Flash and Wonder Woman sit down, Fire and Ice are behind and to Diana's right toward the outside window. But in the next shot Fire gets up and she's almost directly behind Diana. Then when Shayera arrives Diana is positioned so her back is back toward the way they came in and away from the window - instead there's a door on her right leading to a cafeteria-serving area. Then they cut back to another shot where we can see to Diana's right, and the cafeteria-serving area has vanished and instead there's the doorway leading out into a hallway. This discontinuity continues throughout the scene - in the next shot directly on Wonder Woman's face Ice is behind her but in the next shot Ice is behind the Flash (although Aztek still isn't present). The next shot, same angle, Ice is to Diana's side again. And so on.

    • Wonder Woman has the same problem - when she attacks Faust with the mace as she says, "I hit harder then she does," it's clearly strapped to her left wrist. A few blows later she drives it down into Faust's headpiece and there's clearly no strap on her left wrist.

    • When Faust mummifies Wonder Woman, her entire body is wrapped up except for her feet. However, in the next shot her feet are covered, but the lower part of her face is not.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Hermes: By decree of Zeus, Father of Olympus, it is so ordered that Diana of Themyscyira will travel to Tartarus and set right that which has been disturbed.
      Wonder Woman: He's telling me to go to...?
      Hermes: Basically.

    • Shayera: My mace disrupts magic – what's that tin suit run on again?

    • Tala: This is really bad, isn't it?
      Felix Faust: You have no idea...

    • Flash: You could at least talk to each other.
      Shayera: The pasta's good.
      Wonder Woman: It's the sauce.
      Shayera: This isn't going to work, is it?
      Wonder Woman: Not a chance.

    • Felix Faust: Still, it's hard to believe you can't solve your Annihilator problem. The answer is simplicity itself.
      Tala: Are you going to tell me, or just keep tormenting me?!?

    • Wonder Woman: Flash?!?
      Hermes: No no - it's the original speedster.

    • Flash: I always thought the reason you two don't get along is that you're so much alike.
      Shayera and Wonder Woman: Like her?!?

    • Shayera: Aren't you cold in that outfit?
      Wonder Woman: Not really.
      Shayera: Of course not--the Princess doesn't get cold. The Princess doesn't even sweat in the Fire Pits of Tartarus.
      Wonder Woman: I do too sweat.
      Shayera: Please-–you glow. I wouldn't be surprised if you never have to... (convenient interruption)

    • Wonder Woman: What about us. Are we good?

    • Shayera: That's right-–I'm an angel. You can mess with me if you want to, but I don't think you want to mess with the boss. (demons flee) If we're lucky, they'll all be that dumb.

    • Wonder Woman: As far as I'm concerned, they deserve each other. Why should I care about this?
      Hermes: You mean, other then the "direct order from the gods" thing?

    • Felix Faust: (in Hades' library) I'm in Heaven--figuratively speaking.
      Shayera: We're revoking your library card.

    • Wonder Woman: You're doing this because you want to prove yourself to me, aren't you? Well, you don't have to. I forgave you a long time ago.
      Shayera: Did I ever ask you for your forgiveness?

    • Hippolyta: Bring my daughter back to me.
      Shayera: Nothing to worry about. She's almost as good at kicking butt as I am.

    • Hippolyta: Diana! You know you're not supposed to step foot on this island. The gods have decreed that...
      Shayera: The gods are decreeing stuff all the time around here (Hippolyta glares) ...ma'am.

    • Hermes: I've got something for you. It's pretty important – (Zeus) paid for overnight service. Here it is.
      Wonder Woman: (reading scroll) "For a good time, call Podemanus..."
      Hermes: Whoa. Wrong scroll. I think I got a shot. It's her cell number.

    • Hermes: Felix Faust is on the loose again.
      Wonder Woman: Felix Faust is dead.
      Hermes: Yes, and pretty upset about it too.

    • Felix Faust: You actually hurt me. Allow me to return the favor.

    • Flash: I had dinner with two women at the same time...cuz I'm a stud!

    • Hades: Ah well - who has time to read these days? Besides, I've got a new hobby - tormenting Faust's pathetic soul. Any problems with that?
      Shayera: Not my department.

    • Abnegazar: Now could you please take this rope off of me? I'm a demon. The truth hurts.

    • Shayera: Where's Faust?
      Abnegazar: Let me think... oh, yeah, he's over there! No, wait, he's over there! No, there.
      Shayera: One more answer and it better be the right one.
      Abnegazar: Or what, you'll kill me? Gosh, I might end up suffering eternal torment as punishment for my sins... oh, wait, I already am!

  • NOTES (4)


    • Prometheus:
      Hades suffers a simliar torment to that of Prometheus. Prometheus, whom brought the fire to man, was tormented by a large vulture that ate his liver everyday. The liver grew back and the routine continued until Hercules killed the bird.

    • Felix Faust: The lost scrolls of Herculaneum...
      Herculaneum was an ancient city that was located in the south-central Italy on the Bay of Naples. A popular resort during Roman times, it was completely destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.

    • Felix Faust: Pierre Menard's Don Quixote....
      Pierre Menard is a fictional 20th century writer, created by Jorge Luis Borges for the book Pierre Menard, Author of The Quixote. The story was written in the form of a review about the non-existent Pierre Menard, describing his effort to translate, and immerse himself so thoroughly to "re-create" it in the original 16th century Spanish, Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote. The Don Quixote itself gives a panoramic view of the 17th-century Spanish society. The work has been seen as a veiled attack on the Catholic Church or on the contemporary Spanish politics, or symbolizing the duality of the Spanish character. Don Quixote is often nominated as the best work of fiction ever.

    • Felix Faust: Dark tomes that make the Necronomicon look like a children's book.
      The Necronomicon (Greek) is a fictional book of magic, invented by H. P. Lovecraft and frequently featured in his Cthulhu mythos tales. The cover seen here has a face on it which resembles that seen of the Necronomicon in the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness movies.

    • Felix Faust:: Merlin's juvenilia...
      Merlin was a powerful magician in Arthurian legend that acted as King Arthur's advisor.