Justice League Unlimited

Season 4 Episode 5

The Balance

Aired Saturday 10:30 PM May 28, 2005 on Cartoon Network

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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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.
  • "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.
  • 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.
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