Justice League Unlimited

Season 4 Episode 1

The Cat and the Canary

Aired Saturday 10:30 PM Feb 05, 2005 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
User Rating
231 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Black Canary asks Green Arrow to help save her mentor, Wildcat, from an underground super-powered fight club known as Meta-Brawl.

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  • The Cat, the Canary, the Arrow...and no one else.

    And so we begin the new season. Same as the old season, opening-credit-wise. Apparently the producers just used clips of the upcoming episodes in the opening credits until Hawkgirl joined the team and they could settle on one set of credits that showed all seven of the team without giving away Hawkgirl would be joining. Now they have a set series of clips.

    Anyhoo, the episode itself? Basically connects two comic book icons, Black Canary and Green Arrow, who have been long-time lovers in the comic book. There's no indication they're romantically involved (yet) in the JLU series, but judging from the plot of the upcoming "Double Date," they're going to be hanging around each other.

    Black Canary basically steals the show with some good fight scenes and her alternating between using her sexual wiles in a rather passive-aggressive manner and kicking butt. The bit about her sonic scream kills people at too close a range seems a bit convenient. However, it does put somewhat of a limit on her and answers a question they never seem too worried about in the comics most of the time - why does she need to use her martial arts to beat up on people when she can just "Scream" them unconscious?

    Green Arrow doesn't change a whole lot here. He's still obnoxious, kinda grating, and macho. Kin Shriner seems to be going for a little deeper tone - it almost sounds like a different person. The fact that GA's a billionnaire seems a bit at odds with his previous defense of the "little guy," as does the fact that it's apparently common knowledge in the League. Secret ID - what secret ID?

    We also get a slightly remodeled Wildcat - in the comics he's a 80-year old heavyweight champion with a limited immortality schtick that assures he's eager and ready to march into any fight and supremely self-confident. Here he's an over-the-hill boxer worried he's losing his edge, feeling outclassed by his superpowered comrades, and seeking out super-powered arena fights. Both versions are interesting, but the latter really much so. And it's a nice choice of casting to get Dennis Farina doing the character - his performance and intonation does much to bring the character out.

    We also get Roulette, who doesn't have much to do here and not much of a motivation, and a series of "cameo villains" who really don't do much and conveniently disappear at the end - the heroes don't even really get to fight them.

    The fight scenes are both well directed and nicely choreographed. Black Canary effortlessly takes out a handful of goons, while Wildcat effortlessly beats up on three opponents and administers a brutal beating to Green Arrow.

    Perhaps the only false note is the whole drug/alcohol-analogy they seem to be making here - "I can stop any time I want!" etc., etc. It's sill not as heavy-handed as most TV "message" episodes, though.

    The rest of the League has no dialogue and almost doesn't make an appearance. This is probably a good thing - it's nice to see one of my prediction/wishes from last week proved true and the producers/writers are capable of focussing on new and interesting characters in the League, give them a decent plot, and explore their characters. We don't need the "core seven" anymore and while there is still stories to be told about them and they're welcome back any time, it's good to see some other superheroes getting some screentime.moreless
  • The Green Arrow and the Black Canary make a wonderful team.

    This episode may not really be a 9 out of ten, maybe more of an 8.8 or something. Since i'm only allowed to give the simple ratings I am going with a 9 because the episode wasn't quite an 8.5. I love The Green Arrow, which is a huge reason why I enjoyed this episode. This version of Black Canary is pretty cool; she is attractive, powerful, quick, and intelligent. She isn't as great as Wonder Woman but she ranks among my top favorite female super heroes. I found this series version of Wildcat to be a bit strange, he looks old, angers easily, and has a different voice than I had imagined him to have. What I found good about this episode was the fact that it focused on other heroes besides the regular (Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Superman). The action in this episode was excellent, the animation was great, etc. This episode had a few flaws or moments that made me go "huh? what?", and could have been much better, but I am thankful for what it was.moreless
  • Green Arrow is warming up on me!

    I am really getting to like Green Arrow as he

    Is really warming up to me and also that he

    Proves that you don't have to have super powers in order

    To prove your point or to save the world. The show

    Developed with its characters both known and unknown as well

    As its not being dark anymore! Which I love a lot!

    Way to go JLU!!
  • The Cat and the Canary

    Canary asks Green Arrow to help her save her mentor and Uncle Ted, Wildcat from the grips of Metabrawl. She tricks him by pretending she's not a good fighter then she shows that she actually is very good. She breaks free and he helps h e r. She and him pay for tickets, and etc. I thought it was pretty good. Canary is awesome. And Arrow is cool. But when I watched this Supergirl was better associated with Green Arrow, though the comics support the Canary-Arrow relationship well, Bruce Timm and Paul Dini kind of made this seem otherwise and thats it.moreless
  • This one proves that super powers and high tech sci-fi are not necessary when it comes to creating good story lines and action sequences. It's all about defining the situation and letting the characters be themselves.moreless

    Being a long-time Green Arrow fan may give me an unfair bias in objectively rating this episode but who else would fit so well into this story line. His relationship with Black Canary has been comic legend as well as a minor subplot that started when GA first noticed BC in the first JLU episode (Initiation). Wildcat is actually a "Golden Age" hero who depended on his fighting prowess rather than super powers. It was truly a classic story line: the flawed hero, the girl who wants to save him and the unwilling and somewhat cynical newcomer who is unsure of what he got himself into. Throw in all the great action scenes which flowed so well in the story line and this one came close to being a masterpiece. The only flaw in this one, and I do think it is minor, is that it had to somehow be connected to the whole League Watchtower thing. My opinion is that it would have been better as a stand alone episode. The real villians here were pride and selfishness while the real heros were love and sacrifice. And when you think about it, that's why it was such a special episode.moreless
Dennis Farina

Dennis Farina


Guest Star

Virginia Madsen

Virginia Madsen


Guest Star

Jamie Alcroft

Jamie Alcroft


Guest Star

Lex Lang

Lex Lang

Thug Leader

Recurring Role

Kin Shriner

Kin Shriner

Green Arrow

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • After Wildcat and Green Arrow's fight, during the close up on Roulette as she goes on about the millions she is going to make, the chain links that are apparent behind her on the left side of the screen are missing entirely from the right side, although from other shots in that scene she is clearly fully surrounded by the chainlink dome.

    • Green Arrow's hat gets knocked off while fighting Wildcat, but it's not seen for the rest of the episode, on the ground or anywhere else.

    • The scene in which Green Arrow changes out of his civilian clothes has several errors. Previously he wears a turtleneck shirt underneath a suit jacket. He turns his back to Black Canary while they change, but he removes both the jacket and shirt by pulling them down over his shoulders, and he suddenly is wearing a button-front shirt. As the sleeves come down you can see his elbow-length Green Arrow gloves although he was previously barehanded. Also his quiver just appears, although it is clearly too large to fit under his clothes and there's no indication he left the building to get it and came back.

    • After Green Arrow drops his quiver as he enters the ring, it appears once or twice but otherwise disappears the rest of the time.

    • When Black Canary hops in and confronts the thug leader, his two goons are standing about 5' behind him. Then she jumps down, throws the leader, and they're in the same positions but suddenly much further back, and she throws the leader to where he was just standing relative to the other two.

    • When Canary "screams" the truck, the leader is driving. Then the van falls over on the driver's side and the second it skids to a halt, the leader instantly climbs out and falls to the ground. He would have had to climb over the passenger while the truck was still skidding to do that, which seems impossible.

    • When the truck leaves the crime scene, there are only two guys in the cab. Then it skids to a halt with no indication anyone flew out of the rear. But in the next shot there are four guys laying in front of it. Where'd the other two come from?

    • When Black Canary and Green Arrow first start fighting, they're both on the walkway with Black Canary right behind GA. Then GA shoots the two goons with a bolo-arrow and there's a side shot, and Black Canary is nowhere to be seen, behind him or anywhere else.

    • When Green Arrow fires the net arrow, Atomic Skull is in the lead. But when the group breaks out, Tracer is in the front using his wrist-cutters and Atomic Skull is behind him. Then when the villains start walking again, Atomic Skull is back in front.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Black Canary: Most people, after they sold the company for three billion, would just kick back and relax.
      Green Arrow: I'm not most people. Besides, after taxes and the lawyers are through with you, you're lucky if you see a billion and a half.
      Black Canary: My heart bleeds.

    • Wildcat: Just sit tight – I'll be there in ten minutes.
      Black Canary: Would those be real minutes, or Wildcat minutes?

    • Green Arrow: Care to join me for a cup of coffee?
      Black Canary: Yeah.
      Green Arrow: Good - you're buying.

    • Green Arrow: At least now I understand why you brought me along. You didn't need Green Arrow - you just needed "green."

    • Green Arrow: Uhhh, there's no place to change.
      Black Canary: Right here will do. (Green Arrow glances over his shoulder) You drop something?

    • Green Arrow: I thought that was just you pretending again...
      Black Canary: What's that supposed to mean?
      Green Arrow: Like all that flirting you did up at the Watchtower. The way you acted interested - to get me to come with you.
      Black Canary: Who said that was pretending?

    • Black Canary: You know, that was an incredibly stupid thing to do. Not to mention arrogant, pig-headed, macho... and very, very sweet.

    • Black Canary: You happy punching the bag. or you want to go a few rounds with me? (Green Arrow stares) I am talking about sparring.
      Green Arrow: That'd be nice, too.

  • NOTES (5)


    • Thug: Nice guy to have around
      The thug that Canary and Green Arrow buy tickets to MetaBrawl from looks remarkably like the Sacha Baron Cohen character Ali G.

    • Title:
      The Cat and the Canary was a spooky-old-house stage play by John Willard, which has been filmed several times. The two most notable versions are Paul Leni's 1927 moody silent film and the 1939 remake which played up the comedy relief and made a star of Bob Hope.

      The basic plot centers around the death of millionaire whose surviving relatives gather several years after his death to hear the reading of his will. A sole heir is named, but due to a streak of insanity in the family, a second will has been made in the event that the primary heir becomes insane. Warnings from spirits predicting death and the escape of a homicidal maniac ("The Cat"), sets up a night filled with murders, mysteries and intrigue. Although no discernible connection between the play/movie and this episode can be seen, the title was probably chosen for its literal reference to two of the heroes featured in this story.