*Contains some spoilers*
Beware the Batman, can you please always open your episodes with Batman and Katana fighting a swarm of ninjas? Seriously, the plot could have nothing to do with the Lady Shiva and her organization, but a little dose of heroes vs. ninjas to kick things off never hurt anyone (except for the ninjas, but Shiva probably gives them great health insurance). As you've probably guessed by now, the latest episode, "Family," sees the return of Katana's story with the
kryptonite green sword that absorbs souls (the Soultaker). Silver Monkey, a villain who will hopefully reappear someday in The New 52, is still power hungry and wants to get his hands on the weapon. So, the villain goes after Tatsu with a plot that'll force her to bring the sword directly to him.
There are two key things which make "Family" standout: a whole lot of rather awesome action and some shockingly out of character moments. The action delivers and then some. Already pointed out is a team-up against ninjas -- one which is really extensive, mind you, but we get to see a claustrophobic and quite intense rematch between Silver Monkey and Katana, and... LADY FREAKING SHIVA BUSTS A MOVE! She's not as formidable as I had hoped, but to be fair, it was two against one and she still held her own pretty well. Plus, a drugged Silver Monkey stumbling around and then breaking out superb form and swift attacks in an effort to save his own skin was a really nice treat as well.
"Wait, didn't you say there's shockingly out of character moments?!" Yes, and at the time, they made me exclaim, "Wait... WHAT?!" We're talking about the man whose secrets have secrets lashing out at Alfred and Katana for hiding something from him, after all. Then, he's somewhat randomly getting all intimidate with Ravencroft and seemingly trying to take the relationship to the next stage. I told myself there has to be something we're missing, and sure enough, it all makes sense in the end.
"Family" is a very satisfying episode. There's plenty of great fights and once again Bruce's capabilities as a detective get a good amount of respect. Most important of all, however, is this episode's cheer-inducing conclusion which has been slowly building up for quite some time now. There's so much this show has to offer. The (hopefully improved) return of various villains, the Gordon family dynamic, and now, Lady Shiva's front and center. Let's just hope they're able to juggle all of these elements with talent and continue to offer solid payoffs!
Viners, what did you think of "Family?" Give the comments section a piece of your mind.