Batman: The Brave and the Bold attempts something new for the finale of its first season, building upon a subplot introduced gradually over the course of the season. That it mostly failed to turn the story of the mysterious Equinox villain into a satisfying extravaganza of action only convinced me further that this series works best when it unleashes its imagination while limiting its scope. Seeing how their first attempt at an ongoing narrative turned out, let's hope the show's writers stick to one- and two-part stories in their second year.
"The Fate of Equinox" finally pulls back the curtain to reveal the truth about the enigmatic villain who's been lurking around the corners of this season, explaining the character as a mystical force who has gone astray from his mission to maintain the balance between order and chaos. After he tricks Batman into pushing him over the edge both literally and figuratively, he's transformed into a figure more powerful than the combined might of the Lord of Chaos, the Lord of Order, and his servant, Dr. Fate. It takes the combined skills of several of the heroes we've seen this season, channeled through Batman, to stop the power-hungry rogue, and even that almost isn't enough.
This series is at its best when the writers find outlandish ways to push Batman out of his comfort zone and into stories fans don't necessarily associate with the character, and I definitely can't fault this episode for not trying to do precisely that. "The Fate of Equinox" is ripe with the sort of magic and fantasy you don't expect from a Batman tale, and its final battle is built upon some seriously wacky set pieces. For starters, I got a kick out of seeing a giant, powered-up Batman battle Equinox in a duel right out of a Godzilla movie, and when the fight spilled into outer space, I couldn't help but recall fond memories of Voltron.
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