CREDITS: Written by Rich Fogel; directed by Curt Geda.
REVIEW: The first episode to chronologically feature the new Robin, so Holiday Knights' broadcast date seems even stranger, and it's an okay mash-up of both Tim Drake and Jason Todd's stories. The whole episode is geared towards making Tim worthy of Robin's mantle, and he's certainly resourceful. He's an expert at using the batarang he found in the wake of one of Batman's missions. He's fearless (too much for his own good). He takes his father's disappearance and likely death in stride, and is self-sufficient. But there's a certain unfinished quality to this episode that begs some questions.
It's not just that it's rather glib about Tim being adopted by Bruce Wayne/Batman. There are lots of elements that are brushed upon, but not fully explored. Tim's interest in the Batman - all the news clippings in his apartment - might have pointed to a personal investigation into who the Caped Crusader really is (as in the comics, see below), but a quick visit of the Batcave and Wayne Manor makes the point moot, and Tim's achievement that much less impressive. There's a statue of Robin Hood in the gardens at one point, but it doesn't really factor into the narrative. And what happened in between seasons? Dick looks to have graduated college and left the Robin role behind (more on this later, but very happy to see him show up at the end to pass the torch, as it were), but Barbara seems to know all of Batman's secrets now. I'm not saying this is a flaw - I don't need everything explained to me - but the new status quo could use some support in the dialog.
The whole Two-Face plot and associated action beats are fine, if not particularly memorable (expect maybe the fight played in shadows behind a movie screen). They have a job to do and they do it. I'm more interested in character moments, which is perhaps why I wanted more out of the nascent Batman/Robin relationship. The best bit for me was Dick walking in at the end and commenting on Batman's fascist rules for being his partner, a long-standing argument from the original BTAS, and likely what pushed him to become his own man. I hope the show will be able to explore Batman's difficult father figure role across its two seasons.
IN THE COMICS: The son of Jack Drake (not Steven "Shifty" Drake), the comics Tim was more well-off and had the distinction of having figured out Batman and Robin's secret identities at a young age. When his mother was killed and his father crippled, he was enlisted to become the third Robin. The Robin they skip over is Jason Todd, but his ghost is everywhere in this story, from the Robin costume memorial seen in the Batcave, to Tim's status as a thieving street urchin, to Two-Face being his father's dangerous patron.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Happy to see the new Robin in action, but in the rush to introduce him, I feel like they cut corners.