CREDITS: Written by Hilary J. Bader; directed by Curt Geda.
REVIEW: Wait, does this make three episodes in a row where Batman has to fight large animals? It's one thing to concentrate on action, another to provide the same kind of action every time. At the end, the fighting extends to various circus acts, none all that exciting except perhaps the fire eater, as the show turns into Spider-Man vs. the Circus of Crime (shhh, don't tell Marvel).
As an exploration of Dick Grayson and his relationship to Haley's Circus, it has some merit. He brings Tim to the Big Top and shares his past with him - we should see more of these two having a mentor-pupil relationship - and we see how trusting he is compared to Batman, the latter quick to condemn Miranda Kane, the circus' animal trainer, and an old friend of Dick's. This is the kind of thing that split the Dynamic Duo up in the first place.
The true culprit isn't a big surprise however. First, you just know it's going to be that creepy clown, because he's really the only other character worth noticing in the piece (nice try introducing all those others, you just gave the clown too much screen time). Second, it becomes obvious the animals are governed by Mad Hatter technology before the clown is revealed to be Jervis Tetch. Either way, I think you're putting yourself in harm's way by stealing the Joker's shtick.
IN THE COMICS: Perhaps Dick Grayson is doomed to have flirtations with girls named Kane. Miranda Kane, while an original character, seems to be named after the original (Golden Age) Bat-Girl, Betty Kane, or Flamebird in later continuity.
SOUNDS LIKE: Miranda Kane is played by the lead guitarist of the Go-Go's, Jane Wiedlin; she was also Joan of Arc in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium(ish) - I'm glad to see a Nightwing-centric episode, but has the series run out of ideas already? Is there symbolism in Tim Drake shoveling poop in the final "joke"?