For the most part, Episode 14 is trying to set the stage for the second half of the season. We see that even though Tiger and Barnaby have been released from the hospital, the doctors have still sidelined them from going back to Hero TV in order to run more tests. Of course, Lloyds and the company aren’t happy about this, and complain about the money they’re losing because of all the time they’re off the show. But this feels realistic, though, that a company would put their bottom line ahead of the health of its employees.
One day, as Barnaby and Tiger and leaving the hospital, a young fan approaches and gives them each a popular new stuffed animal that speaks one line: “Are you happy?” Why do I have a feeling that somehow this talking toy will become important later in the season, especially after seeing Barnaby in a later scene contemplating the toy and hearing it say its catchphrase?
There are also some scenes of the other hero buddy teams interacting with each other. While most of the teams seem to have gotten at least a little bit closer, it’s obvious that’s not the case for He Is Thomas and Mr. Black, because they’re still just as distant as ever. While their manager had hoped after seeing them work together during the final confrontation in Episode 13 that they would become better buddies, I knew there was going to be no way their relationship would change that easily.
We also see Barnaby having a phone conversation with his friend, Mattia (the scientist who discovered the drug to turn people into NEXT). Mattia is actively working with the police, and is also trying to develop a way to counteract the effects of the drug. You can tell that Mattia feels so much remorse over what happened, even if he did discover the drug by accident.
The day before the annual big fan meet-up with the heroes, Lloyds calls Barnaby and Tiger to let them know they’ve cleared their tests and are able to return to their hero work. It was decided they would make their return the next day as surprise guests, and that it was going to be top secret from the other heroes. Well, let’s just say that one of the heroes manages to get wind of the information and shares it with the others. The other heroes aren’t happy, though, because now they have to act surprised when Barnaby and Tiger show up. Tiger and Barnaby see them backstage and Tiger puts on an over-the-top performance about not being able to return to work. Barnaby picks up on the fact that the others are trying to keep from laughing and already know what’s going on. This scene did add some humor to an episode that was overall more serious in nature.
During the fan event, just as Barnaby and Tiger are going to be introduced, Agnes gets a call that the heroes need to be dispatched because NEXTs are wreaking havoc downtown. Agnes decides to incorporate this situation into the event by having it streamed to the fans in attendance.
Sure enough, the heroes find a bunch of NEXT creating havoc and panic, and they quickly discover that none of them are in control of themselves. We see that most of the hero buddies are using some great teamwork to take down their adversaries, but that He Is Thomas and Mr. Black aren’t. Since such a point is being made of this issue in this episode, I suspect that this is going to continue to be a point of contention in the remaining episodes of the season.
It was also interesting to note that at one point during all of the chaos, we see Barnaby having trouble with one of his knees. I’m predict that Barnaby is going to try to hide this from the other heroes, and that he will be trying to hide it for most of this half of the season.
Right near the end of the episode, we see Gregory (the inmate test subject we saw escape from the lab and steal the drug during Episode 13) among a crowd of onlookers. It’s obvious he’s behind what’s going on, but the viewer doesn’t know how he distributed the drug to all of these people to turn them into NEXT. I suspect this is going to be a mystery that is going to run through this part of the season.
Admittedly, there wasn’t much action in Episode 14 until right near the end, but after the events of the first half of the season, an episode was needed to slow things down and establish what will be at stake in the second half of it. Unfortunately, since there’s been a gap of time between Netflix’s drop of the first half of Tiger & Bunny 2 and this half, it makes Episode 14 feel a little slower than it might have otherwise. Hopefully now that a lot of the basics seem to have been established, the plot will move forward and the episodes will have more action.
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