“Only a Dream”
This episode starts off in a rather bland note, yet a bit humorously. Basically we catch the ending of a dream by John Dee who is making his first and only (ignoring minor cameos) appearance in the DCAU. I’ll just say this dream is corny, but then I think the writers meant it to be. Still, I feel sorry for the great voice actors who had to read a few lines for this small-timer’s dream. Once he wakes up, we get treated to the information that John Dee is a prisoner taking part in some experimental test and up for parole. The important thing really is the test he’s taking part in. Apparently someone had a bright idea of testing a machine that gives ESP on prisoners.
John really is an out of luck guy. His parole gets turned down, his wife tells him she found someone else, and he has to clean prison toilets. To make this guy’s life worse, a prison riot breaks out. This prison break is pathetic for none of the guards or staff lock the doors behind them and their tear gas does nothing (lack of funding?). As Cal has said in some of his past reviews on Justice League (Unlimited) episodes having details ignored to get the story rolling, well this one is no exception. The riot of course gives John the chance to sneak back to the testing room where the door once again is unlocked so he can jump in the machine to get super powers.
So the League stops the prison break, rounds up the very stupid escaped criminals (which actually allows for a good 10 minutes of straight “beat’em up”), while John Dee being a small time nobody is overlooked and gets away with his new found super powers. Well, overlooked by everyone but Batman At least when they hear John escaped, Green Lantern nicely points out how stupid it is to have an ESP machine in a prison. Sometimes it seems like they enjoyed poking fun at their own stories.
Green Lantern basically brushes John off as a nobody to have Batman jump in and basically tell Green Lantern not to underestimate a nobody. What is John doing at this moment though? Using his brand new powers to of course torment his ex in her dreams and setting up his super villain name: Doctor Destiny. Looks a bit like Skeletor to me.
After his ex-wife, Dr. Destiny goes after the Justice League to make a name for himself. This actually gives some nice insight into the League members and what they fear; everyone but Batman and J’onn. J’onn enters their minds to try and save the League members, while Batman struggles to stay awake to actually find Dr. Destiny. It’s rather humorous seeing Batman enter a coffee shop to order coffee.
So if you haven’t guessed why, this is one of my preferred episodes for it showcases Batman defeating someone who incapacitated the rest of the League. Getting to see the normal one of the group take down a person who got pretty much the rest of the League is almost always a winning story in my book. Not only that, but this episode gives a nod towards Batman’s mental barriers which we don’t see often in the DCAU.
Quotes & Notes
Wonder Woman does not appear in this episode.
J’onn never seems able to enter Hawkgirl’s mind. This comes up again later in the series.
Batman uses the nursery rhyme “Frere Jacques” to stay awake and resist Dr. Destiny’s ESP. “Frere Jacques” is a rhyme mainly about sleeping and bells ringing.
“Look, whatever he is he sure isn’t in the same league as Grundy and the others. He’s a nobody.” – Green Lantern
“Ever read the ‘Odyssey’? After odysseus was caught by the cyclops, he told it his name was ‘Nobody’. So when he poked its eye out and its friends asked who did it, all the cyclops could say was ‘nobody’.” – Batman, expanding our knowledge of classic stories!
“Give me a triple. Now!” – Batman, ordering cofee surrounded by yuppies.