"Bad Stretch" is the eighth episode of the second season of Static Shock. It originally aired March 22, 2002.
The Meta-Breed's newest member, Aquamaria, attacks a football stadium. Static arrives and fights her, but her water-based powers prove more than a match to him. Just when she is about to finish him off, Rubberband Man shows up and traps her by curling up in a ball around her. Despite Talon's protests, the rest of the gang leaves Aquamaria to fend for herself, as her "initiation". Rubberband Man claims that he has served his sentence and gone straight, but Static refuses to believe him. He leaves after seeing Rubberband Man catching all the attention of the media present.
Later, the rest of the Breed are in their hideout talking about Rubberband Man. Ebon soon leaves them, more aggravated than usual, and heads to Adam's apartment, asking him to join them or stay out of their way.
In the meantime, both Virgil and Sharon grow more and more jealous of Rubberband Man: him, because of the new hero upstaging Static; and her, because of her boyfriend being constantly surrounded by fangirls.
The Meta-Breed makes its move, raiding an electronics store, when Static shows up to fight them off, soon joined by Rubberband Man, who helps him before Shiv knocks him into the storage room, where Ebon confronts him again. While Static is kept busy with Talon, Carmen Dillo and Shiv, Ebon persuades Rubberband Man to join the Meta-Breed, revealing their relationship as brothers. After Static knocks out his opponents (returning Talon's sonic blasts with feedback so loud, everyone is rendered unconscious), he heads into the storage room to deal with Ebon. Static lights up the room very brightly, enough to weaken Ebon, but Rubberband Man instinctively shields his brother, allowing him to escape through a portal, much to Static's frustration. The heroes part ways, not realizing there was a surveillance camera upon them.
When the surveillance footage reaches the press, Rubberband Man's reputation is cast in doubt, as the tape clearly shows him helping in Ebon's escape. Virgil does not miss the opportunity to take his jabs at Rubberband Man, but Richie knows that some of his animosity is also peppered with jealousy.
Later that night, Rubberband Man shows up by the police precinct. When the lights go off in the metahuman ward holding the Meta-Breed, the guard is attacked by Rubberband Man and the Breed is sprung free. The event makes headlines the next day, causing public opinion to turn against Rubberband Man as a result. Despite seeing his doubts about Rubberband Man's villainy put to rest, Virgil still thinks there is something suspicious.
In the meantime, Adam flees his penthouse apartment just as the police breaks in to arrest him. He heads to the only place where someone could hear him out: the Hawkins' house. Virgil arrives after him, intending to talk to Sharon about Adam, and detects him disguised as a coat hanger. Rubberband Man quickly forces him to listen, revealing that he let Ebon get away because they are brothers, shocking Virgil. Just as soon, Rubberband Man leaves, asking Virgil to tell Sharon he's sorry.
In an alley just outside, Ebon, who knew his brother would be there, convinces him to follow him to the Breed's hideout. Unbeknownst to them, Static manages to tag Rubberband Man's foot with one of the tracers that Richie invented for him before he disappears through Ebon's portal, and uses his powers to follow its signal.
Over at the hideout, Ebon formally announces Rubberband Man as the new member of the gang, pointing out that, as people see him as a bad guy, he has no other choice. Watching from a crack on the roof, Static pushes a wooden beam aside to discover a vinyl-like purple fabric, similar to Rubberband Man's costume. As he wonders why everyone thinks he sprang the Breed out of jail, Static reveals himself, revealing what he pieced together from the spare costume: the "Rubberband Man" who broke the gang out of jail was actually Ebon, who had framed his brother by fashioning a similar costume in such a way that, since both their bodies are equally malleable, anyone could be fooled in the penumbra. Ebon still tries to refute Static's claims, but when Static throws the costume at him, a furious Ebon pushes him through a portal into a pit of lava, but Rubberband Man saves him in the nick of time and pulls him back to the hideout. He then goes off to confront Ebon, leaving Static to deal with four opponents at once. He cleverly uses his powers to subdue the villains, managing to take Aquamaria down by causing her body to suffer electrolysis, evaporate and rain down.
Meanwhile, Ebon and Rubberband Man's settle their personal score, with Ebon reasoning that his brother cannot turn his back on his family, but Rubberband Man wants no part in his brother's life of crime, and proves his point by defeating him. When Static arrives, Ebon is already down, as Rubberband Man laments for the path his brother's life has taken, though he also has hope that Ebon can turn over a new leaf like he did. In the end, Static accepts Rubberband Man as an ally.
Later on, Adam shows up at the Hawkins' home, with flowers for Sharon. Virgil welcomes him warmly, but Sharon gives him the cold shoulder upon seeing him. After seeing how mad Sharon is, Virgil admits that if he were in Adam's position, he'd rather go up against the Meta-Breed than try making up with his sister. But Adam simply smiles and says, "Some things are worth the risk."
- The fact that Ebon and Rubberband Man are brothers is never touched upon again in the series.
- First appearance of Aquamaria. By the time of her second (and last) appearance, in "Wet and Wild", she is drastically changed.
Home video releases
- Shelly Sandoval's name is spelled "Shelley Sandoval" in the episode's credits.
- Ebon has an echo in his voice, which he never had in the previous episodes nor does he retain in the subsequent episodes.
- At the robbery, Ebin started to phase through the floor before Static showed up. On the security footage, he does not start until after Static arrived.