DC Animated Universe

"Crime Waves" is the ninth episode of the first season of The Zeta Project.


Zee and Ro's search for Dr. Selig takes them to Malibu Island. Ro takes the excuse to relax and get a tan, a concept Zee finds a bit foreign, until their plans are disrupted—a kid zips by them on a hover vehicle, chased by three other youths. He crashes in his attempts to escape, and things look bad until Zee and Ro come to the rescue, Zee damaging one of their vehicles with a beach umbrella, Ro causing another to go out of control by throwing a towel in front of his face. The third doesn't bother hanging around; they flee in ignominious defeat, vowing to come back.

Dusting himself off, with an air of grating haughtiness, the boy introduces himself as Wade Pennington, son of the CEO of Pennington Robotics, claiming to have been harassed by those "lowlifes" from a local bike shop for a while now. He also introduces his bodyguard, Sven, berating him for arriving late. With that out of the way, he invites them to Pennington Estate for lunch. There, they find that the house is staffed by a variety of advanced robots (both in serving and protecting roles), his parents are away, and that Wade himself is an insufferable spoiled brat who enjoys abusing his robots. Sven plays along, remotely deactivating a damaged robot with a weapon-like device when Wade's antics backfire on him. It doesn't take Ro long to decide to leave with Zee.

That evening, continuing their search for Selig at a local Ground Wire, Zee and Ro are surprised when they hear a news report about the kidnapping of Wade Pennington. The kidnappers are described by Sven: Two strangers who, the way he tells it, sound exactly like Ro and Zee.

Leaving the Ground Wire, the two are immediately accosted by a pair of security guards, leading to a chase that grows to involve two hapless skaters and some policemen. With the help of Zeta's holographic abilities, they are thrown off the scent. Zee convinces a reluctant Ro to help Wade, even though that means doing so themselves—they cannot count on the help of the police, branded as they are, and it would almost surely allow the NSA to find them. Their first stop: The bike shop mentioned by Wade, a rather small shack near the beach. Upon their arrival, however, they are recognized and attacked by the three hoodlums. Zee, showing a rarely-seen side of himself, easily subdues two of them. The third, in his attempts to attack with a blowtorch, is knocked off balance and accidentally sets off an explosion that destroys the shack—he and Ro only survive when Zee covers both of them with his body. Getting up and seeing the remains of the store around him, the boy is only too eager to talk, explaining that they were paid by Sven to harass Wade. When they ask where he is, he points them toward an offshore yacht.

Zee gets them there, revealing that among his infiltration functions, he has the ability to propel himself underwater. Once aboard, through a window, they see Sven collecting the ransom money on a laptop before a security robot attacks them. Sven, hearing the commotion, comes outside as Zee and Ro are knocked into a cargo bay that happens to be holding Wade, as well. As Zee explains that they're here to rescue him, Sven appears up above, holding a weapon and taunting them by asking who will rescue them.

Sven, confident, explains his plan: He's going to go call the police, claiming to have found the kidnappers. Upon their arrival, however, he'll have already arranged it to appear that the "kidnappers" disposed of Wade, and were themselves killed by his security robots—leaving no witnesses and Sven with the reward money put up by Wade's father. With that, he leaves them inside. Wade is stunned that Sven turned his robots against him, still offhandedly disparaging robots in general until Zee reveals that he is a robot, telescoping his legs and scout outside with a camera located in his finger. As he decides they won't get out that way, Wade seems a bit shaken.

Zee cuts a hole in the side of the boat and extends himself to the railing, allowing Wade and Ro to climb his body to the deck. They are briefly interrupted by a pair of security robots, but Ro shuts them off using the weapon Sven used before. Ro gets Wade to a lifeboat while Zee pays a visit to Sven. Unfortunately for him, the encounter does not go as planned. Sven discovers he's a robot after using his device as a club, then zaps him repeatedly, weakening him and driving him to the railing. Ro and Wade, realizing Zeta is in trouble, return to the scene and jump Sven, who easily fends them off—but they buy Zeta enough time to activate his wrist-mounted laser, dropping a bell onto Sven's head, knocking him out.

Sven is taken into custody by the police. Zee and Ro prepare to leave, deciding the place is becoming a little too "hot" for them, while Wade starts treating his robots with a little more respect. When he decides to play some two-on-two basketball with them, Ro earns a smile from Zee by wryly commenting, "A human and a robot on the same team. What's the world coming to?"

Ground Wire Gag[]

Ro:So? A pile of paper.
Zeta:Actually, it's what they call, "money." It was also known as bread, dough, moolah, the green stuff, simoleons.
Ro:Dang, a lotta names.
Zeta:I guess they liked it.

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • Wade's eyes change from brown to blue.
  • Despite the excessive media coverage of Zee and Ro, the NSA seemingly fails to pick up on it.
  • The ending credits list Sven's name as "Swen."


Actor Role
Diedrich Bader Zeta / Zee
Julie Nathanson Rosalie "Ro" Rowan
Chad Lowe Wade Pennington
Adam Baldwin Sven
Grey DeLisle Newscaster
Cop (uncredited)
Tom Kenny Bogg
Newscaster (uncredited)
Armando Valdes-Kennedy Pudge
Garland Whitt Nub


Wade: I can't believe this. He turned my own 'bots against me!
Ro: Bet it wasn't far to turn.
Zeta: Actually, robots aren't big on revenge. That's a human thing.