"The Cat and the Canary" is the first episode of the second season of Justice League Unlimited, and the 14th of the overall series.
Black Canary is on a stakeout and radios Wildcat to see why he isn't there to help as they'd planned. He is in a Meta-Brawl fight, but does not let Black Canary know. He only says he'll be there shortly. Once the heist reaches a point where Black Canary can wait no longer, she engages the criminals and, with her fighting ability and Canary Cry, easily defeats them. After the fight, a crook's laptop is heard broadcasting the results of the Meta-Brawl fight, with Wildcat proclaimed the winner. Black Canary is clearly stunned at learning Wildcat's true whereabouts.
Later, Green Arrow is training in the weight room of the Watchtower when Canary flirts and invites him to spar with her. She also lulls him into thinking she is not a good fighter and so tricks him into helping her with something outside of league business.
On a motorcycle ride there, Black Canary tells Green Arrow that she is trying to get Wildcat out of Meta-Brawl fights. Arrow presumes Canary and Wildcat have a romantic relationship, and his heart sinks. At Canary's behest, Arrow purchases Meta-Brawl tickets from a scalper, which further upsets Arrow, leading him to think that Canary is only interested in his money. The heroes sneak backstage and try to talk Wildcat out of fighting in Meta-Brawl, but he hears nothing of it. Wildcat says he's tired of being treated as a has-been and all cooped up in the Watchtower. Wildcat also expresses feelings of insecurity because he's one of the Leaguers who doesn't have superpowers.
Canary is angry that he feels that way and is more upset that he makes himself feel better by beating those who do. Annoyed, things start to get rather rough, Green Arrow tries to settle things but only gets scolded by Canary. Fed up, Green Arrow decides to leave and is shortly followed by Canary seeing that they have failed to convince Wildcat to give up fighting. Canary continues to follow Arrow where she learns of his belief of a romantic relationship between her and Wildcat. Canary explains to Arrow that she sees Wildcat as a mentor and second father, not a romantic interest and that since he has looked out for many other heroes he trained in the League, she only wants to return the favour, so that he doesn't get himself kicked out. Finally learning the truth, Green Arrow agrees to continue helping Black Canary.
Later that night, Wildcat's fight with Atomic Skull is interrupted by Green Arrow and Black Canary who try to stop the fighting. Other supervillains step in and prepare to defeat the heroes. Torn, Wildcat eventually stands aside and allows the villains to advance on the heroes. Black Canary then proposes a different Meta-Brawl to Roulette, offering to fight Wildcat herself with the stipulations that if she wins, Wildcat quits Meta-Brawl, but if Wildcat wins, she agrees to leave Wildcat and Meta-Brawl alone. Roulette knows a better main event when she hears it and agrees. Roulette calls off the villains, and announces the new fight to a cheering crowd.
In the dressing room, Wildcat expresses his anger and refuses to fight Black Canary, knowing it's wrong to fight one of his own students. Roulette starts convincing him to fight, pointing out that since he trained her, Black Canary can take care of herself. However, she also threatens him that if he loses or even goes easy on Canary than Wildcat will never fight in Meta-Brawl ever again, causing him to lash out in anger, punching the wall.
Meanwhile, in Black Canary's dressing room, Green Arrow asks Canary if she will use her powers on Wildcat. She refuses, revealing that if she uses her powers to beat Wildcat he will return and knows beating him in a match is the only way to make him quit Meta-Brawl for good. Green Arrow reveals his beliefs that she was only faking as she did back at the Watchtower when she was pretending to flirt with him. However, Black Canary states she wasn't faking earlier, but Green Arrow doesn't believe her, as it appears his feelings for her seem to be nothing more but a game to her. Canary reveals it isn't always a game to her, but Green Arrow asks her to prove it, telling her to look him the eye and say so. Black Canary approaches him, but Green Arrow then activates a sleep-gas arrow, leaving her unconscious, revealing it to be his own personal plan to prevent Canary from fighting Wildcat.
Roulette then arrives and discovers Black Canary's condition, but Green Arrow assures that she will still get her main event. Later at the arena, Roulette reveals to everyone of the change of plans, revealing that Green Arrow will be fighting Wildcat instead. Wildcat refuses to fight him, pointing out while Black Canary could handle him, Green Arrow can't as he isn't a fighter. Roulette doesn't care, only saying he'll fight whoever she says and leaves. Wildcat again refuses, but after Green Arrow gives a few insults, Wildcat attacks him. Meanwhile, Black Canary wakes up in the dressing and quickly discovers Green Arrow's plan and runs to the arena to stop him.
Green Arrow is clearly overmatched, and Wildcat gives him a severe thrashing in the ring. Canary arrives and tries to intervene, but is held back by security, Canary pleads with Wildcat to stop, but he refuses stating Arrow had it coming. Continuing the fight, Green Arrow keeps giving insults to Wildcat, despite being beaten to a pulp, leaving him more injured and Wildcat more angry. Finally, Wildcat delivers a strong blow, knocking Green Arrow to the floor. Wildcat asks if Arrow has finally had enough, but discovers him not responding or moving. He checks Arrow, but finding he has no pulse, Green Arrow appears dead. The crowd is stunned into silence at first, but then erupts in cheers. Watching from outside the cage, Black Canary is horrified, while Roulette anticipates how much her fights will bring in now that they've become death matches. Wildcat, however, in shock over the death he caused, announces that he's out for good.
After the arena has cleared out, Black Canary is seen later kneeling over the body of Green Arrow, revealing how stupid he was, but also admits in tears that what he did was very sweet and gives him a kiss on the cheek while apologizing. However, Green Arrow reveals himself to be alive, revealing he used a stun arrow on himself to fake his death. Canary discovers Arrow's true plan: To startle Wildcat enough for him to remember the power and force he has and that he shouldn't misplace it. Arrow wonders if it works and soon sees Wildcat standing over him and admits that it worked. However, as they are leaving, Roulette tries to provoke Wildcat, but Black Canary gets the last word by using her Canary Cry to destroy the Meta-Brawl arena.
Back in the Watchtower, Green Arrow and Black Canary are with Wildcat as he prepares to sit with J'onn J'onzz to help him sort out his need to be in Meta-Brawl. Green Arrow then invites Black Canary out for some coffee...and she's buying.
- Green Arrow first noticed Black Canary in "Initiation". Their next "date" played a major part in the episode "Double Date".
- With help from Lex Luthor and the Legion of Doom, Roulette brings Meta-Brawl back in "Grudge Match."
Home video releases
- Justice League Unlimited - Season One (DVD)
- Justice League - The Complete Series (DVD)
- Justice League Unlimited - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
- The man that slides down the partition of the truck as it speeds off is sitting on the passenger's seat in the next scene.
- When the truck speeds off, three thugs flee inside. However, when it skids to a halt there are four guys lying on the ground.
- After Black Canary causes the truck to fall over, it does so on the driver's side, and as soon as the truck stops skidding, the driver climbs out of it. However, he would have had to climb over the passenger seat while the truck was skidding, which is impossible since there was another passenger.
- When Green Arrow is in his civilian clothes he is wearing a turtleneck shirt underneath a suit jacket. However, after he takes off his jacket, he pulls his shirt down over his shoulders as it were a button-front shirt. Also, he has his elbow-length gloves underneath, although he was barehanded on previous shots. Finally, in the next scene he appears with his quiver of arrows, with no indication he was carrying it around or that he had left the building to get it.
- When Green Arrow shoots a bola arrow at two thugs, Black Canary is right behind him, but on the next side shot, Black Canary is nowhere to be seen.
- When Green Arrow fires the net arrow at the Meta-Brawl contenders, Atomic Skull is in front of the group. But in the next shot, Tracer is in the lead and breaks free, with Atomic Skull behind him. Then when they start walking again, Atomic Skull is in the front again.
- After Green Arrow enters the ring to fight Wildcat, he drops his quiver behind him, in a corner of the ring. In later scenes, it is nowhere to be found.
- Green Arrow's hat gets knocked off during his fight with Wildcat, but later on it is gone.
- The episode builds on the long-running Green Arrow/Black Canary relationship prevalent in comic books. At one point, they even got married.
- The scalper selling tickets to Meta-Brawl bears a striking resemblance to Ali G, a character created by English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.
- The title of the episode is taken from a—completely unrelated—1922 play by John Willard. Olivia Hussey and Michael Callan (who played Metallo in the 1988 television series Superboy) starred in the most recent movie of it, in 1979.
- This episode features no speaking roles for any of the original seven League members, with J'onn making a non-speaking cameo at the end.
|Morena Baccarin||Black Canary|
|Kin Shriner||Green Arrow|
|Jamie Alcroft|| Larry|
|Walter Lang|| Thug Leader|
Atomic Skull (uncredited)
Green Arrow: Well, at least I understand why you brought me along. You didn't need Green Arrow... you just needed green.
Wildcat: Fighting is what I do. All right, it was all I was ever good at, and I'm still good at it. I'm Wildcat, the guy who fights. That's what I am.