"Trouble Squared" (a.k.a. "Trouble2") is the eleventh episode of the third season of Static Shock. It first aired on April 26, 2003.
Virgil learns from his father that the Freeman Community Center is operating on a tight budget, which causes him to become frustrated at the perspective of closing it down due to lack of funds. On a Career Day field trip to Alva Industries, he, Richie and Daisy run into Specs and Trapper, learning from them that Edwin Alva hired them as part of a research team for a very important project. Virgil, however, still has his doubts whether they, or Alva, are setting themselves straight, so he sneaks into Alva Industries later that night to find out what are they up to. He finds out the petrified body of Edwin, Jr., who turned to stone after overdosing on Quantum Vapor, and discovers that said project is meant to restore Alva's son.
Alva soon enters the room, and learns that the project is proceeding according to schedule, "in spite of some delayed components", on Specs and Trapper's part. The duo persuades Alva to consider a project of their own, but Alva is intent on directing all resources to Edwin, Jr.'s restoration, and therefore has no time for any side projects. Upon hearing Alva chewing them out, Static leaves. In their lab, as Specs and Trapper complain that Alva never cared about his son until the incident, they are seen working on a pair of gauntlets and a helmet, with which Specs fires a laser beam that incinerates a newspaper clipping of Static.
The next day, Virgil and Richie are playing basketball one-on-one at the Community Center, and sadly commenting on the problems the institution has been facing. They soon see a fireworks display coming from the Dakota Stadium, and Virgil, suspicious because the stadium has been closed for months, heads off as Static to investigate. Arriving, he is attacked by Specs and Trapper, who now dub themselves Spectral and Speedtrap. Spectral uses his helmet to project colored lights with varying effects (red for fire blasts, blue for ice beams, yellow for force fields and so on), while Speedtrap's gauntlets can alter his target's speed, slowing it down (if striking with the left hand) or speeding it up (with a right-hand blast). Static fights as best as he can, but is soundly defeated.
Specs and Trapper capture Static and present him to Alva, but Alva doesn't want anything to do with kidnapping his former enemy. Static soon escapes and Alva fires Specs and Trapper not only for kidnapping Static and thus forgoing the schedule of his son's restoration, but also for the massive property damage to the restoration lab caused in the battle with Static. As Specs and Trapper mope about the situation, they find out their rooms in Alva Industries have been sealed off, and so they have been effectively kicked out of the facilities. Outraged, Specs decides that it is time to take drastic measures.
Later that day, while receiving an update on the project's restructuring, Alva hears a noise coming from the lab, and finds out from one of the researchers that Specs and Trapper broke in and took Edwin, Jr. with them. That night, an Alva Industries SWAT team is sent to the docks to retrieve Edwin Jr., but falls into a trap where they are attacked by rogue security drones that are under Specs' and Trapper's control. Only Static's intervention saves them, and when the threat is neutralized, Alva approaches Static, saying that he traced an e-mail sent by them to that location. Static has difficulty believing that Alva no longer has an agenda against him, and Alva pleads the hero to help him by informing that Specs and Trapper are holding Edwin, Jr. for ransom and, unless a certain amount of money is transferred to a bank account set up by them in an hour, his son would suffer the consequences.
Letting his conscience get the best of him rather than leave Alva to solve his problem alone, Static tracks Specs and Trapper to Vanmoor Institute, where the pair soon attacks him with their weapons. Knocking them down temporarily, he finds Edwin Jr., with an armed bomb placed next to him. Before Static can do anything, he gets frozen by Spectral and, when he and Speedtrap find out that Alva has not transferred the ransom money to their account, he sets the timer to explode earlier than scheduled. Static soon thaws himself out and knocks the duo down again. With the bomb's timer running out, Static uses Speedtrap's decelerator gauntlet to hold off the bomb, while he carries Edwin Jr. to safety. Static then saves them both from the blast soon after.
In the end, Specs and Trapper are handed over to the police, and Edwin Alva, Sr. (presumably as requested by Static in return for his help) donates a $10 million check to the Freeman Community Center, solving its financial problems.
- Entering Alva Industries, Virgil recalls one of his first fights, with York in "Aftershock".
- Trapper and Specs reappear after "The New Kid".
- Edwin Alva is trying to restore his son back to normal, following the events of "Junior".
- The photo that Virgil has in his wallet is the same picture Robert uses when Richie goes missing in "Sons of the Fathers".
Home video releases
- This episode was produced for season 2, but not aired until season 3. This is why Static dons his original uniform and why Richie does not appear as Gear.
- When Static blows up the laser cameras inside Specs and Trapper's hideout, there's an explosion that is reused footage from the scene of Superman: The Animated Series episode "World's Finest, Part III" in which one Wayne/Lex T-7 blows up another droid.
- Also, when the bomb detonates, the ensuing explosion is reused footage from "New Kids in Town" when Pa and Ma Kent's barn blows up.
- When the scientists take a sample of Junior's hair, it changes size considerably between shots: from a small chip to a full lock. Unfrozen, it becomes only a single hair.
- The chunk of hair that is taken from the statue of Junior is shorter than the one turned back into hair.
- When Static has the staredown with Spectral and Speedtrap in the Vanmoor Institute, Spectral's visor charges up red, but shoots green.
- Virgil referring to Specs and Trapper as "Tweedledum and Tweedledumber" (which was used by Nightwing in Nightwing Annual #1) is a double reference (or triple). Tweedledum and Tweedledee were characters in Alice in Wonderland (and minor Batman villains). Dumb and Dumber is a cult comedy movie about an annoyingly stupid duo played by Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.
- Static's exclamation saying "Holy sci-fi" is a reference to Robin's famous holy lines from the 1960s Batman TV series.
|Phil LaMarr||Static/Virgil Hawkins|
Security guard (uncredited)
|Jason Marsden||Richie Foley|
|Kevin Michael Richardson||Robert Hawkins|
|Michele Morgan||Sharon Hawkins|
|Crystal Scales||Daisy Watkins|
|Maria Canals||Shelly Sandoval|
Alva's aide (uncredited)
|Kerrigan Mahan||Edwin Alva|
Static: (surprised) Holy sci-fi! Alva Jr?