Jake Martinez may have one of the blandest super-villain names ever, but he’s very quickly established himself as one fiendishly-fascinating heel. He’s got the look of a burnt-out rock star who’s terrifyingly in touch with his own instincts; a man who has no inhibitions between what he wants and what he does. I mean, that whole scene where he plays cruel head games with Origami was just so on, it was chilling. After getting lulled into lowered expectations with all the campy, harmless super-crooks we’ve seen in the series so far, it feels so good to be sucker-punched by this dude’s genuine menace.
The people behind this show know exactly what they’re doing. This is one of those titles that goes down look a smoothly produced pop single. They know exactly what levels to turn up at certain times for max. effect. The delayed surprise of Origami’s switcheroo, Tiger’s whole bogus cover story to check in about what’s bugging Barnaby, Barnaby’s subsequent public admission of his tragic life story, the aforementioned button scene with Jake’s understated confrontation with Origami… every point has a payoff, but you can’t see it working its way to the surface until after the fact. It’s like a tightly-engineered engine.
You know, I didn’t want to bring up THE DARK KNIGHT’s Joker, since he’s the lowest of low-hanging fruits in current comparative dialogs about this genre. However, it’s undeniable that that the seeds for this particular arc were probably planted while somebody was watching that flick back in ’08. Outside the Joker-like animalism of Martinez and the way he’s being reacted to by the city as a whole, this specific episode seems like it was intended to show what happens if the good guys ever get foolish enough to actually acquiesce to terrorists’ demands.
Watch this episode "The Die Is Cast” below, decide for yourself and then read my comments on the previous episode here.