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Recap / Miraculous Ladybug S 02 E 8 The Dark Owl

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Paris has a new superhero... kinda.


Tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: Neither Tikki or Plagg speak in this episode.
  • The Alleged Computer: Before being updated by akuma, Albert is this. His voice recognition program can't even recognize "Hoo Hoo".
  • Big "NO!": Hawk Moth, when he realizes the "Miraculous" Dark Owl sent him are imitations.
  • Batman Parody: Knight Owl, the in-universe comic hero Mr. Damocles patterns himself after. He's a superhero-themed after a nocturnal animal, fights with gadgets, has a smaller sidekick, and a butler for a partner. His logo is also used for scene transitions the same way as the 60s Adam West series. A Justice Comics issue featuring the character is seen at one point. As the Dark Owl, Damocles even gets his own Bat Signal.
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  • Bus Full of Innocents: Taken to parody levels with a bus full of innocent zoo animals suspended from the Eiffel Tower over a kitten. And he's rigged the tower to explode. Then subverted when it turns out to be an elaborate hologram.
  • Cat Up a Tree: Mr. Damocles attempts to be heroic by rescuing a cat that's stuck in a tree. It's a testament to how incompetent he is that he fails to do even that.
  • Chekhov's Gun: As part of their act for Mr. Damocles, Marinette makes some mock copies of the Ladybug and Cat Noir Miraculous for Alya to "steal". When Dark Owl has them trapped in a Drowning Pit and demands the Miraculous, she gives him the fakes so she and Adrien have enough time for their powers to recharge.
  • Closet Geek: Mr. Damocles is revealed to be a big fan of superheroes, especially Knight Owl.
  • Comm Links: Ladybug's yo-yo and Cat Noir's baton can dispense earpieces, allowing them to stay in touch while Cat Noir draws Dark Owl's attention.
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  • Creator Cameo: Albert's akumatized face is based on Jun Violet, co-director for this episode.
  • Disaster Dominoes: How Ladybug in the end breaks Dark Owl's computer, defeating him.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Dark Owl reveals himself to Paris this way.
  • Don't Try This at Home: In-Universe example. Ladybug and Chat Noir advise people to not try to play superhero as they do, since they have superpowers to do the job and even they have trouble sometimes.
  • Drowning Pit: Dark Owl lures Ladybug and Cat Noir into a shipping crate that he's rigged to drown them with whipped cream unless they hand over the Miraculous.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Nightingale can be seen briefly on Marinette's computer just before Darl Owl interrupts the transmission.
  • Engineered Heroics: Ladybug and Chat Noir, with Alya's help, try to stage a villainous attack for Mr. Damocles to battle and defeat, so he'll accomplish his wish to be a real hero for once. A mishap with his Grappling-Hook Pistol instead turns him into Paris' resident Butt-Monkey, which makes him vulnerable to Hawk Moth.
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  • Even Evil Has Standards: Dark Owl still considers himself a hero, and as such mocks Ladybug and Cat Noir for believing he would actually hurt a bus full of animals or a kitten. Also, when he believes they've given him their Miraculous, he has no problem with stopping the trap, as a hero always keeps his word.
  • Expy:
    • In-Universe, The Owl is based on his favorite hero, Knight Owl. In reality, they're both Expies of Batman, of course.
    • The Albert program is a mix between Alfred Pennyworth and Tony Stark's J.A.R.V.I.S. A.I., if neither were particularly effective at their jobs.
  • Face Palm: Ladybug and Cat Noir's reactions when the Owl declares he'll do better next time.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Dark Owl has suspended a bus filled with zoo animals (all sitting mostly calmly in their seats) suspended from the Eiffel Tower over an innocent kitten, and the whole tower is rigged with liquid nitrogen explosives that he'll set off if Ladybug and Cat Noir don't surrender their Miraculouses. If the whole thing sounds too ridiculous to be true, that's because it is. It's actually a hologram meant to trick Ladybug and Cat Noir into stealing the detonator, which he is using as a lure for his real trap.
    • If you pay attention, when Marinette supposedly hands over the Miraculous to Dark Owl, they still are in their transformed mode, hinting that they are the fakes from earlier.
  • Genre Savvy: One of the reasons Dark Owl is such a dangerous opponent is because Mr. Damocles is a savvy enough superhero fan to know how a superhero thinks, so he's a few steps ahead of Ladybug and Chat Noir for most of the episode. He's also the first villain that doesn't carry his akumatized object when battlingnote , so it's much harder to find and purify it; Ladybug only finds it thanks to her Lucky Charm producing a copy of the comic which clues her in.
  • Hero Does Public Service: In the end, Mr. Damocles forgets about superheroics, being far more successful with several community projects and helping people on the street with small problems.
  • I Gave My Word: As Dark Owl promised, he deactivated the Drowning Pit Death Trap when Ladybug and Chat Noir (apparently) gave him the Miraculouses.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!: Alya pretends to do this while contacting "The Owl" as a mock supervillain.
  • Internal Reveal: Tikki and Plagg learn who the other's Miraculous holder is, but keep it secret from Marinette and Adrien, who close their eyes while de-transforming.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Whenever The Owl strikes his heroic pose, he always turns towards the camera.
  • Lured into a Trap: As part of his Bus Full of Innocents trap, Dark Owl tosses his detonator on top of a shipping crate. When Ladybug and Cat Noir hop up to grab it, the roof hatch drops them inside and then seals, revealing his actual trap.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Dark Owl gets closer to winning than almost every other villain, actually managing to take one of Ladybug's earrings just before she sets off a Rube Goldberg chain of events to get free of his grasp (and break the computer containing his akuma) and take it back.
  • Obligatory Earpiece Touch: Cat Noir.
  • Oh, Crap!: Tikki and Plagg when Marinette and Adrien detransform.
  • Once Killed a Man with a Noodle Implement: When was the last time you heard of a villain trying to kill the heroes with whipped cream? As he explains, whipped cream is simultaneously too thick to breathe in and not thick enough to swim or float in, so it would have actually worked too.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Mr. Damocles is an overweight and out-of-shape middle-aged man living on a principal's salary. His attempt at becoming a costumed superhero goes about as well as you'd expect. He does much better at the end, doing everyday 'heroics' like helping people on the street with minor problems as well as various community service projects; despite doing it while wearing his owl disguise, which gained him general mockery at first, he actually gains respect and admiration this way.
    • Given Mr. Damocles' distinctive appearance, his "disguise" fools absolutely no one who has firsthand knowledge of him. Marinette and Adrien have been well aware of his identity since before the episode started.
  • Scare 'em Straight: Cat Noir's initial plan to get Mr Damocles to quit being The Owl, Ladybug shoots it down.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The episode has multiple Batman references, with Mr. Damocles basing his heroic identity on a Batman Parody.
    • The scene where Mr. Damocles struggles to buckle the belt on his superhero costume is a clear reference to The Incredibles.
  • Smoke Out: Mr. Damocles tries to invoke it as the Owl, using "Owl Mist" then attempting to disappear. It doesn't work.
  • Super Zeroes: Mr. Damocles created his hero identity with toy weaponry and a Halloween disguise, plus being very out of shape himself. He ends up putting himself in so many embarrassing and dangerous situations that Ladybug and Cat Noir need to keep an eye on him at all times; they comment they had been doing this for several days already.
  • Wham Episode: More of Hawk Moth's motivation is revealed, and the kwamis find out who each other's holder is.
  • Wham Line: During Hawk Moth's speech about his supposed victory, he hints at what specifically he wants: The power to erase the past.

 
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