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Recap / The Batman S 4 E 1 A Matter Of Family

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The Flying Graysons are in town, preparing to put on their trapeze act. Young Dick is worried about his costume, but things become serious when the Zuccos come to extort them. Batman saves the Graysons, but Tony Zucco escapes and vows revenge. When the parents die onstage, Bruce adopts Dick and vows to avenge his parents by catching Tony Zucco. Dick catches wind of what his guardian is doing and decides to tag along. Cue Robin entering the scene and establishing himself as a sidekick.

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  • Adaptational Badass: Mr. Grayson in most adaptations is a trapeze artist but a Nice Guy and not violent. Here, he actually throws down with the Zuccos for a few minutes before Batman comes and wins the fight.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Most adaptations have Bruce tell Dick about his secret identity upfront, or rescuing him from Zucco. Here, Dick figures it out on his own by wandering around the mansion and following Alfred into the Batcave's secret entrance.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Your parents dying in front of you while they are doing their job. Even worse, Dick was about to go on the trapeze before he saw the bolts come unloose. Later, he visibly has trouble sleeping and being alone at night.
    • Bruce has a flashback to when he attended his parents' funeral and says he's adopting Dick so that he won't go through the grieving process alone.
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  • Art Evolution: Batman is redesigned with a more angular jawline and smaller eyeslits on his cowl.
  • Bond One-Liner: After seeing the Graysons fall to their death, Zucco comments that “the Flying Graysons are gonna hafta change their name”.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: When Dick finds out that his guardian is Batman, he says he needs to come along and get justice for his parents. Bruce says he needs to handle it alone because he's the best person to find Tony Zucco, and besides, it's way past Dick's bedtime and getting late. Dick mutters, "Late for Bruce Wayne, early for Batman."
  • Casting Gag: Mark Hamill plays Tony Zucco, while Kevin Conroy plays Mr. Grayson.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: One of Tony's brothers is visibly horrified when he realizes that his brother sabotaged the trapeze.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Zucco tells Batman about his background as a circus performer, specifically a knife-thrower. His dad was often the volunteer and he would always manage to hit his mark (every spot except on his father). When Batman presses why he gave up such a promising career, Zucco calmly answers "One day, I missed." Batman is shocked at how Zucco can so casually imply that he accidentally killed his own father and not show a sign of regret or remorse.
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  • Famous Last Words: Mrs. Grayson calls her son’s name before she and her husband fall.
  • Forced to Watch: Bruce and Dick are horrified to see his parents die in front of him onstage.
  • For Want of a Nail: It involved screws, but Dick was about to go on the trapeze when he heard the trapeze bolts clattering. If he hadn't heard them, he would have been killed as well.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: As with Robin’s Reckoning, the camera cuts away to the audience and Dick's reactions as his parents fall.
  • Meaningful Echo: Mrs. Grayson calls Dick her "little Robin". He later takes up the moniker to honor her memory.
  • Mood Whiplash: Dick's last interaction with his parents was him complaining about his outfit and nickname Robin, and his dad playfully grabbing them all in a Group Hug. The heartwarming feels go away the minute Dick sees their trapeze about to fall in the next scene.
    • The same goes for the opening, when Dick is having another slice-of-life day at his family's circus, when he sees a dark figure, Zucco, ominously emerge from the shadows.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Bruce said he never found his parents' killer or brought them to justice. He wants to find Zucco so that Dick can find that closure.
  • Papa Wolf: Batman muster all the strength to free himself and beat Zucco up who was about to kill Robin.
  • Parental Neglect: Bruce Wayne falls into his Workaholic habits to find Tony Zucco and misses dinner on Dick's first night. Both Alfred and Dick call out on Bruce on this but he feels this was his My Greatest Second Chance in hopes bringing justice for Dick's parents would bring the boy peace. They compromise when Batman says that Dick can be his sidekick.
  • Save the Villain: Batman makes Robin a sidekick officially when Dick saves Zucco from a deadly fall because turning him in was justice.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Implied with Zucco, at least of the accidental sort. Back when he used to be a knife-thrower, his father was often the volunteer in his act. Why isn't he a knife thrower anymore? "One day, I missed."
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