Not only does this one feature two substantial character debuts with Count Vertigo and Talia (three if you count the cameo by Ra's), but I consider this a milestone in the animated series. A lot of that may be in my head, but before the animated series I was not very familiar with the character of Ra's al Ghul. For the first half of this series, he was no where to be found, but with Off Balance, that world would be opened setting the stage for some epic clashes in the remaining episodes. And while I will take people's word for it that Ra's was big in the comics in the 70's, I credit his depiction here as much as anything with his eventual integration in the modern Batman movies. I could be completely wrong off course, but that's just my take.
As for this episode, without his nemesis Green Arrow, Count Vertigo was a tad on the forgettable side.
On the other hand, Talia was easily the highlight. It was a real treat seeing her and Batman team up and hearing her refer to her barely seen father was a nice teaser. And the last second twist of allegiance was a nice cherry on top ending the episode on a note of intrigue.
Episode Count: 0574
Series Count: (40 of 81)
First Appearance: Count Vertigo
First Appearance: Ra's al Ghul
First Appearance: Talia al Ghul