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Batman 66 Bat-Probe: Episode 2: Smack in the Middle
Reviewed by Geena Phillips, © 2014

Format: TV
Genre:   Batman!
Review Date:   July 13, 2014

This is Part Two of the story started in "Hi iddle Diddle" (I would NEVER leave you hanging).

In the first scene, the Riddler forces the tied-up Robin (hmmmm; didn't know it was That Kind of party.) to call Batman on the phone, so they dial Commissioner Gordon's office.

Actual dialog:

"Could you patch me through to the Hotline'"

"Of course, son."

Translation: Batman never gave Robin his home number.

sub-Translation: HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU.

So, the Riddler's fiendish plan: Make a life-cast mask of Robin's face, so as to disguise Molly as the Boy Wonder.

Fiendish Plan Score:
for concept: No one not suffering from advanced macular degeneration is going to mistake Jill St. John for a teenaged boy (and MAN, does she fill out a Robin costume).

A+ for execution: Burt Ward's performance as Jill St. John-in-drag is PURE SPUN GOLD (and a little bit sexier than one might care to admit).

Speaking of, let's talk about Frank Gorshin's Riddler for a minute. While it would be easy to just mention how Joker-like his portrayal is, that writes it off too quickly. He brings such a leering, pervy quality to the role; Gorshin makes you believe the Riddler is genuinely demented, and you really have no clue what he might do next.

Also, during the course of this two-parter, the motherf**ker has more costume changes than a Lady Gaga concert; Gorshin's Riddler strikes me as the basis for a FABULOUS drag king act, and I can't believe it's never been done.

So after the Riddler "cleverly" arranges to get Molly-as-Robin back into Batman's waiting arms (you only think I'm making that up), once inside the Batcave, Batman announces that he saw through Molly's disguise immediately, due to poor casting of the life-mask (the World's Greatest Detective, ladies and gentlemen!).

While trying to escape, Molly falls into the SOVIET-ERA NUCLEAR PLANT Batman uses to power the Batcave (seriously, dude. You're under the damn ground; would it have killed you to go geothermal?), where she meets with what is almost certainly a grisly demise.

The episode's climax (yup; Molly's horrifying death occurs in the second act) happens at the Moldavia Exhibit at the Gotham City World's Fair, where the Riddler plans to steal the hugest, heaviest art treasure he could possibly find (best dialog of the scene: "What is that?" "It appears to be some sort of vulgar, low comedian.").

Of course, Batman and Robin arrive to save the day; and, after the first free-for-all fistfight of the series (NO WAY no one was hurt in the making of those scenes, by the way), the Riddler is caught in an explosion (as signified by the ubiquitous colored smoke), and his fate remains unknown (don't worry, folks; he'll be back!).

You guys, I am so far spending way more time writing about these episodes than I am actually watching them. It's gonna be a long, dark July, y'all.


You tell 'em, Jill St. John.

Check out RevolutionSF reviews of every episode of Batman 66 by Geena Phillips, who knows more about Aunt Harriet than you. Send comments to geenacanblowme@gmail.com .

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