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Batman 66 Bat-Probe Episode 9: Zelda the Great
Reviewed by Geena Philips, © 2014

Format: TV
Genre:   Batman!
Review Date:   August 27, 2014

"A quiet, peaceful night in the city of Townsville Gotham City; except at the First National Bank, at precisely 8:37.” Then, an explosion straight off a sound effects record rings out, and the establishing shot of the bank's exterior shakes a little!

Inside, a safecracker who doesn't yet understand the inverse causal relationship between “amount of high explosives used” and “quantity of paper money successfully retrieved” is confronted by an intrepid stalwart bank security guard. Now, if you don't have enough time to follow “Hands up! Don't move,” (which is it, flatfoot?) with the customary “or I'll shoot!” before you actually DO shoot, then you'll probably end up in front of a review panel of some sort. Luckily for you,

• the LAPD is looking for just your kind of motivated self-starter; and
• guns, as it turns out, are exactly as effective as all the other tools used by law enforcement in Gotham City (which is to say NOT AT ALL; the thief cold-cocks the guard and gets away with the money so you're probably gonna get the opportunity to shoot more unarmed suspects down the road (live the dream, buddy).

What's that, Commissioner Gordon? A thief who robs banks every April 1st for the exact same amount of money each time? Oh, if only there were some sort of pattern for your employees-whom-you-could-fire-at-any-time to latch onto; I bet they'd bust this whole thing wide open!

(You can feel Gordon's mounting frustration with his idiotic top men in this whole scene.)

What? No one answered the Batphone? Good thing they're outside gazing into the telescope, where they can see the Batsignal. I mean, if they were, say, down in a private sex dungeon or something, Gotham City would be SCREWED.

"A town-hall lecture on Latin-American affairs”? Well, at least they're stretching their legs on the excuses to get Bruce and Dick down to the Batcave.

Gordon's fruitlessly waiting on someone to pick up the Batphone is priceless. Now I can't help but imagine Batman's ringback tone; it would have to be a constant loop of "na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na…”

Note: I don't give a hairy rat's patootie how unnecessary to the plot it is; if you've got a car as awesome as the Batmobile, it behooves you to feature as many shots of it as you possibly can in every episode. End of story.

Oooooh! Not only is Zelda the Great the first obscure (and genderswapped!) villain featured on the show (as well as the first woman), but she's also the first one that they don't already know about in the show's mythology (criminy, I sound like a pop-culture douche). Intriguing.

”Be on the lookout for a woman in an orange dress.”

”An orange dress! Good heavens, what is the world coming to'”

(OK, I may have altered that last line a bit)

Batman: No time to worry about that now; our task is to fight crime.”

Translation: I don't give a fuuuuuck what she's got going on in the bathing-suit area, I'mma beat the brakes off her just the same.

”Master Robin”? C'mon Alfred; the LAST thing you should be doing is playing into their delusional architecture. All that does is enable them.

So, the "criminal genius" behind this whole thing is fooled by a planted news story that the money he stole was counterfeit? You know what they say: Criminals don't become criminals because they're smart

Also: it's kind of counterintuitive to have a magician be lured by the "easy money" of crime; after all, an integral part of being a magician is the willingness to invest WAY more time and effort into an endeavor than it seems worth.

Something I'm learning from this episode: a stage magician who's a sexy woman is, as it turns out, still annoying.

But the giant padlock on this escape trick tank is EVERYTHING.

>sigh< If your big master plan involves directly and deliberately taking on Batman, you've already lost, moron.

Oh, poor Aunt Harriet! Didn't she read on Snopes about all those"playground matron" scam phone calls going around?

Really, show? A slide whistle when Batman and Robin jump off the balcony? It's enough to make me think you're not taking this whole thing seriously.

So maybe I'm calling it a bit early, but so far Zelda seems like, far and away, the most capable of all the Batman villains on this show.

Holy reversal, Batman! This episode's cliffhanger actually features Aunt Harriet stuck in the deathtrap. And Zelda doing her knitting while Harriet dangles helplessly over impending fiery death behind her is very possibly my favorite visual image of the entire series so far.


Geena Phillips reviews all the episodes of Batman. Find out why by reading Bat-Probe : All the Episodes .

Send Geena compliments at geenacanblowme@gmail.com

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