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Batman 66 Bat-Probe Episode 12: When The Rat`s Away the Mice Will Play
Reviewed by Geena Phillips, © 2014

Format: TV
Genre:   Batman!
Review Date:   September 17, 2014

There was a substantial gap in the write-up for this episode. I was originally in the middle of writing it when I got the news about the suicide of Robin Williams (which kind of took the wind out of my sails). Then, that was followed almost immediately by news of the passing of Joan Rivers.

But I'm back, and now that two of the people I'll never be as funny as are out of the way, it's time to charge on ahead.

(I don't even feel like trying to parse out the episode title right now; so let's move past it, shall we?)

When last we left our heroes (or, at least, poorly-stuffed dummies thereof), Batman and Robin were about to be spun to death at 10,000 revolutions/second. Luckily the Bright Knight had managed to sabotage the control panel last episode (off-camera, naturalement), thus sparing their really-badly-made avatars a grisly end.

Meanwhile, at the lair of the River Rats gang (who make Badger and Skinny Pete from Breaking Bad look like Lex Luthor), the Riddler, wearing his question-mark suit so much better than Matthew Lesko, arrives to set them to their work (and to waste an inordinate amount of screen time lecturing the gang on the value of punctuality). His rhapsodizing on the demise of the Dynamic Duo is a textbook example of just why Frank Gorshin was so terrific in this role.

The Museum of Fame, huh? How come I don't see any statues of Coco or Leroy up in this snizz?

Over here, for instance, we have the original Gotham City Commodity Exchange building.” What is this' A Commodity Exchange for ants?!' (apologies to Zoolander)

The Riddler's henchgal (again in her very-disturbing Madeline cosplay) delivers an important message to Commissioner Gordon: If the Riddler doesn't receive one million dollars by midnight, the Queen of Freedom Monument will be blown sky high.

Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, Bruce Wayne! You've seen FIRST-HAND what a collection of stumblebums the GCPD truly are, and yet you're still gonna trust them with $1 million? You've got a pair on you, I gotta give you that.

The fake Batman who then shows up at police headquarters to throw the cops off the trail has a perfect Batman costume; he should be home free, as long as his acting isn't terrible. Whoops! Oh, well. Never send a rat to do a bat's job, I guess.

I'm a little confused about what the Riddler hoped to accomplish by sending over the fake Batman in the first place. This seems to me the point at which his plan goes from being "sophisticated" to simply being a symptom of advancing mental illness. “I've really outdone myself this time!” OK, Riddler, it might be time to dial it back a bit; this level of self-congratulation makes you seem less like a supervillain and more like a writer for Salon.com.

You know, Robin, that's almost the exact place on the SOVIET ERA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT BATMAN USES TO POWER THE BATCAVE (that's ONE way to stay "off the grid," I guess) from which Molly fell to her untimely and gruesome death (way back in episode two); you might want to consider a safety harness next time you're up there.

Notable Quotable: ”Well, stop fiddling with that atomic pile and come down here!”

So, the Riddler and his gang arrive at the Queen of Freedom monument to collect their money and deactivate the bomb, only to find the booby-trapped statue is missing, and in its place a riddle from Batman. Now, I pick on Batman a lot in this show, but that is a SICK BURN on his part.

"Pow! Zowie!" ensues (you know the drill by now), with only one slight wrinkle: the use of the slide-whistle sound in this fight has now spoiled me for all the fights in the course of this series that don't have it.

Cue sultry saxophone music: ”I’ll never understand how girls like you get involved in things like this." Geez, Batman: paternalistic much?

Of course, in the final scene, Aunt Harriet invites Bruce and Dick to come with her on a visit to the Queen of Freedom monument. Real Talk now, Batman writers: You've got to stop going back to the well for gags like this. I realize that, structurally, it's the comedic cool-down for the episode; but, it ends up feeling like the exact equivalent of Aunt Harriet saying, “Say, Bruce, want to go visit the grimy alley where your parents were murdered?”

Time for a little more Inside Baseball: I generally dictate these into my phone for the first draft; and my phone actually AutoCorrected "grimy" as "Grammy." Ah, from the mouth of iPhone babes.


Hench 4 Life!

Geena Phillips knows more than you about Coco and Leroy. Write to her at geenacanblowme@gmail.com. The address really works! Try it! Every Batman 66 Bat-Probe review is right here, conveniently called Batman 66 Bat-Probe: Season 1: All The Episodes

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