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Batman Bat-Probe Episode 16: He Meets His Match, The Grisly Ghoul
Reviewed by Geena Philips, © 2014

Format: TV
Genre:   Batman!
Review Date:   October 22, 2014

When last we left our heroes, they were poised to receive a 50,000-volt payout from an infernal slot machine. However will they survive? OhÖ an impossibly well-timed citywide blackout? Sure, why not?

"A mobile slot-machine torture van? Why, to be in possession of such a vehicle violates seventeen separate statutes.Ē

Commissioner Gordon's extremely troubling pronunciation of the word "mobile" aside, it seems as though he could be focusing on other things; what with the power being out in his entire city and all.

Luckily, thanks to the SOVIET-ERA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT THAT POWERS THE BATCAVE, the blackout won't prevent the Bright Knight from analyzing his surreptitious recording of the Joker's voice disguise gloating. Thanks to the Batcave's super-scientific anti-crime whozawhatsis, B&R figure out that head cheerleader Susie is also a member of the Joker's gang.

This revelation gives rise to a plan: Dick Grayson (who Susie already knows, remember) is going to go undercover as a bad boy to try and join her in the Joker's gang. The execution of this plan is exactly as hilarious as you think it is; The handsome, clean-cut Burt Ward, swimming in a way-oversized leather biker jacket, wearing riding gloves and shiny, shiny dress shoes, is almost too endearing to make fun of. ALMOST. It is to the show's credit that the Joker's henchman isn't fooled by this ruse for an instant.

As the Dynamic Duo race toward the trap that the Bad Penny pointed Dick toward, the Joker and his goons ponder how to deal with the loose end that is Susie. The Clown Prince of Crime gives her a bottle of "Canadian perfume" called "One Endless Night," that she should only open after she's completed her final vending machine modification at the high school. The fact that Susie uncritically accepts this obviously-lethal gift kind of brings her stock down a few points in my eyes.

So, remember the shotgun-festooned jukebox from last episode? Yeah. Well, it appears the GCPD didn't haul it in for evidence, or even bother to unplug it. After protecting himself and the Boy Wonder from the shotgun blast with the Bat Shield (as opposed to, say, simply stepping outside the shotgun's 40' shooting radius), Batman takes out the jukebox with a tiny little grenade. Alas, I don't think he realizes that he's just hit upon the solution to most of his day-to-day problems (which, from the producers' standpoint, I kind of understand; if Bats did start cutting through Gordian knots with tiny little grenades, it would cut the repeat appearances of Guest Villains waaaay down).

Okay, Robin: When Batman tells you that the Joker's next likely step is to bump off Susie, don't you think exclaiming ďHoly murder!Ē is a little on the nose?

Anyhoo, it looks as though the big showdown is going to happen during that night's basketball game between Woodrow Roosevelt High School and (not making this up) Disko Tech. Yeah, let that sink in a minute.

At last! Ten minutes before the end of the second episode, we finally find out what the Joker's really up to: Apparently he's going to rig a high school basketball game, and clean up by bidding on the outcome with bookie "Pete the Swede" (how do you even get a nickname like that?). His strategy for fixing the game is appropriately convoluted: Have the gimmicked-up milk machine dispense a sheet with the answers to the "Nationwide College Entrance Exam"; and then, snap a photograph of the Woodrow Roosevelt basketball team holding the sheet, sure to result in their being barred from play (leaving only the helpless scrub squad to face Disko Tech).

Well, that's a bummer. Turns out the climactic fight with the Joker and his gang is going to happen in an empty gymnasium; more's the pity.

In the final scene, Susie (whose life was saved by B&R, conveniently off-screen) is preparing to leave Stately Wayne Manor, where she's apparently been living for some undisclosed amount of time since the last scene, to begin her stay at the "Wayne Foundation for Delinquent Girls." Jesus. Bruce and Dick, under the same roof as a sexy teenage girl?

I can't even, you guys. I just canít.

#samebattimesamebatchannel


p.s. You guys! Don't forget, we're still looking for a suitable code-phrase to replace the kinda-on-the-nose "It's the Bat-phone, sir." Tweet your suggestions with the hashtag #itsthebatphonesir to the RevolutionSF Twitter at @RevolutionSF Twitter, or email me at geenacanblowme@gmail.com. On Halloween, we'll select the best one to receive a Batman-related prize pack from RevolutionSF.com, also known as BLORT, the Box of Likable and Remarkable Things. #samebattimesamebatchannel

Find all the Bat-Probes at the big list thatís right here at this link.


I donít think these henchmen are scared enough.



 
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