Apparently, Bruce Wayne is Batman. Huh. Didn’t see that one coming.
The episode proper opens up on a shot of Gotham City, before we fade to a warehouse full of Stagg Industries equipment being raided by Tobias Whale’s crew due to the incarceration of Simon Stagg. Oh, hai, continutity! You’re going to be everywhere in this episode!
Batman takes down the whole gang ridiculously easy, and the cops show up. Batman hands over Whale, and the episode ends. Well, that was short. See you next time!
Gordon comes over and starts chewing out Batman about “police procedure” and stuff, but Batman counters that Whale’s been doing this for a month unimpeded. Gordon tells Batman that he has no choice, and gives the order to take him into custody. Batman escapes with a smoke bomb, and Gordon tells the cops to take care of Whale.
Back at the Batcave, Tatsu’s trying on her new suit!
|What, are you going to call her Humpty Dumpty, too? ...he would.|
|This is actually an animated gif.|
Tatsu actually wants to be able to move, but Batman wants her to be protected. What, coming from the man who let his partner go out in this?
|Seriously, cover up your shame!|
Batman: "I won't leave Gotham unprotected."
Batman also reminds her that the League of Assassins still want the Ion Cortex, so they’ll be back. Oh, hooray. Because that thing is my favorite part of this show.
Anyway, Alfred tells Tatsu to be patient, but she’s eager to get out there and do something. Batman tells her not until she’s “suited up and armed.” Tatsu agrees. She goes to the supplies, grabs a domino mask and a katana, and walks back out wearing the mask.
|Add some bright colors and remove your pants. That'll win Batman over.|
|You know what, keep the black outfit.|
Alfred: "That was your name in the League of Assassins."
Katana says that when they fight the League again, she wants them to know that it’s her. See my previous comment on Katana’s costume for why that’s a bad idea. We cut to Gordon talking to Whale with his lawyer, requesting that Whale cooperate. Whale’s Russian-accented lawyer tries to make a deal with Gordon.
Lawyer: “We will make a deal.”
Gordon: “Good! Finally, now…”
Lawyer: “You have until midnight, which would be four hours from this moment, to release my client. He will not be prosecuted, he will be cleared of every charge. This is a good deal, Lieutenant. I advise you take it.”
|"In Soviet Russia, Lieutenant Gordon, lawyer offers you unfair deal."|
At Lt. Gordon’s house, Barbara Gordon is reading a book. The doorbell rings. She opens the door, and a pair of glowing hands grabs her. Stop it, Barbara.
Later, back at Gotham PD, Gordon bursts into Whale’s cell. He demands to know where Barbara is, but Whale denies everything, but still eggs Gordon on.
Whale: “Clock is ticking! Who knows what will happen to that kid after midnight…”
Why the midnight deadline? Will she turn into a pumpkin?
Gordon responds with a punch in the face. Other cops drag him back, and Gordon leaves the station and goes back home. Entering his daughter’s room, he looks over her shrine for Batman. Photos, newspaper clippings, and more are arranged on the wall in that “teenage girl obsession” sort of way, nearly crossing over into "creepy."
Hanging from the ceiling in the corner is a cutout of a bat. Gordon looks at the shadow that it casts on the wall and gets an idea. We then cut to his idea in action.
|It'll never catch on.|
Batman: “I’ve been looking for her all night.”
Gordon: “You have?”
Batman: “Kidnapping is on my list of crimes too.”
Maybe don't word it that way, Bats.
He tells Gordon that, because he can go places Gordon can’t, they should team up.
Batman: "We're on the same side."
Gordon: "No. We're not."
Gordon insists that it will be just this once, and Batman acquiesces. He tells Batman that the last person to see Whale was his lawyer, Milo Match.
He did it.
C’mon, Milo Match? And the kidnapper had flaming hands? Milo Match did it.
Batman goes to find him. Back at the Batcave, Batman has Alfred locate the trackers that he put on Whale’s men back during the “Humpty Dumpty case.” You know, that nickname doesn’t stop being cruel the more you use it, Batman. He tracks them down to “the Cauldron,” in a “Ghost-heavy zone.”
They exposit for Tatsu and the audience that the Cauldron was the industrial part of the city that became abandoned after the financial crisis. The people who live in these slums are called “Ghosts,” and they react violently to outsiders. (Uh oh, bad news for Katana and Metamorpho! …never mind.) The authorities leave them alone because they keep to themselves, though.
They narrow the possibilities of Barbara’s location to three different warehouses, all equally likely. Batman decides to check them all out, and demands that Katana stay behind. Okay, so how come when Batman approves of Tatsu at the end of each episode, he always doubts her in the next one? It bugs me.
Alfred: “You know, Katana…”
Tatsu: “If you’re going to tell me to have patience, do me a favor and don’t.”
You know, I can’t help but wonder if bits like that were written for people like me who just want to see Tatsu suit up and kick some butt. Well, she's suited up, at least.
Meanwhile, at one of the warehouses, Milo Match (with goons holding a tied-up Barbara) makes an offer to the hidden Ghosts as Barbara points out all the flaws in what he’s doing. Basically, she's almost MST3K riffing her own kidnapping.
Barbara: “You’re not actually trying to make a deal with Ghosts, are you?”
Soon the kidnapper and kidnapped are surrounded by Ghosts.
Barbara: “Hope you have a backup plan. If not, you should get one.”
He gives them a tanker of fuel.
Barbara: “Classic bad guy mistake of trusting other bad guys.”
Match tries to reclaim control of the situation.
Match: “Gentlemen, ladies!”
Barbara: “I think they’re all guys.”
The Ghosts silently agree to the partnership, then slink back into the shadows. Match tells Barbara that her dad only has two hours left. Back at the Batcave, Tatsu’s complaining about not being out in the field as Alfred uses a satellite to track movement in the Cauldron. Alfred tells her that actions, not words, get the job done. Hint hint.
Meanwhile, Batman drives up to a wall of abandoned cars, gets out of the Batmobile, and climbs the wall into the Cauldron. You know, the whole place reminds me of inFAMOUS, especially the Dust Men parts. I wouldn’t mind replaying that now. Note to self: Get a new PS3.
Alfred radios Batman that he’s got bad guys at ten and two.
Katana: "Actions, not words."
Batman: "That sounds familiar."
Between the two of them, they manage to hold off the Ghosts. As I watch the fight, I can’t help but notice how she never actually attacks with her sword. Obviously, it’s a kids’ show, so no decapitations, but it’s still jarring that she just carries around a sword that only gets used to block attacks. It's the same problem Wolverine always has.
|"Take that, homeless guy! I am the night!"|
Batman: “You have to take your ego out of this or you’ll be dead within a year.”
Katana: “For the record, I do not have an ego. It’s called ‘pride in my work.’”
Back at Gotham PD, Gordon gets informed about the fights at the Cauldron, and he goes to Whale's cell. And he aims a gun at him and tells him to get going. Because Gordon is now Dirty Harry. Next thing you know, he'll be talking about counting bullets. Back at the Cauldron, Batman and Katana recon two of the warehouses, then meet back up to take a look at the third, which is heavily guarded. Batman tells her that Barbara’s their priority, and to follow his lead exactly.
Katana: “I get it. We have different fighting styles. But our differences make us stronger. You know, like, ‘toh-may-to,’ ‘toh-mah-to.’”
Batman: “No. Those are the same thing said differently.”
Katana: “Exactly my point.”
Batman: “Just… follow my lead.”
Katana, I think you fail at koans. It's okay, I fail at haikus. Anyway, they make quick work of the guards as Gordon pulls up to the Cauldron with Whale. Gordon takes out a lurking Ghost's weapon to show that he's for serious, dawg.
Gordon: “Now take me to my daughter before the Ghosts learn how to count bullets.”
Batman and Katana burst into the warehouse, and Barbara gets all excited as Gordon and Whale join them. Gordon demands that Match release her, and he just smiles.
Whale: "Okay, let's just show 'em, Milo."
With that cue, Milo Match lights his head and hands on fire. He shoots a few fireballs, and Whale introduces him as “Phosphorus Rex.” Ah, Phosphorus Rex, another Grant Morisson villain, like Pyg and Toad from the first episode.
Rex fireballs a shelf, which falls on Whale and Gordon. Nice shootin', Rex; you pinned down your own client. Rex then takes a few shots at Batman, who dodges them all but the last one. Gordon emerges from the shelves to save his daughter, but Rex makes a circle of fire around them.
|I fell into a burnin' ring o' fire...|
After the blast that should have realistically destroyed the warehouse but somehow didn’t, Rex fins himself unable to flame on, and collapses. Batman cuts Barbara’s ropes, and she hugs her dad.
Batman: “Putting out a fire with a bigger fire. Rudimentary physics.”
Um… did the force of the blast put the fire out? Did the explosion use up all the oxygen? What the heck does this mean? How the heck does this work? We’ll never know. Katana apologizes for not telling him her plan, and Batman tells her that they’ll work on it. Gordon tells Batman that the cops are coming, and they know that he busted out Whale. Batman cuffs Gordon and tells Gordon to tell the cops that he was forced by Batman to free Whale.
Gordon: “I don’t want you to do this.”
Batman: “You’re the hero, I’m the vigilante. Those are the roles we play.”
He’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. Barbara thanks him and compliments his “grappling thing.”
Batman: “Grapnel. It’s called a grapnel.”
Batman and Katana run off, and Barbara says that someday she'll be a crime fighter. She also wants a grapnel.
Gordon: “Not until you’re old enough.”
Barbara: “When will that be?”
I agree with Gordon. When all you have is a grappling hook, everything looks like a target.
|Seriously though, I love this show.|