Monday, October 27, 2014

Recap: Beware the Batman "Sacrifice"

"Sacrifice," eh? I know that Lady Shiva shows back up. Please let this character be sacrificed in order to make room for a better class of criminal.

Seriously, Evil Princess Jasmine just isn't much of a threat.
Previously on Beware the Batman....

Both Lady Shiva and Anarky like to taunt their opponents while being completely nonthreatening.

The episode proper opens on a shipyard. A single crate is being unloaded from a large boat. Odd that there's only one thing on the whole cargo ship. Must be important. The crate gets loaded on a truck and latched up by ninjas, when Anarky appears.

Anarky: "Good evening, gentlemen. What do we have here? A gift for me?"

The ninjas quickly draw their swords.

Anarky: "Oh, good! I was hoping you'd say that."

Okay. Look. The writers of this show said that they weren't going to use the Joker because Joker stories have been done to death. This... is a Joker story. Anarky is a poor man's The Dark Knight Joker. Everything the character says and how he says it is like the voice actor was told to be like Heath Ledger, but don't do a Heath Ledger impression. Well, that or the actor's reading his lines while there's a woman being very friendly to him in the recording booth. Or a man. I don't judge. The line delivery is... shall we say, "oddly gleeful," and it gets worse later in the episode.

"Fighting ninjas that I can't possibly take on and survive. This was a good plan."
Anyway, Anarky takes out the ninjas.Yeah, no, not believing it. I can believe that Batman and Katana can do that, because they're ninja masters, but not this white-suited V wannabe. But Anarky implausibly takes them out until all that's left is one guy holding a crowbar like a baseball bat.

Anarky: "That's the spirit! But are you sure you're ready to die?"

Oh, come on. I really do hate to harp on this, but "that's the spirit" was delivered like the line was "Why so serious." This isn't homage, reference, or anything like that. This character is aping the Joker. Badly.

In the face of such disrespect to a better villain, the last guy drops the crowbar and runs. Anarky is left with the crate, and we cut to gang members playing poker. Batman and Katana burst in, and try to get info out of them on the League of Assassins. In the ensuing kerfuffle, the room starts to catch fire. Katana wants to go after the fleeing criminals, but Batman reminds her about the good of the many, priorities, and all that. They evacuate the building, and we cut to Evil Princess Jasmine, aka Lady Shiva in some paper-walled, stereotypical Japanese room. She nonthreateningly tells her ninjas that she won't kill them if they get the crate back, and they leave.

Suddenly, Anarky appears and he tells her that the crate will be returned to her if she has her goons break into the Gotham Contagion Research Center. He wants them to retrieve... "Kalibosics?" Is that what he's saying? Well, according to the interwebs, it's "Calibosix," ostensibly named after the mythological character Calibos, the beastly son of Andromeda. But I'm going to call it MacGuffin's Disease.

Just kill him already. Then yourself. 
Hopefully, better villains will fill the void.
Anyway, it's a mutagenic toxin. He'll trade her the crate for the toxin. So, why is there a contagion research center in the middle of Gotham? Not only is it populated by innocents, it's populated by crazies!

What a wonderful place to store the world's deadliest substances.
Anyway, we cut to a goon waking up upside down over he streets of Gotham, where Batman tied him up. Batman and Tatsu try to get some info out of him, when cars start exploding. The Duo goes down to investigate, when Anarky's face appears on a nearby screen, telling him that the League of Assassins is going to break into the Gotham Contagion Research Center.

Batman: "Another one of your games?" 
Anarky: "Perhaps."

I just find it ironic that the personification of anarchy is mimicking Big Brother.
He tells them to duck, and the TV screen explodes. Okay, Anarky blowing up random things is starting to make him a bit of a threat. Batman and Katana leap out of the way, and Anarky says how he thinks that went well... to the crate he stole. Said crate has an obscured body in it.

It's Ra's al Ghul. Come on, who else could it be? It's the guy who leads the League in the comics and the Nolan series. He comes back from the dead all the time, of course he's the guy in the crate.

After Anarky monologues about the end of Gotham, Batman and Tatsu speed off.

Katana: "You know it's a trap, right?" 
Batman: "Of course. But Anarky always laces his lies with truth."

No, he doesn't. In the last episode he was in, his only episode before now, he outright monologues about what he was doing as he did it. Sorry, thanks for playing.

Batman instructs his computer to give him the building layout, and this is interspersed with the actual break in. The CRC, as it exposits, exists to study things ranging from disease, to synthetic contaminants. If the building's ground level is breached by any of the more dangerous contagions, it'll blow up. ...well, that takes care of the disease, but wouldn't the synthetic contaminants be leeched into the ground and air surrounding the building? Anyway, as the computer talks about security, Lady Shiva walks right into the building with her ninjas. ...why is she going?     

I love how the guard sincerely asks, "Can I help you, ma'am?" before getting a dart to the neck along with his buddy. His voice was recorded, his eye scanned, and goo spread on his hand before Lady Shiva touches the goo. The eye scan gets past the retinal lock, the voice for the voice lock, and she uses her fake handprint (which is on her hand backwards and therefore shouldn't work) to get past the handprint lock. She and her ninjas head to the third basement level, where MacGuffin's Disease is kept.

Batman and Katana arrive at the CRC, and quickly catch up to the League, where Lady Shiva's about to blow up the door to MacGuffin's Disease. They scuffle, and Lady Shiva holds her own, but Katana makes her look stupid(er) by kicking the detonator out of her hand. One of the ninjas grabs it and sets it off, though, so that was pointless.

"Coming here myself and holding out the detonator in an easily kickable position. This was a good plan!"
Lady Shiva and her ninjas rush into the next room, seal the door behind them, and she orders her ninjas to grab a MacGuffin vial. One of them butterfingers it up, though, and gets a face full of MacGuffin's Disease, which fills the room and begins the lockdown procedure. The ninjas both turn into ninja-hulks, and Lady Shiva runs from her former minions.

Anarky appears on a nearby screen and leads Batman to talk about how the disease turns the person into an infectious, rampaging killing machine, before slowly killing the infected. Lady Shiva fails to take down her escaping ninjas because their necks are now somehow swordproof. Batman saves her, because code of honor, no better than her, blah blah blah.

Anarky laughs over the imminent infection, and Batman exposits over Anarky's scheme to infect Gotham. Lady Shiva mentions a cure in the vault that she saw, but Batman says they need to leave. A shaky alliance is forged between the three as Anarky laughs about the cops arriving outside the building.

Gordon: "I'll make this simple, people. Every living creature in this circle needs to be evacuated."

"Miller, go round up those stray cats. O'Hara, grab that fruit fly."   "But sir..."   "Every living creature!"
The cops go to evacuate the area as Batman tries to hack the door controls so they can get to the next level of the building. Lady Shiva starts giving a lackluster "we're-not-so-different" speech, and Anarky gloats as he remotely releases the hulks from the MacGuffin room. Batman unlocks the door, and everybody runs through it before it closes, leaving the ninja-hulks to start smashing through it.

Meanwhile, a the CRC Executive Director demands to Gordon that the building be blown up ahead of schedule, and Gordon's tech guy hacks into the camera system, showing Batman. Batman, meanwhile, is hacking another door as Lady Shiva does more pseudo-philosophical monologuing about Katana's "true nature" as the hulks start breaking through the door behind them.

Lady Shiva: "You're a killer. Just like me."

Says the person who hasn't killed a single person, as far as we've seen.

Dressed like Jasmine with a similar body count, to boot.
Batman: "Wanna see my true nature? Keep talking."

I've heard better pick-up lines. The hulks break through, and Batman hacks the door while Gordon calls the Mayor to get more time to get Batman out. They all climb the ladder to the higher floors, and Katana stays behind to fight the hulks, saying that she's willing to sacrifice her life, making her different from Lady Shiva. She jumps into the fray as Anarky mocks them on a nearby screen and Lady Shiva clocks Batman, as the monitoring officer notes.

Officer: "That lady just clocked Batman!"

The executive lady tells Gordon to get his men out, because she just got the Governor's approval to torch the place. Well, there's only one thing to do. Gordon's going to have to call Obama.

Wait, when did Gotham PD start approving of Batman enough to risk the city to try and save him? Two episodes ago, Batman took the fall for Gordon's actions, and as far as anyone knows, Batman threatened Gordon to make him bust Tobias Whale out of jail. Did everybody just forget about that? Yeah, Gordon's probably vouching for him, but does Lieutenant Gordon really have that much clout? Anyway, five minutes until self-destruction.

Katana fights the hulks and doing a good job of it while Batman fights and accidentally unhandcuffs Lady Shiva, who he knocks out and recuffs to a pipe. Batman heads back down and saves Katana by taking out the ninja-hulks far too easily for such "threat." I just realized that Katana should be wearing gloves to hide her fingerprints, but that's really not important right now. What is important is that Katana's been infected, and Batman needs to save her.

Batman: "Some things are too valuable to be sacrificed."

Besides, Dr. McCoy's not here to house your katra until you can get a new body. Seriously, though, did anyone else get a Wrath of Khan vibe from this?

He uses what appears to be Bruce Wayne's ID card to unlock the MacGuffin room, runs in, grabs the cure, runs out, cures Katana and himself, faces the camera, waves at Gordon to stop the boom, braces for death...  and the countdown aborts.

Lady Shiva is shown to have escaped, and we cut to Gordon briefing Batman on how the building is safe, and the ninjas are cured. So... shouldn't you be arresting him?

Back at the League's hideout, Lady Shiva enters to find the crate, with a literal "No hard feelings" note from Anarky. She smiles, and opens up the crate, monologuing about how Gotham will bow before... Say it with me: Ra's al Ghul. No, you pronounced that wrong; it's "raishe al gool."


So... is that guy still tied up on that building? You might want to get him down soon, Batman.

While we worry about the fate of  this random mook, let's review.

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