Episode Title: He Meets His Match, the Grisly Ghoul
Original Airdate: March 3, 1966
When we last left the Caped Crusaders they had been captured by the Joker, shoved into the back of a truck, and strapped to a couple of electric chairs wired to a slot machine. When three lemons show up, the juice gets turned on…and we’ve already got two lemons! How will they ever get out of this one? Let’s find out in today’s episode, He Meets His Match, the Grisly Ghoul.
Ok, so before I reveal how our heroes escape, let me just say this is either the most brilliant or the most ridiculous escape we’ve seen yet. Just as the third lemon pops up, Gotham City suffers a massive power outage. Everything, including the power to the back of the truck, is knocked out. The Joker (Cesar Romero), Susie the cheerleader (Donna Loren), and the rest of his gang decide to make a run for it. Just as they slip away, the cops pull up and find our heroes in the back of the truck. Batman tells the police to hurry up and free them before the power comes back on and they’re toast. Now, many viewers will probably roll their eyes at this escape, as it was nothing but dumb luck that saved our heroes. However, for comedic effect I think it’s genius.
Back at the batcave, our heroes listen to the audio recording they made to see if there are any clues. Their Anti-crime Voice Analyzer soon reveals that one of the Joker’s gang is none other than head cheerleader Susie…which is a real bummer since Robin/Dick Grayson clearly has the hots for her. But Batman determines that they can use Susie to lead them to the Joker. As Dick Grayson, Robin goes to Susie’s favorite candy shop hangout to try and get some information. While there, one of the Joker’s men clues him in to another heist using a jukebox with a gun hidden inside. So…Batman and Robin head to the robbery location, but the heist doesn’t happen. They soon determine that the Joker’s men are on to them and that Susie’s very life is in danger. Truly it is, as the Joker has given her a bottle of poisoned perfume. The Joker is also scheming on making big bucks on betting against the Woodrow Roosevelt basketball team in the big game against Disko Tech. He plans to get the players suspended for cheating so that the B-squad will have to play…and no doubt loose. But Batman and Robin are hip to his plot and save Susie just in time and then battle it out with the Joker’s gang in the school gym.
This episode actually doesn’t have all that much action between our heroes and the main villain. That’s ok, though, because it has some great moments anyway. The highlight is the sequence where Dick Grayson tries to play the part of a young juvenile delinquent to get Susie to reveal some of the Joker’s schemes. He wears a leather jacket and does his best tough guy swagger…which is not at all convincing, but priceless. His little act would’ve been quite convincing to the Joker’s gang, except for his attempt to try and smoke a cigarette. It ends up being what gives him away, but Batman commends his young ward for not knowing how to handle a cigarette.
Another fun aspect of this episode is the seemingly limitless resources provided by Batman and Robin’s legendary utility belts. Apparently Batman has a regular pharmacy tucked away in his belt as he has both the universal antidote pills that are needed to save Susie’s life, as well as an anti-allergy pill to help him combat the Joker’s sneezing powder. Plus, the belt is somehow able to tuck away the massive Bat-shield that Batman uses to deflect bullets fired from the gun hidden in the jukebox. Sure the thing folds up, but even at its smallest it’s about the size of your average coffee table book. Those utility belts are amazing things!
Though it doesn’t have as many fun Joker moments, this episode is still a lot of fun…especially for Robin. After all, in the last scene Donna Loren provides the Boy Wonder with his first kiss in the history of the series. Next time, though, our heroes face off against the villainous False-Face in True or False-Face. Same bat-time, same bat-channel (superhero).
Bat Gadgets Used:
Anti-crime Voice Analyzer
Anti-crime Auxilary Generator
Universal Antidote Pills
Holy Cow-juice (spoken by the narrator)
Holy Benedict Arnold
Holy New Year’s Eve