Episode Title: Batman Makes the Scenes
Original Airdate: May 5, 1966
When we last left Gotham City, Batman and Robin had been captured by the Penguin and placed inside a vacuum chamber full of balloons. The air is slowly being sucked out of the room. Once the last balloon pops…well…so will the Dynamic Duo. How will they possibly survive? Let’s find out in the final episode of season one, Batman Makes the Scenes.
Gradually, the level of air in the chamber is dropping until finally it hits the level of “No Air at All.” At this point, both of our heroes appear to lose consciousness and the Penguin and his gang prance off in celebratory fashion. Though a few seconds later, Batman opens his eyes…perfectly fine. We then fast forward to city hall where Batman explains to Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara that he was able to cut his bonds and use the emergency tank of bat-oxygen in his utility belt. Of course, we saw none of this. Let me just jump in here to day that this is possibly the lamest cliffhanger escape we’ve seen in season one. A pretty poor way to close out the season.
Anyhow, back to stopping the Penguin…who still seeks to nab a couple of million dollars at the Millionaire’s Award Dinner. With the help of Bruce Wayne, our heroes plan to fool Penguin. They leak word into the criminal underground that the dinner will be held at Wayne Manor, when, in fact, it will actually be held on a ship, the Gotham Neptune. Only Batman, Robin and Alfred know the truth. But remember, in our last episode Alfred was hypnotized by Penguin. So, when Penguin calls he is able to get Alfred to give up the real location.
Now, Penguin hatches his ultimate scheme. First he kidnaps Miss Natural Resources (the girl representing the winning charity) and replaces her with Finella. When she jumps out of the cake at the dinner, she gasses the millionaires with a trick umbrella and Penguin and his goons grab all the money. Even Batman and Robin succumb to the gas. But later, back at the hideout, when Penguin goes to put the money in his safe, he is surprised to find the Caped Crusaders hiding inside. They had taken some anti penguin gas pills. Howe they got into the safe, though, is a mystery. The climactic fight breaks out and Penguin ends up behind bars once again.
I admit that this isn’t the greatest episode, but it’s not bad either. I do like that we see the payoff of Alfred being hypnotized by Penguin in the previous episode. It actually reminded me a bit of the film The Manchurian Candidate, which would’ve come out just a few years before this. Penguin uses a sound to trigger Alfred and send him back into his slave-like trance. It’s a fun little gimmick.
One other element of this episode that is fun is final fight. Call me simple minded, but I got a kick out of some of the exclamations that flash on the screen in this one. Perhaps the most unique is “FLRBBBBB!” which I’m not even sure how to pronounce. The flight also features Robin swinging on a lamp, a harpoon being tossed, and one of the baddies getting locked up in a shark cage.
This episode, though, does get a bit convoluted as it winds its way around to get to the final showdown. I really don’t see why Bruce Wayne needed to be involved switching around the location of the Millionaire’s Dinner. It seems like just a way of stretching out the story a bit. I also don’t like the end of this episode, with Finella being an honored guest at the Millionaire’s Club gathering as part of a one-day release from prison. She didn’t really do anything to earn favor with the law…so I’m a bit baffled.
In the end, this is a decent enough episode, if not the great finale that the first season really deserves. And that brings us to the end of Batman season 1. Next time we’re going to do a brief recap of the first season and preview a bit of what we’ll see in season two. Don’t miss it…same bat-time, same bat-channel (superhero).
Bat Gadgets Used:
Emergency Tank of Bat Oxygen
Gotham City Plans and Views
Anti Penguin Gas Pills