Batman S:02 E:43

Episode Title: Penguin Sets a Trend
Original Airdate: February 1, 1967

When we last left Gotham City, Batman and Robin had been tied up by the Penguin and placed on a giant catapult. The rope is slowing burning through. Soon the Caped Crusaders will sail across the sky and splat somewhere in downtown Gotham. Let’s see what happens next in Penguin Sets a Trend.

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As our heroes wait for the rope to burn through, Batman begins some mathematical calculations. He soon figures that once they launch they will land 30 yards south of the intersection of Mulberry and 7th streets. He then activates the remote control on his wrist to send the Batmobile to that location. A net shoots out of the trunk and catches our heroes just in time.

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Now, despite having almost been killed by Penguin, Batman decides that the best way to get to the bottom of his plan is to go back and ask to continue as the stars of Penguin’s movie. At first Penguin refuses, but Batman puts on an act that he has caught the acting bug and has dreams of being a star and winning Oscars. Penguin soon agrees to put them back in the film.

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When filming resumes, Penguin has switched to a medeival setting. This will make for good use of the priceless suits of armor Penguin stole in our last episode. For the scene, he has Batman and Robin wearing suits of armor (not the ones from the museum, though), but little do our heroes realize that Penguin is up something. He uses a giant electric magnet to trap the Caped Crusaders while he and his men head off to the top secret government facility, the Hexagon. There, Penguin uses the promise of Hollywood stardom to convince a general to let him film at the site…in Room X. For you see, Room X is next to Room Y, and Room Y is next to Room Z…which contains items Penguins wishes to steal. Before long, Penguin’s men (wearing the suits of armor) bust in to rob the joint.

Meanwhile, Batman and Robin are still trapped by the magnet. Luckily, Batman finds a loose nut which he tosses into the socket of a lamp with no bulb which is still plugged in. Batman makes the shot which shorts out the fuse box and disables the magnet. Our heroes then head for the Hexagon, still in the suits of armor because they can’t waste the time it would take to remove them. They eventually corner Penguin outside of a warehouse, but he takes them out by rolling barrels at our heroes. Penguin then pays a scrap metal collector to pick up the “junk,” which includes the suits of armor containing the Dynamic Duo. Now Batman and Robin are about to be mashed up in a giant hydraulic scrap crusher. Cue the cliffhanger narration…

Cliffhanger Narration:
The Dynamic Duo a pair of paper weights??
This time the pressure is really on them!!
Tune in tomorrow for the crushing finish!!
Same bat-time, same bat-channel!!!

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This is kind of an odd follow up to last week’s episode. Several of the the things I really enjoyed about part one are underplayed or just plain gone. The whole movie making angle is not played up as much as it was last time. Watching Penguin trying to be a movie mogul was a real hoot, but this time he’s much more focused on his criminal plans. We also get very little of this story’s second villain, Marsha, Queen of Diamonds. She and her Aunt Hilda (the witch) appear in just one short scene. They are at Gotham Central Park trying to catch some “old toads” that Hilda needs for one of her potions. This was mentioned briefly in last week’s episode. I assume this will pay off next time. Considering how much Carolyn Jones steamed things up last time as Marsha, though, it was disappointing that she has only a cameo this time.

Despite this episode’s shortcomings, there is still enough lunacy to make this one a real gem. To start with, the resolution to the cliffhanger is completely nuts! In no small part because the image of Batman and Robin flying through the air after being launched by the catapult is achieved by having dolls on wires fly past the camera. A few minutes later, Batman’s fake dismay over not being in Penguin’s film anymore is classic Adam West. While telling Robin how he has caught the acting bug he exclaims, “I’ve got it bad, Robin-baby.” The icing on the cake, though, is the Dynamic Duo clanking around Gotham in suits of armor. It would just take way too long to jump out of those suits, so they keep them on.

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The script is pretty clever in this episode, with a number of quotable lines. It’s also got one or two unintentionally funny moments…like when the armor clad Batman diverts his course to run directly into a barrel that Penguin has rolled toward him. It had to be done, I guess, otherwise our heroes wouldn’t be stuck in a garbage masher. Come back next time to see how they get out of it in Penguin’s Disastrous End. Same bat-time, same bat-channel (superhero).

Bat Gadgets Used:
Batmobile Remote Control

Holys:
Holy Cliffhangers
Holy Sub-orbit
Holy History
Holy Catastrophes
Holy Bullseye

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