Episode Title: Batman’s Waterloo
Original Airdate: March 9, 1967
Last time, Batman had been captured by King Tut and is now trapped in a sarcaphagus which has been lowered into a pool of water. To make matters worse, Robin is being forced to watch all this. Let’s see how Batman gets out of this one in today’s episode, Batman’s Waterloo.
As King Tut stands there cackling, the time ticks away and it seems that there is no way that Batman could possibly survive. In fact, so much time passes that the villain leaves, with Robin in tow, to see if his lovely Cleopatra, aka the kidnapped Lisa (Lee Meriwether) has changed her mind about marrying him. Meanwhile, at the Batcave, Alfred is doing some dusting when he hears a morse code message come through on one of the machines. Next thing we know, we’re seeing Alfred on the roof with Batman. It seems that Batman used the techniques of ancient Indian fakirs to slow down his breathing and heart rate so he could survive for over an hour, as well as tap out the morse code message.
Unable to sway Cleopatra, Tut decides he might as well just hold her for ransom. He calls her father demanding a ransom of $8,300,487.12. Oh, and he plans to boil Robin in oil. Meanwhile, Batman goes back to the Batcave to work on a formula to turn boiling oil into rubber (Alfred overheard Tut’s plans). After a bit of taunting that goes on between Batman and Tut over a local radio station, Batman confers with Lisa’s father to make arrangements for the ransom.
At Tut’s hideout, the jealous Neila (Grace Lee Whitney) attempts to help Robin and Lisa escape, but they are thwarted. Then, just before Robin is to be tossed into the boiling oil, Batman busts through the wall with a battering ram attached to the Batcycle. He tosses his concoction into the oil, it turns to rubber, and Robin bounces off it safely. Then the fight breaks out, during the course of which Tut is struck on head. He is now back to his mild-mannered college professor self.
This is an odd episode where, strangely, not a lot happens. In the end it’s essentially an extension of the previous episode’s cliffhanger, since Robin spends the whole episode captured by Tut. In fact, Robin plays such a small role in this installment that he doesn’t even utter a single Holy! Alfred, however, does fill in with one. Victor Buono is still a joy as Tut, though. His performance is part raving lunatic and part Cowardly Lion. Seriously, with the way he spits and sputters you’d think he was channeling Bert Lahr.
My favorite scene of this episode, though, comes in the epilogue after Tut has been thwarted. We see Bruce Wayne and Lisa returning to her apartment after their date. She invites him in for some “milk and cookies.” At first Bruce refuses. After all, it’s late (10:30) and Lisa is the sort of girl who deserves a devoted husband, but the Wayne foundation is Bruce’s wife. He obliges a goodbye kiss, and then decides that milk and cookies sounds pretty good after all. “I made the cookies myself,” says Lisa. Then Bruce looks right into the camera and says, “Man cannot live on crimefighting alone,” and he’s in that apartment for some (ahem) “cookies.”
There is another interesting moment that comes midway through the episode. As Batman is at work in the Batcave, the Batphone rings. On the other end of the line, Commissioner Gordon expresses to the Caped Crusader concern for his daughter Barbara, who is off at college. After all, Tut had been a college professor. Batman assures Gordon, though, that Barbara is not in danger of being clunked on the head and thinking she’s an ancient Egyptian king. Now, this moment may seem a bit out of left field, but it is laying some groundwork for what is to come. See, we’re reaching the home stretch on season two of this series. Only six episodes remain, which translated to only three weeks when they were originally aired. Season three would see one Barbara Gordon play a prominent role. But, that’s getting a bit ahead of ourselves.
Though this episode is a bit weak in the story department, there’s still plenty of goodies along the way. Buono’s irresistible performance as Tut goes a long way. Next time our heroes will face a brand new villain…the Black Widow. No, it’s not THAT Black Widow. This is a DC property, junior. Tallulah Bankhead comes to Gotham in Black Widow Strikes Again. Same bat-time, same bat-channel (superhero).
Bat Gadgets Used:
Wireless Bat-Transmitter (For Bat-Emergencies Only)
Bat Cycle with Battering Ram
Holy Steam Valve (Alfred)