Episode Title: Minerva, Mayhem and Millionaires
Original Airdate: March 14, 1968
Well, as they say, all good things must come to an end. We have reached the 120th, and final, episode of Batman. The question, though, is if this series goes out on a high note or not. As we know, the third season of the series has been a bit shaky. Let’s find out what happens when Zsa Zsa Gabor is up to no good in Minerva, Mayhem and Millionaires.
We open at Minerva’s Mineral Spa where millionaire Bruce Wayne is having a massage. Many millionaires frequent Minerva’s and especially go for her Eggplant Jelly Scalp Massages. The scalp massage is just a front, though. In reality, Minerva hooks the millionaires up to a machine that extracts their biggest secrets right from their brains. She then goes out and robs these guys blind. Now, when she overhears Bruce talking about a big batch of diamonds that the Wayne Foundation will be putting on display, she sets her sights on getting the combination to the Wayne Foundation vault right from Bruce’s noggin. So, she pockets Bruce’s watch so she can later call him back to the spa to claim it, and then subjects him to her machine.
Meanwhile, Gordon and O’Hara have gotten word of the other millionaire robberies and called Batman. Of course, he starts to connect the dots concerning Minerva and shows up at her place as Bruce, while Robin stands ready with an extra batsuit. Unaware of Minerva’s machine, Bruce ends up going in for a scalp massage and the combination to the safe is revealed. After Bruce leaves, he changes to Batman and shows up with Robin. Then, Minerva’s goons end up overpowering the Dynamic Duo and sticking them in a giant pressurizer. Meanwhile, Minerva steals the diamonds from the Wayne Foundation vault.
After the commercial break, Minerva and her men return to find Batman and Robin gone. The villainess states that they have completely pressurized into nothing. In reality, the pair have escaped thanks to the Steam Neutralizing Bat Pellets in their utility belts. Later at police headquarters, our heroes confront Minerva, who has been called in for questioning. Charmed by the beauty, Gordon lets her go. So, Batman hatches a plan to send in Alfred to pose as another millionaire (who he bears a strong resemblance to). Sometime around now Batgirl gets involved, too, somewhat unceremoniously. Eventually, everyone converges on Minerva’s just in time to make sure that Alfred doesn’t give away the identities of any of Gotham’s masked heroes.
Well, sadly the Batman series rides off into the sunset with a overly complicated and downright dry episode. Opportunities for the silliness we love about this series are squandered this time. I mean, we have Batman and Robin stuffed inside a huge pressurizer, but their escape from said device happens off camera during the commercial break. What a cop out! Even the inclusion of Batgirl is mishandled in this episode. She doesn’t even show up until midway through and contributes nothing to the story.
As villains go, Zsa Zsa Gabor is certainly in the running for the worst. She doesn’t even make any effort to give Minerva any sort of style. Gabor is just playing herself. She’s not intimidating or colorful in the slightest. Heck she was a bigger threat when she was slapping around cops back in the 90’s. Plus, Minerva’s plot doesn’t really seem to be all that demanding of putting a crime fighting team like Batman and Robin on the case. Weren’t there any C-level superheros available. Surely Booster Gold couldn’t have been that busy.
Sadly, this is a dismal end for this beloved series. Things would’ve been much better off had last week’s episode been the closer. It was a clever installment and featured (sort of) cameos from the show’s top villains. It would’ve been a fitting conclusion. With this episode, the only thing that really made me smile was seeing Alfred get involved in the final fight. As for next time, we’ll take a moment to look back at season three before bidding farewell to Gotham City. Join us next week…same bat time, same bat channel (superhero).
Bat Gadgets Used:
Steam Neutralizing Bat Pellets
Three Seconds Flat Bat Vault Combination Unscrambler
Holy Astringent Pomme Fruit
Holy Human Pressure Cookers
Holy Skull Tap