Friday, November 07, 2008

Batman: TAS - Episode 6 - The Under-Dwellers

Today's episode should be short, for a couple of reasons. Meh, it wasn't my favorite, I've been busy playing video games and reading my new comics, and I should be going to bed now, but I'll try to type something up quick.

The intro sequence was kinda fun. To little punk kids are standing on a train that's racing toward a tunnel, playing chicken. "Whoever jumps first is CHICKEN!" yells the one who is obviously the instigator of this good example of particularly bad judgment. The other kid is obviously quite nervous and trying to appear cool for the other. I'd guess they're roughly twelve-ish.

Batman lands on the train on the car behind them, and the nervous kid hears something, and upon glancing back and seeing Batman striding purposefully towards them, yells and abandons the game, jumping off the train. The winner taunts him as he goes, and then steps forward to disembark, only to find his foot has caught in some cables. He pulls and squirms, and we see the tunnel entrance getting closer and closer. Batman arrives and frees his foot, and runs toward the end of the car, jumping off just as the train enters the tunnel, and we see the clearance MIGHT have let Batman lay down flat without getting injured.

Why do kids play chicken with trains? I mean, I know they have bad judgement, from lack of experience, but jeez, come on, a train? And then adults do it too, sometimes. I've heard enough stories about kids getting decapitated without needing to hear that supposedly intelligent, full grown adults will try to get their heads forcibly separated from their bodies. Oh well, culls the herd, cleanses the genepool, I guess.

This episode has a lot of kids in it. We see several little street urchins running around, picking pockets, relieving fat, wealthy, high-society types of their valuables. Also, they are wearing green cloaks, not unlike those given to the Fellowship by Galadriel, causing people to think the thieves are Leprechauns, rather than noticing they are just kids.

Even Batman thinks he saw the one he saw was a leprechaun. But being the Detective he is, he won't let it rest until he figures out exactly what is going on. After a little discussion with Alfred, in the which Alfred encourages Bruce to take a little vacation,

      "Why not golf?"
      "Sounds boring."
      "In the Bahamas?"
      "Hot, and boring."
Batman heads to the scene of the crime.

In the meantime, we are shown the sewers of gotham, and then dozens of kids (like 6 year old kids) living in said sewers, doing all sorts of things that modern child labor laws would lock you away for years for - sewing green cloaks, farming (!), collecting the pick-pocket-ed money, etc. One child using a hoe slips and hits his ankle with the hoe and cries out, but a neighboring boy quickly stifles his outburst, and then with a friendly smile wraps a rag around the injury.

A bell rings and the children all file through the tunnels to a large hall where a single torch burns, and a man with a silly, very old fashioned suit and red cape, and round sunglasses with a missing lens, sits hunched in a large chair, tapping his fingers impatiently. He tells the children it's time for their lessons, and rule number one is, "NO TALKING!!!!". "Children should be seen and not heard," he says, and while I agree that children can at times be irritating, I think he's a little on the extremist side in his interpretation of that particular adage.

He calls himself their leader, and their king, they are the under-dwellers, and they must obey him. He singles out the little boy that injured himself, and reminds them all of the punishment for talking. The other children cover their eyes, and the little boy is locked in a room so he can, "See the light," which is meant very literally, several lightbulbs light the room very nicely, and the boy covers his eyes from the brightness of the light to which he is not accustomed. This Sewer King then sends the rest of the children up to the surface to fetch him lots and lots of pretty things.

The children run out to do his bidding, being sure to wear their green leprechaun cloak/disguises, but Batman is there stalking the alleys for clues. He uses his neato infrared scanner we saw in On Leather Wings, the one that makes him look like Cyclops, and he discovers a hidden door in a wall that leads him into the sewers. He treks through the sewers, finding things like subway tunnels, and graffiti proclaiming, "Beware the Sewer King!", and a locked door. It's dead bolted, so he pulls out a mini torch and burns through the lock.

He also finds one of the children, who eludes him for a little while, but Batman eventually catches him - and saves him from a subway. He exits the sewer with the child in tow, and we are shown a neat disguise for the Batmobile. Similar to Tim Burton's movie, Bats speaks into a remote, and the car reveals itself. It was disguised as a trash dumpster, but the sides of the dumptser (and fake garbage on top) fold away to night (again, like the movie). It's a much more practical than the armored look it got in the movie, though certainly less cool looking. The kid's eyes light up at the sight of the car, and then he is given a ride to Wayne Manor.

So, yeah, basically Batman just kidnapped a little kid...

And that's the end of part one. It's late, I'm tired, and I'm only halfway through this episode and I won't make it all the way through tonight. But no reason not post what I've done so far, right? I'll get the second half posted sometime before 2am MST on Saturday.

Remember kids: Paranoid people are harder to kill than regular people.

Episode Listing

1 comment:

Marissa said...

Is it just me, or did you never finish this episode.
What happened? Did the kid Batman kidnapped turn out to be a new Robin? Why is the Sewer King the way he is?
So many unanswered questions! I don't want to go and watch the episode myself!