Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Batman: TAS - Episode 7 - P.O.V.

And finally we reach the last episode of disc 1, P.O.V., which I assume stands for Point of View. This was an interesting episode that didn't focus on Batman much at all, but rather on 3 of Gotham's Finest, Detective Harvey Bullock, Lieutenant Renee Montoya, and some new guy (who we'll probably never see again), Officer Wilkes.

The gist of this episode is the three aforementioned cops go to bust a crime ring, but (to steal a phrase) the proverbial fecal matter hits the oscillating unit and things go poorly. An investigator is called in to interview the three and find out what happened and who is responsible, so we get to see the events from each person's - wait for it...wait for it...wait for it - Point of View.

We start out with Montoya and whatshisname speeding through the streets of Gotham in a black and white, sirens blaring, overheads flashing. Montoya says something about Bullock meeting them at 2300 hours, and that they'll be there with time to spare, yet the way she's driving you'd think they needed to be there yesterday; the car careens around corners, tires squealing, rookie cop screaming. When they arrive at the location the building's on fire, and Bullock's regaining consciousness behind a dumpster. Montoya asks why he didn't wait for them, but Bullock says they were late. There are still people inside the warehouse so they split up to attempt apprehending said criminals. As Montoya and Wilkes run off in opposite directions, Bullock stands and glancing up sees a shadowy figure on the roof. "Batman!" He says, before blacking out.

We next see the three cops sitting in a row chairs in a interrogation room with Commissioner Gordon sitting behind a desk, and some bad tempered guy pacing around the three yelling about how much time and money the city spent setting up this sting, and that they blew it in 5 minutes. He even goes so far as to suggest they were paid off, which gets everybody riled up. Bullock declares the whole thing is Batman's fault, which seriously offends Montoya, but the investigating Lieutenant doesn't believe her. He allows Bullock to give his version of the story first.

Bullock again repeats that Montoya and Wilkes were late, but he saw Batman enter the warehouse and feared that Batman would screw up the bust, so he had to go in alone. Of course, as Bullock gives his side of the story we see the events as they actually unfolded. For this particular moment, there's no sign of Batman until after Bullock enters the warehouse, then Batman appears. It was fun to see how Bullock's story differs from the true events, he embellishes and rearranges events to make him look better, always placing the blame on Batman. He was closing in on the suspects when a loud noise tipped them off - "Must have been Batman!" Yeah right. The noise happens to be him tripping over something and falling on his face.

The entire scene was really good, so I'll let you watch the whole thing rather than talk about it here (I'll talk about it afterward.

However, we see how tough a cop he really is. Three thugs confront him, one with a crowbar, another with an ax, the third by himself, but even larger than Bullock. Bullock stands (no longer armed) and says, "Freeze, maggots! You're all under arrest." Strangely, the thieves don't seem overly impressed and the large one jumps him, but Bullock dodges out of the way. Bullock soundly beats the snot out of them, catching the ax on one swing, dodging on the next which unfortunately smashes into a electrical box of some kind which sprays sparks all over, catching boxes on fire (of course). Anyway, he continues to beat the crap out of the thugs until the fire rages out of control and he gets trapped. I was really impressed with him, I didn't think he could fight that well, and that he had the guts to stand up to 5 different guys all on his own. Of course, then he goes and blames his predicament on Batman again, but I love the way he said, "It's a good thing I was there to save his butt!"

Anyway, Mr Investigating-has-a-stick-up-his-bum-Lieutenant doesn't buy Bullock's story, and again suggests that he went in early to beat the other cops to the money. By this point I suspected that there was something not quite right about Mr IL, and wondered if he was perhaps a dirty cop, especially after he yells at Commission Gordon to back off and let him run the investigation the way he looks fit. It also seemed suspicious to me that he's obviously an older guy (balding and such) yet he's the same rank as Lieutenant Montoya, but then again, he's an investigator and she's possibly just a regular cop, I don't claim to know what the different positions are, so maybe he is senior to her, and not just some bitter sounding old man. As I said though, he doesn't believe Bullock, thinks he went in early, but Bullock sticks to his story of the other two being late.

Now we hear rookie Officer Wilkes' story. His is interesting because he'd never seen Batman in action, and thinks he's got superpowers.

He thinks Batman flies, and can take down cars just by shootings sparks out of his hands, and shoot beams out of his fingers, and such. "It was unbelievable!" Not much to say about this one really.

Now Montoya's version. She's been pretty upset about this whole affair. She's ticked off at Lieutenant Frustrated-Old-Man, especially when he gives Wilkes a hard time about his story, and every time he implies they're dirty cops (but then they all got upset about that too). She also seems sad about something, but we don't know what it us until the end of her story.

She's also pretty gutsy, staring down a couple of really big guys with only a shotgun to use, and also sarcastic regarding Bullock's story of saving Batman. Still, since the stories don't match, and there's no way to confirm either story, they're all suspended. Lieutenant Going-to-Die-Cold-and-Alone-and-Bald is pretty smug as the three turn in their badges and guns. Bullock slams his gun on the table so hard he jumps.

To make an already long post less long than it could be I'll try to summarize more. Montoya's heading home on the light rail and figures out the clues were not Doc for Doctor, but for the dock, Gotham Harbor. She finds a warehouse that has a previously mentioned name, and when she looks in the windows she see Batman with his hands tied hanging from a crane hook high above the floor, while the mobsters go about whatever business they're doing; one of them is examining Batman's belt. She enters the warehouse (full of bad guys, unarmed), and is there to see Batman cut himself free (not cut his hands free, just cut the rope he was hanging from. He beats a guy up the whole time with his hands tied together. Montoya gets the jump on another guy who had pulled a gun on Batman. We get a shadowy glimpse of the boss of the whole operation, and I'm thoroughly convinced he will be revealed to be Lieutenant Hope-He-Didnt-Reproduce-And-Further-Pollute-The-Gene-Pool.

Together Batman and Montoya dispatch the goons, Batman takes on several guys at once, kicking the crap out of them - one guy gets knocked into the water several times, Montoya beats up a guy, jumps in a crane and drops a large crate behind three or four guys as they attempt to gang up on Batman, which smashes through the floor and drops them all in the drink, and finally, she traps the boss man in the jaws of the crane as he tries to escape. Oh yeah, and Batman sinks a ship as it leaves the harbor by crashing a forklift into the side. Bet you haven't done that before.

After Batman sinks the boat (which the boss man was fleeing in) he tries to escape on foot, but that's when Officer Montoya catches him with the crane. I was sure at this point we would see who he was, but he just appears to have been some random guy with round glasses. I guess he wasn't important enough to ever be fully revealed, and we'll never know who he was. Or maybe we'll find out he was Temple Fugate, the Clock King (cause he has round glasses and dresses similarly - what am I talking about, 90% of the males on this show wear a suit, trenchcoat and hat).

The real cops arrive, Commissioner Gordon is appropriately impressed, and when Lieutenant Never-Had-A-Date-Never-Will arrives Gordon grabs him by the collar and throws him around a bit while yelling at him that "This farce has gone on long enough...this investigation is closed!" And he takes the badges back and gives them to Montoya to deliver. Even Bullock's almost personable as he thanks Montoya for his badge.
The End.

This was probably my favorite episode so far. I really do like Harvey Bullock, I find him very interesting. He's a good, tough cop who firmly believes that it's the responsibility of the police to take care of the criminals of Gotham, whether they be of the more ordinary kind, or the wackos. He feels that Batman is intruding upon his territory, and probably feels it's an insult to his ability to perform his job. He also seems to not quite respect The Line as much as others might, he's willing to cross certain boundaries if it help him accomplish his duty, but he's not a dirty cop.Similarly, Montoya is also a good, tough cop who is also very good at her job. However, she also respects Batman, and appreciates his help, and was genuinely concerned for his well-being, happy to see him alive when she thought him dead. They're both great characters, and it's no wonder really that they get partnered up so we can see them often.

Let's see, what else to say about it? I enjoyed seeing the different parts of the story as told by the participants, so it's like we're participating with the character rather than being some observer. Credits go to Kevin Altieri, who directed one of the other great episodes of this disc, On Leather Wings, but then he also directed The Last Laugh which was one of my least favorites, so he's only at 66% so far. Mitch Brian wrote the episode (Teleplay by Sean Catherine Derek & Laren Bright) who also wrote On Leather Wings (that we've seen so far) and Bane (which we haven't, but if I remember it right it was a good episode), so he's doing well, but I think that's all he's done for this series. Sean Catherine Derek (three first names, come on people, knock it off!) co-wrote Nothing to Fear, the next episode we will review The Forgotten (which I liked) and the upcoming two-part episode The Cat and The Claw (three guesses who that one is about, and the first two don't count), as well as others, so I guess I like his work too. Laren Bright also worked on several episodes, many with SCD, and also one of my favorite episodes Perchance to Dream. So a great crew working on this episode, which probably explains why I enjoyed it so much.

For voices we of course have the staples, Bob Hastings (Gordon), Robert Costanzo (Bullock) and the great Kevin Conroy as Batman, as well as a visit from not-quite-newcomer Ingrid Oliu as Renee Montoya, I think she does a great job, and some other people I've never heard of. Some guy named Ron Perlman (never heard of him) is Driller. Robbie Benson plays Rookie Wilkes - he's seems to be primarily a voice actor but does appear in somethings, just nothing I've ever heard of. Interestingly, he's the voice of Beast in the Disney rendition of Beauty and the Beast and all subsequent videos (and also the Kingdom Hearts video game series). And some other stuff. Look him up on Wikipedia or IMDB.com if you want to know more. John Considine was the voice of the ever loveable Lieutenant I-cant-think-of-another-insulting-name Hackle, he's some old guy (b. 1935) who's been on shows like Knight Rider, MacGyver, Murder, She Wrote, and Boston Legal, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Marc Tubert voiced one of the thugs named Scarface, and I found his name in a future episode of this series, voicing Carlos. I'd guess it's not the same guy, but I haven't seen that episode yet so I guess it could be. He's also guested on various well-known shows, movies or video games - Star Trek: The Next Generation, Home Improvement, Superman: TAS, Mad About You, Ellen, Pinky and the Brain, Seinfeld, The Practice, Charmed, Dharma & Greg, etc, etc, and even Team Knight Rider. Now that's gotta be a resume highlight. And I guess that finishes off this episode, the final episode of disc one, but don't worry, we're not quite done with it yet, we've got a special feature or two we can look at next time.

Remember kids: Madness is like gravity... all you need is a little push.

Episode Listing


Marissa said...

I like the "remember kids..." tip you put at the end of each episode.

Unknown said...

I really like your reviewing of the episodes of Batman TAS. I really hope you continue to do more if you have time. Thanks for all the effort, and great site!