Season 1 Episode 11
Robin must travel to Gotham City to find and stop a rampaging Batman before he finally gives in to the darkness.
After the events of last week’s episode, the fact that this one opens with Dick Grayson lying in a pool in California with the Beach Boys playing in the background is an automatic hint that this is something not happening in the real world. When his young son jumps in the pool to interrupt his relaxation and he merrily chases him through their home to find a very pregnant Dawn decorating a nursery, everything about this being an illusion is confirmed.
The best part of this reveal is that they put it up front. It gives the viewer an emotional out because we know what we’re seeing isn’t real.
When a wheelchair bound Jason Todd arrives, he implores Dick to go back to Gotham to help Bruce before he kills Joker. One of the things the episode employs to show the changes in the fantasy is a ripple effect and every time it’s on-screen, it showcases that the world is about to change in a way that drives Dick towards a more extreme choice. Commissioner Gordon has been killed and Dick decides that he is the only one who can save Batman from himself.
Gotham City has gotten progressively worse and it’s evident as Dick tries to check into a hotel only to see the city at its worse. Every moment in the city pushes Dick further into a confrontation with Batman. After he tries to kill Joker, Dick finds Kori is working for the government on the case. When Batman goes on a rampage in Arkham, Dick decides to take his mentor down.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but there are so many great visual moments in this episode. From the cameos by members of Batman’s rogues gallery to the attempted take down of Batman, everything in this episode was ramped up. The Batman fights were brutal and the best thing they did was not show Bruce or Batman’s face. They fed into the idea of Batman more than the man and allowed the episode to continue its focus on Dick.
This was an incredibly complex and interesting episode that definitely ends on a cliffhanger that is compelling enough to make you want the second season sooner rather than later.