Batman: The Animated Series (1993) – Shadow of the Bat Part I & II and Mudslide

 

Season 2 of the amazing series gets underway with a two-parter, that aired on the 13th and 14th of September, 1993.

Batman (Kevin Conroy) gets some caped help when Commissioner Gordon (Bob Hastings) is arrested for corruption. Coming to her father’s aid, Barbara Gordon (Melissa Gilbert) becomes Batgirl.

Gil Mason (Tim Matheson) is helping Gordon bring down crime bosses, including Rupert Thorne (John Vernon), but there is more going on, especially when Gil shows up to arrest Gordon.

Neither Barbara, nor Bruce believe that Gordon is capable of taking bribes, and both begin investigations of their own.

When Barbara dons cape and cowl to show her support at a rally for her father, things go awry when Two-Face’s (Richard Moll) goons show up to mess things up, but with Robin”s (Loren Lester) help they foil the attempt on Gil’s life at the event.

Robin learns that Mason isn’t as innocent as he seems.

Meanwhile Bruce has gone undercover to try and find the new gang rumored to be working the town, and runs into trouble with Two-Face. Happily Robin and Batgirl are able to come to his rescue, and despite being warned off, Batgirl continues to show up and help the Dynamic Duo.

There is one big change that is noticeable from the start of the season, Robin has been given much more to do, and he seems to be as central to the story as Batman, even linking some of the clues that the Dark Knight has missed.

In the end, this one is Batgirl’s story, she’s the hero, and after rescuing her father, and proving his innocence, it’s hinted she may return.

batgirl

Mudslide which aired 15 September, 1993, sees the return of Clayface (Ron Perlman), but unfortunately, his cellular integrity seems to be decaying.

Batman foils his attempt to rob someone, but Matt Hagen aka Clayface, has help this time. A doctor, Stella Bates (Pat Musick) is trying to help him as much as she can, rescuing him from Batman, as she suffers a bit from the Florence Nightingale effect. She loved his films, and now sees a way to win his love by creating a suit, and chemical regimen to keep him alive.

Batman does his best to track down Clayface before the once great actor can cause any more destruction in Gotham, but Clayface has targeted some very specific things to steal, all in the hopes of survival. Unfortunately his abilities to maintain his shape, or those he takes on, is weaning, and his demise seems inevitable.

And moments away from being cured by Bates procedure, Batman turns the machine off and confronts Clayface one last time. Does that make Batman a villain? Everything Matt had stolen in this episode was for him to live, so he could be human again, and Batman stops him.

Who is to say Matt wouldn’t still be a villain after he became human again, but what if he wasn’t?

Unfortunately a rainstorm, and a plunge into the ocean may have spelled the end for Clayface…

See you next time, same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel!

Mudslide

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