Batman: The Animated Series – Dreams in Darkness

by Alan Rapp on February 12, 2019

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Batman: The Animated Series – Dreams in Darkness
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Batman: The Animated Series - Dreams in Darkness TV review

Our Throwback Tuesday post takes us back to Gotham City. “Dreams in Darkness” is one of those episodes of Batman: The Animated Series I often forget about, which is surprising since it has such an unusual set-up. The episode opens with a ranting Batman (Kevin Conroy) incarcerated inside Arkham Asylum. Through an extended flashback we see the series of events which led Batman to be exposed to the Scarecrow‘s (Henry Polic II) fear toxin and the reason for his trip to Arkham to confront the villain the doctors mistakenly believe is still locked up in his cell. The set-up is clever as the doctors have every reason to question Batman’s ramblings, and the Dark Knight Detective’s hallucinatory state leads him to make the impulsive choice to head to Arkham without sharing his deductions with the GCPD.

The episode features a slow build and reveal to the Scarecrow being behind Batman’s current predicament, and there’s some added tension as Batman must stop the villain before he can take the antidote (which will knock him out for a prolonged period, allowing the Scarecrow to make good on his plan). Knowing (or even guessing) the Scarecrow is behind events doesn’t hurt the episode in the slightest as the focus isn’t on the reveal but the obstacles Batman must overcome (both real and imaginary). There’s more than a little of this episode which was borrowed for Batman Begins, but unlike in the film Batman is able to stop the Scarecrow from poisoning Gotham City’s water supply via the underground reservoir beneath the asylum without any assistance from Lucius Fox.

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