Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The DC Animated Universe Weekly Review - Batman: The Animated Series

 Batman: The Animated Series

Episode 12

It’s Never Too late


The anti-drug episode.  It’s so layered and so well executed.  No complaints on how this story is told. 


Gotham’s reigning crime boss Arnold Stromwell is losing his power to Rupert Thorne.  His son Joey is missing.  Stromwell thinks he’s a victim of the mob war between Thorne and him.  


The episode keeps flashing back to when he was a kid and his friend pushes him out of the way of a train, saving his life.  His friend loses his leg in the process.  


Stromwell sets up a meeting with Thorne.  Stromwell confronts Thorne about his missing son.  Thorne denies involvement, says he doesn’t touch family.  Thorne then double crosses Stromwell but Batman saves him.  


Batman tries to talk Stromwell into narcing on everyone and in the process gives him a tour of how terrible Gotham is.  Eventually he takes Stromwell to a clinic where Stromwell’s ex-wife is sitting over his son Joey who is going through drug withdrawal.  It doesn’t get more impactful than that.


The episode demonstrates the dangers of being a crime-boss and a drug addict.  The destructive power works seamlessly in this episode.  It doesn’t bludgeon kids over the head with the message.  It plainly shows how destructive doing drugs is, how destructive being a criminal is.  Meanwhile Batman tries to redeem Stromwell and every time he rejects that help he gets into more trouble.  


The episode concludes with Stromwell coming across his childhood friend who saved him.  It’s the last piece that pushes Stromwell to seek redemption.  A great episode and it didn’t have a single super villain in it.  That’s powerful writing. 


Written by
Joseph Ammendolea
“I Like To Play With Toys” Productions®