Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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

Batman: The Animated Series

Episode 17

See No Evil


You’re about to witness the most controversial statement in this review series.  See No Evil is the best episode ever in Batman: the Animated Series.  It’s a story about a dad trying to regain custody of his daughter.  The dad is a criminal who can make himself invisible with a suit.  He’s earning his money by turning invisible and robbing places.  This puts Batman on his radar.  


The backstory is what sells this episode as authentic.  Lloyd Ventrix is posing as his daughter Kimmy’s invisible friend Mojo.  Her mom thinks it’s an active imagination but he’s the real deal.  Lloyd confronts Helen and tries to win her over with his newfound cash infusion but she’s not impressed.   One can fill in the blanks on this relationship which probably involves abuse, lying, cheating, one bad mistake after another.  Since he can’t win Helen over the traditional way and work his way back into their lives, he decides to kidnap his daughter.  There’s something tragic about Lloyd Ventrix actions though.  He’s not evil.  He’s a guy that wants to have a relationship with his daughter but since he’s a crook, handles it completely wrong.


When he tries to kidnap Kimmy, she’s never in urgent danger, he’d never hurt her.  But his actions will hurt Kimmy’s mother Helen.  Kimmy’s life with Ventrix could never be a happy one because they’d constantly be in hiding.  Ventrix is too selfish of a character to understand the harm he brings. 


All of this is in the subtext on the show, it is never spelled out.  The plot is bare bones, Ventrix robs places, Batman figures it out, stops Ventrix, saves Kimmy.  The invisibility adds an obstacle for Batman to overcome.  For a one-time villain he packs a wallop.  In the DCAU continuity Batman uses this invisible tech as the foundation for the Batsuit’s cloak ability in Batman Beyond.   


This episode has it all; tragedy, action, drama, and a happy ending.  When you look at BtAS and the DCAU as a whole very few can cover all these points as poignantly as See No Evil does.  Also another great episode that doesn’t have a major rogue as the antagonist.  


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