Post Game TV Recap: BATMAN: TB&TB "Long Arm of the Law"
Post Game TV Recap: BATMAN: TB&TB
-- Woozy Winks
"Long Arm of the Law!" begins with a cold open in a terrific almost "silent movie" sequence. In a mountainous secluded laboratory, Batman is investigating a room with a series of cages all busted open and empty, indicating that there's some escaped animals. About to make his presence felt with a question, Batman shushes guest star Plastic Man before he can utter a word. Batman quickly, yet silently points out an enormous footprint in front of them, indicating that their quarry is something Bigfoot-like. A big hole smashed through a nearby wall underscores this theory. The two heroes follow the footprints to their next stop, a scouts camp jamboree that's torn up and abandoned as well. Worth mentioning at this point that they're not following a set of footprints so much as SEVERAL sets of huge footprints. Batman and Plastic Man clearly have their work cut out for them. They quickly find the scouts, themselves now caged, in huts hundreds of feet in the air in treetops. Plastic Man is first to approach the scouts while some apparent "Shaggy Men" are holding them captive, though sleeping and they guard the cages. Again Plas is quieted before he can verbally announce his presence to the scouts, since Batman does not want to wake up the sound asleep Shaggy Men.
In a sequence that would've made animator Tex Avery proud, Batman and Plas by and far free the young scouts from their cells successfully. Of course Plastic Man has the toughest time making sure not to wake the Shaggy Men, but he goes to extraordinary lengths to make sure he doesn't make a peep. Free at last on terra firma, a scout sneezes and Plas can't help himself in replying "Gesundheit!" Finally awoken, the Shaggy Men pounce on the heroes and scouts from up high, though Batman and Plastic Man prove more than up for the challenge in a quick, Kirbyesque fight sequence of still shots navigating the action. The Shaggy Men all dispatched, Plas tries to speak up one last time and is -- you guessed it -- shushed by all.
In something of a change of pace for the series, the featured character Batman teams up with in the intro is actually the lead for the lead story. "Long Arm of the Law" kicks off with Plastic Man (voiced by the hilarious Tom Kenny) reciting a pledge of allegiance for his trusted sidekick, Woozy Winks (featuring the the voice stylings of Stephen Root), in a manner reminiscent of how the Dark Knight would've sworn in his partner Robin. Eagerly onboard, Winks' sidekick status in confirmed and Plas turns on the lights to reveal that the indoctrination is taking place in the home of Plastic Man. In another nod to Batman, they retreat to "the Plas-Cave." Showing Woozy his heroic lair deep in the darkest recesses of his, um, garage, Plas explains to him that he wants to be more and more like Batman, and hopes that the Caped Crusader's skill at self-discipline can rub off on himself. Their plan to go out on crime patrol is abruptly cut short when the garage door opens to reveal Plastic Man's wife, baby stroller in one hand and the leash of their dog, Schnitzel, in the other. Turns out Plas promised his wife, Ramona, that he'd take the baby to the museum to be exposed to culture and class (though, in "Edward O'Brian"'s defense, the baby seemed awfully young to appreciate a museum). Ramona is a far cry from Plastic Man's wife in the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Plastic_Man_Comedy/Adventure_Show" target="_blank"></a>, Penny. This dame takes no guff!
Plas and Woozy, with baby and dog in tow, make it to the museum, and just by chance a Goliath of a figure follows right after with bad intentions. Taking in the art, Plastic Man's complaints about the art's pretentiousness are tempered when Woozy points out how valuable all the precious art is. Plas's eyes literally flash dollar signs but Woozy reminds him about self-control. But all that becomes a non-issue when the oversized intruder barges in the art gallery. It's a foe familiar to Plas, a bad guy by the name of Rubberneck. Leaving the rest behind, Plastic Man goes to tail Rubberneck who actually paid no mind to the hero when he entered. Woozy hides for cover with the baby and dog only to find they've disappear in a matter of moments. Plas follows Rubberneck by using his shape-shifting powers to blend in with the art, and he wraps up the bad guy when he tries to walk away with a painting. Rubberneck quickly disposes of Plas like an unwanted ball, but Batman comes on the scene just in time. Elsewhere in the museum, Woozy has found Baby and Schnitzel playing around at the expense of a lot of priceless art. Hard to tell which heroes have it tougher at this point. Standing face-to-face with Rubberneck, Plas insists to Batman that he can handle it, and for the second time in about a minute he's tossed out of the museum. On the city street now, Rubberneck tries to finish what he started. The two go at it, meanwhile Woozy has "corralled the kids" and made it out to the streets himself. Distracted by what he perceives as innocent bystanders, Rubberneck takes a swing with a light pole at an unknowing Woozy and company, but Batman swoops in to save them. Having collected themselves, Batman and Plas get back to the task at hand, taking out Rubberneck. Plas takes advantage of a busted fire hydrant to fill up and become a giant water balloon. When Rubberneck is thrown into it, Plas bursts, hurling Rubberneck hundreds of yards away. Thinking they did their job, Plas gathers his stray pieces of himself together, not knowing that a mystery man in the shadows has snagged a loose piece to use against Plastic Man.
Back at Chez O'Brian, Plas & Co. return, everyone safe, hoping to keep their little misadventure a secret from Ramona. Unfortunately Woozy turns on the TV and it's all over the local news. Plas is in BIG TROUBLE with the missus. Just then, Batman shows up unexpectedly and does a quick scan of Plas. His scanner detects that Plas is short a couple grams and Batman pieces it together that the Rubberneck encounter was an elaborate ruse to get a Plastic Man sample. When pressed to recall who has it out for him, Plas recalls a series of instances where his powers innocently, albeit thoughtlessly, inconvenienced random citizens, but Batman has a good idea who it is. A flashback sequence reveals that Plas fingered the notorious Kite Man in a robbery years before, sending the villain to prison for a good long time. Plas is ready to join Batman in his investigation, but Bats recommends him staying home to protect his family. Meanwhile at Kite Man's lair, the villain fine tunes a device that can solidify Plastic Man's stretchable makeup. To build a more effective device, he sends the noticeably dense-in-the-head Rubberneck to get him the tools he needs. At that time, Batman hits the streets in his Batmobile, but he fails to notice that it's been swapped out for Plas in the form of his car with Woozy along for the ride. Batman reluctantly tells them where they need to find Rubberneck, and they run into the villain recklessly tearing through the streets in a semi truck with the necessary item that he stole. After a quick chase, the truck is taken out, but the indestructible Rubberneck makes an escape. Batman calls out Plastic Man for not following his orders because his family could be in danger. Oh, how right he is...
Kite Man cases the not so secure home of Mr. and Mrs. O'Brian, and Ramona's innocently feeding her baby. The doorbell rings and Ramona is startled by the appearance of Kite Man. Moments later back in the city, Plastic Man tries to make a hasty retreat home, but Kite Man swoops by high in the sky, Ramona, Baby and Schnitzel all captive. Beating himself up over his failure to keep his impulsiveness under control as Kite Man gets away, Batman snaps Plastic Man out of it and assures him that he doesn't ally himself with screw-ups and that THEY need to go rescue the family. Batman leads them to the Franklin Museum, home of the most famous kite-flier of them all, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin" target="_blank">Benjamin Franklin</a>. The museum's an obvious hideout for Kite Man. Just then the villain confirms his presence and shows off what he's done with Plas's family. The O'Brians are all fastened to a giant kite suspended on the roof of the museum, and -- wouldn't you know it? -- it's a particularly stormy night, the sky flush with lightning. Kite Man waxes nostalgic about his childhood obsession with Benjamin Franklin and how a botched recreation of the inventor's legendary discovery of electricity got him struck by lightning, traumatizing him into a career of kite-themed crime. When he rhetorically asks what Franklin <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin#Inventions_and_scientific_inquiries" target="_blank">ever did</a>, everyone, even Rubberneck (Daylight Savings Time!) is quick with responses. Irritated, Kite Man unveils his finished device. He dispatches Batman first to get him out of the way, forcing Plastic Man to subject himself to the ray that will turn him into a statue that Kite Man can smash up. Plas relents, to the horror of Woozy. Now that Plas is a statue, Batman demands that Kite Man release the family. He does... into the night sky. Batman tries to reach them with his grappling gun, but Rubberneck stops him. As Kite Man tries to reuse his device, Woozy's clumsiness proves invaluable as he trips over the device's control panel, plays with it enough that the rays start working in reverse, elasticizing everything in site. The ray is turned on Plas and he's returned to normal. Back and ready to rock, the device also hits Kite Man having the same effect, allowing him to properly combat Plas. Woozy can't control the trajectory of the ray and it hits Batman as well, who's been busy with Rubberneck. Two on two now, everyone rubberized except Woozy, Plas tries to get to his family and Kite Man slows him down. Plas gives him a knockout blow, and when Kite Man runs into Rubberneck the ray is turned on them again with the ray switched back to render both villains immobile. Plas finally gets airborne to snatch his family right before it's struck by lightning.
Reveling in their victory, and much to Batman's dismay, Plas and Woozy engage in the classic television standard of cracking a bad joke and <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyyXxQ48XJY" target="_blank">laughing to no end</a> as an episode comes to a conclusion. Without any other option, the always stoic Batman walks away, almost in defeat, though it's all played for laughs.
So, viewers! Did "Long Arm of the Law" reach out and grab you? Was Kite Man the kind of failed villain who's fun to watch as he failed to take flight? Did you enjoy the family dynamic that Plastic Man found himself in, and do have issues with self-control?