"Almost Got 'Im" is the thirty-fifth episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It first aired on November 10, 1992. It features seven of Batman's rogues gallery, with four of them telling the stories of their "best" attempts at killing their mutual enemy, and an ending leading to a singular plot twist.
While hiding out from the police, the Joker, the Penguin, Two-Face, and Killer Croc gather at the criminals-only bar, the Stacked Deck, to play cards, swap stories, and share theories about their mutual nemesis. Two-Face doubts that Batman is one person. The Penguin theorizes that Batman suffered some crime related trauma in the past, which is actually true. Killer Croc believes that Batman is a robot, much to the skepticism of the other villains. Poison Ivy then arrives, orders an herbal tea, and then joins the game. Soon after, all five of them begin to argue over who has come closest to killing Batman, and each tells their own story about how they "almost got 'im".
Poison Ivy's story
Poison Ivy placed poison gas inside pumpkins on Halloween, which went off when lit. When most of Gotham City started to feel the effects of the gas, Batman went to the city pumpkin patch to investigate. There, Ivy attacked Batman with the gas, successfully weakened him, and almost unmasked him. However, he programmed the Batmobile to run down Ivy, and pulled an oxygen mask from the vehicle. Batman subsequently captured her.
Two-Face staged a robbery of the Gotham Mint for "$2,000,000 in two dollar bills". Batman, in an attempt to stop the heist, was overpowered by Two-Face's henchmen, the "Two-Ton Gang". Two-Face flipped his coin to see whether he would kill Batman or let him live, with a negative "bad-heads" result. Batman lunged at Two-Face ineffectively, and was restrained by his henchmen. Two-Face took Batman's utility belt, strapped him to a giant penny and placed it on a catapult. If it landed face down, Batman would be squashed. If it landed face up, his bones would shatter. The coin was launched, and in midair, Batman cut himself free from the ropes using Two-Face's own coin, which he had managed to steal. Batman leapt clear of the giant penny's landing, and apprehended the crooks. In return for apprehending Two-Face, much to his irritation, the Gotham Mint actually let Batman keep the giant penny, which wound up as a trophy in the Batcave.
Killer Croc's story
Killer Croc claims that he once was holed up in a quarry when Batman turned up. Batman approached Croc's hiding place, getting closer and closer... and then Croc threw a rock at him.
The other villains stare at Croc quietly for a moment, clearly unimpressed, and then turn away, continuing their stories. Dejected, Croc mutters, "It was a big rock".
The Penguin's story
The Penguin turned a zoo aviary into a home for dangerous birds in a plot to kill Batman. Pretending to attempt a break-in to the aviary caught Batman's attention, and the Penguin sprayed Batman with a red gas out of his infamous "Umbrella Gun". Acting angry, as though the spray was useless, Penguin ducked into the aviary. As Batman gave chase, Penguin announced over a loudspeaker that in fact the red gas was a nectar eaten by poison-beaked hummingbirds, which were released to attack Batman. After being bitten several times, Batman threw a batarang at a sprinkler, where the water grounded the small birds. Before Batman could inject himself with an antidote, he was attacked and viciously gashed by a cassowary. In desperation, Batman grabbed one of the poisoned hummingbirds and used it as a weapon to stab the cassowary, incapacitating it. Batman chased after the Penguin outside, but the villain escaped, flying away via his umbrella helicopter.
The Joker's story
The Joker and his gang took over and blocked off the set of a Gotham City late-night talk show, his gang holding the audience hostage. Batman went to save the people in the set but was overpowered and strapped to a "laugh-powered electric chair" which would fry him with electricity that rose in voltage the more the audience laughed. The Joker then took over the show as host. With the audience being forced to laugh at gunpoint, the Joker wanted more 'honest' laughter, and pumped the studio with laughing gas until "these people would laugh at the phone book". He then had his assistant Harley Quinn read names out of the phone book to elicit more laughter from the crowd. During this time, the Joker got so confident that he took out a sausage and began cooking it with the chair's steadily-increasing electricity until Catwoman broke into the studio and attacked him. While being thrown back, Joker dropped the metal rod he was using to hold the sausage right on Batman's lap. Too distracted at this point with Catwoman, nobody saw Batman use the rod to escape from the chair — too late, as the Joker was already fleeing the studio. Catwoman, starting to gain on him, was knocked out from behind by Harley Quinn. Then, in order to prove there is more than one way to 'get' Batman, he instructed Harley to take Catwoman to a cat food factory. The Joker himself decided to hide out at the Stacked Deck for a while to lose Batman. Joker explains to the other villains, much to their horror, that he is getting ready to go meet Harley at the factory and turn Catwoman into cat food to deliver to Batman the following morning.
At this point, Killer Croc stands up saying "I don't think so" in a different voice, and proceeds to throw the Joker across the room, revealing himself to be Batman in disguise. However, it would seem Batman placed himself in great danger to get this information, as he now finds himself alone in a bar confronted by his deadliest foes, all itching to get him and in a perfect position to do so. Unfortunately for the villains, however, Batman literally turned the tables on them. Batman gives a signal and suddenly, the villains are confronted with multiple loaded guns as it is revealed that every other patron of the bar is a police officer, among them Harvey Bullock and Commissioner Gordon. It was all a sting operation. As the villains are arrested, Batman goes to the cat food factory to find Catwoman, bound, gagged, and strapped to a conveyor belt. Batman successfully manages to both save Catwoman and apprehend Harley Quinn.
Batman and Catwoman thank each other for the respective saves. Catwoman makes a pass at Batman and implores him to reveal his identity to her, only to turn and find he has pulled one of his trademark disappearing acts. Catwoman then smiles, shakes her head and muses, "Hmm. Almost got 'im".
- Since Batman was pretending to be Croc the whole time, it is safe to say that the story he told is made up, but it oddly fits a scene in "Sideshow", an episode both made and aired later than this. It is possible that the event actually happened and that Batman is telling it as Croc would.
- Two-Face tells Ivy that they let Batman keep the giant penny, thus providing a new origin for the piece of memorabilia he keeps in the Batcave. In the Justice League episode "Starcrossed", The Flash would use it to defeat a group of invading Thanagarians.
- Ivy makes a reference to the group that she and Two-Face used to date (while Harvey Dent was still the District Attorney), an event that occurred in the episode "Pretty Poison".
- This marks the second time that Batman disguises himself in order to trick his enemies into giving him information. The first time was in "The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy", where he impersonated Wacklaw Josek to get Josiah Wormwood to reveal where he was hiding a collection of bearer bonds.
- Killer Croc proves to have a fascination with assaulting Batman with rocks, suggesting it as a punishment for Batman in the episode "Trial".
- Having been disguised as Killer Croc throughout the whole episode, Batman portrays him as stupid. This contradicts the previous Killer Croc episode "Vendetta" in which Croc is shown to be rather intelligent (enough so to work as a mob hitman and frame Harvey Bullock for murder).
- This is the second episode to show Batman bleeding, following "On Leather Wings".
- It is odd that Catwoman can get along with Harley in Gotham Girls, as Harley tries to kill Catwoman in this episode and makes a reference to mistreating a cat. ("I had a kitty once. You know, they don't always land on their feet".)
- This is the first reference to Ivy's natural immunity to poisons, referenced again in "Harley and Ivy", among other episodes.
Home video releases
- The Adventures of Batman & Robin: Batman's Greatest Villains (VHS)
- Batman: The Animated Series, Volume Two (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (Blu-ray)
- There are several animation errors in Two-Face's story. Early on, he removes Batman's utility belt, yet it sporadically reappears on Batman throughout the sequence; the first time, with Two-Face actually holding it in his hands.
- None of the hummingbirds have feet, although this was probably just to make them easier to animate.
- The giant penny appears to have grown much larger in size throughout the rest of its appearances in the DCAU.
- Every time the viewer gets to see Two-Face's hand, he always has 2 deuces (twos), and two face cards, a play on his name. In one shot he also has a four (two times two) and is seen pouring "half and half" in his coffee.
- The Joker's hand at the end is four aces and a Joker. Every time we see his hand he always has at least one ace (due to cheating). He also cheats by looking at Two-Face's hand.
- The Joker cracks a joke at Poison Ivy about her use of "exploding pumpkins". Ironically, the Joker's voice actor, Mark Hamill, would voice the Hobgoblin, a supervillain who utilizes exploding pumpkin bombs, in the 1994 Spider-Man television series.
- The Penguin's and the Joker's stories all happened recently, with the Penguin having freshly escaped from his crime a few weeks before and the Joker's being just the night before (he must have planned for this). Poison Ivy's story is set the previous Halloween, and Two-Face's story happened some undetermined time ago.
- Two-Face's story is based on an original deathtrap from the comics where both Batman and Robin were tied to the penny that was catapulted onto spikes. In the comics, they used the radios in their belts to create a "negative magnetic field" to repel the spikes and cause them to land "good side up", snapping the ropes and defeating Two-Face. By comparison, the solution in the animated version is much more plausible.
- The Two Ton Gang's capture of Batman possibly represents the only time in the DCAU storyline that the Dark Knight is physically overpowered by non-metahumans.
- Two-Face's comment of "Half of me wants to strangle you" and the other half wanting to "hit her with a truck" indicates that killing Poison Ivy could be the only thing both sides agree on.
- A Read-Along story tape version of this story was released, though the Poison Ivy segment was left out.
- Batman is able to grab Two-Face's coin unnoticed when he is captured, and uses it to cut the ropes. He does the same thing later in "Second Chance" where he swaps Two-Face's coin with a trick one.
- Joker's opening line as a late-night television host could be a reference an plaque at Arkham Asylum, "You don't have to be crazy to work here but it helps," which can be seen from The Killing Joke comic.
- The music played in the Stacked Deck Club is the same as in the diner in "Robin's Reckoning", and the music played while the Joker explains the electric chair to the audience is heard on the radio in "Blind as a Bat".
- The Pussy Kins Cat Food factory is a reference to a scene in the Looney Tunes short, "Claws in the Lease".
|Mark Hamill||The Joker|
|Aron Kincaid||Killer Croc|
|Diane Pershing||Poison Ivy|
|Arleen Sorkin||Harley Quinn|
|Paul Williams||The Penguin|
Joker: The fact of the matter is, we each have an "Almost Got' Im" Batman story. I know mine's the best, but let's hear yours' anyway. I'd say ladies first, but since we don't have any, (Chuckles) we'll start with you, Pam.
Poison Ivy: I have this natural immunity to poisons, toxins, the pain and suffering of others. Go figure. Bye.
Two-Face: If it hadn't been for this blasted coin, I woulda got him!
Penguin: I find your petty machinations mildly diverting. But for sheer criminal genius, none surpasses my latest ornothologically-inspired entoilment.
Joker: Good evening, folks, I'm the Joker! Living proof that you don't have to be crazy to host this show — but it helps!
Harley: Back off, Bats, and say ciao to your girlfriend. Cat chow, that is.
Harley: Gee, Batman, what are you gonna do? Kick me around or save your kitty? You've only got time for one.
Catwoman: Thanks for coming after me.