"Appointment in Crime Alley" is the twelfth episode of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on September 17, 1992. Roland Daggett attempts to demolish Crime Alley, but he first has to deal with Leslie Thompkins and her friend, Batman.
Roland Daggett watches with interest as a scale model of Crime Alley is blown up and congratulates his hired arsonist, Nitro. They discuss their plan to blow up Crime Alley and make it look like an old gas line ruptured so that it can't be traced back to Daggett. Nitro assures him that the job will be done at 9:00 sharp.
Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne watches Summer Gleeson give a news report about the City zoning board rejecting Daggett's proposal to bulldoze a block in Park Row—once an upscale section of Gotham, but now fallen into dilapidation and dubbed "Crime Alley". However, the area is still occupied and, as the residents have nowhere else to go, they resist its destruction. Daggett appears on the news, arguing that although Park Row is a historical landmark, it's a breeding ground for crime. Bruce realizes that Daggett is up to something, but he has an appointment to keep, an appointment that he has never once been late for.
Batman heads out to Crime Alley and runs into a young girl who is screaming for help. The girl tells Batman that there are some men threatening her mother and Batman goes to investigate. Inside the girl's apartment, Batman discovers three thugs destroying the place, telling the occupant that she was told to clear out. Batman easily beats the thugs and learns that the three were working for some corporation and were strong-arming everyone to leave.
Meanwhile, Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who runs a free clinic near Crime Alley, notes that Batman is late and decides to go out to look for him. A co-worker cautions her to be careful, but Leslie says she's not afraid. While looking for Batman, Leslie comes across Nitro and a thug, who she recognizes as working for Dagget, and confronts them.
Batman arrives at the Park Row Community Center and learns that Leslie has gone looking for him. He quickly goes off in search.
Meanwhile, Leslie is tied up in a condemned building filled with explosives. Nitro tells her that their next target is an old hotel. Leslie protests that there are people living in that hotel, but the thugs don't care. They gag their prisoner and leave.
Elsewhere, a desperate man who has lost both his job and his house is holding a clerk from Daggett Industries hostage on top of a roof, and plans to kill him. Batman intervenes and manages to save the hostage and capture the madman.
After finishing his task, Batman goes to Leslie's house and flips through an old scrap book containing newspaper articles about the tragedy that claimed the lives of his parents and how Leslie comforted a young Bruce Wayne after he lost his family. Batman searches her house and sees a homeless man staring through the window. Batman confronts the man and discovers that he picked up the blasting cap. After some pressure, the man reveals where he saw the men take Leslie.
Batman heads out to get to Leslie but a trolley driver is knocked out by a loose security camera above the controls and the vehicle goes out of control. Batman has no choice but to try and stop the trolley. He manages to do so but at the cost of losing the Batmobile's back wheels. Time is rapidly running out and Batman must now travel without a vehicle.
Nitro and Crocker finish up their job, but Batman catches them both in the act. Nitro quickly confesses what they are doing, and says that they have to get out of there before the bombs go off. Batman locks them both in the back of Nitro's van and rushes into the condemned building to save Leslie. He defuses the bombs next to her, and she warns him to get the people out of the hotel before it explodes.
Daggett gives a speech to the zoning board at the Gotham Hotel, keeping one eye on his watch, and arguing that they "cannot allow the underclass to hinder [them] from building a better tomorrow". As he finishes his speech, the bombs go off and several buildings are destroyed.
Daggett arrives at the fallen strip of Crime Alley and begins to give a speech to the journalists, but Batman appears and confronts him in front of everyone, announcing that he defused the bombs Daggett's men set in the hotel and displaying that the bulk of Crime Alley is still intact, contradicting Daggett's earlier claims. Crocker and Nitro also claim that Daggett hired them, but Daggett denies any involvement and the two are arrested. When it becomes clear that the police will still simply let Daggett leave unmolested, Batman loses his composure and very nearly goes after him, but Leslie stops him, promising him that Daggett will not escape the law forever, and reminds him that there's an appointment to keep.
Batman and Leslie go to the spot where his parents were killed and Batman lays two roses down in memory of his parents. Leslie claims that it's sad what happened to Crime Alley and that good people lived there once. Batman assures her that "good people still live in Crime Alley".
- Roland Daggett returns after the events of "Feat of Clay", having eluded the scandal of the Renuyu cream.
- Daggett's plan to destroy Crime Alley for a new business development is later re-tried by Derek Powers in the Batman Beyond episode "Shriek".
- When Daggett departs from Crime Alley after his plan was foiled, Leslie Thompkins convinces Batman to just allow Daggett to leave as he will not escape the law forever. Daggett's arrest eventually happens in the episode "Batgirl Returns".
Home video releases
- Batman: The Animated Series, Volume One (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (Blu-ray)
- The gag used by Crocker and Nitro to gag Leslie Thompkins is white, yet, when Batman is holding it after removing it, it's yellow.
- When Batman confronts Daggett and tells him, "I defused the bomb at the hotel," Batman's mouth is clearly closed.
- When Batman confronts Crocker and Nitro, they are getting into a truck that has: "J. Olsen and Sons, Photography Equip, Discount Prices" written on it. This is obviously a reference to Jimmy Olsen of the Superman comics who is a photographer for the Daily Planet.
- The story is directly based on the comics story "There Is No Hope in Crime Alley" (Detective Comics #457, March 1976) by Dennis O'Neil.
- In a scene showing the mail boxes for Leslie's Building, residents are shown to be Haven Alexander, Nicole Pouliot (misspelled Puliot), Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski.
- A scene in which Batman sets the shields on the Batmobile is a nod to the Tim Burton movie Batman Returns.
- When Bruce says "Roland Daggett's up to something, Alfred?", Alfred replies "That almost goes without saying, doesn't it sir?" When Lucius Fox asks Bruce if he thinks Daggett's up to something in "Cat Scratch Fever", Bruce replies "That goes without saying, doesn't it?"
- Salvo Smith from "The Forgotten" can be seen in the group of Park Row residents protesting redevelopment.
|Kevin Conroy||Bruce Wayne/Batman|
|Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.||Alfred|
|Ed Asner||Roland Daggett|
|Mari Devon||Summer Gleeson|
|David L. Lander||Nitro|
|Diana Muldaur||Dr. Leslie Thompkins|
SWAT leader (uncredited)
Leslie: Maggie, I've lived in Park Row for 30 years. It's my home. I'm not afraid here.
Maggie: Bad things happen to people in Crime Alley.
Crocker: Hey, we told them to leave. They stand in the way of redevelopment, they get bulldozed. Nothing personal, just business.
Daggett: Gentlemen, Gotham City is at a crossroads. As businessmen, the choices we face is clear. It's time we decide where we stand. Are we for progress or against it? For the future or for the past. For the weak or for the strong? In short, we cannot allow the underclass to hinder us from building a better tomorrow.
Daggett: These people don't value human life like we do.
Batman: (To Daggett) I defused the bomb at the hotel. All your punks managed to destroy were a few condemned buildings. Once they confess, you're finished.
Leslie: This used to be a beautiful street. Good people lived here once.