DC Animated Universe
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"House & Garden" is the sixth episode of the second season of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on May 2, 1994.

Plot[]

A giant creature climbs his way up a building and enters an apartment through the window. It seems to know the territory well as it moves towards an abstract painting, tearing it away. A safe is revealed and the strange being wastes no time disposing of the door and gathering its contents. The creature is interrupted by the owner, but is quick to knock him out cold and leaves with the goods.

At the Police Department, Commissioner Gordon and a police scientist analyze a strange green substance that turns out to be poison. The same poison was used four different times during the past month. The scientist admits to not identifying it and manifests his worry that he might not be able to keep the victims of the poison alive for much longer. Batman reveals himself from behind the shadows and points out his suspicion of Poison Ivy in the matter. However, Gordon insists that she is not a valid suspect and admits his belief that Ivy has turned over a new leaf. He reveals that she had been released from Arkham Asylum after apparently completing her therapy successfully. She also had married her psychiatrist, Steven Carlyle, becoming the stepmother of his two children, Chris and Kelly.

Ivy's husband

Poison Ivy introduces her new husband.

The next day, Batman & Gordon pay a visit to the Carlyle residence and express their suspicion regarding the mysterious robberies and poisoning attacks. Ivy sustains her innocence and the veracity of her redemption, explaining her attachment to her new family and to her new life. Ivy explains that because of her hyperimmune system, she can't have children of her own through biological means—she insists that she's happy with her husband and stepsons accepting her for who she is, that she would never commit crimes after finding their affection, claiming that "Poison Ivy is dead."

At Gotham University's dorms, Dick Grayson is flirting with a girl named Cindy. He is interrupted by a call from Batman, requesting him to find information on Steven Carlyle. The girl leaves and Dick is left alone in the room. He notices a shadow near the door and moves towards it, hoping it would be Cindy, but instead he is attacked by the strange creature. It smashes through the door, knocking off a nearby lamp. Unable to see his attacker, Dick receives a direct blow.

Police investigate the crime scene, some search for clues, and others comfort Cindy, apparently the only witness. Bruce and Gordon are also there questioning her. Gordon tells Bruce about his theory that Dick had been kidnapped to blackmail him.

While driving away, he is ambushed from behind by the plant creature. Struggling to keep the car on the road, Bruce asks the creature what it is after. It demands 5 million dollars be sent to him at the docks, at midnight, in exchange for Dick's life.

Bruce returns to his manor, prepares the money, and decides to check on Ivy. He follows her throughout the day, but does not find any incriminating evidence. In fact, the opposite seems to be true, Poison Ivy seems to take pleasure in the life of a housewife, taking the children to school and running errands during the day. Batman concludes his observations of Ivy by observing her from the roof of her house as she is returning home in the afternoon. Vines, in turn, wrap themselves around Batman and deliver him to the ground where Ivy confronts him. Ivy says she is happy in her life, and she would not throw it away as, at last, she is at peace and has the life she wants. Bruce shows up at the docks with the suitcase containing the 5-million-dollar ransom and waits for a sign from the kidnapper. Shortly after, his name is called out by a voice hidden behind a row of crates. The creature demands the suitcase, but Bruce remains unfazed and requests to see his ward. The creature extends his arm and shows a tied-up and blindfolded Dick struggling to release himself, then hides again, its voice growing angrier while asking again for the money. Bruce kicks the suitcase towards the crates and asks that the boy be sent out.

Bruce attacked by a plant monster

Bruce is attacked by a plant monster.

Instead, the creature attacks him head and we finally see its body — a giant green monster. Bruce only dodges the creature's blows, but in the end falls over, into the water. The monster turns and grabs a hold of Dick, preparing to throw him into the water as well. Before he can proceed, Batman rises from the water and cuts the monster's claws with his Batarang. The creature panics and Batman takes that opportunity to strike him frontally. The monster manages to escape by throwing Batman into a row of crates and running away, abandoning the docks.

Afterward, Batman & Robin check notes in the Batmobile. Batman confesses to Robin that he no longer considers Ivy a suspect because "all she wants is to be left alone with her husband and sons." Robin expresses surprise when hearing about Steven Carlyle's "sons" and reveals the truth to Batman: Dr. Carlyle's ex-wife is the one who has custody of their kids and the two never had any sons — the real Chris and Kelly are actually both girls.

With that information in hand, Batman & Robin return to investigate the Carlyle house. Robin checks the house and notices everyone is inside, asleep, except Ivy. Batman takes notes and tinkers with the garden's pipelines before pursuing it. The two look around and discover a hidden laboratory. After closer inspection, they find the real Dr. Carlyle in a testing tub, begging them to stop "her." Shortly after freeing him, Batman hears voices coming from strange pods in the room. Closing in on them he is shocked to see babies emerging from the pods. Caught off guard, Batman, Robin, and Dr. Carlyle are captured by Ivy's vines. Ivy herself emerges and confesses that she used her mind-controlling lipstick to make Carlyle marry her. She then explains her experiments - she used Carlyle's DNA to create the humanoid plant-babies who grow quickly, first resembling human boys, then growing into a duplicate of Carlyle, before finally becoming the plant-monsters before dying and dissolving, to be replaced by the next batch of "babies." Ivy confesses she sent out the monsters to steal to fund her experiments to keep creating the sort of "family" she wanted. She feeds the plant-babies a fast-acting growth formula, causing them to rapidly grow into monsters and sending them after her enemies.

Meanwhile, Batman manages to cut himself and Robin free and fight the creatures. Batman stuns them by plucking nearby cables and electrocuting them. They then take Carlyle and try to run away only to find more mutants waiting for them. Although outnumbered, the Dynamic Duo manages to come through it all. As the creatures close, Batman turns on the sprinklers, and plant monsters quickly die and dissolve into puddles of green goo. Batman admits to replacing the water in Ivy's tanks with weedkiller to guard against a potential attack.

Batman deduces that she couldn't replicate Carlyle's daughters from his male DNA, so she created his "sons" instead. Ivy then points out that she could create duplicates of herself, before dissolving into a puddle - Ivy had anticipated Batman figuring out her scheme and so had grown a plant-copy of herself to buy time for an escape.

Ivy's wedding picture

Poison Ivy cries on her wedding picture.

The police arrive soon after to wrap up the case and use the laboratory's contents to form an antidote for Ivy's poison. Later, the real Poison Ivy flies away from Gotham. Inside the plane, she skims through her photo album, fixating her gaze on her wedding photo, shedding tears upon it. In a voiceover, Batman admits that he believed Poison Ivy when she told him that she was happy for once in her life with her family.

Continuity[]

  • In Poison Ivy's photo album, there is a picture of Harvey Dent when he approved of the construction of Stonegate Penitentiary, as seen in "Pretty Poison". There is also a photo of the Rosaceae Vulgaris from that episode. Another photo depicts Ivy and Harley from their headline-grabbing crime spree in the episode "Harley and Ivy".

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • Paul Dini has noted that Pamela's sterility was inspired by Denny O'Neil's "Poison Tomorrow." "I picked up on it," Dini remarked. "If her body rejects all infection or outside contamination, her body is a self-contained little hyper-immunity system, so she can't get pregnant." Paul feared that Fox may pull the plug on the episode due to this subject matter. "I thought Fox would never even let me hint at her sterility."[1]

Trivia[]

  • This is Diane Pershing's favorite episode of the series, who praised the nuances of the script surrounding Poison Ivy.[2]
  • A tie-in comic of the later Batman Adventures (Volume 2) suggests that this is the last appearance of the "real" Poison Ivy and that the revamped version seen in The New Batman Adventures was merely another copy produced to keep Batman off her trail, whilst she went into hiding for good. None of this was ever incorporated into the DCAU proper.

Cast[]

Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Bruce Wayne/Batman
Loren Lester Dick Grayson/Robin
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred Pennyworth
Bob Hastings Commissioner Gordon
Jim Cummings Saunders
Plant Creature (uncredited)
Scott McAfee Chris Carlyle
Megan Mullally Cindy
Paul Nakauchi Doctor
Diane Pershing Poison Ivy/Pamela Isley Carlyle
Christopher Pickering Kelly Carlyle
Peter Strauss Dr. Steven Carlyle

Uncredited appearances[]

Quotes[]

Plant Creature: Keep driving, or your neck gets a new airhole.

Batman: All she wants is to be left alone with her husband and sons.
Robin: Sons?!
Batman: Carlyle's two boys, Chris and Kelly.
Robin: I know Chris and Kelly. I was in Carlyle's class when his ex brought them to visit last year.
Batman: I thought Carlyle had custody.
Robin: No, and here's another shocker for you: Chris and Kelly...are girls.

Robin: I'm just sorry she got away.
Batman: Me too, Robin. But I don't think we'll see her again anytime soon. Ivy lost everything she had, everything she said she ever wanted. For what is worth, I believed her when she told me that for the first time in her life she was happy.

References[]

  1. "Things to Come Second Season" by Robert T. Garcia - Cinefantastique Vol. 24 #6/Vol. 25 #1 (February 1994)
  2. ref>Batman: The Animated Series GalaxyCon Q&A Panel 2020<ref>
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