"Love is a Croc" is the 13th and final episode of the first season of The New Batman Adventures.
On a rerun from Love that Baby, a popular television show from the past, two parents come home from the store with groceries, only to find that their entire house has been flooded with bubble bath foam. The rerun is airing on a television in a Gotham City motel lobby.
A married couple currently staying at the motel, the wife half-carrying the husband, walk into the lobby as the man asks if it's the right place as the floor is tilting. His wife responds that it's his head that is tilting, and to her silent infuriation it turns out he lost their room key "when the sidewalk hit him"; he's clearly drunk. The woman approaches the front desk agent to explain about their room key. When the childlike woman uses a bar stool, which she's standing on, to get them a duplicate key from the board, the husband recognizes the employee to be Mary Louise Dahl, the former star of Love that Baby. Despite his wife's horrified protest, the drunken lout rudely points out that she is a has-been, and insensitively talks about her systemic hypoplasia that doesn't allow her to grow, saying that it caused her "to go nuts and try to kill Batman." He messes up Dahl's bun to release her hair and tells her to "Do something funny". Having finally reached the end of her patience, she responds in kind by grabbing him by the nose, slamming his face into the sign-in book and slamming the cover on his head. Still angry but with calm sarcasm, she tells the husband "Sorry, I didn't mean to."
Dahl stalks out of the lobby and into her room, where she goes into an emotional rage, lamenting how she's "just different" from everyone else. She then turns on the television and watches the live courtroom competency hearing of Killer Croc, who pleads to the judge that he has been the victim of persecution because he is "just different" from everyone else. Dahl lights up, believing she has found a kindred spirit. Unmoved by Croc's speech, the judge finds him mentally competent to stand trial for first degree murder. Croc becomes enraged and breaks free from his straitjacket and shackles, causing a panic. Bailiffs and orderlies try to sedate Croc, but his savage strength easily overpowers them. Dahl cheers for him to escape. Croc jumps out a window and begins a rampage but Batman arrives, knocking his head through the grille of a moving truck. Croc frees himself, then catches a Batarang in his mouth and chews it up, spitting it out at Batman's feet. Croc rips off the grille and hurls it. Dodging it, Batman continues to give chase and manages to tackle Croc into a brick wall, and stuns him with a punch. Dahl has left the motel and arrives at the courthouse just in time to see Batman sedate Croc with his jet injector, recapturing him.
Later in jail, Croc is being held in a special water tank. A guard brings Dahl to see him as a visitor. She feeds him several chickens to get his attention. Dahl tells Croc they are kindred spirits because they both know the pain of being "just different" from everyone else. Croc tells her that he'll be sentenced to death the next day, but Dahl tells him not to lose hope.
By the next night, Mary Louise Dahl has officially checked out and Baby-Doll is back. As authorities are transferring Croc to state prison in a police van, Baby-Doll poses as a child in the middle of the road, causing them to swerve off the road and roll down an embankment. Baby-Doll electrocutes the guards that are still standing and liberates Croc. Baby-Doll hugs her "precious" and professes her love for him. Croc is confused with her behavior, but he's not about to turn down a "get out of jail free" card.
Sometime later, Baby-Doll and Croc have made a home in the sewer, patterning it after a fifties family home. Croc, however, soon grows tired of the "mushy stuff" and shows her a newspaper that describes them as "Gotham's Bonnie and Clyde". Croc opens a cupboard containing piles of money and stashes some in his overcoat, telling her he'll be back for dinner. Baby-Doll tries to convince him to stay, but her nagging just pushes him out the door that much faster. Croc departs angrily, leaving behind a sad and confused Baby-Doll.
Meanwhile, on a luxury cruise liner, Baby-Doll distracts a security guard and Croc robs the casino on board. Croc and Baby-Doll empty the money into a sack, and everyone in the casino runs out screaming. Noticing the commotion, Batman and Batgirl board to stop Croc and Baby-Doll from making their escape. Batgirl's Batarang cuts open the sack, spilling the money and slowing the crooks down, but Croc physically bests Batman by tossing a big six wheel at him. The table hits a hanging neon sign, causing it to fall and explode, throwing heavy debris on them. Baby-Doll and Croc escape with only some the money, but Batman sees them leave a trail of loose bills leading to the pair going into the sewer.
Inside the their hideout, Croc breaks a lamp, angry with Batman. Baby-Doll tries to stop Croc from leaving again, but he knocks her off of his leg with his coat. She follows him and finds out he's been sneaking out to see other women, and plans to, after a couple more big jobs, to leave Gotham without her. Back at the hideout, she wakes him up to tell him that she's sorry for getting angry with him and that they have one more job to pull.
Later, Batman and Batgirl find the villains' "home" in the sewers to be empty, save for a booby-trap bomb that they narrowly escape. Before the sewer blew up, Batman finds a drawing indicating that their next target is the nuclear power plant on Mid River Island.
At the plant, Baby-Doll and Croc have incapacitated the guards, and she tells him how the reactor will blow up Gotham. He asks if they're going to demand a ransom payoff, but she reveals that she knows about his other girlfriends and that he doesn't really love her. To his horror, Baby-Doll vows that they will both die together and take Gotham with them. He demands she shut it down but she tells him to do it himself, which is clearly beyond him. Batman comes in and battles Croc, who warns that Baby-Doll is trying to cause a meltdown, while Batgirl knocks Baby-Doll away from the controls. Baby-Doll escapes the control room as the reactor is about to reach critical mass, but Batgirl succeeds in shutting it down safely. As Batman assigns Batgirl to stay put and keep an eye on the reactor, Croc escapes to go after Baby-Doll, with Batman in pursuit.
Croc finds Baby-Doll and holds her over a spinning turbine. He drops her but Batman swings across on his Batline and saves her. Croc then tackles Batman into a wall, which stuns him. As Croc carries him over to throw him into the turbine, his jet injector drops in front of Baby-Doll; she uses it on Croc and it gives Batman an opening to punch him. Croc tackles Batman down onto the turbine's walkway and tries to push his head into the machine, but the cowl's ears are revealed to be reinforced with metal and prevent it. Batman knocks Croc away from the turbine and into a wall near several pipes. Croc tries to pull out a smaller pipe attached to a large one to use as a weapon, but can't see the danger sign warning that the pipes carry pressurized hot water. Batman tries to warn him but it's too late; the attachment point fails, causing scalding water to blast Croc across the room and knock him unconscious. Baby-Doll runs over to Croc and tearfully laments how happy they could have been together.
- This episode picks up and refers to the events of the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Baby-Doll".
Home video releases
- Batman: The Animated Series, Volume Four (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- Batman Super-Villains: Killer Croc (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (Blu-ray)
- When Baby-Doll's bouncing ball explodes, for one frame there is a flash of light that is reused footage from the gas canisters that Superman ignites in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "The Way of All Flesh".
- Likewise, when the bomb in Baby-Doll's lair blows up the ensuing explosion is reused footage from "My Girl" when Mr. Eelan blows a vat of hot led off its support. Right after that, there's another explosion that is reused footage from the scene of "World's Finest, Part III" in which two Wayne/Lex T-7 droids blow up after Batman electrocutes them.
- When Croc shows the Daily Planet article, a smaller headline on the page says, "Supermans hands full" without an apostrophe. Another says, "when will it end" without a question mark.
- Jeff Glen Bennett's name is spelled with three f's in the credits.
- A poster of Killer Croc in the sewer hideout has "Killer Crock" in one scene and "Killer Croc" in another.
- Killer Croc is sentenced to Stonegate Penitentiary, but Baby-Doll meets with him in Arkham Asylum.
- The episode's title is a pun on the proverb "Love is a crutch", but also on the word "crock", "foolish belief".
- One of the stuffed animals on Mary Louise-Dahl's couch is Yogi Bear.
- Laraine Newman replaces Alison LaPlaca as the voice of Baby-Doll.
- Brooks Gardner replaces Aron Kincaid as the voice of Killer Croc.
|Kevin Conroy||Batman/Bruce Wayne|
|Tara Charendoff||Batgirl/Barbara Gordon|
|Laraine Newman||Baby-Doll/Mary Louise Dahl|
|Brooks Gardner||Killer Croc|
|Jeff Glen Bennett||Dad|
Baby-Doll: Why don't they ever understand? I'm not a baby. I'm not a child! I'm just... different!
Baby-Doll: I heard what you said to the judge. I want you to know that I understand about being different. You've never let the way you look undermine your self-confidence. I admire that. I feel somehow that we're kindred spirits.
Batgirl: Ordinarily, I don't approve of spanking, but in her case...