"P.O.V." is the thirteenth episode of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series. After a failed bust, Harvey Bullock, Renee Montoya and a rookie, Wilkes, are put under investigation. Each one of them offers up a story on what really happened during their failure, but their different points of view seem to conflict and Bullock is quick to blame Batman for the mistakes..
It's night in Gotham City and Renee Montoya and her new partner, rookie Officer Wilkes, race through the city trying to reach Harvey Bullock with time to spare. However, when they reach their destination, a warehouse, they find that it's on fire and Bullock is outside groaning in pain. While Renee scolds Bullock for not waiting for them, a couple of thugs run out of the place and Renee tells Wilkes to go after them while she searches the warehouse for any stragglers. Bullock struggles to his feet and looks up, seeing Batman on the roof.
Later, the three officers are sitting under the lights while Lieutenant Hackle from Internal Affairs berates them, over the objections of Commissioner Gordon. Hackle rants that the sting took months to set up, and the police have lost the $2 million cash they laid out as bait. Demanding to know who is responsible for the fiasco, he even suggests that one or more of the officers in front of him are on the take. Gordon angrily demands that Hackle allow the officers a chance to explain.
Bullock is the first to tell his side of the story, and is quick to put the blame on Batman. He claims that Montoya and Wilkes were late, so he had to go in alone. He saw Batman entering the warehouse and followed him, afraid that he would tip off the criminals about the raid. When he entered, a loud noise, most likely Batman, alerted the crooks inside, and Bullock had to fight them off, inadvertently starting a fire. Fortunately, Bullock was able to save Batman after he had been knocked out.
Bullock arrived at the warehouse, and entered immediately, without waiting for the other officers. Bullock tripped over a paint can, alerting the thieves. As he was fighting them off, a missed blow from an axe hit a fuse box and started the fire. Bullock passed out from the smoke as the crooks fled the warehouse, but Batman lifted him to safety by way of the roof.
Hackle is skeptical of Bullock's account, and questions Wilkes next. Wilkes insists that he and Montoya weren't late, and tells the story from when they arrived outside the warehouse. While Montoya went inside, Wilkes pursued two suspects running out of the warehouse. But as soon as he pursued them into an alley, they had already reached their escape car, and tried to run him over. Then Batman appeared in front of him and disabled the car, wrenched the door off, and disabled the two thugs. In the darkness, what Batman is doing seems like nothing short of magic to the impressionable Wilkes (when in fact the flashback shows Batman using various devices from his arsenal).
Batman then apprehended one of the criminals and interrogated him. Wilkes couldn't hear what the man said, except for a word that sounded like "Doc".
Hackle insists that Wilkes isn't telling him the whole truth, and when Montoya speaks up to defend her partner, Hackle turns his attention to her.
Montoya continues to insist that they were on time. When they arrived at the warehouse, Bullock was down, so she told Wilkes to pursue the suspects outside, while she went into the burning building. Approaching the thugs, she overheard someone saying the name "Hathcock". The thugs caught sight of her, but before she could apprehend them, a stack of paint cans exploded and her shotgun was knocked out of her hands. The thugs approached her with a drill but Batman arrived and stopped them. However, before Montoya could cuff them, the roof collapsed and Batman shoved her out of the way of the falling timbers, which fell on him instead.
Hackle is unsympathetic and reviews that the three officers have told him two different stories, meaning one or more of them is lying. He suspends all three of them from duty until he's made his decision. The officers reluctantly give up their badges and weapons and leave without a word.
Later, Montoya is riding a train and trying to figure out the meaning of the words "Doc Hathcock". Glancing out the window, she sees Gotham Harbor and realizes that maybe "Hathcock" isn't a person, but a place. Sure enough, she sees the name on a warehouse at the docks. Instead of calling the police, she decides to go in alone.
She looks through a window and sees Batman, alive and hanging by his wrists from the ceiling. The thugs from the warehouse have taken his utility belt and are fiddling around with it. Using a lock pick, Montoya enters.
Meanwhile, Batman asks where "The Boss" is. The thugs, assuming he's finished, inform him that the Boss is already there, watching from a ship's rail. Smiling, Batman says that is all he wanted to know—then ejects a small blade from his gauntlet and speedily frees himself. Batman easily takes care of one of the thugs but another draws a gun on him, before Montoya stops him. She and Batman team up, Batman explaining that he allowed himself to be captured in order to get close to the Boss. The rest of the thugs attack the duo and Batman steps up to the challenge. Renee is also able to hold up her own and most of the thugs are taken down. However, a thug grabs a machine gun and fires upon them. Batman takes Montoya up to the cab of a loading crane and tells her to take shelter inside. While Batman faces the gang, Montoya uses the crane to drop a crate onto the dock, tearing a hole in the pier that dumps all the remaining thugs into the water.
Knowing he's beaten, the Boss runs aboard a ship and tries to escape. Just then, the last remaining thug, Driller, tries to run Batman over with a forklift. Batman overpowers him, takes control of the forklift, and drives it off the pier, where it punches a hole in the ship's hull. As the ship begins to sink, the Boss jumps back onto land. Still unwilling to accept capture, the Boss tries to escape but Montoya catches him with the crane's claw.
The gang is apprehended, and the sting money is recovered. Hackle objects that Montoya acted without orders, while she was still under suspension. Gordon, having lost his patience with Hackle, backs him off, declares the Internal Affairs investigation closed, and reinstates Montoya, Wilkes, and Bullock.
Home video releases
- Batman: Tales of the Dark Knight (VHS)
- Batman: Tales of the Dark Knight (DVD)
- Batman: The Animated Series, Volume One (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- Batman and Friends (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (Blu-ray)
- In Bullock's flashback, one of the thugs loses his hat and doesn't pick up when he runs from the fire. However, in the beginning of the episode, he is shown wearing it as he escapes.
- First episode to be told mainly in flashback.
- The structure of the episode is reminiscent of Akira Kurosawa's classic film Rashomon, in which the audience is presented with four different (and conflicting) eyewitness accounts to a murder. The difference is, here the flashback shows that Bullock is obviously lying, while in the film each witness's story is presented as true, and the contradictions only come out when they are compared.
- The name of "The Boss" is never revealed.
- This is the first episode where Batman does not appear out of costume.
- When one of the thugs fires a machine gun at Renee and Batman, he fires in an arc that indicates he deliberately missed them.
- Wilkes' account illustrates how effective Batman is at swinging his more superstitious enemies. This is reminiscent of Detective Flass' image of Batman in Batman: Year One.
- When Batman is driving the forklift, the Danny Elfman theme is played briefly.
|Kevin Conroy||Bruce Wayne/Batman|
|Robert Costanzo||Detective Bullock|
|Bob Hastings||Commissioner Gordon|
Bullock: I'm telling you, Lieutenant, Batman blew the bust! Montoya and Wilkes were late so I had to go in alone!
Hackle: Oh, poor Batman, but don't feel too bad! One of you is going to burn too!
Montoya: I thought that you were...