DC Animated Universe
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"Riddler's Reform" is the third episode of the third season of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on September 24, 1994.

Plot[]

The Riddler reveals his new line of toys

The Riddler reveals his new line of toys.

The Riddler has been released from Arkham Asylum on parole and it seems he's already up to his old tricks as he has a couple of thugs bring out a box marked with question marks from a van. Batman & Robin are instantly upon him and demand to know what's in the box. However, Charles Baxter, president of Wacko Toys arrives and demands to know what's going on. Riddler explains to Batman that he's Baxter's new business partner and reveals a new line of toys inside the box. Batman tries to warn Baxter of the Riddler, but he feels Riddler's recognition factor is too great an asset to pass up and threatens to sue them if they bother Riddler any further. Riddler gives Robin one of his puzzles and leaves with his new partner.

Later, Dick examines the puzzle to find it to be completely harmless. Just then, a newscast explains that there was a robbery at Newman's Import/Export Company. The items stolen are all old artifacts that are irreplaceable. Bruce thinks back on one of Riddler's comments and realizes that he is behind the robbery. Dick isn't convinced but Bruce is sure that Riddler is far too obsessed to stop with his riddle crimes. Just then a commercial comes on and Riddler uses the riddle number "31753701" and flips it over to show a map. Bruce uses the number as a map coordinate and finds Riddler's target is the First National Bank.

Manny and Zowie escaped

The Riddler's thugs Manny & Zowie try to escape.

Batman & Robin wait at the bank, but nothing happens there. Robin starts to think they were wrong, but Batman remembers that Riddler flipped the number over. By doing the same thing, he gets the address "10 Leslie", just where Riddler's thugs happen to be robbing a jewelry store. They tell Riddler about Batman's absence, but he is unconcerned as he joins a high-class party. Just then, Batman & Robin make it to the jewelry store and take on Riddler's thugs. During the fight, a display case falls on Robin and while Batman helps him the thugs make their getaway. Batman tries to follow them, but they manage to escape.

At the party, Riddler makes his presence known and finds himself the center of attention of two beautiful women. Before he can enjoy it, however, he is informed of a phone call in the next room. He goes to answer the call but finds that Batman is in the room waiting for him, informing Riddler that he's onto him. Unfazed, Riddler turns on a device that allows all members of the party to hear the conversation. Riddler starts telling Batman that he could be giving riddles or that maybe he is just paranoid. He then opens the wall revealing Batman to the party guests who laugh at his expense. Unfazed, Batman warns Riddler that he'll catch him eventually and leaves.

Riddler is upset over Batman's threat, knowing that he's right. He claims that he's fooled everyone including the doctors, the parole board, and the police, but only Batman was not deceived and has successfully challenged him. Deciding that he can't let himself go mad and end up back inside Arkham, he must kill Batman.

Following another one of Riddler's commercials, Batman deduces the target is the Gotham Convention Center where a toy fair is being held. He goes to the convention center and is led to a giant riddle box. He opens it and finds a giant TV. He turns it on, and Riddler appears, bidding Batman farewell, and reveals that there's a bomb set in the center. All of the escape routes are cut off and the bomb goes off.

Believing Batman is dead, Riddler burns his costume, vowing to go straight for good, but Batman appears. Riddler's thugs try to stop him but are no match for him. Riddler is shocked, sure that Batman couldn't have escaped from the explosion. He decides to make him a deal: he'll tell where he hid all the stolen goods and how he committed those crimes if Batman will tell him how he escaped. Batman refuses the offer and shows Riddler his own two-way radio device. The other side of the device is kept by Commissioner Gordon who enters and arrests Riddler for parole violations. While being dragged away, Riddler is distraught to realize that Batman will not share the secret of his escape, and as soon as he is out of the room, Batman leaves.

Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce tells Dick and Alfred that Riddler's henchmen have told the police where the stolen goods are and agreed to testify against Riddler in exchange for going free. Dick asks how Bruce escaped, and he admits that there was indeed no way out, but he noticed a nearby safe and concealed himself inside it seconds before the explosion.

Nygma can't figure out how Batman survived

"HOW DID HE DO IT!?"

An impressed Dick says that he would never have thought of that, and Bruce believes the Riddler wouldn't have either. Sure enough in Arkham, the Riddler is driving himself crazy trying to figure out how Batman survived his death trap, much to the annoyance of Joker and Two-Face and other inmates, whom he's driving insane with his nonstop ranting.

Continuity[]

  • The Riddler returns after the events of "What Is Reality?". However, no explanation is given as to how he recovered from the virtual reality. Although Robin does mention that the box the Riddler has is similar to the one he used to trap Commissioner Gordon.
  • The Rubik's Cube-like structure from "What Is Reality?" was called a "Baxter's Box." Assuming the device, like the Cube, was named after its creator, the Baxter's Box was likely created by Charles Baxter of Wacko Toys.

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production gallery[]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • While not exactly an inconsistency, the newspaper article headlining Riddler's parole says that he has been released for "good behaviour"; "behaviour" is how the word is spelled in British English, while American English spells it as "behavior", excluding the letter "u".
  • The Riddler taunts Batman with a riddle at the beginning of the episode about robbing an antique store, but after Bruce sees the report on television later on and remembers the riddle, his memory of the Riddler saying the riddle is completely different to the point that the Riddler laughs tauntingly, which he did not when giving the riddle.

Trivia[]

  • The title card showing Riddler walking away from his costume is a possible reference to John Romita Sr.’s classic image from Amazing Spider-Man #50, with Peter Parker walking away from his discarded Spider-Man costume.
  • Alan Burnett considers this to be the best Riddler episode, partially because of how the riddles were presented in a "hidden" manner, rather than just verbally.[1]
  • This episode contains one of the DCAU's most overt sexual references, when a comical "BOING!" sound is heard when Riddler catches sight of an attractive woman.
  • When Batman asks Riddler what he has in the box, he says "None of your business", and Batman says "I'm making it my business". This is exactly what was said by Earl Cooper and the Penguin in "The Mechanic".

Cast[]

Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Bruce Wayne/Batman
Loren Lester Dick Grayson/Robin
Bob Hastings Commissioner Gordon
Mari Devon Summer Gleeson
Patricia Alice Albrecht Brenda
John Glover Edward Nygma/The Riddler
William Katt Zowie
Robert Pastorelli Manny
Peter Mark Richman Charles Baxter

Uncredited appearances[]

Quotes[]

Baxter: Blast this thing! How do you solve this contraption, Nygma?
Riddler: (takes it) Easy. You just have to be...(hands it back, solved) a genius.
(laughter)

Brenda: Where'd you find him, C.B.? He's so adorable!
Riddler: Who? M-me?
Brenda: (laughs) Of course you, silly, and you're so smart! I just love a man with brains.
Riddler: Gee, I bet you say that to all the geniuses.

Batman: You can play all you like. You and I both know that I'm going to put you away, because you can't help yourself, you can't stop. And I'll be waiting.

Robin: Man, I never would have thought of that!
Batman: Neither would the Riddler.

Riddler: It's impossible, I tell you, impossible! My trap was perfect! HOW DID HE DO IT? I have to know! Somebody tell me! It's not fair! There was no way, I tell you! No way he could've gotten out! Somebody tell me! DO YOU HEAR ME? SOMEBODY TELL ME HOW HE DID IT! I HAVE TO KNOW! I HAVE TO KNO-O-O-O-OW!

References[]

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