With all of his training, The Dark Knight may be the strongest vigilante on the streets, but sometimes even the toughest superheroes need a little assistance! Batman: The Animated Series is praised for its realistic storytelling and unexpectedly grim topic for a programme aimed towards children.
But there is one episode in particular that deviates from the show’s formula and dares to be unique. Every child’s dream comes true when they read I have Got Batman in my Basement because they get to assist Batman when he gets into difficulty. Everything you need to know about the tale and how it all came together will be covered in this video.
Exploring this out-of-the-box episode from the evergreen show
Just another criminal-filled night in Gotham City opens the episode. We are watching two thieves attempt a daring heist, and the prized Vonalster Faberge Egg— a jeweled egg-shaped object that costs a fortune— is the prize. Batman intervenes as they are about to seize the artifact and flee. When you begin to believe that two regular thieves have little chance against the Dark Knight, an unlikely hero steps in to save the day. Batman is attacked by a huge vulture, giving the other characters time to flee. Batman survives the attack, but the attackers have left, and the only significant evidence he discovers at the crime site is some birdseed.
The next scene takes you to the usual suburbs of Gotham, and two children, Sherman and Roberta are very excited about the former’s Jr. Detective kit. The young man aspires to become a successful detective, and the items in the kit have him delighted. However, their playtime is cut short by the arrival of two bullies, Frank and Nick.
They tease and torment the poor boy and even try to take away his binoculars. Frank even spots the vulture at a distance, but he is quick to dismiss it as a hawk. But, Sherman identifies the bird as a vulture, and he realizes that the presence of a South American vulture in Gotham City is quite unusual. He decides to follow the bird and Roberta tags along hesitantly. When the giant bird flies into an abandoned factory, Sherman decides to explore the building, and Roberta continues to accompany him hesitantly.
The children step inside and from their hiding they watch the two thugs who stole the Vonalster Faberge Egg handing it over to Penguin. It turns out that he was the mastermind, and he orchestrated the whole crime by employing two of his henchmen. The vulture was his pet, trained specially to tackle tricky situations, and it is revealed that the birdseed was simply used to train the bird.
As the kids are watching the whole thing, the vulture spots them and tries to attack. In an attempt to escape, Sherman and Roberta end up activating a conveyor belt that leads to a grinder. Luckily for them, Batman is also present on the scene and he manages to save them from being crushed to their deaths. However, just as he attempts to take down Penguin and his thugs, the mob boss uses a gas pellet from his umbrella that almost immobilizes the Dark Knight. He barely manages to stumble into his Batmobile, but the effects of the gas knock him unconscious. Meanwhile, the children also get into his vehicle with the stolen egg, and somehow manage to speed away to safety. The erratic pushing of the buttons and a combined effort from Sherman and Roberta gets them home, but now, they must find a safe hiding spot for an unconscious Batman!
The safehouse turns out to be Sherman’s basement, and they cover the Batmobile outside with some large boxes stacked on top. At this point, Roberta is keen to get the police involved, but Sherman firmly believes in preserving the secrecy of his client’s identity, especially when he is someone like Batman!
The Dark Knight gains consciousness briefly and asks for some capsules from his Batmobile, but the children fail to understand his words properly. Meanwhile, the bullies show up again and they end up discovering the Batmobile after knocking over the boxes. Sherman is forced to make them a part of the plan, but the children have no idea that Penguin is still on their trail.
Thankfully, Sherman also finds the capsules in the vehicle and gets them to Batman. The vulture, spots the uncovered Batmobile, and now the gang zeroes in on the house where everyone is hiding. Sherman’s mother leaves the house, and the thugs led by Penguin barge in. The children set up some traps to slow them down, but it only works temporarily. They also use certain items from Batman’s utility belt, but eventually, they are cornered. Their phone lines are disabled and they cannot even call for help, and Batman is clearly not fit enough to fight the baddies yet.
Just as Penguin attempts to finish off Batman with a blade, the capsules start working and the caped crusader snaps out of his disabled state. This time around, Penguin’s thugs are no match for his skills and strength. Penguin challenges him to a duel as he drags out a sword from his umbrella, but Batman manages to hold his own and takes him down. The notorious criminal mastermind is finally captured, and Sherman’s mother comes back home to find out that the whole place is in ruins after all the fighting.
Her temper turns into awe when she spots Batman in her basement, and finally, Penguin is back where he belongs – the confines of Arkham. His pet vulture is sent to Gotham zoo and the timid, shy kid Sherman is now a hero among his bullies. He hangs up the newspaper articles about his heroics, and Nick and Frank now work for him as his assistants in his cases. The episode ends with a glimpse of Batman who is shown to keep an eye over his friend in need!
Marvelous Verdict: An episode that stepped away from the theme!
Batman: The Animated Series is known for its dark and grim representation of Batman and Gotham City, and things are rarely as fun-filled as this episode. This is what sets this episode apart from the others because the overall tone of the episode is something extremely light-hearted.
Children helping out the Dark Knight is not something you expect from this show, but the creators get the story right and it is just as entertaining as some of the more serious episodes. Even though the production team regards this as one of the worst episodes of the series, we beg to differ! The idea behind the episode popped up when some members of the creative team were concerned that the show wasn’t doing enough to attract young minds, and the experiment certainly worked.
In fact, this episode is particularly popular among children. As we said before, it is a dream for many to be able to help Batman in some capacity, and the narrative just materialized those aspirations. The story is more about the children than it is about Batman, who spends most of the episode unconscious.
Yes, it does not have some of the terrifying villains that we have seen in the series and Penguin appears as a rather mild variant of himself, but considering that he had a couple of kids as his opponent, he still posed quite a threat! The humor is not as much as you will find in some other episodes, but the script does put a smile on your face. Overall, if you are looking for a break from the usual pattern of the show and you want to watch something that lightens the mood, this is the one to opt for.
Do let us know in the comments below about your thoughts on the episode, and also tell us about other episodes that you want us to explore in detail. Batman: The Animated Series has plenty of such underrated story arcs, and we will be happy to oblige the fans with some more content on this front.