"The Batman" Offers Sensational Season Finale
After what can only be described as a terrible opener followed by a string of episodes that ranged from mediocre to inexcusably poor, The Batman‘s first season comes to an end with “The Rubberface of Comedy (Part 1),” and “The Clayface of Tragedy (Part 2).” After basically giving up hope on the series after the third episode, I jumped at the chance to review the finale. Why? Curiosity got the better of me. I wanted to see if the show’s finale was as bad as its premiere.
Although it’s probably not coming across this way, I want to like this show. I have since it was announced and even since I was bitterly disappointed with the opening episode. After all, it’s Batman. Why would I want to hate it?
The problems with the show are obvious from the word go. The dialogue is horrendous, the characters are pathetically underdeveloped and the voices are well, crap, for the most part. So there you have it. Oh wait, you wanted to read a review of the finale. So that’s what I’ll start talking about.
You’ll be pleased to hear that basically nothing said above applies to these two episodes. The characterization is well done for the most part. The pressure is starting to get to the GPD, as the freaks The Batman has brought in are overshadowing their work. This actually leads to a logical reaction from The Batman: maybe Bruce’s best friend Ethan should know Bruce Wayne’s identity so they don’t hurt each other while fighting. Some Batfans may disagree with this. I don’t, I think it’s perfectly logical to care about your best friend, and to be concerned for their safety. A nice human element brought to an often cold hearted Dark Knight.
Officer Yin also has some nice scenes, specifically the one after The Batman defeats The Joker. The menacing line, “Next time we meet, the mask’s coming off,” is delivered perfectly. When this show does get good lines, it gets great lines.
Though The Batman, Ethan and Yin finally get some great character development unfortunately, the Chief and The Joker are still the same one-dimensional characters. Predictably, the Chief refuses to accept that The Batman saved his life and tells the cops to continue their pursuit. The Joker is still the same annoyingly flat character and serves no real purpose. Part one tried to turn him into a crazy artist, much like the live action Batman movie did, but once again provides no reason why he might want to be an artist.
Luckily, neither of those two characters plays a huge part in the episode. It’s mostly about Ethan and his transformation into Clayface. I’d like to add that if someone hadn’t spoiled the fact that Ethan was going to become Clayface, it could’ve arguably been the coolest fanboy moment in recent memory.
The visuals, as always, are breathtaking. The backgrounds, the fight choreography, the animation, everything just pops on the screen. It’s absolutely beautiful. If only all cartoons were this well-detailed.
Part 2 is better than Part 1. Both are enjoyable, but Part 2 is simply superior. It easily knocks every other episode this season out of the water.
The Clayface transformation is handled very well, and we have a good view of how he learns to control his new powers. The part where we learn how he retrains his voice to sound normal again is perfectly executed. Some parts of the episode actually make you feel for the character. Sure, his origin is a little lame, simply breathing some putty gas. It’s never explained how it turns him into goop while everyone else who touched it remains perfectly human. What is explained, however, is why he becomes a supervillian, of sorts. He’s now mad because of what The Joker submitted him to. Combine that with the pressure of capturing The Batman, his suspension and his general dislike towards Chief Rojas and you pretty much get the picture.
The ending is of particular interest. It doesn’t resolve a whole lot, but actually leaves a few ends open for the next season to develop. We’re bound to see Clayface again. It’ll be interesting to see why he would return to Gotham, presuming he ever leaves of course. The Batman’s relationship with Yin could also prove to be of interest. Will she continue to believe that Gotham needs The Batman, or think she was foolish not to unmask him when she got the chance? There’s a lot of ways to continue this story, and hopefully, they’ll do so in this fashion.
This show’s had enough stinkers; let’s hope they can continue with the good stuff. Overall, these two episodes are a great way to end the first season and, God willing, a huge turning point for The Batman.