Episode 70: Holy Ottoman!: December 11, 2022

The Duo Is Slumming or Batman, Dark Knight of Gotham, Part 2
December 22, 1966
"The Puzzler continues with his plan to hijack Artemus Knab's new airplane, the Retsoor, all the while leaving puzzles behind for Batman and Robin to ponder. He familiarizes himself with the jet's designs, then prepares to fly his prize to a foreign country where he will hold it for ransom. But the Dynamic Duo have an easier time with his clues than he expected, resulting in a climactic confrontation at the airplane hanger."
55 minutes

RD Sez "By Gum It's Gum!" That's from Henry III I believe. (Act VI, Scene 6)

The title is more rhyming than creative. But it's not in iambic pentameter. 

Vince: "Bro, I gotta be honest with ya RD."
RD: "Let me write this down - you're being honest with me."
Vince compared the story to a recent showing of Raw, it was that interminable.

Vince can still remember when he was 13 years old and was gifted a stereo system at what he thought was the highest price in the world at $99.99. Young RD got a disk drive for his Atari computer to play pirated games alongside a color printer. Older RD had initial doubts when his wife found she was pregnant on Christmas Eve, but he went along with it until they later confirmed it. 

Sad News: Vince and his son had trouble assembling a newly bought arcade machine.

To further try and delay talking about the actual episode, RD also read up on Mr. Evans (:15). I forgot that he was also Dr. Zaius in Planet of the Apes. 

The Duo are still tied up in their "aerial balloon" at 19,000 feet. Batman gets the idea of using the chewing gum wrapper to cover the altimeter's air hole to keep the reading below 20,000.
Robin: "This'll teach that crook to be a litterbug. He should put trash in the proper waste container!" 

However they are still high above, and at that point it's a wonder at this high up they are unaffected by hypothermia and oxygen deprivation. And don't tell me it's the outfits protecting them, they're not Kryptonian! Nature must obey necessity, after all. (Julius Caesar, Act IV, Scene 3)

This is where Robin's bird calling comes in - a flock of red-breasted nuthatches are flying nearby, which he conveniently...does not yet know. "Holy Ottoman Batman!" is all he can say.
Batman: "The bird by its nature is a very hostile bird. If you can infuriate this bird, perhaps he'll attack the balloon."
They succeed in having one poke some holes into the balloon.
Batman: "Farewell feathered friend! Sorry to have disrupted your vacation!"
Of course the balloon starts to rapidly descend.
Batman: "It's the power of gravity, Robin. Not even the Puzzler could prevent that."
Fortunately they land right next to a phone booth as for some reason the theme of the Penguin's Submarine from the Movie plays.
Batman: "We can thank the taxpayers and Governor Stonefellow for this emergency public telephone."

Back at the lair Puzzler is happy for their jewelry haul, but they still need to get the Retsoor. To Rocket: "Now go be expressive to multi-billionaire Artemis Knab." He would have another goon do it if they were not a lady or busy making balloon animals.
The Duo crash through another window.
Puzzler: "But you're...you're dead! How puzzling."
He covers their escape by...dropping balloon animals on them. RD compares it to the drop they do in the Arcade on more able children. 

Rocket manages to make it during that to Knab's penthouse, and petitions him to make it into movies. (:25)
Knab: "I would say that you're a very well-rounded young lady. Ha. Ha. Ha. With considerable well-rounded talent."
She slips a sleeping pill into his oolong tea that knocks him out, allowing Puzzler to enter through his window and open the safe. He takes pictures on how to fly the plane and leaves a note for Batman on Knab's chest. 

The Dark Knight is currently in Gordon's Office wearing really large headphones as they open up another "gift" to reveal a rooster.
Gordon: "I've had some strange birds in my office at some time, but this is going too far!"
They determine Puzzler is to steal the plane later that night, so the Duo leave to wall climb to Knab's penthouse. 

As they climb Robin has a strange feeling "as if visions of sugar plums were dancing in my head." This summons Santa Claus through the window. You know, that old contemporary of Shakespeare? (:29) Even if it was shown (as it is now reviewed) in the December season, it feels more out of place than it normally should be out of place. It also doesn't help that this Santa looks rather...odd.
Santa: "Say, you tell me where the Batcave is, and I'll, I'll leave a little present in your stocking."
Batman (to the camera): "If you can't trust Santa, whom can you trust? [To Santa] We can't tell you here, Mr. Claus, but we'll telephone you at the North Pole on the Batphone."
RD wonders how he can call different numbers with just one button on it.
Santa: "Good, good, I'll get to the Batcave if I have to slide down the Batpole instead of a chimney. Merry Christmas! Ho! Ho! Ho!"
Batman: "Merry Christmas Santa!"
Robin: "And say hello to the eight reindeer for us!" 

By the time they reach the penthouse Knab is awake and not happy to see them, not helped by Batman waving his hands around oddly like he is holding Yorick's skull in them.
Robin: "We told you, stupid, don't trust the Puzzler!"
They find Puzzler's note.
Batman: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio Artemis/Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. That's a quote from -"
Knab: "I know. Hamlet." (Act I, Scene 5)
The note is blank but Batman detects "a slight odor of invisible writing" on it. Knab asks to go to the Batcave with him to analyze it, but he is politely denied. 

This is also the last we see or hear of Knab or any of his monopolies. My guess is that Batman just took all his properties on Bruce's behalf due to Knab's (involuntary) collaboration with a criminal. Or, to continue his analogy with Howard Hughes, he'd just trick him to stay in a private movie theater for the rest of his life instead of imprisoning him.

In the Batcave the revealed text only says "puzzles". Robin thinks it's for seven-league boots, seven seas, or seven veils, none of which actually feature in Shakespeare. Batman thinks it's a seven digit telephone number (without area code). RD wonders how they would incorporate the lack of Z on the dial-pad, which is what the Duo are also thinking. This leads them to 'zounds', at least. (At least the writers seem to spell it right.)

RD: "Have we mentioned this Puzzler kind of sucks?"

Puzzler has shifted his operations to a shed and his outfit to "the perfect Space Age garb" in order to fly an airplane. Then Batman calls.
Robin: "Holy miracles, Batman, you got his number on your first try!"
Puzzler: "Speak, knave!"
Batman figures his latest puzzle and they rush to the airplane hanger.

Puzzler has a "magic lantern show" waiting for them of a plane sideshow. To Rocket: "Create your usual diversion." Glider asks if they will sell the plane (for $4 million) to a foreign power.
Puzzler: "Have you taken leave of your senses Glider? I may be an arch-villain, but I am a one hundred percent naturalized American arch-villain!"

Of course the Duo already there awaiting the group and their fight, including many Irish whips. (:42) During it Robin gets inside a jet engine (which is not on).

Afterwards the Undynamic Duo arrive so late due to "traffic" Batman literally rolls his eyes at them. 'Tis the time’s plague when madmen lead the blind, indeed. (King Lear, Act IV, Scene 1)

Puzzler: "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Too many puzzles. Is that what did it, Batman?"
Batman: "One too many. Quantity finally exceeded quality, Puzzler. And all those quotes of Shakespeare didn't help either."
Puzzler: "My soul is full of discord and dismay."
Batman: "Hamlet."
Puzzler: "Act IV."
Batman: "Scene 1."
Puzzler: "Line 46."
Batman: "45."
Puzzler: "Egad, sir, you're right!" 

Vince is close in guessing Rocket's age by two years. (36) He also gives her 2 Batpoles for that. RD is a generous 5.5. Despite this, Barbara Stuart was a regular TV presence for over 50 years, most notably for Gomer Pyle.  

At Stately Wayne Manor Alfred blows up the remaining puzzle balloons on Aunt Harriet's behalf for "underprivileged children" for some reason.
Harriet: "They really are quite a novelty, aren't they?"
Bruce: "Verily, Aunt Harriet, quite a novelty. Well, all's well that -"
Alfred: "That ends well, sir?"

Thus exits the Puzzler, confusion's masterpiece. (Macbeth, Act II, Scene 3) Honestly he was pretty terrible. There may have been more amusement in finding where his lines were coming from rather than his plan or mannerisms, none of which made much sense. It's as if they wrote Jean-Luc Picard to the point where he was quoting his own Shakespeare everywhere beyond the occasional parts here and there, even when speechifying. (Or hawking Pontiacs.) 


It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

 Macbeth, Act V, Scene 5


  • Special Guest Villain: The Puzzler (Maurice Evans)

  • Brown Hornet Escapes: 1. I will wear my heart upon my sleeve/For [jack]daws to peck at. (Othello, Act I, Scene 1) 
  • Window Celebrity: 1. Santa Claus

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