Episode 83: Holy Quicksand!: March 19, 2023

Batman's Anniversary
February 8, 1967
"During a party for Batman's crime-fighting anniversary, the Riddler appears and nabs a golden calf filled with money for charity. His next target is the Gotham City Bank, which he floods for an underwater robbery. Although Batman and Robin try to stop him, the villain makes a clean getaway, leaving only a final riddle that stumps the Caped Crusaders. They discover all too late that his next move is an attempt to destroy them, this time with deadly quicksand disguised as strawberry icing atop a giant cake."
54 minutes

RD: Mesmerized by Anna Gram. I am mesmerized by John Astin's attempt at the Riddler, a story just after Morticia Addams (and some time after Lurch).

Also RD hopes he has fun with Vince, although he seems to already.

RD promises to review 1979's Legend of the Superheroes and its roast version.

Narrator: "Gotham City, a glistening jewel in a sun-filled landscape on a day when all seems right with the world. But in Stately Wayne Manor, some of life's answers still prove elusive." (:08)

Cut to Dick drawing an extensive diagram. "Gosh, Bruce, I'm not really sure how important it is to know the maximum number of pieces a pie will yield after six cuts."
Braless Aunt Harriet: "Well, if you had a house full of guests and only one pie you'd find it was important."
Bruce (armed with a (Bat)protractor): "The trick to this pie puzzle, Dick, is to discover a rule that will give you the maximum number of pieces for any given number of cuts. Now, notice... (He cuts on the cake.) Thank you. Cut number one yields two pieces. Cut number two yields four pieces. (Condescendingly) Do you detect any pattern yet, Dick?"
Alfred whispers for the Batphone.
Harriet: "Oh, Alfred, I'm certainly glad I have you!"

Gordon: "A very serious situation has arisen, Batman. I'm afraid it's of such vital importance and might have such far-reaching consequences, I think we should not even discuss it over the Batphone. ... Now, if you will go directly to the Gotham Plaza Hotel, I'll explain further."
Dick: "Holy cryptology, what was that all about?"
Bruce: "I don't know, Dick. The Commissioner is not given to unnecessary alarm."

Surprisingly going to the Batpoles does not lead to the titles. Instead they lead to the Hotel, (Batman: "Better three hours too soon than a minute late") and Gordon taking him to a ballroom...where of course it's just a surprise party for him. Batman wipes an imaginary tear from his eyes for the honor which finally gives the commercial break.

When we return the big band plays Happy Birthday with the Batman theme. Mayor Linseed says a few words on how the luncheon, "one of many", is to mark the Dark Knight's first work by going against the earlier corrupt Commissioner who was working with crime boss Carmine Falcone

For this endeavor the "Gotham City Dairymen's League" have donated $200,000 in a golden calf for his "favorite charity", presented by Milkmaid of the Month Anna Gram. Everyone asks for a speech, including Robin shouting last and directly in Batman's ear. He barely has time to start when bombs explode releasing green gas.
Batman: "Citizens, stay calm! Make your way to the exits slowly!"

Somehow the fire department is already here, despite there being no fire. Of course this is a cover for the Riddler to appear as his men and Anna carry off the golden calf.
Riddler: "Salutations and consolations anniversary boy!"
Batman: "Riddler, that money is for charity."
Riddler: "I'll see that it gets into needy hands. In the meantime, I suggest you look for an engaging page to herald the next of my anniversary surprises. Ta ta!" (He jumps out the window onto a life net.)
Robin: "Holy trampoline!"

Gordon and actual firemen then come late as is their custom.
Batman: "There's no need for axes. There was no fire. Merely a well-planned smoke screen to hide the Riddler's theft of the golden calf."
Gordon: "That enigmatic egotist back to plague our fair city?"

As the Duo exit they see one blue van painted red for the Gotham City Emergency Squad, and another follow close behind.
Batman: "One vehicle is set on an evil course, the other on an errand of mercy. We can't risk stopping the wrong one."
Robin: "Luck is no lady today, that's for sure."
Batman: "Luck generally comes to those who look for it, Robin."
A nearby newsie sells the latest Gotham City Herald for 10 cents so Batman buys a copy to check the puzzle page for any clues.
Robin (shouting all of a sudden): "WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR? LET'S SOLVE THAT PUZZLE!"

Narrator: "Meanwhile, in his hideout in the soon-to-be-opened Noman Jigsaw Puzzle Factory, the Prince of Puzzlers coaxes his cohorts in a chorus of praise." (:24)
Riddler: "Tell me again, you cringing knaves, am I not the king? Breathes there another mortal who has absconded with a $200,000 anniversary present from under the cowl of the Caped Crusader?"
Goons (lifelessly): "No, Riddler, no one."
Anna: "And who else would be clever enough to turn in a false fire alarm?"
Riddler: "So the real rescue truck would run interference for my escape. Ha ha! What a marvelous piece of riddling genius that was. But I've only started with the Caped Crusaders. I'm going to confound them with conundrums unnerve them with enigmas, perplex them with puzzles until they wish they were dead. Then, my jigsaw jackanapes, then I'll grant their wish."

Riddler's uncharacteristic bloodlust for the Dynamic Duo's death  (much like Catwoman one time) makes the Duo think Astin would have been far better playing another villain. Vince suggests a returning Puzzler. But at least he wasn't trying to copy Frank Gorshin. 

Anyway, this Riddler gives his goons scuba outfits for the next step, then pulls Anna in close. RD thinks her clothes were very tight. Vince did not think much on her figure. 

In the Batcave the Duo continue to work on the crossword on a chalkboard while Robin still thinks about pie.
Batman: "This puzzle's given us a few minutes of mental exercise but it still has to provide us with a clue Riddler promised it would."
From this they learn about another banquet for Batman, hosted by the Sons of Balboa who will donate $100,000...for some reason in the form of a chest of gold doubloons.
Vince: "Like the chocolate with the gold foil."
RD wonders how Batman will cash it. 

Gordon calls: a vault in the Gotham City Bank has just been flooded.
Robin: "A flooded vault."
Batman: "Or a flooded bank."
Robin: "A bank wet, Batman."
Batman: "No doubt Riddler intended to divert us to the wrong banquet...No doubt a wily ruse of some kind. We'll need our Batrespirators."

Narrator: "While the champions of justice race to the Gotham City Bank, the Riddler and his frogmen are already at work in its watery vault room." (:34)

The show does a good job of making a flooded vault, which the villains show off by moving in slow motion as they blow open a safe and fill up a waterproof loot sack as the Movie theme plays (also in slow motion). The Duo arrive to cue up the series' one and only underwater fight; their stunt doubles fight in slow motion while the capes remain still and the Narrator's word bubbles are all watery. The Bros would have watched this all day.
Riddler manages to distract Batman from following by pulling out Robin's Batrespirator while the theme continues to play in slow motion.
Goons: "Worked like a charm, Riddler."
Riddler: "Why not? There's a difference between a Batman and a frogman."

Leaving the vault all wet the Duo find the next riddle speared on a door.
Batman: "Only Riddler and his ilk would have such a flagrant disregard for private property! This door will have to be repaired!"
Robin: "What does that giggling gorilla have to say this time?"
Batman: "Another one of his canny conundrums. "When is a man drowned but still not wet?""

Narrator: "Back in the soon-to-be-opened Noman Jigsaw Puzzle Factory, the Prince of Puzzlers tallies his ill-gotten gains."
This requires the goons to literally launder the money, totaling $1.5 million and one, half of what is needed for their plans.

Riddler: "You shallow-brained simpletons, where's your imagination? Your ambition? Why do I have to keep reminding you? Three million dollars will buy us a weapon so awesome, so destructive, so  terrifying, the Gotham City fathers will get down on their miserable knees and offer me anything not to  use it. The entire city will be mine, mine, mine! Caped Crusaders will be wherever it is Caped Crusaders go...when they're dead."
His goons take a delay before they laugh with him.

He then gets visited by a Professor Avery Evans Charm, who needs the amount to complete his "Demolecularizer" "and watch the members of the Gotham City Science Institute quake at my handiwork." He needs the revenge since...he's a high school dropout.
Riddler: "So am I."

Narrator: "When is a man drowned but still not wet? Unaware of the ghastly fate that awaits them, the Caped Crusaders struggle valiantly to solve the Riddler's latest conundrum." (:42)
Not even the Batcomputer "Bat Mo & Ind Computer" can help, whatever that is.
Alfred then appears to remind them of their schedule. "I understand that the Gotham City Baker's Guild
has prepared a rather unique cake in your honor, and wishes you and Master Robin to, uh, pose for the sculptured, uh, marshmallow figures of yourselves which will top the confection."

The cake is a giant one for some reason.
Batman: "It is rather formidable, isn't it?"
One of the goons is pretending to be a chef (Down is his name, Across is the other) and somehow towers over the Duo. He asks them to stand on top of the cake because they need to make a mold of their posing. Of course the Duo find nothing wrong with this, their minds still being on other things.
Batman: "That's the second appointment we've forgotten today, Robin, the final ceremony at Gotham Square Park. In which the funds accumulated in our honor will be turned over to our favorite charity."
The Bros wonder what this charity is, completely forgetting the Wayne Foundation. 

The Duo get on top just as Riddler shows his face, also in a chef's outfit.
Riddler: "Congratulations, Bat brain, you've risen to the occasion."
He pulls a giant lever next to him and the Duo start to sink into quicksand.
Batman: "Riddler's own prepared mix, cleverly disguised as strawberry icing."
Riddler: "That's right, you sinking saps. Quicksand, 15 feet of it. Call it an anniversary present. Sorry I can't stay around to see you descend into oblivion, pastry faces, but I have an appointment to keep with some money at Gotham Square Park."
He then sings his own "Happy Anniversary" before departing.

Batman: "I did think it would all end differently, somehow less ignominiously. To drown in my own anniversary cake."
Robin: "Drown? But in quicksand?"
Batman: "Yes, old chum. Death in quicksand is technically drowning."
Robin: "That's it, Batman! The answer to the riddle! When is a man drowned but still not wet? We'll be drowned, but in quicksand so we won't get wet. Excellent! You've done it again!"
Batman: "Lot of good it'll do us now, though."

Narrator: "Can this be true? Batman and Robin caught in a quicksand cake mix? Is the party really over? Will Happy Anniversary be an epitaph for the Dynamic Duo? To see if they sink or swim, tune in tomorrow! Same Bat Time! Same Bat Channel!" 

Vince: "AEW had a match in an arcade?

RD wants to send his glasses to Vince so he can see better.

  • Special Guest Villain: The Riddler [6] (John Astin)
  • Blue Van: 1. (Red)

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