Episode 84: Holy Flashlight!: March 26, 2023

A Riddling Controversy
February 9, 1967
"The Riddler now has enough money to buy Professor Charm's Demolecularizer. He demonstrates his weapon on a park statue and issues an ultimatum. If all criminal statutes are not rescinded, he will begin dissolving all buildings in Gotham."
70 minutes

RD: Not ready to walk on 3 legs. He has a show to record after all. He also rearranged his tables. While in TNA Vince received a Batman (66) train for Christmas. 

Catcher Todd Pratt was born on the airdate. Vince relates how he didn't go with TNA on an Australian tour since he took Jeremy Borash with him to watch the Mets at Giants. Somehow he was recognized there by some Mets. Pratt threw him a baseball. (:05)

Narrator: "When last we saw our beleaguered battlers they were slowly sinking in a bitter batter of Riddler quicksand. A grim and gritty end awaits them unless something awfully good happens awfully fast."

Robin: "Holy Titanic, Batman! We're going down for the last time!"
Batman: "Don't be a pessimist, Robin. Many of those who survived that tragedy did so by remaining calm and treading water until help arrived. And Jack had plenty of space to float on that piece."
(Glad of him to leave out that the bulk of the survivors were actually in lifeboats, and those in the water froze to death.)
Robin: "But this is quicksand!"
Batman: "I know, Robin. But I seem to recall a recent report on jungle survival which indicated that
many victims of quicksand are victims because of their own panic."
Robin: "Not doing a lot for my nerves!"
Batman: "The specific gravity of quicksand approximates that of water. If we remain calm and motionless we shouldn't sink much farther than your lower lip." 

Blade Vince tries a joke. RD is puzzled.

Sure enough the Duo are still buoyant.
Batman: "We won't have to float long, old chum, if our experimental Heel-and-Toe Batrockets perform as well as they should."
Robin: "Experimental Heel-and-Toe Batrockets? Haven't been tested yet."
Batman: "Let's not put off till tomorrow what we can do today, Robin."
It works (as RD predicted they would), and their dummies are pulled out on ropes.

Narrator: "Later at the Riddler's hideout in the soon to be opened Noman Jigsaw Puzzle Factory, the  magic of electronics provides the Riddler and his band of malevolent yeoman with a fascinating  account of their latest criminal coup." (:16)

Said magic comes in the form of...a televised news report on the robbery by the "light-fingered" Riddler, who flexes in response. 

Anchor: "The following riddle left at the scene of the crime provides [Gordon's] only clue. "When is an eagle's nest blessed best?""
Riddler: "That mealy-mouth faker. Issued a joint statement with Batman and Robin, did he? Well, he knows and we know that the Caked Crusaders are defunct, departed, demised, dead!"
Anna: "What if he isn't lying?"
He responds by grabbing and embracing her close to him for some reason. "Even if it were possible,
it couldn't matter less. One more cunning caper and I'll have the prize of Professor Charm's  demolecularizer. Then let them send the regiment of Batmen against me!"

Vince does not sense any fear or menace from this Riddler. RD just sees Gomez Addams.

In the Office both Duos are trying to figure out the riddle.
Gordon: "Seems to me that any nest is most blessed when there are little ones in it."
Robin is first to think of an actual eagle's nest. Batman links it to the Aerie, a nightclub atop the Gotham City State Building, "a favorite watering place for Gotham City's elite."
They also think there may be a connection to "Anthony Aquila, the exiled dictator from South America" who has $1 million in a wall safe. Batman has the "ingenious tactic" to...have the police secure the nightclub while they go to Aquila's penthouse. "There's treasure at both ends of the rainbow, commissioner."

Narrator: "Meanwhile, in Anthony Aquila's palatial penthouse reproduction of his former plantation  home, the Riddler and his bearers lurk in the underbrush." (:25)

For some reason there is some extensive overdubbing as Riddler cracks the safe while swinging a machete. "There it is, you nearsighted nitwits."

Batman: "Riddler, come out of the bush and surrender! As a duly deputized peace officer I order you to  drop that sack and give yourself up!"
Riddler: "Impossible! Fifteen feet of lethal quicksand!"
Across: "They sure don't look defunct to me, Riddler."
Down: "Or demised, departed and dead."
Riddler: "How? How did they survive?"
Robin: "Right was on our side, that's how!" 

Cue an early fight where the stunt doubles easily handle the goons and corner Riddler. Of course since it's too early in the episode he already took hostage Anthony Aquila dressed as Fidel Castro hostage in a large cage. (You'd think that if Castro lived anywhere up north it would be in Florida instead of New Jersey, no?)

Riddler: "I prepared this tricky cage in case the news report was true and you two showed up. In mere moments, an explosive charge inside that ticking green box will send Senor Aquila and his palatial penthouse higher than any eagle has ever flown. Unless you and junior here unlock the secret to these  battling bars and disarm the bomb in time. Well, adiĆ³s, amigos!"

Robin proves a point for once, determining that removing one rod will unlock the cage. Batman pulls it out and proves his sidekick right. Of course there is no bomb, just a donkey's tail to pin on the man. 

Finally having his $3 million in his lair, Riddler hands the money in a crocodile suitcase to Professor Charm. The latter already has his demolecularizer with him as he pulls out a pen.
Riddler: "You want me to pay $3 million for an 89 cent pencil flashlight?"
Charm: "That 89 cents pencil flashlight, as you call it, Mr. Riddler, is, in reality, a highly sophisticated weapon which took a lifetime to develop. Powerful enough to disrupt the molecular structure of matter, yet so simply designed that it can be recharged by plugging it in any household electrical outlet."
He demonstrates by zapping a hat into nothingness.
Riddler: "Make it come back now."
Charm: "It isn't yet possible. I haven't even began work on the molecular storer for lack of funds."
Riddler has to make do by once again embracing Anna.
RD: "Imagine if Anna Gram spoke French."

In response to the Riddler's threat (after freeing himself from Anna no doubt) the Batmobile pulls up to a large statue where the Undynamic Duo are. (:35) Robin walks over the Batmobile again.
Gordon: "Do you think he would dare desecrate the statue of our revered war hero right here in Coley
Batman: "A life of crime has worn the Riddler's moral fiber to a frayed strand, Commissioner. He may  have little respect for the memory of the great Marshall Coley."
Of course they do nothing as the Riddler walks up, zaps the statue, then...just walks off.
Robin: "Holy Houdini!
O'Hara: "Great slithering snakes!"
Batman: "Careful, Chief O'Hara. Whatever unknown force was employed in dematerializing Marshall Coley's statue may have left a contaminating residue on the pedestal."

Just then a delivery boy peddles up.
Boy: "Someone here called "Batman"?"
Batman: "Yes. I'm Batman."
Boy: "Telegram."
Riddler-Gram: ""Unless Gotham City is declared an open city, and all criminal statutes rescinded within two hours, police headquarters will disappear as surely and as quickly as Marshall Coley's statue.""
O'Hara: "That swaggering peacock! Oh, he's only bluffing."
Riddler-Gram: ""If the city fathers refuse to capitulate after police headquarters is gone, building after  building will disappear until they do.""
Batman: "To confound us further, the telegram ends with a riddle. "What is it that travels on all fours in the morning on two legs at noon, and three at twilight? If you intend to follow me, add the answer to the other three.""
Gordon: "What can we do, Batman?"
Batman: "It saddens me, Commissioner, but I just don't know."

Yes, the World's Greatest Detective has one weakness: not knowing basic Greek mythology

Thankfully Robin did not skip that lesson at school, and knows it refers to mankind. 

Batman: "Now let's concentrate on the last part of Riddler's challenge. "If you intend to follow me, add the answer to the other three." We'll select the keywords from each of the first three riddles. Page,  banquet, eagle's nest and man. For instance, the letter P in the word "page" is the 16th letter in the alphabet. Using numerical positions in the alphabet as a common denominator, we then add the number two for banquet and five for eagles - "
Robin: "And 13 for man."
Batman: "And the total?"
Robin: "36."
Batman: "36. Thirty-six inches in a yard or three feet. And who has three feet to you? No one. Or NO MAN. I seem to recall a recent announcement of a factory opening by that name. Robin, activate the remote Bat Computer again."
Sure enough, they obtain the factory's address.

Batman: "Commissioner, could you arrange for the immediate delivery of four 100-pound sacks of sodium dichloride to the Batcopter? I'll explain later."
Gordon agrees without question, since as he's not a chemist he wouldn't really know that such a compound could not technically exist.
Batman: "Do not, I repeat, do not capitulate to any of Riddler's demands until you hear from me under any circumstances."
Gordon: "You have my word on that too, Batman."
Robin: "What are we gonna do with four 100-pound sacks of sodium dichloride, Batman?"
Batman: "Checkmate Riddler. Hopefully."

Narrator: "While the Caped Crusaders race against approaching doom, their impatient adversary frets away the remaining minutes." (:42)
He does this by chewing out his goons for playing cards, then has Anna turn on the television to see O'Hara make more of a fool for himself.
Riddler: "Poor Chief O'Hara, knocking himself out looking all over the building for the demolecularizer when it's hidden in the commissioner's office. On my way back from Marshall Coley Square I plugged it into an ordinary electrical outlet behind the commissioner's couch. If the commissioner follows my instructions and issues a capitulation proclamation in precisely 4:55 p.m, I'll call him and tell him how to deactivate the automatic trigger: turn the wall switch to the off position."

Cut to a shot of the Batcopter.
Narrator: "Meanwhile, the Dynamic Duo wings across the city with their cargo of sodium dichloride."

Then back to the lair. The TV news anchor announces that Gordon is still in HQ facing off against "wanton lawlessness".

Then back to the Batcopter Batcycle pulling up to the factory. The Duo have no time to walk up three storeys and get out the Batropes.  

Then back inside. A sudden onset of clouds appear over the HQ. There is a flash of lightning...and the building is still standing.
Riddler: "I knew it was a cheap flashlight. Flashlight! FLASHLIGHTTT!"

The Duo burst in through the window. Batman had used the fake compound to cloud seed a lightning bolt to neutralize the "fiendish weapon".
Robin: "As usual, your riddles led us right to you."
Riddler: "You've made the mistake of being predictable yourselves with your legendary window  entrances. Riddle me this: when is a floor like a puzzle?"
He opens a trapdoor under the Duo but they evade it, leading to another fight. Riddler responds to the stunt doubles by using his own 40 pounds lighter. Unsurprisingly this does not work for him.

Anna's attempts to flee are stopped by...O'Hara holding on to her.
Anna: "Let go of me, you blue-footed baboon!"
O'Hara: "I'll bet she's the toughest one of the bunch."
Robin: "She's the only one still kicking."
He then sells almost getting kicked in the head.

Despite this and her willingness to do evil, Vince can only give her a "very generous" 5 Batpoles. RD: "Are you insane?" He thought her cute (like me) for 8. Vince: "That is your worst rating in the history of this show." He thinks he is drawn to redheads. RD tries to respond with screen captures. Vince is not convinced.
Sadly Deanna Lund is no longer with us to settle this dispute. Among her work she was most well known for appearing in Irwin Allen's Land of the Giants, showing sometime after this episode. 

In the Office, Professor Charm manages to get away with most of his involvement by...returning all the money. (:51)
Gordon: "Coming forward voluntarily with the stolen charity money should tip the scales of justice in your favor, professor."
Charm: "No man can live with the wails of hungry children on his conscience."
Batman: "Professor, when you've paid your debt to society, you'll be able to continue your scientific studies, under the wing of the Gotham City Science Institute."
Charm (suddenly overcome with emotion): "I don't know how to thank you Batman, for arranging my membership."
Batman: "You can thank our friend Bruce Wayne. Mr. Wayne persuaded the membership to lower the  customary educational requirements. Robin, we should take this money to the Wayne Foundation before the close of business hours." (The Duo exit with the "donated" money to pay themselves.)
Charm: "Amazing man. Do you know who is under that mask of his?"
Gordon: "To us, professor, who he is is nowhere near as important as where he is at all times."

Vince looks through his phone to find a picture of (brunette) Mrs. Deal.
RD: "He's gonna find it. He's gonna either say "oh, she's a brunette" or he's gonna say "well the lighting in this, bro, kind of makes it, bro, look like she's a redhead, bro.""
Vince then changes his color to auburn.
RD: "You do need new glasses."
Junior always has a look of confusion on his face since he has to deal with his old man.
Vince continues to find odd pictures on his phone.

RD continues to be busy with things for the next couple of weeks.

Andy "Neck Brace" Kaufman will be in the WWE Hall of Fame. RD wants Bill Apter to induct (and then also enter). Knowing McMahon he would probably ask Michael Stipe. Or Jim Carrey as Michael Stipe.

Vince needs to take a bath.
RD: "I don't want you thinking about my 8 in the tub."

  • Special Guest Villain: The Riddler [6] (John Astin)
  • Screen Shares: 3. RD, RD, RD
  • Brown Hornet Escapes: 1. Lightning bolt
  • Entertain The People: 1

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