“Toxic” opens up at Stagg industries where Simon Stagg’s daughter is making out with security guard, Rex Mason. While they are sharing in their secret romance, there is a crash followed by an alarm. Mason gives Sapphire one last kiss and runs off to investigate. The masked intruder traps Mason in a gas chamber. Luckily, Batman heard about the alarm and is there to get Mason out in short order.
Next, we see Alfred driving Bruce Wayne to buy bovine glands, claiming they might help him get his required hours of sleep down from four to two. Upon exiting the store, he meets Dr. Ravencroft, who aggressively flirts with him and sets up a date with him.
Meanwhile, Rex Mason wakes up in a hospital to find his beloved Sapphire Stagg at his bedside. He also sees Simon Stagg in his room. Stagg plays the kind, understanding father lying to Mason and Sapphire that he condones the relationship, but while Mason is in the bathroom, he warns Sapphire that the gasses have not been tested on humans and that there might be complications. His words come true in just seconds as Mason undergoes a metamorphosis in the bathroom. He transforms into a multi-colored monster-like creature. The commotion alerts the Staggs, and Metamorpho bursts out and escapes the hospital.
Metamorpho takes to the streets, causing mayhem and destruction. He throws a car into Bruce Wayne’s limo, causing Batman to spring into action. After a dramatic fight scene, Batman talks with Metamorpho, who says he does not want to hurt anyone and requests that Batman to tell Sapphire not to be afraid. Metamorpho melts and disappears, but not before Batman can scoop up part of him in a test tube. Batman takes “him” back to the Batcave and runs test, determining that Rex Mason will die soon because of the gas. Also, Batman reviews the security tape from Stagg industry and discovers that Stagg set Mason up. After interrogating Stagg, Batman learns that “Project Metamorpho” is an experiment intending to weaponize genetic tissue, making soldiers that are impervious to bullets and natural elements and can manipulate those elements to attack.
Batman goes to Metamorpho and Sapphire and informs them that it was Stagg that set him up. This is part of his plan to use Stagg as bait to get Metamorpho back into the gas chamber so he can give him an antidote.
Overall, this is one of the better episodes thus far, which is not saying much. The plot was well crafted, and while not one of the greatest love stories of all time, the relationship between Sapphire and Rex Mason was a solid relationship, without the cheesiness that can sometimes plague animated shows. However, there are some detracting elements. One noticeable factor is the fact that despite Alfred’s recovery, Katana is still under Bruce Wayne’s employ. If Alfred is healed, why is she still working there. I do not think there was enough in the previous two episodes to keep Katana around if Alfred is healed. Another disappointing and confusing element is Bruce Wayne total lack of suave around Bethanie Ravencroft. Batman has always been depicted as a playboy. While most of that is an act, he certainly would not shy away from a girl who is throwing herself at him. Lastly, there are issue with the villain. Metamorpho looks weird, with his odd coloring and texture. In a show that has always looked visually stunning, this monstrosity is completely out of place. Furthermore, when he undergoes the change from Rex Mason to Metamorpho, he loses the ability to speak properly. I can understand a deepening of the voice, but there is no justifiable reason why that metamorphosis would change him from a well-spoken individual to someone who struggles to express himself. Finally, Metamorpho is just too similar to Clayface. While Metamorpho is more colorful and has less shape-shifting abilities than Clayface, he does still have the power to turn his hands into weapons. If the plot remained exactly the same, but Metamorpho was swapped out for Clayface, this would be a rock-solid episode.
Beware the Batman: Toxic:
Reviewed by Alex Hey