Editor’s Note: This is the seventh episode of Beware the Batman that was not previously aired during it’s original run on Cartoon Network late last year. No official screens or videos have been released by WB for the remaining episodes.
At the start of “Games”, Batman awakens in a darkened room. He feels around in the darkness, finds a door, and discovers Katana is similarly in a darkened room. They remember checking up on a tip about an arms deal. Batman deduces that they were hit by poisoned darts. After escaping three booby-trapped doors, they walk into a dining room, to find the sleeping bodies of Tobias Whale, Mayor Grange, and Commissioner Gordon. Upon waking them, they hear the voice of Humpty Dumpty. He explains that he has a game for them to play and that if they want to escape, they will have to all work together to solve his riddles.
They are shown a dead body and are told the responsible party is in the room. No one is given permission to leave. Despite the warning that they need to stick together, Tobias Whale attempts to cut a deal with Mayor Grange. They begin looking for an opportunity to escape. This is not the only problem facing the Caped Crusader as he attempts solve the puzzle. Batman tolerates no dissent from his plan to play Humpty Dumpty’s game. Katana, wanting to go after Whale and Grange, disagrees with Batman’s tactics, and a riff begins to form between them.
This episode puts on display an intriguing plot, one that highlights Batman’s “world’s greatest detective” title. Batman is in a perilous situation and must solve riddles before booby traps kill him or the others, who are not as physically or mentally adept as he is. Yet, with that particular set up, it would be desirable to see many, dramatic plot twists within the story, but the writers did not deliver.
Furthermore, this episode explores the theme of Batman/Bruce Wayne’s identity. It becomes clear that Bruce Wayne is starting to disappear. While the last episode made the darker Batman subplot feel like it is taking unnecessarily long to resolve, this episode revives it and gives it a new, more intriguing life. The one, slight issue with it, though, is that, while there are tiny hints at this at the beginning of the episode, it explodes in a hurry towards the end of the episode. There is no gradual growth to it.
Relative to what we have seen before with this series, this one of the better episodes. Yes, the plot could have been more dramatic, but the mystery provided by Humpty Dumpty is enticing enough to keep the viewer’s attention. This combined with the conflict brewing between Katana and Batman provides the viewer with an overall positive story to watch unfold in the 18th episode in this ill-fated series.