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Review: Beware the Batman: Alone


The final episode of Beware the Batman begins with the revelation that, despite the impending doom looming over them at the end of “Twist”, Batman and Katana have miraculously survived long falls and an explosion.

 

Meanwhile, Deathstroke, too, has survived. He woke up before Batman and has stolen Batman’s utility belt. The belt’s navigational tools lead him to the Batmobile, which he steals. Using the navigation system in the Batmobile, Deathstroke is able to find and access the Batcave. Once in the Batcave, he attacks Alfred.

 

After finding each other, Batman and Katana head for the Batmobile. They discover it has been stolen, and they quickly call Alfred to warn him. Unfortunately, they are too late; Deathstroke has already gained control over the Batcave. He invites Batman to come save Alfred, but demands that he come alone. Katana tells him it is a trap, but Batman refuses her aid, telling her, “I don’t intend to lose.”

 

In another part of Gotham, Anarky and Harvey Dent reconnect. Anarky shows Dent the helicopter crash site and explains that Batman has perished. Rather than celebrate, Dent decides to continue his plan alone. He then tries to kill Anarky, who retaliates. Anarky is about to stab Dent when Gordon arrives and saves Dent.

 

Batman arrives back at Wayne Manor. He discovers Deathstroke has put a picture of his parents in the fire. He pulls the picture out and descends into the Batcave. The final fight begins.

 

Meanwhile, not wanting to abandon Batman, Katana rallies Oracle, Metamorpho, and Man-Bat to help. They rush off to the Batcave to help him.

 

The final episode raises a lot of questions. Firstly, how on earth could Deathstroke, Batman and Katana have survived? The way the previous episode ended made it seem like their deaths were inevitable, barring some grand heroics from Batman. The writers offered no explanation other than a “no idea” from Batman. Katana fell from an extremely high height. There’s no way she comes out of that alive, let alone uninjured. As for Batman and Deathstroke, they were in a helicopter that had no doors and were not wearing seat belts. The crash should have killed them, and that explosion should have definitely finished them off.

 

More questions arise from the actions of Deathstroke. He awakens and steals Batman’s utility belt, rather than simply killing Batman. If his end goal is a dead Batman, why leave him there? The only possible solution is the statement Deathstroke made in the helicopter in “Twist.” He told Batman that “(i)t wasn’t supposed to end like this.” Perhaps his plan was to have Alfred watch Batman die. Regardless, he could have taken Batman with him, rather than risk the possibility of Batman not coming alone to the Batcave. Furthermore, based on what we saw in this episode, if someone obtains Batman’s utility belt, they have access to the Batmobile and Batcave. Why would Batman allow it to be so easy to get to his base of operations? Would he not have set up more protections to prevent such an occurrence?

 

Next, Harvey Dent’s story in this episode raises questions, as well. Dent does not celebrate the alleged death of Batman. Instead, he moves on with his plan. However, the audience was lead to believe that his plan is to kill Batman. Now that it is clear that his plan is something else, we are left wondering what exactly Harvey Dent is doing. Secondly, Harvey Dent is seen removing the bandages on his face as he walks away from Anarky and Gordon. Yet, the iconic “Two-Face” face is never seen. This is the moment the writers have been building towards, and they do not deliver. Lastly, Dent keeps referring to himself as two persons, but there has been no evidence of split personalities anywhere in this series. In order to do this character right, there needs to be two, clearly defined personalities, especially before the change occurs. Split personalities cannot be a subjective claim; it must be an objective fact.

 

Furthermore, Katana’s part of the plot raise questions, too. To guard against Barbara’s identity being revealed, Katana gives her a tiny little mask that only covers her eyes. Her outfit does not change, nor does her hair. This also draws attention to the fact that Katana has done pretty much the same thing throughout this entire series. Did Batman and Katana seriously think no one would recognize Bruce Wayne’s driver and bodyguard fighting alongside Batman? Somehow that happened. In shows like the 1960s Batman show and the current CW show Arrow, Barbara Gordon and Sarah Lance put on not only a mask and costume, but a wig as well, to keep their identities hidden, as they don the mantles of Batgirl and Black Canary, respectively. Katana should have done more if she really wanted to keep her and Barbara’s identities a secret. Also, it seemed too convenient that the GCPD truck Oracle commandeered for Katana and company was there at the exact moment Batman used an override code to unlock the Batcave. What are the odds of that happening?

 

Penultimately, the very last scene raises two very big unanswered questions. The last shot of the episode was of Anarky playing with a chess set that utilized pieces that looked like characters from the show. His final words are “Bravo, Batman! Checkmate. Shall we play again?”. The writers never addressed how Anarky knew Batman was still alive. Previously, Anarky had told Dent that Batman was dead, but there was never a scene where Anarky learned he was still alive or where it was revealed that he knew Batman had survived and that he was lying to Dent. Similarly, Anarky seems to think Batman has completely won the battle that night; however, the Harvey Dent storyline never concluded. Yes, Batman was dead in Dent’s mind, but he still had some unknown nefarious plot underway that Batman has not yet stopped. No doubt, the Anarky/Dent storyline was intended to be wrapped up in Season Two, but the writing had been on the wall since late 2013/early 2014. Surely, they could have scraped together some material to have wrapped things up more smoothly.

 

Lastly, at the end of the episode, Batman looks at Katana, Alfred, Oracle, Man-Bat, and Metamorpho and says that he is not alone. What happened to the Batman that did not need any assistance? Yes, Batman uses sidekicks and others to help him in the comics, but he has always been the type that is perfectly capable of handling things by himself. The idea of him looking at all of these people and implying they will all be fighting crime with him next season is a vast departure from the canon. This departure is unacceptable, especially with the darker tone of this show.

 

Overall, the writers tried to do too much with this episode. They could have used another episode to tie up all of the lose ends together and extend this episode into a longer story. The dynamic fight between Batman and Deathstroke needed more build up and to have all other stories finished up before it reached its dramatic conclusion.

 

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