25 Years Of Batman The Animated Series: Almost Got 'Im

Batman The Animated Series made it's debut in the Fall of 1992.  This year is the 25th Anniversary of the shows debut and we plan to celebrate throughout the year.  We will look at some of our favorite episodes, along with memorabilia and fun stuff from the show's run.  Enjoy!

Staff Pick: Batman: The Animated Series Episode 35
"Almost Got 'Im"  November 10, 1992
by Mark Neiser

     One of the most loved episodes of the series ever.  Also one of the best episodes in the show's run.  This is a tough one to top as far as excellent story telling but we didn't want to wait to long to talk about it!  This episode is just that good!  Most of you have seen this amazing episode of the series by now and if you haven't, stop what you are doing go watch it and come back quickly!  Okay so your back now right!  Wasn't that episode just fantastic?!  The Joker, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, The Penguin, and Two-Face all sitting around laying a card game and each wants to tell their story of how they almost caught the Batman.  The rogues each felt that they were that close to catching the Dark Knight but he gets away each time. Let's take a look at "Almost Got 'Im".

     So as I began to write the next installment of our 25 years of Batman: The Animated Series I couldn't decide if I wanted to do this episode just yet.  I had all ready talked about one of my other favorite episodes, "Beware The Grey Ghost" and did not want to use up all my favorites so quick.  The great thing about the show is that there are so many great episodes.  "Almost Got 'Im" is a simple concept of a story but the way it is executed is what makes it work so well.  It's a shining example of the excellent writing this series had for most of it's run.  The creative team on Batman: The Animated Series understood the characters and how to tell great stories with them in 22 minutes.
     In this episode that story is told through the eyes of the bad guys as we get to hear them tell how they almost caught the Batman.  The villains are gathered for a card game at the Stacked Deck Club and as they begin to tell their personal theories on who or what the Batman is.  The talk eventually turns to an argument as to who came the closest to catching the Dark Knight.  Two-Face, The Penguin, and Poison Ivy all tell their respective tales of how they almost caught Batman.  In Two-Face's story we learn how Batman was to come in possession of the giant penny in the Bat-cave as Two-Face use it to try and smash Batman after capturing him.  The Penguin tells of how he almost got him when dangerous birds in a plot to destroy the Batman once and for all!  Poison Ivy tried to catch the Caped Crusader on Halloween with poisonous gas put inside pumpkins to lure Batman in and almost taking him out!  Killer Croc kept wanting to tell his story during the card game but the other villains ignored him as all he could say was that he once threw a big rock at Batman and almost got him!

     All the short tales are extremely entertaining and lead into the frame work of the story as we hear how the Joker almost got Batman.  The Joker captures Batman and takes over a late night television show in which he straps Batman to a laugh powered electric chair.   The Joker forces the audience to laugh at gunpoint but also forces more honest laughter by pumping laughing gas into the studio.  It almost works when Catwoman bursts onto the scene and rescues Batman while the Joker is distracted.  Batman escapes but not before Harley Quinn knocks Catwoman out and she is taken hostage by Joker.  Harley takes Catwoman to a cat food factory as Joker is at the Stacked Deck Club playing cards.   He tells the other rogues that he will soon be meeting Harley at the factory where they will turn Catwoman into cat food!  Then Killer Croc stands up and hurls the Joker across the room revealing himself to be Batman all along.  It was all a set up to find the where abouts of Catwoman!  It is then revealed that the other patrons at the club are Commissioner Gordon and his men as they arrest the villains!  Batman takes off for the cat food factory where he rescues Catwoman and Harley is taken into custody.  Catwoman thanks Batman for saving her and as she makes a pass at Batman he pulls off one of his disappearing acts as she mutters, "Almost got 'im."

     The episode is certainly a fan favorite and one of mine.  It has been praised as one of the series best episodes and the DVD releases even included a commentary for the episode.  There has also been an audio book version of this episode released and recently a Batman card game was put out based on this very episode as you and other players try to figure out who is secretly Batman in disguise! The episode may have been influenced by the four issue arc in Batman #291-294 titled "Where Were You on the Night Batman Was Killed?" in which several villains tell tales of claims of killing Batman.  Overall this is a fun and memorable episode and one that every fan should watch.  "Almost Got 'Im" is a top 10 episode of Batman: The Animated Series and we hope you enjoyed this look back at it.  Check out images below of merchandise based on the episode and until the next edition of 25 Years Of Batman: The Animated Series, remember that time that the Joker thought he almost got 'im!