Batman: The Animated Series

Season 1 Episode 6

It's Never Too Late

Aired Saturday 9:00 AM Sep 10, 1992 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
139 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Batman throws himself into the middle of a mob war and rescues aging mob boss Arnold Stromwell. He forces the crime lord to take a hard look at the life he's created for himself, and Stromwell has to confront his dreaded past.

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  • Powerful and pure pulp-fiction storytelling without the encumbrance of a cartoonish villain

    This episode proves that a colorful and deranged villain is not necessary for a solid story with mystery and thrills. Mob bosses Rupert Thorne and Arnold Stromwell find themselves nearing the end of a mob war with Stromwell approaching defeat. Batman believes Stromwell can be persuaded to mend and "turn stoolie" for the police. An unnamed priest's aid is sought in the matter.

    The story contains two surprises, of which I will reveal only one. Stromwell's son has gone missing, and he believes Thorne is responsible. However, Batman reveals that his son has overdosed, making him a victim of his dad's business.

    Tom Ruegger reveals Stromwell's back story piece by piece: what inspired him to become a drug lord, his family situation. The real gold nugget is saved for the end.

    With exquisite pace, Ruegger's story starts slow with a careful and metered exposition, leading to several scenes of intriguing development and clarification, and culminating in a pretty long action sequence where Stromwell's final decision is made in a moment of heartbreaking drama.

    Action and drama is balanced occasionaly with humor, like Detective Bullock and Commissioner Gordon's funny crime-scene banter.

    This episode has all the right elements to establish it as a classic in this series, like the 1930s pulp atmosphere, intellgent dialogue, strong characterization, subject relevance, fantastic scoring and sound effects, and a delicate balance of action, drama, and wit. And, it was all accomplished without the appearance of a zany villain.moreless
  • Not Too Super

    Bats get involved with an aging gangster on the out in Gotham and tries to stop him from making a terrible mistake that would send Gotham over the edge.

    It's a great story and shows that there can be great writing in an animated series dealing with superheroes without having to have super villains or total crazy whack jobs doing strange things.
  • An aging mob boss, who is at war with Rupert Thorne, has his son missing.

    There is not really much to say about this episode. It is true that Batman does not need theatrical and interesting supervillains like the Joker, Scarecrow or Poison Ivy to be a good episode, and there have been good ones before, e.g. P.O.V. Rupert Thorne and Arnold Stromwell are very good villains, but this episode does not hold your interest long enough to enjoy this adventure.

    The plot is decent enough, but it is not theatrical and over-the-top, nor an intriguing mystery that grips you throughout, and it really needs to be one of those to make it a good Batman adventure. There are good moments, but overall, this episode is instantly forgettable. 2/5.moreless
  • *Spoilers* Batman gets involved in a mob war between Arnold Stromwell and Rupert Thorne. Arnold's son has been kidnapped, and Stromwell wants to find out who has his son, while Thorne plots to kill Stromwell and take over the city.moreless

    Although this episode was different than what I expecred from a Batman episode, I thought it was great. I thought it was very interesting to see whether or not Stromwell would change and turn himself in. It was great to see his uncertainty and sadness at what his life had become. It was nice to see how much he cared for his son, and how realized that he was the cause for his son's damaged life.

    It was kind of odd to see Batman involved in this story because it seemed he didn't really belong, but the story flowed nicely, and I like the fact that Batman actually changed somebody's life, instead of just winning a battle against a supervillain.

    Seeing an episode with this much emotion and intriging characters was actually very fun too watch. This episode has actually got me hooked to the series.moreless
  • proov that you don't need supervillains to have a nnice episode... most of the times

    This episode was really touching. The mob war stuff was really cool, as their fights. Rupert Thorne doesn't seem to young as they say he is, and Stromwell is at his last moments in the business. The flashback of what happened to Arnold and his brother when they were little children was really touchinhg, and then, even when he created a world of missery and drugs and appearing to be a cold hearted man, he stills feels guilty for that (in a way he was). We then know that his brother lost a leg, and he even crys. Its really touchin. But one of the best parts of the episode was the bar explosion and the guy describing Batman. "He's like a dark angel". Really nice episodemoreless
Townsend Coleman

Townsend Coleman


Guest Star

Paul Dooley

Paul Dooley

Father Michael

Guest Star

Jeff Doucette

Jeff Doucette


Guest Star

Robert Costanzo

Robert Costanzo

Detective Harvey Bullock

Recurring Role

John Vernon

John Vernon

Rupert Thorne

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions