The Batman

Season 5 Episode 8

The Metal Face of Comedy

Aired Saturday 11:30 AM Dec 15, 2007 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
70 votes

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Episode Summary

The Metal Face of Comedy
With the help of a slacker, Joker's mind is downloaded into a computer, enabling him to control the new WayneTech Nanobots. This creates a new and improved body who attempts to destroy Batman, Robin, and the original Joker.

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  • The mother of all Joker episodes. So far.

    Because I've seen every episode of "Batman: The Animated Series" (BAS) at least once, I've been so-so about "The Batman's" Joker.

    But he's been getting better.

    When this episode opens, we see a masked figure flipping about an evening cityscape. I'm not up on all the comic book lore, but as I watch the guy, I'm wondering if it's Nightwing. And it is! Ergo this must be Bludhaven in the future with Robin/Dick all grown up.

    Nightwing makes his way into a foundry? and finds a vat of molten metal?/chemicals?. A baddie, Captain Slash (never heard of him), shows up and the two commence with the kung fu fighting. Surprisingly, Nightwing gets his butt handed to him and is hurled into the vat. Before one can process that Nightwing is dead, a green skull flashes on the vat, which is on a screen. Then we see Robin in the Batcave moaning over losing another match with Captain Slash. Sigh of relief.

    Bats strolls by and puzzles over Robin's Nightwing alias (nice allusion to upcoming canon here). Robin goes on about how the player behind Captain Slash must be the coolest guy ever.

    Cut to a warehouse with Martin, a nerd jonesing on stomping all over Nightwing yet again. LOL.

    Then he answers a call from Joker, "Slacker!" Our clown prince asks Slacker--Martin if he has a handle on some robotic joker in the boxes who're supposed to be robbing the bank he's capmed outside of with Harley and the twin goons. A techie working for Joker. Interesting addition to the Clown's ensemble of henchman. Undoutedly an animated series response to present times.

    As a robo joker thuds into the gang's van, Joker decides he'd rather do something else. Feed Martin to the hyenas. But Martin pulls a rabbit out of his hat with a new gizmo: a video game encased in a helmet that lets one mentally download money into a bank account of one's choosing. If one accepts the helmet (doesn't question the illogic too deeply that is), the episode will fall into place. I'm not asking for Trek level technobabble, but I would like to understand how playing a video game (not clear what kind here) will let a user directly connect to a binary computer system (neural interface via RF transmission?).

    Meantime, Bruce is showing some investors/business associates beyond cutting edge nanites that can bond together to form any solid object they're programmed to assume and self replicate when necessary. Bruce is about to expound on what an awesome new tech Wayne Industries has developed when he gets a Batwave on his portable scanner. Bruce adlibs, telling a nearby white coat to regale his visitors with all the specs and diagrams, and exits post haste.

    We cut to a bank where Joker and the twin goons are pulling off a heist with Martin's helmeted skeleton key. Joker's accessing the money (where's the video game?) when Bats and Robin crash in. Robin takes out the two twins by himself (don't question this too hard) while Bats flings a batarang at Martin's helmet to cut Joker's withdrawal short. Only there's a short and a virtual Joker (don't question this too) is looking at our dynamic duo and Joker from a computer screen. Before Bats can contain virtual Joker, Martin downloads him away to the gang's home computer system. Bats deposits the real Joker in a hospital to recover from his helmet shock and goes searching for the virtual Joker, who tells Martin and the gang that he won't stand for being a digital bit. Martin says he's heard of something that'll fit the bill, but they need a diversion...

    In the Batcave, Batman and Robin (along with the rest of Gotham) spy a surprise broadcast of virtual Joker on every TV, computer screen, and electronic billboard. The city watches spellbound as virtual Joker hangs out with Captain Slash in virtual Bludhaven. Nightwing shows up, deletes Captain Slash, and almost gets Virtual Joker, who downloads into the Bruce's company lab. He then assembles into nano Joker (or 2.0 as he called himself) a la Russel Crowe from the flick "Virtuosity." Coincidence? A similar idea developed independently? I wonder (but not too hard).

    Anyhow, nano Joker breaks out of the lab and evades the Dynamic Duo by turning into a cloud and flitting away. Literally. Meantime, the real Joker (1.0) wakes up and checks himself out of the hospital by leaping out a window.

    Both Jokers show up in the gang's warehouse, where Harley (haven't mentioned yet that it's great having the original Harl's voice in this series too) and the goons are wondering who to follow. Both Jokers promise to work together (and lie like rugs).

    They go to knock off a major gem repository, but 2.0 double crosses 1.0, leaving him for Bats to collar. Except Bats focuses on 2.0, trying to shock him. Didn't work. Wasn't surprised. Actually I was surprised Bats tried that gambit.

    1.0 and the gang take off during all this. 2.0 then goes after 'em with Bats and Robin on his trail. Bats summons the batmobile, and he jumps in with Robin. Only the batmobile starts shrinking on them since it's a nano copy. Bats deactivates the nanomobile with a handy EMP pulse (why didn't he use it on 2.0 earlier?). He then summons the Batmobile again (why didn't it show up before?) and they go racing after 1.0 and the gang. Bats also radios Alfred to send something "big" to help take on 2.0.

    They're brought up short by a Gotham cop with his squad car blocking the road. The cop asks for Harl's license, registration, and 1.0, morphing into 2.0. LOL.

    The gang says 2.0 rocks and 1.0 wonders how he picked such loyal henchmen. 2.0 also nabs the Dynamic Duo when they show up, rants about how he'll create a nano version of Gotham in place of the real one which he'll run, then catapults 1.0 and the Dynamic Duo (literally) out of the city.

    The Batsuit comes zooming in then, and Bats acrobatically slips into it while in mid air and saves Robin and 1.0. He sets Robin down with 1.0 who's securely bound, and goes after 2.0, who replicates enough nanites to turn King Kong huge. Bats flits around, shooting and busting up giganto 2.0, who just reassembles and laughs him off. As 1.0 cheers Bats on, he cuts his bonds, then gives Robin the slip. He reunites with the gang, who all say they'd rather be with him than 2.0, who's too much. As Joker rejects 'em, Robin catches 'em all again.

    Robin spies Martin's Captain Slash logo on his laptop pieces it together that they're each other's worst online enemy. As giganto 2.0 infiltrates Bats' suit with nanites, Robin and Martin team up to download virtual Joker out of Bruce's nanites.

    To boost the download command signal, Bats hooks a rooftop satellite antenna into his suit and aims it a looming 2.0. In a nick of time, Robin initiates the beam.

    The nanites fall to pieces and virtual Joker finds himself back in virtual Bludhaven, where Nightwing shows up and gives him a virtual pounding. LOL.

    Bats and Robin then send the real Joker and gang back to Arkham, where they'll rest for a bit before breaking out again.

    Fun episode if you don't harp on the fuzzy SF (like why didn't the Wayne Industry techs hardwire an abort code into the nanites?). It would've been nice to have Batgirl involved. She's been underused this year, and has missed out on all the super hero team ups except for the Martian Manhunter.

  • Click on continue =]

    Now... what is there to say about this... The episode was decent and didn't make any degrading mistakes but if you ask me, it was missing something. It was exciting and the computor Joker was pretty cool but... I can't put my fingar on what's wrong. I do know that I was disappointed at how Harley didn't get to fight. She is agile and a important character to the episode and I think that she needs a fighting role. Even if it's only 15 seconds, I want to see her with that old: Flip around while attacking then cartwheel away attitude that she has in the Animated seriesmoreless
Hynden Walch

Hynden Walch

Harley Quinn

Guest Star

Jerry O'Connell

Jerry O'Connell


Guest Star

Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt

Marty Slack

Guest Star

Kevin Michael Richardson

Kevin Michael Richardson

the Joker

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions