CREDITS: Written by Mike Underwood (his only other credit is an episode of Night Court) and Len Wein; directed by Dan Riba.
REVIEW: It took me this long to figure out what the Penguin's deal was, and of course, this is his last episode as main antagonist. Ah well. It's not the bird motif of his crimes, or the half-assed "repugnant socialite" trope they've tried to bring forward, it's that he's CRUEL. Cruelty is his thing, and you see it in his wanton (and spectacular) destruction of a bridge, in how he gleefully abuses his henchmen, and in how satisfied he is to realize Batman is hurt. It's not new. Cobblebot relished toying with Batman trapped in his remote-controlled Batmobile in his previous appearance, when he had every chance of crashing the thing early on, and the fate he reserved for the useful soul who brought him the information on Batman's mechanic in the first place... I guess I just didn't see it. I needed a cumulative effect. And still, this is a story that could have fit almost any villain. The lack of real thematic focus for many Penguin stories speaks to his weakness in the writers' minds (and indeed, Batman needs to be impaired for him to offer any challenge at all).
One character that's a little less well-drawn is Bruce Wayne himself. I just don't see him as a weapons manufacturer à la Tony Stark, and what little misgivings he admits to see like scant justification for allowing the story's premise. A line of dialog about swearing WayneTech off such projects in the future at the end would have gone a long way, I think. As is, Bruce is kind of a flake on this subject. And the whole thing with the Daredevil vision, which requires Leslie to be a cyberneticist, is a little ropey too. How does it work anyway? Batman reacts to bright flashes, but it's supposed to be a kind of radar... Anyway, these are minor problems, because overall, it's a well put together episode, with epic set pieces - the bridge, the Batwing-copter dogfight, the foundry setting in which Batman finally stops relying on his failing tech and ADAPTS...
At the very least, this is the one where the Penguin becomes a real threat to Gotham City, and that's worth something.
SOUNDS LIKE: Dr. Lee is played by Huanani Minn, who was Hang on China Beach, and perhaps not coincidentally the spouse of Marc Singer who had previously voiced Man-Bat.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - The Penguin's redemption in my eyes and those strong action pieces allow me to easily dismiss the script's failings.