CREDITS: Written by Michael Reaves; directed by Frank Paur.
REVIEW: Produced during the second season and only just now airing (was it difficult to get through censors because it talked about crack houses?), the episode looks as accomplished as any of the best BTAS stories. It exudes atmosphere, using Harvey Bullock as a classic film noir protagonist, with mournful period music, gorgeous shadows and wind and snow elements to emphasize the dreariness of his life. This is a man who no one actually likes, so when attempts on his life are made, it's altogether difficult to determine who's behind it, and you might catch a couple crooks while you're looking. There's a sadness to his lonely existence in a run-down apartment, but Bullock would never show it. Instead, he gives the impression of someone who deserves and so embraces what he gets, whether that's Summer Gleason's angry lack of cooperation, or getting splashed by passing cars. Perhaps the saddest statement made is the one about his spending Christmas and New Year's doing laundry.
His alliance with Batman is uneasy at best, but they are more similar than the Bat would admit. Both bend the rules to get justice - and somehow, the vigilante gets away with it more easily than the cop - and both lead solitary existences, barely recuperating between "shifts". This may be a Bullock story, but Batman does get some good bits, like the superb fight seen through tear gas, where he really moves. But on his critical evaluation of Bullock, he doesn't do so well.
Wouldn't you know it, the attempts on his life weren't even criminal retaliations. It was just his disgruntled super trying to scare him into abandoning his apartment, hopefully to someone who wasn't such a loud slob. He's just got that kind of personality that so irritates someone, it might push them over the edge and into a cell at Arkham.
IN THE COMICS: The episode is based on the comics story of the same name from Detective Comics #651 (1992) by Chuck Dixon, right down to much of the same dialog.
SOUNDS LIKE: Vinnie the Shark is played by Gregg Berger; he was Odie on the Garfield cartoon, and also supplied voices for Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio and the Transformer Grimlock. Nivens is Jeffrey Jones, AKA Principal Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - A great-looking noir adaptation of a recent comics story.