DCAU #253: Chemistry

IN THIS ONE... Bruce Wayne falls in love and marries the perfect woman.

CREDITS: Written by Stan Berkowitz; directed by Butch Lukic.

REVIEW: When Veronica Vreeland gets married after a two-week whirlwind romance, and then Bruce Wayne meets someone at that wedding and the same thing happens to HIM, Mr. Discipline, well... You know early on that something's not right. "Susan" can't possibly be the perfect woman she appears to be, and it's just a matter of time before we find out if all these rich people's mates are robots, aliens, puppets, or, as it turns out, some of Poison Ivy's pod people. It's kind of too bad it had to go that way because it seems to me that Batman's dilemma, to choose his mission or love, is more interesting than having the choice made for you when your wife turns into a plant monster during your honeymoon.

The choice to make them monsters (or HER a monster, imagine if she was just a green-eyed woman, guiltless of what Bruce insanely accuses her of) leads to some disturbingly harsh endings for Ivy's henchpeople. To all outward appearances, they seem sentient. Under her control, perhaps, but autonomous. Killing these humanoids with herbicide means a gory end for someone the audience might think of as a person. Batman's attitude towards Susan is almost too grim. She sinks with the cruise ship, looking out a window, and Batman flicks his wedding ring into the ocean, showing no emotion. Jeepers! I really don't know what to think about this. I'm not sure the episode was grounded in enough emotional truth to sell the moment as one where Bats is hurting underneath from this betrayal, or if he's simply reverted to type, the two-dimensional no-nonsense unflappable avenger of the night who seems to lead the New Adventures. I come down on the latter, but I can't completely ignore the possibility that there's something more subtle going on.

At the very least, check this one out to see who was invited to Bruce's wedding; several of the guests are recognizable "supers". While you're there, ask yourself what might have happened between Babs and Dick, here seen rejecting each other (and perhaps protesting too much) in their last ever Batman episode.

Susan is played by Linda Hamilton, the original Sarah Connor of Terminator fame. And that's Tim Matheson (Jonny Quest, The West Wing) as Veronica's perfect mate, Michael.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - An episode that required a deeper emotional core to really work, but for once, the villain has an interesting scheme.



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