Recap: Batman: The Animated Series E14 "Heart of Ice"
Batman: My God.The episode opens in a snow globe with a spinning ice skater in the middle. A red-goggled figure in a strange suit laments that this is how he remembers "her", and that he plots to get revenge on the monster that took her away from him.Cut to a newscast by Summer Gleeson, reporting the latest in a series of cold-related crimes on Goth Corp facilities during the hottest August in Gotham history. Witnesses said that the attacker used a freezing gun. Goth Corp CEO Ferris Boyle says that his company is willing to listen to what the attacker wants. Batman was just watching this newscast while analyzing these crimes. He had gotten information from the police earlier about what was stolen from each facility, and his computer has determined that each device stolen can be put together to create a weapon that generates intense cold. There is just one component missing, and only one Goth Corp facility makes it.At this facility, a truck with the same figure and henchmen drives through security, with the Batmobile in close pursuit. The villain then uses his freezing gun to freeze the road so that the Batmobile skids, so Batman, with quick maneuvering, grapples on to a pole and stops the car. At the factory's warehouse, he and his henchmen steal certain canisters. Batman then drops in and takes out the henchmen and commands the villain to freeze, at which point he reveals his name: Mr. Freeze. Batman then engages Mr. Freeze in combat. One of the henchmen accidentally gets hit in the legs, and he is able to freeze a bridge under Batman and causes him to fall and get incapacitated. Mr. Freeze then makes a quick getaway, telling his henchmen to leave the one whose legs got frozen. Batman then recovers and takes the unlucky henchman to the Batcave.As Batman gets back to the Batcave, he takes the henchman to a hot chemical bath where his legs can recover. He is able to heal, but it's revealed that Batman caught a cold in the fight. He says that he can't worry about a cold right now, since Bruce Wayne has an appointment with Ferris Boyle. Bruce goes to the meeting and asks Ferris Boyle who would make attacks on Goth Corp. Ferris Boyle then describes one man who could possibly hate the company, if here were alive, of course. One employee, a scientist, was using Goth Corp equipment for personal reasons, so Boyle called company guards to arrest him, but there was an explosion and they lost the employee. Boyle then says that he can't have "wage slaves" acting like they own the place. Boyle then gets a call that the humanitarian committee has arrived, saying that Goth Corp is hosting a ceremony for the Gotham Humanitarian Industrialist of the Year Award, since Boyle won. Bruce silently expresses his disbelief at him winning the award.Next scene, Mr. Freeze watches the ceremony, then shoots the TV, saying that "she" needed compassion and charity, but didn't get any. He then directs his henchmen to build his freezing cannon.Back to the Batcave, Batman remembers a newspaper headline that described an explosion at a Goth Corp facility, but the headline describes the explosion as caused by a leak, and Batman deduces that it was just a cover up. Batman then arrives, in disguise, to investigate Goth Corp's secret files for further information. He finds a file on a woman named Nora Fries, which has a videotape of her husband, Dr. Victor Fries describing a cryogenic chamber of his own design that he created to save people from terminal illness. However, in the tape, some Goth Corp guards and Ferris Boyle, who demanded that the project be shut down because it was putting him in debt, interrupted Fries. Fries then tried to pull a policeman's gun on Boyle, but Boyle kicked him back into several chemicals that froze him. The tape ended there, and Mr. Freeze suddenly appeared behind Batman, shooting him with his freeze gun.Batman is later seen in a frozen cave with snow falling, with Mr. Freeze talking about how beautiful the snow is, and how vengeance is cold. Batman then deduces that Mr. Freeze's suit is the result of having been bathed in the coolants, and he says that he can no longer survive outside of sub-zero temperatures. Mr. Freeze then describes how he is going to take revenge on the man who ruined his life: Ferris Boyle, with Batman objecting to the fact that he will also kill everyone else in the building.Mr. Freeze then proceeds to enact his plan to take revenge on Boyle. He blasts the Goth Corp building using his giant freezing cannon. Batman is able to escape and goes to stop him. After he stops the freeze cannon, Mr. Freeze simply goes into the party in order to personally settle his vendetta with Boyle. He reminds Boyle of who he is, and after Boyle begs him to stop, he reminds Boyle that in his dreams, he sees Nora begging to be saved. Batman then goes to fight Mr. Freeze in hand-to-hand combat, but initially has a hard time because Freeze's suit enhances his strength. Batman defeats Mr. Freeze by breaking open his helmet and pouring some chicken soup that Alfred gave him earlier. He then gives the tape of Boyle ruining Victor Fries's life to Summer Gleeson so that the world may know that Ferris Boyle is not the humanitarian the Gotham Humanitarian Committee makes him out to be.Freeze is then incarcerated in Arkham Asylum in a special cell that keeps him at sub-zero temperatures, holding his snow globe with a skater in it. He cries to himself, saying that he failed Nora, and begs her forgiveness. Batman watches him from atop a cliff, and walks away.
Mr. Freeze: Yes, it would move me to tears if I still had tears to shed.
Mr. Freeze: Yes, it would move me to tears if I still had tears to shed.
- Actor Allusion: In his introduction, Mr. Freeze says "Revenge is a dish best served cold", often referred to as a Klingon proverb in pop culture. Michael Ansara had played the Klingon Captain Kang in Star Trek.
- Anti-Villain: This episode was considered a turning point for the character of Mr. Freeze, who was previously a silly and unremarkable one-shot villain from the Silver Age. He was revamped in this series as a heart-breakingly Tragic Villain who only wanted revenge on the person who ruined his life.
- Apocalyptic Log: The videotape inside Victor Fries's case file.
- Bad Boss: Mr. Freeze, who lacks regard for an unlucky henchman who got hit with his freeze gun.
- Best Served Cold: Mr. Freeze says it word-for-word.
- Big "OMG!": Batman himself when he discovers Freeze's motives. The production team is still shocked that they got away with it.
- Bittersweet Ending: Yeah, Boyle is exposed and likely sent to prison, but Nora's (presumed to be) dead, Victor's still frozen and believes he failed his wife.Mr. Freeze: I failed you. I wish there was another way I could say it. I cannot... I can only beg your forgiveness, and pray you hear me somehow... someplace… someplace where a warm hand waits for mine...
- Book Ends: The episode begins and ends with Mr. Freeze gazing at his snowglobe with a skater inside.
- Catch Your Death of Cold: Fighting Mr. Freeze is enough to give Bruce a cold. Justified: it's stated there's an exceptional heat wave occurring; the temperature shift would weaken his immune system.
- Chekhov's Gun: Alfred gives Batman some chicken soup to help his cold. Batman then uses it to defeat Mr. Freeze.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Ferris Boyle, under the guise of saying that his company is "the people's company."
- Create Your Own Villain: Ferris Boyle thought Victor Fries was pathetic and harmless. Oops.
- Cry for the Devil
- Darker and Edgier: Not only taking a joke villain like Freeze and turning him into a legitimate threat, but for a cartoon show to delve into themes such as vengeance and that characters could die...
- Even Evil Has Standards: The other henchmen object to Freeze leaving a man behind, saying that he's "one of us" — at least, until Freeze threatens them with the same fate. They still don't seem comfortable about it when the guy pleads with them and clutches at their legs in desperation.
- Freeze Ray: Mr. Freeze's weapon of choice.
- Funny Background Event: As Summer Gleeson is finishing up on Mr. Freeze's latest crime, you can see several kids run up to the snow and start playing with it. A policeman chases them off, as this is a crime scene. However just as he shoos them away the kids pelt him with snowballs.
- Harmless Freezing: Averted by Mr. Freeze's guns. The henchman who was hit needed a hot chemical bath to return him to normal. Even Batman has to cope with the after effects.
- Irony: Earlier, Mr. Freeze says that he can't shed tears anymore because his emotions were frozen in the accident, but he does so in his special cell in Arkham.
- Lack of Empathy:
- Ferris Boyle, good god.
- Also Fries after his accident, most noted by the scene early on where he accidentally freezes a henchman's leg, abandons him, and has the gall to say it was the man's fault for not being careful.
- Magical Security Camera: Batman watches security videos of Mr. Freeze's origin, which for some reason includes close ups and camera cuts, as though someone not only used a film camera but edited it as well.
- Presumably the security tape is only a framing device, and that Batman is only seeing a normal security video while we in the audience get a much clearer picture of what's going on.
- Motive Rant:Freeze: Think of it, Batman. To never again walk on a summer's day with the hot wind in your face and a warm hand to hold. Oh yes, I'd kill for that!
- Never Say "Die": Averted during Freeze's Motive Rant.
- Offhand Backhand: Batman to a henchman just after putting back on his utility belt.
- Revenge Before Reason: Even with a broken helmet, gasping for breath and struggling to even crawl on the floor, Victor was still crying out for vengeance and trying to reach Boyle.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Freeze's vendetta against Boyle and his company.
- Stealth Insult: As Boyle reveals his true contempt for his employees, Bruce remarks, "I feel ill." Boyle shows no sign of understanding that it's anything but Bruce commenting on his cold.
- Tragic Villain: Mr. Freeze
- We Care: Goth Corp's Slogan was "The People Company".
- Working Through The Cold: Batman comes down with a cold after being exposed to Mr. Freeze's ice ray. Still he has to go out and stop the villain. Alfred makes him take a thermos of chicken soup with him — which ultimately saves the day as Batman defeats Freeze by using the thermos to smash his containment suit's helmet.