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Recap: Batman: The Animated Series E28 "Dreams in Darkness"
aka: Batman The Animated Series Dreams In Darkness
The episode opens at Arkham Asylum. Batman is now in a cell wearing a straitjacket and none of the staff will listen to what he says due to his apparent insanity. He recounts to himself how he got here.

The scene flashes back to a few days ago, when Batman discovers a plan to poison the water at the Health Spring Spa. When he confronts the man drilling into the spa's pipes, the gas douses them both. Later, when he looks at blueprints on the Batcomputer of a device the man wore; he sees The Joker's reflection. He turns around — it is just Alfred. Realizing something is wrong, Batman heads to the hospital where the thug is having wild hallucinations. He talks to the supervisor, Dr. Wu, who gives him an antidote. However, it will leave him sleeping for 2 days, and Batman will not take the risk. He heads to Arkham for the only man who could make this chemical — the Scarecrow. On the way, he sees Robin in the middle of the road. He swerves and crashes and the Arkham staff save him and bring him in.

As the hallucinations get worse, Batman is raving incoherently. Thinking he is delusional, psychiatrist Dr. Bartholomew takes him in as a patient. An orderly prepares to remove his mask, but Dr. Bartholomew tells him leave it for now, as he believes it is the root of Batman's fixation and removing it now might shatter his remaining sanity. They straitjacket Batman and lock him in a cell. He tries to explain Scarecrow's plan to poison Gotham's water supply, but Dr. Bartholomew dismisses this as another delusion, stating that he saw Professor Crane in his cell this morning. Batman's recounting ends.

In the caverns beneath Arkham, which supply Gotham's water, Scarecrow proudly states to his men that he set Batman up. Scarecrow plans to release the fear gas through the water supply to study the effects of mass madness.

Back in his cell, Batman hallucinates his parents in Crime Alley. Dr. Bartholomew arrives after discovering Crane did in fact escape. He still will not release Batman, due to his condition, but promises to alert the police of Professor Crane's location. However, Batman forces his way past the guards and cuts through his straitjacket with an axe. A guard tries to tranquilize him, but Batman handcuffs him and forces him to show him to the basement.

As Batman goes through the cavern, still hallucinating, he sees a rat suddenly turn into The Joker. Then the Penguin emerges out of the ground; his head pops to reveal Two-Face who throws a coin at him, which becomes a buzz saw. Two-Face melts into Poison Ivy and soon even Alfred and Robin attack him. Batman falls into an abyss into the mouth of the Scarecrow himself. Finally, he recovers.

He finds the giant pump and faces Scarecrow's thugs, who look like monsters under hallucination. He manages to defeat them and destroy the master console, but Scarecrow foresaw this and installed another one. Batman reaches it but sees the power cord as a snake. He yanks it and destroys the machine, exposing Scarecrow to his own gas.

Imprisoned again, a terrified Jonathan Crane screams and rambles as Dr. Bartholomew tells the guards to make sure Crane stays in his cell. In the Batcave, Bruce takes the antidote, and as he sleeps, a large bat shadow covers him.


Tropes:

  • Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts: The "Apparition in front of the car" variant is used — the Batmobile turns a corner and Batman thinks he's just managed to run Robin down, though in fact it's a hallucination caused by the Scarecrow's fear gas.
  • For Science!: After spending his two previous appearances on, respectively, a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against his former university colleagues and a profit-driven sports-fixing plot, the Scarecrow is now out to use his fear toxin on Gotham to study the effects of widespread fear.
  • Go Among Mad People: This happens to Batman, which lets him solve the Scarecrow's plot, but for a time messes up his mind.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: As is par for the course, the Scarecrow ends up driven mad by the same toxin he used on Batman and planned to use on the city.
  • Improvised Weapon: Batman holds off the Scarecrow's goons with little more than a microphone and the ability to whistle off-key.
  • Magic Antidote / Instant Sedation: Dr. Wu tells Batman that he has made an antidote that can eliminate the fear toxin in his body, but with one side effect: instant drowsiness that can render the antidote taker asleep for two days. Batman, however, decides to put the antidote on hold until he can stop Scarecrow and his evil plans of poisoning the water supply.
  • Magic Countdown: A variant of the fast-burning fuse is seen. The Scarecrow has a huge machine mixing fear inducing chemicals to dump in Gotham's water supply. Batman shuts it off, stopping the big clock at 01:45. Scarecrow starts it up with the backup controls and the clock begins counting down again, from 20 seconds. And furthermore, the timer beeped with every passing second, even when it was offscreen, but the beeps didn't correspond to how much time had passed. At the 20-seconds mark, it plainly beeped more times than there were seconds remaining.
  • Mythology Gag: The Joker's alias from before his transformation is given as "Jack Napier", which was his real name in the Tim Burton movie.


Batman: The Animated Series E27 'Mad as a Hatter"Recap/Batman: The Animated SeriesBatman: The Animated Series E29 'Eternal Youth"

alternative title(s): Batman The Animated Series Dreams In Darkness
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