When his request to rezone and redevelop Gotham's old Park Row neighborhood (now a rundown slum known locally as "Crime Alley") is turned down by City Hall, Corrupt Corporate Executive Roland Daggett refuses to take "no" for an answer. Instead, he hires an arsonist to blow the whole block sky-high with explosives at 9:00 sharp this upcoming night while he attends a high-profile business meeting, giving him an ironclad alibi for the blast. It's up to Batman to stop him, and the clock is ticking....
Tropes in this episode include:
- The Alibi: Roland Dagget wants to rezone and redevelop Gotham's old Park Row neighborhood (a slum known locally by the name of "Crime Alley"). His request is denied by the Town Hall, so he arranges that an arsonist will blow up Crime Alley while making it look like a gas explosion. This is scheduled to happen at 9:00 sharp, while Dagget himself is attending a business meeting. This is not actually an alibi (the law is perfectly capable of prosecuting you for hiring someone else to do illegal things), but Mr. Dagget isn't a legal expert.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Daggett walks, even though his hired goons get arrested.
- Bound and Gagged: Leslie Tompkins is tied up and left in the basement of one of the buildings rigged to blow, for being too nosy.
- The Cameo: Salvo Smith from "The Forgotten" can be seen in the group of Park Row residents protesting redevelopment. He has a sign saying "Down with Daggett!"
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: The Dark Knight is burning rubber to make it across town to stop Daggett from demolishing an old building (with people inside) when he sees a trolley shoot past him, completely out of control. Batman obviously can't leave them to die, but he's not at all happy about the added delay.Batman: Perfect. Just perfect.
- Karma Houdini: Daggett walks off scot-free... for now.
- Kill the Poor: Daggett wants to demolish and build on top of the Park Row (or as it's better known, "Crime Alley") district and won't take "no" for an answer, deciding to simply blow up the place regardless of how many people it kills.
- Mad Bomber: Nitro, Daggett's mercenary for hire.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: It's hoped that an old gas line running under the block will be blamed for causing the explosions.
- Meaningful Name: An arsonist who uses explosives? His alias is "Mr. Nitro."
- Real Time: The episode takes place in real time, with frequent shots of clocks counting down to a dramatic explosion. The episode came to be because the network wanted to see an episode showing a day in the life of Batman, hence the numerous events that pile up in the fifteen minutes of the countdown.
- Right on the Tick: Batman has to find and defuse explosives that have been set by Roland Dagget to level the old neighborhood at exactly 9:00 while he's speaking at a business meeting.
- Secret Keeper: Leslie knows Bruce's secret, being close to him ever since his parents' murder.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Roland Daggett was originally intended to be Max Schreck from Batman Returns.
- Time Bomb: The explosives, primed to wipe out a neighborhood.
- Trainstopping: Batman is forced to stop a runaway tram, using the Batmobile. He manages to stop the tram, but also totals the car and has to continue his Race Against the Clock on foot.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Daggett presents himself as a concerned businessman with only the best intentions. Batman knows better.
- Wretched Hive: Daggett argues that Crime Alley is such a blight upon the city, it's better off to get rid of it, even if plenty of otherwise decent people who have nowhere else to go still live there. It's pretty clear he holds anyone still calling it home in contempt and doesn't care how many get blown up.