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Recap / Batman: The Animated Series E32 "Robin's Reckoning: Part 1"

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Batman and Robin are on stakeout at a construction site targeted by a protection racket. As expected, some goons show up late at night to sabotage it; the duo quickly defeats them. When asked who they were working for, one of them is terrified into coughing up a name. Tony Zucco. The very man responsible for the death of Robin's parents...


Tropes in this episode include:

  • Armor-Piercing Question: Alfred reminds Batman that Dick is feeling very alone while he pursues Zucco.
    Batman: I'm doing this for him.
    Alfred: I'm sure revenge can be deliciously sweet. However, at the moment, he needs a friend. Isn't that what you needed, sir?
  • Continuity Nod:
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    • Tony Zucco's uncle is Arnold Stromwell from "It's Never Too Late".
    • One of Zucco's aliases is "Sid the Squid".
  • Costume Evolution: The bat-symbol on Batman's outfit in the flashbacks lacks the yellow oval.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Stromwell beats Zucco for the trouble he caused and disowns him.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Stromwell notes how Zucco's petty extortion schemes have brought the wrath of the Batman down on all of them.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Dick's parents' death. All that is shown are the broken trapeze rope, a gasp from the crowd, and Reaction Shots from Dick and Bruce. The producers wanted it to be to be more graphic, but the censors were worried about children being too scared. In hindsight, Bruce Timm thanked the censors because it let them produce a more effective scene.
  • Harmful to Minors: As in other versions, Dick sees his parents fall to their deaths.
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  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Stromwell disowns Zucco.
  • Knuckle Cracking: In a flashback, there's a crook who is loudly declaring "I'm no squealer!" that Batman needs to get information out of. Batman just cracks his knuckles and narrows his eyes threateningly. The guy talks.
  • Misplaced Retribution: When the ringmaster won't give into Zucco's protection racket, he retaliates by sabotaging the trapeze wire, which results in the death of Dick's parents, even though they had nothing to do with what happened between Zucco and the ringmaster.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Thomas F. Wilson based his voice for Tony Zucco on John Travolta, who played Danny Zuko in Grease.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: When Dick recognizes Zucco leaving the tent, he tries to tell his parents, only for his mother to cut him off saying it was time for their act. This turns out to be fatal.
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  • Not So Different: Between Bruce and Dick. Bruce tells Dick about how his own parents died when he was his age, and how he also feels he could have done something different. Alfred also reminds Bruce that what he wanted at the time wasn't justice but a friend.
  • Sad Clown: An actual clown at the circus is sad because Dick's parents died and Dick is leaving.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Dick must leave the circus, since Zucco might come after him. He has to say good-bye to friends he considers his family as much as his parents.
  • You Won't Like Me When I'm Angry: Or as Batman put it, "Grumpy".

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