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Recap / The Adventures of Batman & Robin E13 "Showdown"

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In the 1880s, Jonah Hex must stop Ra's al Ghul's plan to destroy the transcontinental railroad.


Tropes:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Arkady Duvall's ultimate fate is an old man who is destroyed by hardship and unable to be healed by the Pit as it took his father too long to find him. He is left to die in peace as an old man.
  • Ax-Crazy: Arkady gets into duels, hits women, whips subordinates, kills prisoners (well, tries)... You got the idea.
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  • The Bad Guy Wins: In the present day, Ra's al Ghul has come to collect Arkady Duvall and in the end Batman lets him go, despite his use of knock-out gas and armed mooks on a retirement home.
  • Cattle Punk: Ra's al Ghul describes his attempt to destroy the transcontinental railroad and bomb Washington back in the 1880s with an advanced war dirigible, complete with cannons, turrets and gatling guns. Unfortunately, Arkady ruins it by getting Jonah Hex involved.
  • Cool Airship: Ra's al Ghul had a zeppelin armed with cannons.
  • Correlation/Causation Gag: When the zeppelin attacks the railroad, several soldiers start firing their rifles at it to no visible effect. Then Jonah Hex drops a bomb off in the ship's artillery pile, causing a massive explosion that's attributed to the gunshot that happened at that instant—the shooter is confused while the soldier next to him is impressed.
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  • Cowboy Episode: A Whole Episode Flashback showing Jonah Hex battling Ra's al Ghul in the Old West.
  • Dirty Coward: Once at Jonah Hex's mercy, Arkady begged him miserably for his life after failing to bribe him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: All of this was so that Ra's al Ghul could bring Arkady home before he dies.
    Ra's: What father can ever forget his son?
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Ra's is disgusted by Arkady's cruelty towards their workmen.
  • Fate Worse than Death: After Hex turns him over to the authorities, Arkady winds up serving 50 years of hard labour. This ends up shattering his mind.
  • Framing Device/Whole Episode Flashback: The main story is presented as a recording left for Batman by Ra's al Ghul, explaining his reasons for taking Arkady Duvall from the rest home.
  • Groin Attack: Robin nut-punches one of Ra's al Ghul's cronies. You don't actually see the impact, but the look on the mook's expressive mask is unmistakable.
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  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: The guard sees Jonah Hex's cell apparently empty (he'd dug a trench in the dirt floor to hide) and runs right in.
  • Guns Are Worthless: The only time Jonah Hex fires his revolver is against goons whose work suits turn out to be bulletproof. He's then taken prisoner and disarmed, after which he fights the rest of the episode with his fist, knife, and rope.
  • Hero of Another Story: Jonah Hex, of course.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Ra's abandoned Arkady to his fate because he was too cruel and unstable to be an acceptable successor.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: The blonde barmaid is voiced by Elizabeth Montgomery. Yes, the one from Bewitched, which explains why the barmaid looks a lot like Samantha Stephens. It was also her final acting role before her death in May of 1995. This episode was first broadcast almost four months after she died.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: If not intentionally. Ra's al Ghul mentions that Arkady is too far gone even for the Lazarus Pits. When Ghul returns in Superman: The Animated Series, his own body is in similar condition.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Arkady winds up serving 50 years of hard labour under (we can assume) even worse conditions and harsher treatment than the workmen he lorded over.
  • Not Worth Killing: After capturing Duvall Jonah Hex takes him in alive, if only because he doesn't want to drag his dead body across several states for the bounty, opting to make him walk instead.
  • Perspective Flip: Classic Super Hero tale that seems to be Another Side, Another Story from the point of view of the Hero of Another Story, but the Twist Ending reveals a reminiscence of an early Villain Episode.
  • Politician Guest Star: Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy as the Territorial Governor.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: The episode feels very much like a backdoor pilot for a Jonah Hex cartoon, seeing as how Batman's only in the framing device of Ra's Al Ghul telling a story about a cowboy who thwarted one of his plans once.
  • Recycled In Space: The episode was made because the writers recognized Hex as Batman OF THE OLD WEST!
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Jonah Hex rejects a bribe from the defeated Arkady that is worth over twenty times the bounty for his arrest, insisting on taking him in for the people he has harmed.
  • Smug Snake: Arkady has all of Ra's' ego without his better qualities. Best exemplified in his duel with Jonah Hex:
    Duvall: You cannot defeat me. I am a Heidelberg fencing champion.
    Jonah Hex: My heart's all aflutter.
    Duvall: I'll chop you to pieces!
    Jonah Hex: Talk, talk, talk.
  • Something Completely Different: Though the episode features Batman and Ra's al Ghul, it's ultimately a story about Jonah Hex and his quest to arrest Arkady Duvall who is the son of Ra's al Ghul.
  • The Western: Set in 1880s as the railroads to the west are being completed.
  • Wham Line: Ra's, when Batman asks why he would allow Arkady to use the Lazarus Pit.
    Ra's: Come, Detective. Do you truly believe that in 800 years, I would have sired only one offspring?
  • Zeppelins from Another World: An armoured example. In 1883.

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