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Recap / The Adventures of Batman & Robin E17 "Lock-Up"

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The streets of Gotham aren't big enough for two vigilantes when a new masked crimefighter, Lock-Up, starts showing up and trying to enforce a far tougher punishment in order to counteract Arkham's Cardboard Prison tendencies.


Tropes:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Summer Gleeson refers to Poison Ivy as a "villainous vixen of vines".
  • Batman Gambit: At the hearing, the villains are too terrified of Bolton to expose his actions. Finally, Wayne proposes giving Bolton another eighteen months of work, which immediately causes them to spill the beans.
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  • Berserk Button: When the inmates of Arkham expose his terrible acts, he tries to brand them as liars and lashes out at them. Only by a pile-up of six guards and the subtle assistance of Bruce Wayne tripping him up prevented him from attempting to strangle the criminals.
  • Canon Immigrant: Lock-Up was one of two characters created for the series that found themselves in the main comics. Given that the other one was the massively popular Harley Quinn, Lock-Up is often forgotten, which is ironic as he was actually imported into the comics before Quinn.
  • Cardboard Prison: Lampshaded.
  • Cool Boat: The USS Halsey, a decomissioned battleship that Lock-Up uses as his base of operations/personal prison.
  • Create Your Own Villain: The eponymous villain was formerly a guard at Arkham Asylum who got his position due to endorsement and support from Wayne Enterprises. When he goes insane and begins kidnapping the people he blames for the city's problems (the police, bureaucrats and reporters that he says cause the criminals), Robin snarkily comments "Another fine villain brought to you by the Wayne Foundation." The look Batman shoots him is not happy.
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  • Debate and Switch: The episode brings up that Arkham is a Cardboard Prison, and some of its inmates are murderers or convicted violent thieves. Lock-Up's method's are extreme, but as Robin points out he's a product of Wayne Enterprises. Rather than go into a discussion of alternative solutions to the Cardboard Prison, Lock-Up decides to kidnap Summer, Commissioner Gordon, and Bullock.
  • Distant Prologue: The prologue takes place six months before the rest of the episode.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Bolton's apartment is quite large for a single security guard. What makes it eerie is that the apartment is also nearly completely empty, with its only contents being a fireplace, a TV and a chair to watch it in. And Bolton busts the TV on his way out.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Lyle Bolton wanted to make sure no supervillain would ever escape from Arkham, but his methods were so brutal and cruel that eventually he ended up an inmate.
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  • Horrifying the Horror: Even the most irredeemable and hardened criminals in Arkham are frightened by Bolton, and refuse to speak out for fear of what punishments he would inflict on them (only when being told not speaking out would mean an extension of his watch over Arkham do they realize it's now or never to expose him). Even Scarecrow, who specializes on manipulating fear and self-proclaimed "god of fear" escapes the asylum just to get away from Bolton.
  • Informed Ability: Apparently, Lock-Up is such a horrific guard that he has driven even the already-insane inmates of Arkham insane, paralyzing the Scarecrow, "The God of Fear," with fear. When his offenses against the patients are actually given, however, it is debatable as to whether they are extreme or standard asylum fare, apart from his mental abuse of the Ventriloquist, possibly because the show could not portray anything worse.
  • The Jailer: Lock-Up provides the trope image.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Lock-Up goes from wanting to lock up Gotham's criminals to wanting to lock up Gotham's authority figures for not being extreme enough (such as people like Gordon, who actually captures the criminals to begin with).
  • Knight Templar: Lock-Up may be one of the purest examples of this, being a former head of security at Arkham who was fired for brutalizing the inmates, who comes back as a villain trying to imprison forever the "scum" that he feels represent the people that allowed Gotham to get this way (including the head doctor at Arkham, Commisioner Gordon, Mayor Hill, and Summer Gleeson). In true Knight Templar fashion, he has no idea that he's gone too far (he views Batman as a potential partner, much to the other's disgust).
  • Load-Bearing Boss: The fight between Batman and Lock-Up causes Bolton's ship base to begin sinking. and by the episode's end the Halsey has sunk into the depths of Gotham Bay.
  • Mega-Maw Maneuver: Lock-Up used a robotic truck to kidnap someone: the back opened up and two claws came out, snatched her car and dragged it inside.
  • Not Helping Your Case: When the Arkham inmates finally speak against Bolton, his furious reaction certainly didn't help.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Lock-Up is a fairly obvious GOP pundit parody. He constantly says that the "liberal media," "coddling doctors," and "gutless police" are responsible for supercrime in Gotham. He believes that the criminals at Arkham don't deserve privileges or even the most basic humane treatment. Obviously, he's hyperbolized, but it's still pretty severe for a kids' show.
  • Sadist: Lock-Up thinks that criminals deserve to be tortured and clearly enjoys doing it - and when stopped, expands his definition of "criminals" to those who got him fired or condemned his actions, as well as Gordon, the Mayor and Batman because he thinks they are too "soft" on criminals. He is so scary the other Bat-rogues tried to escape Arkham solely to get away from him.
  • Shadow Archetype: Lock-Up is essentially what Batman would be if his desire to inflict vengeance on criminals ever outweighed his belief that even the worst offenders deserve a second chance.
  • Shout-Out: When the computer reveals that Bolton was the maximum security chief during Operation Stonegate, Robin says, "Well, blow me down!" which was the catchphrase of Popeye.
  • Strawman News Media: It doesn't help Lock-Up look any less reasonable that the Gotham "liberal media" he seethes against is in fact a vapid and shallow network afflicted with a bad case of Worst News Judgment Ever, sensationalizing unrepentant Arkham regulars like Poison Ivy to the point of depicting them as socialite darlings.
  • Villain Has a Point: Lock-Up's methods are extreme and inhumane, but Arkham is a Cardboard Prison, especially for the more dangerous criminals like Joker.
    • He is meant to be seen as a hard-headed conservative nutcase with his rant about the inefficient politicians and the "liberal media" being the cause of the superpowered psychos. While "cause" might be a stretch, he's quite right about them being part of the problem. The police routinely fail to combat the maniacs, leaving a vigilante to do 90% of the work, the people running Arkham keep it a barely-functional revolving door, and the politicians for the most part do nothing at all to improve Arkham or Gotham itself. Hell, we even see the news treating Poison Ivy as a media darling instead of a murderous eco-terrorist! If they all did their jobs more efficiently and professionally, maybe there wouldn't be so many costumed freaks terrorizing the city.
      • Partially subverted throughout the series. Batman repeatedly gives Commissioner Gordon credit for the work he does, naturally this would have to remain an Informed Attribute as Gordon's successes would have to happen off-screen, after all this isn't a show about ordinary cops arresting normal criminals. The fact that Task Force X exists in the DCAU means that Arkham might not be a Cardboard Prison after all. The three villains Bolton is shown to have mistreated are Scarecrow, Harley, and the Ventriloquist, while it's unknown what ultimately became of Scarecrow, both Harley and the Ventriloquist ended up reforming, because Batman showed them kindness.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Lock-Up... well locks up who he thinks is the real source of the problems in Gotham, the lax Police Force (Gordon), the pushover Doctors (Dr. Bartholomew), mindless Bureaucrats (Mayor Hill), and the media (Summer Gleeson) that "glorifies" the Bat-villains. Ironically, he is probably right.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Being the security chief for Arkham must have payed beaucoup bucks, because Bolton has at his disposal an arsenal of gadgets and vehicles comparable to the billionaire Bruce Wayne's toy chest. Electrified riot sticks, tire locks capable of immobilizing the Batmobile, even an armored car/prisoner transport van. And let's not forget he amassed all this while also paying for his oddly-spacious apartment mentioned above.
  • With Us or Against Us: Lock-Up actually says, "If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem." (Throughout the episode, he also blamed the "liberal media," as well as "gutless police, mindless bureaucrats, and coddling doctors" for society's problems, so he's really more of an outright parody of conservative argumentation.)

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