Welcome to the 17th week of Batman: The Animated Series reviews! This week we’re covering ‘See No Evil,’ an episode that tackles the hardships of divorce while crafting an intriguing new villain for Batman to go up against.
1. An Original Villain
This episode does an excellent job at creating a fun original villain. The character they create does many of the things a Batman villain needs to do such as challenge Batman as well as allowing him to save the day for someone. Bruce Timm and company also give the character a really intriguing motivation that could really strike home for a lot of people. For me, this was really reminiscent of real life situations I’ve seen, and it effectively demonstrates the principle that superhero stories should be real stories, just told through a super lens.
2. A Missed Opportunity
There’s a really interesting missed opportunity here I believe to really talk about the disparity in how the child custody courts treat mothers and fathers. The story could’ve been much more complex and thought provoking if it hadn’t cast Kimmy’s father as a crazy ex-con trying to kidnap his daughter, but as a loving father who’s been unfairly separated from his daughter by a biased court system and maybe a possessive mother. An exploration of this issue could not only have made this story’s villain more three dimensional, but the story itself as well.
3. Creative Fight Scenes
The use of a new villain who turns invisible allowed the animators to really flex their muscles with the fight scenes in this episode. Throughout the episode, they’re constantly coming up with new ways to have our invisible character reappear, as well as just to show what fun visuals they can pull off such as Batman riding on the back of an invisible car. We haven’t seen a villain who quite challenges Batman in this way, and seeing Bruce have to innovate and think his way through each of his encounters with his adversary was really fun to watch.
4. Are Kids Really This Stupid?
In this episode, the little girl really talks to her imaginary friend. I don’t really have a problem with this in this particular episode, however, across media we seem to have this collective belief that children would never freak out if an imaginary friend really started talking to them. There has to be some kid out there that would know. Also when Kimmy’s imaginary friend picks her up and definitely feels like a human man picking her up, what is she thinking?
5. This Crazy Mother
In the climax of this episode, the child’s mother learns that her imaginary friend she’s been talking to at night is actually her invisible husband who has gone crazy and is trying to kidnap her daughter. Despite this, when we get the last scene of the episode the little girl looks like she’s talking to herself the same way she did when she was talking to her father, yet she says it’s Batman this time. Then the mother just laughed it off. Her daughter was almost kidnapped by a crazy man she talked to in the night and she just laughed this off. She’s a terrible parent.