The New Batman Adventures “The Demon Within” (part 2 of 3)
The cat-woman reports back to her master, Klarion the Poor Little Witch Boy, and she’s hanging upside down above a window with the barbecue fork in her mouth. And this shot reminds me of something I’m wondering about this show. Why is it that the night sky over Gotham City is always blood red? Is black ink really expensive? Does this show take place on Krypton? Are the animators big U2 fans? We may never know.
Klarion takes the fork and congratulates “Teekl” on a job well done, and “Teekl” is apparently the cat’s name in the comic book, too. Klarion holds the potato masher high and says, “Ancient Morgan, I beseech you! From what is one, do now make two!” As he speaks, the stylized “M” starts to glow.
Back at Dr. Blood’s crib, Etrigan has changed back to Jason and is now tending to Tim’s wounds. Jason has a bottle of pixie dust, which he sprinkles on Tim’s arm while saying random “magical” gibberish, and this instantly cures Tim’s wounds. Amazing! But I’m pretty sure Tim has lived through more serious injuries than this without the help of magic pixie dust, so what’s the point?
Tim finally figures out that he’s in the presence of a practitioner of actual magic and sorcery. I’m assuming the guy morphing into a huge honking demon is what clued him in. The writers, who evidently were in a rush to take off early that day, just have Jason recite the “there are more things in heaven and earth yadda yadda Horatio” line from Hamlet. Even Billy Zane sounds bored with having to say it.
Tim is confused by this, but Bruce says they have to focus on getting the potato masher back. I mean, Bruce spent a million dollars on that thing, and he didn’t even get to burn Tim once with it.
Just then, Jason collapses to the floor, and that same stylized “M” appears on his forehead. And then Jason and Etrigan separate, indicating that by holding the branding iron high and saying a barely coherent rhyme, Klarion has succeeded in splitting Etrigan from Jason.
But there’s more! Etrigan is now under Klarion’s complete control. He says, “My new master awaits!” To demonstrate how evil he is now, he picks Bruce up by the head and tosses him across the room. Meanwhile, Klarion sits in his lair and laughs at his own evilness.
Back from commercial, Etrigan is now in Klarion’s lair, and Klarion is bossing him around with the help of the barbecue fork. First, he gets the demon to admit that he hates Klarion, and now that they’ve buried the hatchet, Klarion says, “Let’s go have some fun!” And he really means that, folks. You see, having assumed control over a powerful demon from Hell, Klarion now proceeds to… cause mildly annoying mischief. I’m serious. This episode is about to get painful.
Back at the Blood Crib, Jason explains that his link to Etrigan was the only thing that kept him young all these years. So for the remainder of this episode, he’ll be rapidly aging right before our eyes.
Bruce heads out to find Klarion, and tells Tim to stay with Jason. Tim says that Bruce is looking for a kid, and “who’d be better than another kid to help?” Jason points out that Klarion, having a huge honking demon at his side, probably won’t be hard to find.
Cut to a movie theater, which is showing the film Devastator 3. The marquee tells us that the star of the movie is one “Donald Shaltenpepper”. This is an obvious pun on Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played Dr. Freeze the year before this episode aired, but even as far as puns go, it’s not terribly funny.
Suddenly, the crowd comes screaming out of the theater. Maybe they mixed up the reels with Batman & Robin, after all. Actually, they’re fleeing in terror from Etrigan and Klarion, who eventually come calmly strolling out of the theater.
Klarion whines, “I hate sequels!” Which is Etrigan’s cue to destroy the movie theater with big red laser beams from his eyes. Haha, isn’t it so funny how this episode is sticking it to movie sequels? Everybody hates sequels, which is why they make up 15 of the top 20 highest grossing movies of all time. Take that, success and popularity!
Klarion then hears the chimes of an ice cream truck. The next thing we see is Etrigan pouncing on that truck and bringing it to a halt, while the driver runs away in terror. Etrigan tears a hole in the side of the truck and dumps out all the popsicles inside. He scans the pile and says, “No strawberry, master!”
You might not be following what’s going on here, so let me spell it out for you. Klarion is a young boy, and so he likes ice cream, and also he wants to kill every movie he sees. But now, he’s got his own personal pet demon to do that stuff for him. That’s it. There’s really no deeper subtext to the episode than that.
Seriously, if you can’t think of anything better to do with a demon from Hell than be a massive pain in the ass, maybe you’re not cut out to be a supervillain.
The lack of strawberry popsicles hardly matters, because Klarion sees a cake store, and now he wants delicious cake. A shot of the window shows the name of the store is “Kirby Cake Company”.
Etrigan hurls the ice cream truck through the store window, which somehow leaves all the cakes inside completely intact and unharmed and still delicious. Klarion noshes on all the cake, and even offers some to Etrigan, but Etrigan waves away the offer with a disgusted look.
Right at that moment, an elevated train stops on a platform overhead. Klarion whines, “Noisy!” Cut to Etrigan picking up the train and tossing it down to the ground. And this being a kid’s cartoon and all, we first get an obligatory shot of everyone running off the train just in time. But at least Klarion has moved up to causing the kind of property damage that might actually inconvenience someone.
Klarion says, “Now those ugly old buildings!” Etrigan proceeds to smash his way into an abandoned building, completely demolishing it while the kid claps happily. Am I crazy, or did Klarion just save the Gotham City municipal government thousands of dollars by demolishing that condemned building for them? I think it’s now safe to call massive fail on Klarion’s villainy.
At last, Batman shows up to put an end to Klarion’s mildly annoying mischief. Klarion says some gibberish words, which turn out to be a magical spell that causes Batman to glow, and then spikes start growing out of Batman’s body. Which is… painful? I guess?
At the same time, Tim and Jason are viewing all these events through Jason’s crystal ball. A crystal ball? Really? Does Jason also ride a broom and have flying monkeys at his beck and call?
Jason (whose hair is now completely white) tells Tim to relax, while he thumbs through an old book of spells. Finally, he says some gibberish words, and Batman glows again, and the spikes vanish. Wow! Did you see the way Jason… flipped through a book? And said some gibberish? That was really quite impressive.
Klarion sees this and yells out some other gibberish words. This spell causes roots to sprout out of Batman’s feet, and he suddenly turns into a big tree.
Klarion is beside himself, saying he should “conjure up a flock of woodpeckers” next. But Batman is still able to bitch-slap Klarion with his tree limb, which is awesome.
Batman glows again, and the tree roots vanish. Klarion finally figures out that Batman is getting help from “Uncle Jason”, so he finally beckons Etrigan over to kill Batman.
Back at Blood Central, Jason is getting older by the minute, and after watching this episode, I know the feeling. But Jason has just the thing to save Batman. He pulls out some sort of medallion that bathes the entire room in disco lights. And I do have to say, the disco theme complements his ‘70s-style attire quite well.