Batman: TAS – S1 – Heart Of Glass

This is the episode which defined Mr Freeze and made him a villain to truly fear but also a man who you can feel sympathy for. Any episode which can do that in 22 minutes must be considered pretty special.

As a plastic ballerina spins in a snow globe Mr Freeze talks to it as if it were his (missing, presumed dead) wife Nora. He promises revenge on the monster who took her away from him and don’t forget that revenge is a dish best served cold.

It’s a hot summer in Gotham yet the city has had its share of cold related robberies in recent weeks. The crimes were all been committed at GothCorp facilities and were perpetrated by a man with a freezing gun. GothCorp C.E.O Ferris Boyle (voiced by Mark Hamill) doesn’t know why the robberies are happening but he is willing to hear the robber out and will help him if he can. What a “nice” guy.

As always Batman is on the case and he has already worked out that the stolen GothCorp equipment could be put together to make a massive freezing cannon. There is only one piece of the puzzle missing and Batman knows which GothCorp facility makes it. A little while later that very same facility is attacked by Mr Freeze and his gang in a van. The van’s driver notices the Batmobile is in pursuit. Mr Freeze uses freezing gun to freeze the ground and the Batmobile spins out of control and crashes into a wall. As his gang steal what they need Mr Freeze deals with the facilities security guards. Just as they are about to leave Batman appears on top of the van and tells Mr Freeze to err….Freeze. Obviously Mr Freeze does not comply and he tries to shoot Batman with the freezing gun. During the battle Mr Freeze accidentally freezes a gang members legs, undeterred Mr Freeze finally gets the upper hand on Batman and freezes him completely. Mr Freeze tells the gang to get in the van and leave their partially frozen comrade which they reluctantly do. Batman breaks free from the ice and is about to chase the van but the fallen gang member begs for his help.

Back at the Batcave the gang member was placed in a chemical bath which removes the ice around his legs. Batman now has another issue to deal with, an issue possibly more dangerous than taking on Mr Freeze again. Batman has caught a cold. Alfred asks why he hasn’t got a compartment for tissues in his utility belt. Batman doesn’t have time to talk about it as Bruce Wayne has a meeting at GothCorp with Ferris Boyle.

Ferris welcomes Bruce to his office. Bruce asks about the robberies and wonders who would commit these crimes. The one person Ferris could think of was an ex employee who was using company equipment for his own experiments. But alas it could not have been that person as he was killed in an explosion. Ferris comes across as a bit of a git. He claims that GothCorp cares about the people of Gotham but all he really cares about is money. He cuts his meeting with Bruce short as he gets a visit from a humanitarian committee who are giving him an award for Humanitarian Industrialist of the year at a ceremony later that day.

Batman believes that Ferris didn’t tell the whole story in regard to the demise of the ex employee. Before he heads off to the GothCorp head office Alfred gives him a flask of chicken soup (it’s the only way to fight a cold). He goes undercover as a security guard and sneaks into a file room. He finds a top secret file which contains a medical report on a Nora Fries, some blueprints and a video cassette. The cassette shows Victor Fries trying to save his wife, Nora from a terminal disease. She is in a cryogenic chamber that will keep her alive until he finds a cure for her illness. Victor is interrupted by Ferris and a few guards. Ferris demands that all the equipment be shut down and he doesn’t care if Nora dies. In his desperation Victor pulls a gun on Ferris but Ferris kicks Victor onto a table full of volatile chemicals and they explode. Ferris and the guards escape the room as Victor is enveloped in a cloud of gas. The video ends with Victor screaming his wife’s name. Batman is appalled by what he has seen and he is then ambushed by Mr Freeze who once again shoots Batman with his freezing gun.

Batman awakens upside down with his feet frozen to the ceiling (just like Luke Skywalker in the Wampa cave in the Empire Strikes Back). Mr Freeze explains that the accident changed his bodies physiology and he needs to stay in a sub-zero environment to stay alive. He managed to build a suit that keeps him cool and now he will get his revenge on Ferris who cost him his life and more importantly his wife. After Mr Freeze leaves Batman breaks out of the ice.

At the humanitarian ceremony Mr Freeze and his gang arrive with the freeze canon and they start to freeze the building. Mr Freeze enters the building, confronts Ferris and is about to kill him but a batarang knocks the gun out of his hand. Batman and Mr Freeze fight but Mr Freeze is too strong and easily overpowers Batman. Luckily for Batman he has a secret weapon. He pulls out the flask of chicken soup from his belt (I don’t know how it fit in there) and smashes it over the dome that protects Mr Freeze’s head. The dome breaks and Mr Freeze collapses. Batman gives a reporter the video cassette and tells everyone that Ferris Boyle destroyed Victor and Nora’s lives.

Mr Freeze is sent to Arkham Asylum and just as the episode began it finishes with him talking to the plastic ballerina; he asks his wife for forgiveness and prays that somehow she hears him.

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