BTAS RETROSPECTIVE: "Eternal Youth"
Author: Rick Shew (Follow @SHEWRICK)
Date: July 30, 2017

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INFO
Season 1
Production Order: 29
Airdate Order: 16
Original Airdates: September 23, 1992

CREDITS
Written by Beth Bornstein
Directed by Kevin Altieri

CAST
Kevin Conroy as Batman/Bruce Wayne
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. as Alfred
Bob Hastings as Commissioner Gordon
Diane Pershing as Poison Ivy

The last time we saw Poison Ivy she was seducing Harvey Dent in her debut episode, “Pretty Poison.” In “Eternal Youth,” she returns, but with a more convoluted purpose… to con victims via a COCOON (Ron Howard reference)-like spa to punish them for destroying trees, wildlife, etc., and to embody the “Eco Terrorist.”

Batman’s words, not mine.

Much of this episode is Alfred centric; who probably had the most lines of any episode to date- with his one off, random girlfriend, Maggie and their experiences at the “Eternal Youth Spa” where Bruce was “supposed” to attend – but declined because he was too busy.

The events that ensue are, well, interesting I guess you could say. Quite frankly, I found this episode to be incredibly dull, boring and quasi-pointless.

Things could have been far more interesting if Alfred cared about his age prior to this visit, Poison Ivey’s beef with Bruce made more sense (after all, he is quite the philanthropist), and we had a little bit more history (or future) with Alfred’s out of place girlfriend.

No such luck.

I love BTAS. It is the perfect hybrid of comic book lore, the best of the Burton films, and a 1940’s animation style.

Poison Ivy is an interesting character. Like all great literary “villains,” she is not black and white. She has a purpose – a noble one on the surface. But this episode misses the mark, and that is unfortunate.

Some fun points are the amazing animation, the score, the voice actors (Kevin Conroy, Diane Pershing, etc.) and some of the great lines, particularly by Ivy: “Actually, Batman, you and I are surprisingly alike. We both strive to see evil-doers punished. But while YOU have your gallery of rogues, I have my GROVE.”

Awesome.

It is also fun to see where Uma Thurman picked up her mannerisms for her Poison Ivey’s cinematic debut in 1997’s BATMAN & ROBIN. Because believe me, it is ALL there.

In closing, this is not one of BTAS’s shining moments, but it is certainly worth a revisit. - Rick Shew

Rick Shew is a lifelong Batman fanatic and co-host of the BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM PODCAST.

His love for Batman traces back to the ripe age of 5 when he became obsessed with the 1960’s TV show and later a diehard Batman bomic book reader (THE KILLING JOKE remains his all time favorite).

As an actor, Rick has appeared in numerous films, local & national commercials and over a dozen theatrical productions. However, his favorite gig of all time was playing Superman, alongside Batman, Batgirl, The Green Lantern & Wonder Woman in the "DC Comics Live" show at Six Flags San Antonio, TX.

Although Rick attended The University of North Texas, he is a diehard Texas Longhorns football fan. He is a HUGE fan of THE Dallas Cowboys as well (#DezCaughtIt).

Other likes include cooking, reading and hosting his left leaning political page LeftShewPolitics.

Rick resides in Dallas with his 3 beautiful women (his wife and their 2 daughters), his kitty cat and his dog, Cooper.

Follow Rick on Twitter @SHEWRICK.


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