BTAS RETROSPECTIVE: "P.O.V." Author: Peter Verra (Follow @PETEILLUSTRATED)
Date: July 3, 2017
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Production Order: 07
Airdate Order: 13
Original Airdates: September 18, 1992
Story by Mitch Brian
Written by Sean Catherine Derek & Laren Bright
Directed by Kevin Altieri
Kevin Conroy as Batman/Bruce Wayne
Robert Costanzo as Detective Bullock
Bob Hastings as Commissioner Gordon
Robbie Benson as Wilkes
John Considine as Hackle
Ingrid Oliu as Montoya
Ron Perlman as Driller
Marcelo Tubert as Scarface
There is an old saying, there are three sides to every story, yours, theirs and the truth; that is what “P. O. V.” is all about and it nails it to perfection. A sting operation gone wrong, three police officers on the scene arriving at different times all intertwined with an appearance by the Batman.
Now this episode might be one that would be left off some “best of” lists since we do not get an appearance from a major villain but the episode makes up for it with heart and great story telling. Standout side character Renee Montoya steals this episode. The story weaves us between flash backs and present day with flawless effort. You appreciate the interrogation scenes more viewing it as an adult than you did when you saw this the first time as a kid. Sitting here watching those scenes I get a BLADE RUNNER vibe, Deckard and Bryant going back and forth in Bryant’s office. The setting is dark and ire you have that classic over the top singular light source, good cop Gordon bad cop Hackle.
Bullock is typical Bullock, trying to one up and simultaneously blames the Batman while putting a spin his side of the story. The scene with Bullock trying to stop the crime reminds me of BATMAN ‘89. A bunch of crooks breaking into a safe in an old industrial building that is action packed. The gung-ho Bullock gets in his own way and ends up causing more damage than good. It really sets the tone for what Bullock is about going forward in the show.
The two other officers then give their side of the story. Officer Wilkes makes one his cameos in the series. Listening to Wilkes give his side of the story reminds me of an episode that would appear later in THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES, “Legends of the Dark Knight.” He sounds just like those kids telling their stories of the Batman. So shocked, impressed and confused at what they are witnessing in front of them. He is seeing what he thinks is happening and not what is actually happening. Lets be honest we all would retell our story this way if we ran into the mysterious figure of the night know as the Batman.
While Bullock and Wilkes versions of the story are really fun, Officer Renee Montoya has the most influence here. Listening to her tell her side of the story while throwing subtle tongue in check jabs at Bullock is tremendous. Not only is she defending herself and the Batman but she gives the most accurate interpretation of the indecent.
After the officers give their stories Hackle has heard enough and suspends all three. From this point on we get a detective story following Montoya, she just cannot let it go. She puts two and two together and figures out where the thugs are hiding and even gets to do feat that most people never would have the chance to do, save the Batman. Batman and Montoya battle the thugs in a great action piece on a dock with fisticuffs, Tommy guns and grapnel guns galore. It’s a real vintage Batman scene that should make you grin ear to ear. Seeing these two partners together is a real blast. Batman prevents the crew of bad guys from getting away in fashion that could be best described at iceberg meets Titanic. Montoya captures the boss in an effortless way that would make the greatest boardwalk crane gamer green with envy. Simply put this is pure enjoyable superhero fun.
Gordon proves that his officers are selfless and courageous under his watch and seeing Bullock eat crow is always gratifying. The story flows with ease and you really get a sense of personality from everyone involved. Personally I love stories like this, Batman in the background doing what he does best but we are focused on characters that don’t often get the spot light. We get a real feel for the everyman in Gotham City. What everyday life is like in the city with a noble defender. One very special treat is hearing the great Ron Perlman lend his voice talents for this episode. Hearing Conroy’s Batman and Perlman’s goon exchange a few words is pure bliss. I strongly suggest you take a look back at this episode. It is one that even I have skipped over while popping in disc one of volume one, but let me tell you that will not happen again. - Peter Verra