Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Episode 112: Louie's Lethal Lilac Time

Season 3 Episode 112
Original Airdate: 1/11/68
Special Guest Villain: Milton Berle as Louie the Lilac
Guest Stars: Ronald Knight, John Dennis
Written by Charles Hoffman
Directed by: Sam Strangis

Synopsis: Bruce and Dick have been kidnapped by Louie the Lilac. This leads to many complications since the boys neglected to wear their extra suits underneath their leisure wear. It's up to Batgirl to pull Batman's fat out of the fire.

PE: Burt and Adam sound so natural when they utter:
Bruce (with a big hunk of fake something or other in his hand): Do you know what this is, Dick? It's ambergris. 
Dick: You mean the stuff given forth by whales from which they make perfume? 
Bruce: Mm-hmm. Ambergris has a strange fixative quality which allows perfumes to retain their scent.
JS: Barbara basically walks up to the Batphone while it starts to ring in Stately Wayne Manor, but somehow loses her sense of perception. She must have been mesmerized by Bruce's vast library. Poor Alfred nearly had a heart attack when she went to fondle the Shakespeare bust.

PE: Good God, I thought we had problems with the blank backgrounds last episode! Here we've got background colors changing from scene to scene. Witness Louie's entrance where he's backed by a dark purple color. We cut away but when we cut back he's standing in front of a light blue wall. Did the director even check these things out in postproduction or were we past such things this late in the game?

JS: And yet the sets had more life than our villain...

PE: Gotta hand it to Dick Grayson and his fashion sense. He seems always to be two steps ahead of the other kids on the block. His striped orange beach wear would have got him at least an audition with The Village People a decade later.

JS: But he's always two steps behind Bruce. It will be years before he can pull off wearing an ascot.

PE: An interesting documentary shown in Commissioner Gordon's office on the career of Batman and Robin. Ostensibly, the doc was edited and put together at the last minute by one of Gordon's crack(head) detectives looking for clues as to the whereabouts of the Dynamic Duo. How this would help and, more importantly, who was filming this rare footage in the first place are lost on me. What was very apparent was that Gordon was very happy Barbara had stopped by for a rare visit to his office. I've not seen too many dads hold their daughters around the waist quite that way before.

JS: You know an episode is in trouble when they go to a highlight reel in a 30 minute time slot. And Gordon's embracing Barbara was nothing compared to his snuggling up against Batgirl!

PE: That's a heck of a Secret Batgirl Room Instant Transformer button. More impressive are the Instant Batman and Robin costumes. What won't they think of next?

JS: I've given this quite a bit of thought. If you thought there was a risk of discovery, wouldn't you always toggle the switch on, rather than wait until the nosy handyman is burgling your apartment?

PE: Berle's just as stiff as he was in the last Lilac episode. He seems oblivious to the fact that he's on Batman, not The Untouchables. There's nothing resembling fun here. The only novelty is the absence of Batman and Robin throughout most of the show. I've a feeling all involved knew the end was nigh and just wanted to wrap it up as quick as possible. I know exactly how they feel.

PE Rating:

JS Rating:

Next up... Nora Clavicle! Same Bat time, same Bat URL!


  1. John: That's not an ascot Bruce is wearing. It's a 60s accessory called an apache. It had a metal loop, pushed toward the neck, that held the two ends together. This is the only thing I can think to say, to assure you and Peter that you haven't been abandoned to the sound of one bat clapping.

  2. Clifton-

    Thanks for the clarification!

    Now I know what to get Peter for Christmas this year.

  3. I can't wait until the Nora Clavicle review!

  4. The only COMPLETELY dramatic story (as opposed to weird comedies like The Loved One) I know Milton Berle from is the biopic "Lepke," where he played (I think) Lepke's father-in-law. I haven't see either Louie the Lilac story in a while, but this site is making them sound right up there with that film as far as the level of comedy. Is Berle really that "subdued"?

  5. I just saw it and I found out that no one WAS exaggerating. Oh, well - it's still Milton Berle, and he's always enjoyable. But it's still too bad Louie didn't get to be a really funny character.

  6. Wow, you guys were really jaded by this point. How could you not even mention Nobu McCarthy as Lotus, one of the best molls of the entire third season? She wins her place not only for possessing that bod, but for showing a deliciously lustful gleam in her eye at the chance to deep fat fry Batgirl. That and Bruce's ascot-thingie are the only reasons to watch what is otherwise admittedly one of the crummier third season episodes...

  7. RE: Changing background colors.
    That was a staple of Gold Key comics of the time..can't recall if it happened over at DC. Maybe the art director thought it was a "comicbook thing"?

  8. Another episode where Batgirl wasn't allowed to capture criminals on her own. She just wasn't the Batgirl of the comics thanks to male writers!

  9. Gus was played by Percy Helton, busy right up to his 1971 death at age 77.