Written by Mark Hoffmeier
Directed by Rick Morales
Barbara Gordon goes out on a date! However, she has a rocky night ahead of her when her dad has undercover cops spying on her and Batman and Katana need Oracle when they fall for a trap set by Killer Croc!
We're near the end of the season, and what better way to spend one of the final episodes of the series than giving Barbara her own story! It's a rather peculiar choice to take on a story-driven, serious show like this, but it does give her some needed spotlight, considering she's now working directly with Batman's team.
It's Oracle's Time To Shine
While not the most innovative plot, it was neat to see a day in Babs's life. It gives a unique hook to the episode. Plus, it was refreshing to see a jock like Creed shyly approach a geeky girl like her, when it's usually the other way around. They also have some decent amount of chemistry. The scene where they're having lobster and fries and overall messing with the waiter was weird, but in an endearing way.
Less endearing was Gordon as an overbearing, overprotective father. I understand that they live in Gotham and that her life has been in danger before. But the off-duty detectives following Babs and Creed around felt like too much, and the overall subplot didn't have much pay off beyond a shouting match at the end between Babs and Jim.
An Old Foe Returns
Killer Croc is back and continues to be an effective and menacing villain. He uses both his brains and brawn to trap Batman and Katana. Surprisingly, despite all of his charm and affability, he shows his monstrous side and tries to outright eat Barbara. It was teased last time when he bit Batman and remarked he "tasted like chicken", but it was surprising to see Croc's portrayal as a cannibal appear in a children's show. It also makes him the SECOND one after Matatoa. Seeing Croc fall prey to the trope of abandoning the captured heroes and assuming they'd die was disappointing, but at least he stuck around to make sure no rescue attempts were made.
Batman and Katana don't really have much to do in this episode beyond being victims and taking care of Croc near the end. They have some nice banter here and there, particularly when Batman goes through the worst possible scenarios and Katana just hopes Alfred makes it on time. Alfred also gets to be more involved, but he probably should've worn his mask in front of Killer Croc.
Katana being fully healed and active feels off, considering the injuries she received in "Hero". After seeing how Alfred took several episodes to heal from an injured foot, this feels odd, specially since Katana isn't too essential to the plot and it could've been done with only Batman being trapped. In addition, Batman mentions that he's banking on Harvey Dent backing off from them after winning the mayoral election. It's a smart strategy, but considering he discovered that Dent was working with Anarky and hired Deathstroke, wouldn't that make him yet another criminal to expose and bring down? It was jarring to see Batman take such a passive approach to Dent, considering he indirectly hurt Katana.
"Choices" provides some solid fun as the last one-off episode before the finale. It provides a look into Barbara juggling her duties as Oracle and her social life with some light-hearted fun. Despite some chinks in the armor here and there, it's a fun diversion that brings some levity to the season.
- Is it just me or did that waiter that attended Babs and Creed look like the one from Ferris Bueller's Day Off?
- I was kind of amused at how Creed removing the lobster's tail was filmed like one of the show's action scenes. The camera movements are a bit hard to notice, but they're there.
- I'm not really understanding Killer Croc's logic. So he managed to build his own criminal empire within Blackgate. When he left, I thought it would be about revenge against Batman. Yet he's working with other crooks and robbing banks. Why would he take the chance to start from scratch in Gotham instead of sticking to what he already has? Is Tobias Whale taking over Croc's Blackgate operation? Just some stuff that made me curious.
- Being hit by a train and thrown against the wall and only be knocked out? Croc can take a LOT of punishment.
- How was the theme of choices explored in this episode? The episode synopsis made it seem like sound like Barbara would choose between helping the heroes or continuing her date. But she never hesitated to do so and balanced her roles between Barbara and Oracle.