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"Blind as a Bat" is the fifty-eighth episode of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on Fox Kids in the United States on February 22, 1993.

Synopsis[]

Bruce Wayne is present at a demonstration of Wayne Tech's prototype military helicopter, the Raven X1-11. The attending brass is suitably impressed by its capabilities, which include silent running, a cloaking device making it invisible to radar and sonar, and its revolutionary ZVF sensor package which uses computers to turn sensor data into visual images, thus working in total darkness. But as soon as the demonstration is completed, the helicopter runs amok, opening fire on the stands. As people flee inside the hangar, they find the real aircrew, gagged and bound.

The Penguin has hijacked the chopper, and he announces over its radio that he plans to ransom the city with it. Then it opens fire again, and Bruce dives to cover a woman caught in the line of fire. As he raises his head to look, another shot to a car engine causes it to explode right in front of his face, and he collapses in agony. Alfred arrives and Bruce orders him to take him home at once, revealing that he has been blinded.

Leslie Thompkins examines Bruce at Wayne Manor. She says she can't be sure but believes the blindness is only temporary. She refuses him to leave and strictly orders him to stay home and rest, otherwise he could damage his vision permanently. While the Penguin is menacing the city, Bruce disobeys Leslie's refusal but has to admit that his blindness has grounded him.

When Batman fails to respond to the Bat-signal, Commissioner Gordon confers with Mayor Hill and Harvey Bullock. The Penguin contacts Hill's office from the helicopter to ask about his ransom. When Hill says it'll take time to raise the amount demanded, the Penguin shuts off. In short order, the Raven attacks a bridge, causing it to collapse.

Determined to stop Penguin, Bruce has Alfred and a reluctant Leslie craft a vision aid for him: Using the sensor package similar to the one mounted on the chopper and wired into his brain. With his vision temporarily restored, Batman contacts the Mayor and orders him to comply with Penguin's demands. Hill broadcasts a message, inviting the Penguin to the ransom drop.

The chopper lands in an abandoned lot near a steel mill, but the ransom briefcase turns out to be a fake. Then the Batwing appears overhead, having sneaked up on them with its own cloaking device. It fires a net, but Penguin escapes and re-boards the helicopter. The Raven attacks, but Batman manages to down it with a volley of aerial bombs. But even when grounded, it fires a blast from its laser cannon that shoots down the Batwing.

Batman makes an emergency landing and exits the vehicle just before it explodes, accidentally tearing his headpiece's power cable loose. It begins to run out of power, and he stumbles into the steel mill, pursued by Penguin and his thug Falcone. As he coaxes the last dregs of power from it, he manages to subdue Falcone, but it shuts down for good, with Penguin still left.

Realizing Batman is blind, Penguin taunts him with scattered sounds. Batman gropes his way through the mill, ending up in a room filled with molten steel. As Penguin starts to push him over, Batman jumps up and hangs onto the ceiling. Feeling water drip on his head, he realizes he is hanging near a water valve, and twists it, releasing a gush of water that vaporizes on contact with the steel, creating a thick cloud of steam that causes Penguin to cough heavily. Finally knowing where his enemy is, and with both of them now unable to see, Batman dives down from the ceiling and knocks him out.

The next day, Leslie removes the bandages from Bruce's eyes, and all are relieved to see that he can see with his vision that has returned. Bruce takes great delight in the newspaper headline of Penguin's pending incarceration.

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