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"Eternal Youth" is the twenty-ninth episode of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on Fox Kids in the United States on September 23, 1992.

Synopsis[]

In the dead of night, a woman runs, panting with fear, through a remote forest, being pursued by a mysterious figure in a jumpsuit. When the woman stops, out of breath, the figure catches up. The woman, Mrs. Thomas, begs for her life, having seen what has happened to the "others", but the figure sprays Mrs. Thomas with some kind of chemical. There is a creaking sound, and Mrs. Thomas becomes completely petrified. The woman then says to the immobilized Mrs. Thomas "You and your kind owe Mother Nature a big debt, and I will ensure you pay up".

The next day, at Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne has an angry phone conversation with a Wayne Enterprises director who made an unauthorized deal with a slash-and-burn operation in the Amazon rain forest and threatens to fire him unless he cancels the deal. Alfred answers the door to his special lady friend, artist Maggie Page, whose morning jog has taken her past the Manor. Though pleased to see her, he is a little embarrassed by her open flirting in front of Bruce. While sorting through the mail, Alfred finds a promotional videocassette from something called the "Eternal Youth Spa." On it, two pretty young women, Lily and Violet extend Bruce a personalized invitation to a free weekend at the spa. Bruce says he's too busy but suggests that Alfred and Maggie go in his stead. Alfred stiffly declines, but Maggie is delighted and drags a less-than-enthusiastic Alfred along with her.

When they arrive at the spa and announce they are there to take Bruce's place, Lily & Violet confer with their boss, hidden in the shadows. The boss tells the girls to let them in — someone has to pay for Wayne's crimes.

The new guests at the spa are treated to a welcome lecture from the spa's founder, Dr. Daphne Demeter. She has invented a new compound, "Demetrite," which has been imbued into the spa's food, drink, water, and air, and has miraculous restorative properties. Alfred does not hide his skepticism but is pleasantly surprised by the tastiness of the water and fruit samples they are offered.

Batman is informed that several prominent industrialists, including Mrs. Thomas, have disappeared mysteriously. In her apartment, he finds another promotional video for the spa. He calls Alfred at the spa, who duly inquires about Mrs. Thomas and is told she left unexpectedly a few weeks earlier. Alfred adds that he is having a wonderful time, and will return to the Manor a new man, but Bruce is not entirely convinced.

Indeed, when Maggie drops Alfred off after their weekend, he bids her a fond goodbye, complete with a kiss on the cheek. Later that day, Batman pulls the Batmobile into the Batcave and is taken aback to see Alfred decorating the cave with potted plants. Now a firm believer in Demetrite, Alfred takes a dose in a glass of water and suggests that Bruce do the same. However, he suddenly sways, feeling faint, and Bruce has to help him upstairs into bed. Suspicious, he takes a sample of the Demetrite for analysis.

The next morning, Alfred rises from his bed, takes in the morning sunshine, and instantly feels better. He sees Maggie outside his window, and they agree that they are sharing the same thought — they want to return to the spa.

In the cave, Batman tests the Demetrite by combining an equal amount of the enzyme with human plasma. It causes a violent chemical reaction, and a vine grows out of the test tube and catches Batman's arm. Batman breaks free and rushes out of the Bat Cave to warn Alfred; however, he finds an empty bedroom.

Alfred & Maggie return to the spa, telling Dr. Demeter about what a difference she has made to them. With a sinister smile, Demeter backs away and says the couple is ready for the "final treatment". She motions Lily & Violet forward, revealing she is Poison Ivy. Alfred, too late, realizes the danger and orders Maggie to run, but the two henchwomen spray Maggie & Alfred with gaseous Demetrite, petrifying them both.

Entering the spa's cathedral-size greenhouse at night, Batman is surprised and taken prisoner by Violet & Lily. Ivy herself appears and reveals that the Demetrite is a special growth enzyme extracted from a rare South American tree she has cultivated. With it, she has produced her "collection" — her victims, all of whom own companies that have committed some environmental crime, and all of whom have now been transformed into humanoid trees. She challenges Batman by asking if he is an anti-environmentalist like them. While Batman does not endorse what may have happened, he retorts that Poison Ivy's vigilantism makes her even more appalling than those she wishes to punish. She says she is still targeting Bruce Wayne for Wayne Enterprise's aborted deal with a slash & burn logging company, but for now "these two will do". She shows Batman the petrified tree forms of Maggie & Alfred, enraging him.

She says the transformation will take months of additional spray before it becomes irreversible, and orders Violet & Lily to spray him with a triple-strength mixture that should transform him almost instantly. However, Batman advances on the two henchwomen unaffected. Ivy shocking remarks that Batman should be "sprouting leaves by now", and he explains he analyzed the Demetrie and coated the Bat-suit with an herbicide, anticipating such a move on her part. Violet & Lily back away, still spraying, but Batman subdues both of them. Ivy somersaults through the branches, firing her crossbow at Batman. She manages to pin him against a tree, and just as she's about to shoot him, he picks up a bucket of tree sap and throws it at her. He misses but luckily ends up shattering a container of the enzyme in her laboratory, spilling the enzyme onto the ground of the greenhouse. Instantly, an enormous tree grows out of the ground at an accelerated rate, scooping up Ivy and her henchwomen in its expanding branches. Ivy is apparently crushed between the growing tree and the spa's roof, but when the growth ends, Batman only manages to find Ivy's victims and henchwomen — Ivy herself is nowhere to be found.

Ivy's victims are treated, and Alfred & Maggie share some rest time at the hospital. Bruce enters with a flowerpot to brighten their room, and both Alfred and Maggie recoil. Bruce apologizes and takes away the bouquet, to which Maggie remarks to Alfred "Nice man, but not too bright."

Cast[]

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