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"House & Garden" is the fifth episode of the second season of Batman: The Animated Series, and the seventieth overall episode of the series. It originally aired on Fox Kids in the United States on May 2, 1994 and was the first episode of the series' second season to be broadcast.

Synopsis[]

A giant creature climbs his way up a building and enters an apartment through the window. It seems to know the territory well as it moves towards an abstract painting, tearing it away. A safe is revealed and the strange being wastes no time disposing of the door and gathering its contents. The creature is interrupted by the owner but is quick to knock him out cold and leaves with the goods.

At the Police Department, Commissioner Gordon and a police scientist analyze a strange green substance that turns out to be poison. The same poison was used four different times during the past month. The scientist admits to not identifying it and manifests his worry that he might not be able to keep the victims of the poison alive for much longer. Batman reveals himself from behind the shadows and points out his suspicion of Poison Ivy in the matter. However, Gordon insists that she is not a valid suspect and admits his belief that Ivy has turned over a new leaf. He reveals that she had been released from Arkham Asylum after apparently completing her therapy successfully. She also had married her psychiatrist, Steven Carlyle, becoming the stepmother of his two children, Chris and Kelly.

The next day, Batman & Gordon pay a visit to the Carlyle residence and express their suspicion regarding the mysterious robberies and poisoning attacks. Ivy sustains her innocence and the veracity of her redemption, explaining her attachment to her new family and to her new life. Ivy explains that because of her hyperimmune system, she can't have children of her own through biological means—she insists that she's happy with her husband and stepsons accepting her for who she is, that she would never commit crimes after finding their affection, claiming that "Poison Ivy is dead."

At Gotham University's dorms, Dick Grayson is flirting with a girl named Cindy. He is interrupted by a call from Batman, requesting him to find information on Steven Carlyle. The girl leaves and Dick is left alone in the room. He notices a shadow near the door and moves towards it, hoping it would be Cindy, but instead he is attacked by the strange creature. It smashes through the door, knocking off a nearby lamp. Unable to see his attacker, Dick receives a direct blow.

Police investigate the crime scene, some search for clues, and others comfort Cindy, apparently the only witness. Bruce and Gordon are also there questioning her. Gordon tells Bruce about his theory that Dick had been kidnapped to blackmail him.

While driving away, he is ambushed from behind by the plant creature. Struggling to keep the car on the road, Bruce asks the creature what it is after. It demands 5 million dollars be sent to him at the docks, at midnight, in exchange for Dick's life.

Bruce returns to his manor, prepares the money, and decides to check on Ivy. He follows her throughout the day but does not find any incriminating evidence. In fact, the opposite seems to be true, Poison Ivy seems to take pleasure in the life of a housewife, taking the children to school and running errands during the day. Batman concludes his observations of Ivy by observing her from the roof of her house as she is returning home in the afternoon. Vines, in turn, wrap themselves around Batman and deliver him to the ground where Ivy confronts him. Ivy says she is happy in her life, and she would not throw it away as, at last, she is at peace and has the life she wants. Bruce shows up at the docks with the suitcase containing the 5-million-dollar ransom and waits for a sign from the kidnapper. Shortly after, his name is called out by a voice hidden behind a row of crates. The creature demands the suitcase, but Bruce remains unfazed and requests to see his ward. The creature extends his arm and shows a tied-up and blindfolded Dick struggling to release himself, then hides again, its voice growing angrier while asking again for the money. Bruce kicks the suitcase towards the crates and asks that the boy be sent out.

Instead, the creature attacks him head and we finally see its body — a giant green monster. Bruce only dodges the creature's blows, but in the end falls over, into the water. The monster turns and grabs a hold of Dick, preparing to throw him into the water as well. Before he can proceed, Batman rises from the water and cuts the monster's claws with his Batarang. The creature panics and Batman takes that opportunity to strike him frontally. The monster manages to escape by throwing Batman into a row of crates and running away, abandoning the docks.

Afterward, Batman & Robin check notes in the Batmobile. Batman confesses to Robin that he no longer considers Ivy a suspect because "all she wants is to be left alone with her husband and sons." Robin expresses surprise when hearing about Steven Carlyle's "sons" and reveals the truth to Batman: Dr. Carlyle's ex-wife is the one who has custody of their kids and the two never had any sons — the real Chris and Kelly are actually both girls.

With that information in hand, Batman & Robin return to investigate the Carlyle house. Robin checks the house and notices everyone is inside, asleep, except Ivy. Batman takes notes and tinkers with the garden's pipelines before pursuing it. The two look around and discover a hidden laboratory. After closer inspection, they find the real Dr. Carlyle in a testing tub, begging them to stop "her." Shortly after freeing him, Batman hears voices coming from strange pods in the room. Closing in on them he is shocked to see babies emerging from the pods. Caught off guard, Batman, Robin, and Dr. Carlyle are captured by Ivy's vines. Ivy herself emerges and confesses that she used her mind-controlling lipstick to make Carlyle marry her. She then explains her experiments - she used Carlyle's DNA to create the humanoid plant-babies who grow quickly, first resembling human boys, then growing into a duplicate of Carlyle, before finally becoming the plant-monsters before dying and dissolving, to be replaced by the next batch of "babies." Ivy confesses she sent out the monsters to steal to fund her experiments to keep creating the sort of "family" she wanted. She feeds the plant-babies a fast-acting growth formula, causing them to rapidly grow into monsters and sending them after her enemies.

Meanwhile, Batman manages to cut himself and Robin free and fight the creatures. Batman stuns them by plucking nearby cables and electrocuting them. They then take Carlyle and try to run away only to find more mutants waiting for them. Although outnumbered, the Dynamic Duo manages to come through it all. As the creatures close, Batman turns on the sprinklers, and plant monsters quickly die and dissolve into puddles of green goo. Batman admits to replacing the water in Ivy's tanks with weedkiller to guard against a potential attack.

Batman deduces that she couldn't replicate Carlyle's daughters from his male DNA, so she created his "sons" instead. Ivy then points out that she could create duplicates of herself, before dissolving into a puddle herself. She was only an artificial copy, just like her experiments.

The police arrive soon after to wrap up the case and use the laboratory's contents to form an antidote for Ivy's poison. Later, the real Poison Ivy flies away from Gotham. Inside the plane, she skims through her photo album, fixating her gaze on her wedding photo, shedding tears upon it. In a voiceover, Batman admits that he believed Poison Ivy when she told him that she was happy for once in her life with her family.

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