Batman Wiki
Batman Wiki

"Seconds" is the ninth episode of the fourth season of The Batman.


A thief, Francis Grey, breaks into a chemical lab and steals a canister, bungles the theft, and a guard captures him. Then he resets time going back to where he messed up, and does it perfectly. The guard still notices him and gives pursuit, but the thief’s foreknowledge lets him take the man down.

The entire Bat team is at the manor, a few days before New Year’s Eve, when they get an alert of another theft at a chemical company. Batman confronts the thief and knocks him down, but the thief concentrates and “rewinds” time until he can anticipate Batman and get away.

Batman goes over the tapes while suspecting that the thief somehow knew everything that was going to happen. The thief meanwhile is working on some device and vows revenge on behalf of his wife and child. He thinks back to how he was a clock repairman with his family in debt. To cover his bills, he stole a clock but set off the alarm. He bumped into a policeman, sent a nearby hot dog stand into the streets that caused a major car pileup, power outage, and a tanker truck to explode. Grey was put in jail for 17 years and his wife left him. The Bat team figures out who Grey is and Batman realizes there’s a time discrepancy, and determine that Grey has put together the ingredients for a poison gas and needs one final component.

The team goes to the final chemical warehouse where Batman begins to realize things are repeating. They confront Francis and Batman figures out what Grey has been doing. Grey reveals that while in jail serving “time,” he learned how to see time unravel and then figured out how to reverse time, but only up to 20 seconds. The team comes after him but Grey is already ahead of them, having lost the battle dozens of time until he has everything memorized and can anticipate their every move. Grey escapes in his car and they give chase, but he still manages to reset time to anticipate them and get away.

Batman figures out where Grey’s son Matthew is, and that he’s going to release the poison at the center of the city when the clock strikes midnight. Batman sends Batgirl on a special mission while he and Robin confront Grey. The poison is in the New Year’s Ball and as it starts to descend with one minute to midnight, they go after him but he’s still able to rewind and anticipate everything. Batman tries to stop the ball and fails, but Robin goes after the ball while Batman holds Grey. Grey has rigged the ball with an electrical device while Batman tries to convince Grey to not endanger all the innocents. When that fails, Batman starts to anticipate Grey, having been through the rewinds enough to get a sense of what is coming. It’s not enough for Grey to knock out first him and then Batgirl when she first arrives. But Batgirl has succeeded at her mission: bringing Matthew to the rooftop.

At midnight the ball explodes, and everyone except Grey (who has a gas mask) dies, including Matthew. Grey grief-stricken by this, unconsciously boosts his power and reverses time all the way back to when he stole the watch and set everything into motion. Grey decides not to steal the watch thus undoing the events that led him on his dark path.

Back in the manor a few days before New Year’s Eve, the team is together again, but this time Grey is their clock repairman and works with his son, as their family is now happy together.

Voice Cast and Characters

Cultural References

This episode references Batman: the Animated Series Twice. Robin jumps a bridge in a way similar to Robin's Reckoning. And Francis Grey attacks Gotham on New Year's Eve in a similar way as the Joker in Holiday Knights. The NBC series Heroes is referenced in two ways. During Francis' flashback of being in jail, he discovers that he can manipulate time and strains himself to control it, much like Hiro Nakamura from the series. Also, Grey works in a clock shop similar to the one Sylar worked in before he began stealing people's powers. It is also to note that Sylar's true surname is the same as Francis'.


  • Despite being the ninth and tenth episodes of season four, "Seconds" and "Riddler's Revenge" were first broadcast before the eighth episode "Two of a Kind".


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"Two of a Kind" "Riddler's Revenge"