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Fear of Victory

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Batman: The Animated Series episode
Fear of Victory-Title Card
"Fear of Victory"
Airdate: September 29, 1992
Production Number: 24
Airdate Order: 19
Animation Services by: Tokyo Movie Shinsha
Written by: Samuel Warren Joseph
Directed by: Dick Sebast
Episode images (12)

"Fear of Victory" is the nineteenth episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on September 29, 1992, and depicts the return of The Scarecrow.

Plot

In a dormitory at Gotham University, Dick Grayson and his roommate, Brian Rogers, watch a sports newscast on a University football game from the day before. The report ends praising Brian's performance and his high likelihood of being drafted by a professional team. Brian is a little nervous about an upcoming game in which he will be monitored carefully, but Dick is sure he'll do fine

Returning their attention to the TV, they are both taken aback by a report on a series of bizarre sports bloopers: several athletes – many of them odds-on favorites – suddenly have panic attacks in the middle of their games, causing them to lose.

Just then, there is a knock on the door and Brian answers it to a courier with a telegram. Brian is confused by the message and Dick has a look at what it says. It wishes Brian luck, but reminds him that "only a fool knows no fear".

Fear of Victory Althete Fear

Under the fear toxin Brian Rogers sees his opponents in a very different way.

On the day of the match, the situation is shockingly unexpected. Gotham University is down 24 to 3, with Brian looking sloppy and unfocused. When the ball is snapped and Brian is charged by the opposing players, he sees them as horrific monsters, and drops the ball, curling up in terror. The game is stopped so a medical team can see to him. Dick jumps down from the stands and runs to his friend, hearing him mumbling incoherently. The doctors take Brian to the infirmary, leaving behind a confused and concerned Dick.

Later that day, on night patrol, Robin asks Batman his take on his classmate's strange behavior. Batman believes it's just stress, but then they notice two robbers on the top of a building, attempting to get away with smuggled jewelry. Batman and Robin point their grapples and begin to reel up, but halfway up, Robin is overcome by fear and cannot move forward. Terrified, he begins sweating and shaking, loosing his grip on the grapple. Desperately, he clings onto the wall of the building, barely holding himself in place. Batman stops to see to him, and the robbers take advantage to hurl bricks at him. Batman tries to dodge them, but is eventually hit and falls off, barely able to grip the wall nearby Robin. He asks for Robin's help, but he is still trembling, frozen in place. Meanwhile, the two robbers manage to knock off one of the statues atop of the building, forcing Batman to let go rather than be hit by it. While falling, Batman manages to save himself with a spare grapple, then re-ascend the building before the two robbers can drop another statue on Robin. After subduing them, he takes Robin under his arm and lowers him slowly to the ground.

Considering it too coincidental for both Robin and his roommate to have had panic attacks in the same day, Batman goes with him to the University and investigate their dorm room. Batman finds the mysterious telegram and notices it staining his gloves with a strange powder.

At the Batcave, Batman analyzes the substance on the telegram. The chemical induces fear, but is trigged by the secretion of adrenaline. In other words, when the subject becomes agitated, it transforms excitement into fear. The chemical can have only one possible source... The Scarecrow.

They go to Arkham Asylum where a corrupt guard insists that Professor Crane is locked up, but Batman shoulders past him and finds a decoy inside the cell, much to the Joker's amusement.

Fear of Victory Lucky

"Lucky" rakes in the cash from his winnings.

At a bookie's, Scarecrow (in disguise) collects his latest winning, over $28,000. Its owner, Leon the Bookie wonders why the mystery man has been winning so steadily, and Scarecrow just says he makes his own luck. Leon turns to one of his lackeys and asks him to follow Scarecrow and "be persuasive" with him.

The thug confronts Scarecrow at his hideout in an abandoned theater. When he demands to know how he keeps winning, Scarecrow merely gives him a trick telegram and removes his disguise. He moves closer to the thug, who has fallen into a terrified state.

The next day, Batman is called to the Police infirmary by Commissioner Gordon where they find the thug scared stiff, hidden under his bed. Batman explains Scarecrow's scheme: He is "fixing" games in order to win at gambling by disabling the favored candidates with his fear toxin.

Back at the cave, Robin is trying to overcome his fear by walking a narrow cliff, but Batman returns just in time to keep him from falling. Robin says he cannot help Batman, but he insists that he needs Robin's help at that night's football game.

Outside the stadium, Robin spots Scarecrow despite the big crowd and manages to follow him until he reaches the lockers. Robin hides behind a nearby hall-stand spots Scarecrow putting his toxin in one of the helmets. Once he leaves, Robin disposes the helmet.

Fear of Victory Saved

Robin recovers the fear toxin before it infects the fans.

Shortly after, in the field, Gotham is leading and is close to winning the game. Scarecrow is puzzled by the delayed action of his toxin, when he is caught on the roof of the stadium by Batman. Panicked, Scarecrow pulls out a test-tube with the fear substance and threatens to drop it on the people below, causing mass panic. Batman is held at bay, and just to make sure, Scarecrow drops it anyway. The tube lands on the rim of a scaffold, and Batman goes after it.

As they struggle, the test-tube falls and Robin has no choice but to defeat his fear: he uses his grappler to swing towards the tube and catch it. Defeated, Scarecrow tries to escape, but has no chance.

Later, at Wayne Manor, Bruce and Dick watch TV in the living room, as Brian Rogers signs a much-desired contract with the Gotham Knights. Dick smiles at Bruce's suggestion to congratulate his room-mate through a telegram.

Background information

Home video releases

Trivia

  • Scarecrow's line "The fear of Victory and the agony of THE SCARECROW" is a pun on ABC Wide World of Sports' "The Thrill of Victory and the agony of Defeat".
  • The Gotham Knights football team is introduced as an allusion to the Bat-family of crime fighters, who have also been referred to as the Gotham Knights.
  • While the rest of the title cards in each episode of the series have their own theme music, the theme that plays in this episode's title card is the same that plays in the one in "Nothing to Fear".
  • When one of the robbers calls Robin "Boy Blunder" an allusion is made to Robin's title of Boy Wonder, the name with which Robin was introduced in Detective Comics #38 in 1940.
  • Scarecrow's appearance has changed from his original appearance, going from a sock puppet to a more skeletal "scarecrow" face. The producers still felt this appearance was not sufficiently scary, thus leading to a slight change for his next appearance and a complete revamp for The New Batman Adventures. Also, his tone of voice changes, where he goes from sounding like a college professor to a more grouchy and broken voice.
  • Poison Ivy is briefly seen in a cell at Arkham, obviously having been transferred from Stonegate Penitentiary following her arrest in "Pretty Poison".
  • The Gotham Knights would play the Colonials again in the Justice League episode "Secret Society, Part II", where they're revealed to be a team from Boston. In reality, the Boston Colonials are not a football club, but a Vintage Base Ball team.

Cast

Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman/Bruce Wayne
Bob Hastings Commissioner Gordon
Team doctor (uncredited)
Thief (uncredited)
Mark Hamill Joker
Loren Lester Robin/Dick Grayson
Brian Mitchell Brian
Chuck Moshontz Boseman
Thief (uncredited)
Henry Polic Scarecrow
Tim Curry Leon's Henchman (uncredited)
Additional Voices
Lauri Johnson Woman (uncredited)
Nurse (uncredited)
Tom Williams Leon the Bookie (uncredited)
Additional Voices

Uncredited appearances

Quotes

Boseman: Heavily favored middle-weight champion, Rudy Lovell set two new records: one for the shortest fight in history, the other for the 50 yard dash. Goalie Rick Gale came up with another way to protect his goal; rather unorthodox, wouldn't you say, Rick? But effective. And here's top seed, Chris Adams making it seem like she's in the wrong racket.


(After testing the fear chemical)
Batman: Just as I thought. The fear chemical is activated by adrenaline. So whenever you, or Brian, or any of the other athletes got agitated...
Robin: The stuff kicks in, turning our excitement to fear. But how long is this gonna last?
Batman: I'm afraid there's only one person who can answer that: the Professor of Fear himself, The Scarecrow.
Robin: No, it can't be. He's locked up in Arkham... isn't he?


Joker: The cowl is familiar, but I'm blanking on the face!


(After winning $28,000)
The Scarecrow: (in disguise) It's a pleasure doing business.
Leon "The Bookie": You've been winning a lot lately, Mr...?
The Scarecrow: You may call me "Lucky".
Leon "The Bookie": Yeah? Well, Lucky, that's what you must be, 'cause I ain't seen you lose. Not even once over the last week.
The Scarecrow: Yes, well, I make my own luck.(leaves)
Leon "The Bookie": (to his lackey) That "Lucky" knows something. I want to know it too. Be persuasive.


(Confronting Leon the Bookie's lackey)
The Scarecrow: (disguised) Lost? You have that bewildered look... but your sort always does.
Lackey: I ain't lost. I'm looking for you! I wanna know how come you always win, Mr. "Lucky".
The Scarecrow: It's quite simple, actually. I fix the games.
Lackey: You can't fix all those sports. Nobody can.
The Scarecrow: Oh, ye of little brain, allow me to illustrate. (holds up an envelope) Here. (taps the envelope on Lackey's face, giving off signs of powder) You can read, can't you?
(Lackey takes the envelope and reads it)
Lackey: "Boo!" Hey, is this some kinda joke?
The Scarecrow: It's no joke, I assure you. It's the fear of victory, and the agony of... (Lackey grabs him and reveals his true form) the Scarecrow! So now you understand step one in how I fix an athletic contest. I shall proceed to step two...
Lackey: No! No! Get away!


(After seeing Leon's lackey at the Police Infirmary)
Commissioner Gordon: That's how we found him, scared as a rat in a cat convention. I've never seen anything like it.
Batman: You haven't been watching the sports channel.
Commissioner Gordon: Sports? You mean those athletes. What's that got to do with...?
Batman: Put two and two together, Commissioner. That goon in there works for Leon "The Bookie". And word has it he's been taking it on the chin lately.
Commissioner Gordon: You're telling me that that walking pile of straws scares the stuffing out of sports stars and then bets against their teams?
Batman: Exactly. A perfect way to scare up some quick cash for his sick schemes.


Courier: Telegram for Mitch Nole.
(Batman seizes his arm)
Courier: What?! What's wrong? All I did was double-park! I'll move it, I swear!
(Batman groans and lets him go)


The Scarecrow: There's enough powder in that helmet to panic a pachyderm!


The Scarecrow: He should be prostrating himself, crying for mercy!
Batman: Change of luck, Scarecrow?
The Scarecrow: You!
Batman: You're aware that gambling is illegal in Gotham?
The Scarecrow: I need the money, Batman. You know the cost of chemicals these days.


Boseman: (as the test-tube falls) It's a fumble! This could mean disaster for Gotham!
(Robin swings underneath, catching the tube)
Boseman: Wait! Look at that! What a recovery!


(After seeing Brian Rogers sign his contract for the Gotham Knights on the local news)
Bruce: Looks like your friend is back on track again.
Dick: Yeah. I can't wait to congratulate him.
Bruce: You could always send a telegram.



Previously produced episode:
"Vendetta"
Episodes of
Batman: The Animated Series
Next produced episode:
"The Clock King"
Previously aired episode:
"Two-Face (Part II)"
Next aired episode:
"I've Got Batman in My Basement"

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