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Off Balance
Season 1, Episode 44
Off Balance-Title Card
Air date November 23, 1992
Directed by Kevin Altieri
Written by Len Wein
Music by Mark Koval
Michael McCuistion
Airdate Sequence
Previous
His Silicon Soul
Next
What is Reality?
Production Sequence
Previous
I Am the Night
Next
The Man Who Killed Batman

Off Balance is an episode of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series. The episode introduces Talia, one of Batman's most enduring love interests and her father Ra's al Ghul, one of the most formidable foes in the Batman mythos. This episode is also notable for being a direct adaptation of a classic story from the comics, written by Dennis O'Neil.

"Off Balance" is the 50th produced episode and the 44th episode aired.

SynopsisEdit

While following Count Vertigo's trail, Batman encounters comes across a mysterious woman called Talia, who was sent by her father to prevent the capture of a sonic drill that the Count stole from Wayne Enterprises. On their quest to stop Vertigo, Talia learns Batman's identity and they are forced to work together in order to fight Vertigo's effects, but the more they collaborate, the more doubts Batman has about Talia's loyalties.

PlotEdit

Batman is at the top of the Statue of Justice, questioning a man called Twitch about a secret organization called the Society of Shadows, which has been operating in Gotham City when a couple of assasssins from that organization arrives and attacks Batman and Twitch. Batman fights one of them while the second grabs Twitch and throws him into the river. Batman threatens them and the two assassins use some grappling guns to move away from Batman. However, using his Batrope, Batman reaches them in seconds and takes them to the ground. Both assassins, knowing that they have no escape, trigger a mechanism in their masks that releases some toxic gas and kill themselves, leaving Batman wondering about them. From afar, a mysterious woman is watching the scene.

Batman visits Commissioner Gordon at the GCPD Headquarters to discuss about the recent attack. Batman informs Gordon that after questioning the man, he suspects that a shipment belonging to Wayne Enterprises is the target of the secret organization and suggests him to put Harvey Bullock in custody of the shipment.

Count Vertigo

Count Vertigo's eyepatch device

At the train station, Bullock and some officers are guarding the package from Wayne Enterprises and Lucius Fox is checking over the transfer. As soon as the package is unloaded, all the men present are struck by a wave of vertigo that makes them feel like the ground and everything surrounding them is unstable and all of them lose their balance. Once they are all in the ground, Bullock manages to see the source of the waves is actually a device in a man's eyepatch. The man introduces himself as Vertigo and he commands two of his henchmen to take the device from Wayne Enterprises. Batman arrives in time to stop him but he is also affected by the waves of vertigo. Batman and Vertigo fight each other but they are distracted by a dart that is shoot by the mysterious woman. Vertigo's henchmen attack Batman and knock him down before leaving with the device.

In the Batcave, Batman tries to figure out where could they be hiding and with a little help from Alfred he discovered their hideout, a large monastery several miles east of Gotham.

Batman arrives at a cathedral and checks the surrounding of the area before entering. However, he notices that the area is filled with men guarding the place and that the mysterious woman is walking towards the place alone. When she is attacked by the many guards, she is able to fight a few of them, but when she is finally outnumbered, Batman breaks into the fight and helps her and Batman lost his Utility Belt in the fight. They are surrounded by the men and in the end, one of them used the device they stole at the train station to make a hole in the ground below them, making them fall to a dark abyss.

When Batman finally recovers consciousness, he realizes that the mysterious woman is tending his wounds but to do so, she took off his mask, and thus she knows his secret identity. The woman doesn't seem to care too much about it and when Bruce asks her who she is, she introduces herself as Talia. They are locked inside a room and Batman can't get them out because he lost his belt. Talia uses a lockpick to open the door and they make their way to the main chamber of the cathedral. On the way there, Talia tells Batman all about Vertigo and how he used to work for her father but after he revealed his true intentions, her father sent Talia to stop Vertigo.

Batman and Talia

Batman and Talia work together

Talia and Batman reach the main room and they are greeted by Vertigo, who takes the device with him and warns them that the whole room was rigged with vertigo devices to make it impossible for them to escape. When Vertigo leaves the room, Batman tells Talia that he can take them both out of there alive. Talia hold Bruce's hand and together they make their way through the room, avoiding a number of traps. Talia was impressed and Bruce explains that he just closed his eyes to avoid the vertigo and relied upon his other senses.

They run towards the bell tower as Vertigo is already at the top, waiting for a helicopter to come and take him away. Batman and Talia try to catch up with him but Vertigo uses the device to destroy the stairs and made it impossible for them to reach him. Vertigo uses his device to make them fall and Talia gives in, jumps off the stairs and hangs to one of the bell ropes, causing the bell to toll. The sound of the bell is deafening to Vertigo, who is right next to them and watching this, Batman decides to hang on to another bell rope, causing more noise and making Vertigo unstable. Vertigo dropps the device and Batman catches it in mid-air while Vertigo falls down to the river below.

Moments later, Batman is taking the device with him but Talia forces him to surrender it to her. Batman realizes that Talia was always part of the organization and Talia regrets that things have to be that way between them. However, before giving the device to her, Batman slips a small device into it and as Talia leaves the place in the same helicopter that would take Vertigo, Batman tells her that this is not over.

Ra's al Ghul1

Talia's father is the mastermind

While on the helicopter, Talia talks to a mysterious man through a monitor and tells him that she succeeded in taking the drill device from Batman. The man tells Talia to test it and as she tries to trigger the device, it crashes and starts burning in her hands. She drops the device and reckons that Batman might have sabotaged it. The mysterious man, who turned out to be Talia's father, shuts off the line impressed that Batman achieved a victory even in defeat. He also vows that their business with Batman isn't settled.

CastEdit

Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman
Bob Hastings Commissioner Gordon
Robert Costanzo Harvey Bullock
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Alfred
Barry Dennen Shadow Agent
Brock Peters Lucius Fox
Helen Slater Talia
Chick Vennera Twitch
David Warner Ra's al Ghul
Michael York Count Vertigo

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