It's Never Too Late (Batman: The Animated Series)

It's Never Too Late
AirdateSeptember 10, 1992
Production Number12
Airdate Number6
Running Time22 minutes
Directed byBoyd Kirkland
Teleplay byGarin Wolf
Story byTom Ruegger
Previous EpisodeTwo-Face: Part 2
Next EpisodeI've Got Batman in My Basement

It's Never Too Late is the 12th episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It first aired on September 10, 1992.

[edit] Plot

A news report is being aired about the ongoing mob battle in Gotham City between Rupert Thorne and Arnold Stromwell. Commissioner Gordon is asked about the issue and he believes that Stromwell will soon be knocked from the competition. Meanwhile, at his penthouse, Stromwell vows to take Thorne down, but his mind is pre-occupied with the recent disappearance of his son, Roger. Stromwell tells one of his men to set up a meeting with Thorne, whom he believes is responsible for his missing son.

Across town, Thorne and his men are gathered around a table in Pete's Diner. Thorne usher the bartender to rid the place of the last remaining drunkard. As the bum is being pushed out the door, he slips something under the table and leaves. The man is revealed to be a disguised Bruce Wayne who left a listening device in the diner so he could listen in on the discussions. Inside, Thorne devices a plan where they will go through with the meeting and pretend that they want a truce with Stromwell. Then, at some point, they will trap Stromwell in an explosion while they escape.

Later on in the night while on the way to the meeting, Stromwell's vehicle stops at a railroad crossing. As the train passes by, Stromwell flashes back to a memory he had as a child. His friend Mike and him were walking along the railroad tracks, with Mike telling his friend off for stealing. Stromwell then claimed he'd make a name for himself one day, and then suddenly, a train started roaring towards them from behind. Mike was able to easily get out of the way, but Stromwell's foot got caught in the track. He pulled it loose at the last second and jumped onto the next track as the train came racing by. But, from the other direction, a train was coming up on a frightened Stromwell. Then suddenly, he snapped out of the memory and Stromwell was back in present time.

Elsewhere in Gotham, Batman stops in at a church and visits the Father in his office. Batman tells the man that Stromwell is going to need him tonight, but the Father believes he should give up on Stromwell. Batman replies with "I don't believe you'd give up on anyone" and then takes off. At Pete's Diner, Stromwell and his men finally arrive and head inside. Thorne ushers all of the bodyguards out of the place so he and Stromwell can speak privately. Stromwell grabs Thorne and pushes him up against the counter, demanding to know where his son is. Thorne pleads that he is innocent, but offers to use his connections to find Stromwell's son. Thorne then excuses himself to go grab them some food, but as he's leaving to the back, Thorne gives a sly smile. This worries Stromwell, and then suddenly, the lights go off. Batman approaches Stromwell from behind as Thorne and his men drive away just as the building blows up.

Stromwell visiting his son, Roger.

Atop the diner, Batman presses Stromwell for information on the gangs. Stromwell refuses to give up anything, so Batman grabs him and takes him across the city to a drug rehab center. Forcing Stromwell inside, Batman leads him to a room where his son Roger is. Stromwell's ex-wife, Connie, is also there. She blames him and his drug business for their son's condition. Stromwell agrees to help Batman so the two head back to his office. Once inside, Stromwell hands Batman a folder with all his records in them. Batman quickly realizes that the files are fake, and he turns to find Stromwell now holding a rifle. He tells Batman that he was never going to give up his life, and that he plans to take his son out of the rehab center so he can help him himself.

Just outside, Thorne and his men arrive and spot Batman and Stromwell upstairs. They toss a canister of tear gas into the room. Batman grabs a chair and throws it through the window, hoping to exhaust the fumes out of the building. Thorne sends a couple of his men inside, but they are easily disposed of by Batman. Stromwell, regaining his composure following exposure to the gas, takes off into the trainyard nearby. Thorne and his men give chase with Batman not far behind. Batman is able to take out the remaining goons, but Thorne continues on after Stromwell.

Batman knocking out Thorne's goons.

While running away, Stromwell runs into the Father at the location of his earlier childhood vision on the tracks. Stromwell then flashes back to that memory, from the moment when he escaped the first train but was about to get hit by the second. His friend Mike then jumped forward and pushed Stromwell out of the way. It is then revealed that Mike, his childhood friend, is actually the Father, along with being his younger brother. He lost his leg in the train accident after saving Stromwell. Mike pleads with him to change his life and give up his bad deeds, and just as Stromwell is coming around, Thorne appears from behind carrying a tommy gun. Just as he is about to fire, Thorne gets the gun knocked out of his hands by Batman's batarang. Police soon arrive on the scene and escort Thorne into one of their vehicles. Stromwell, with his brother by his side, tells one of the officers that he'd like to give a statement and turn himself in.

[edit] Cast/Characters

Character Voice Actor
Bruce Wayne / Batman Kevin Conroy
Commissioner Gordon Bob Hastings
Rupert Thorne John Vernon
Arnold Stromwell Eugene Roche

[edit] Background Information and Notes

  • This episode is the first episode of the series to not include a usual supervillain (Such as Joker, Poison Ivy, Two-Face, etc.) as the antagonist.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Arnold Stromwell.

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