"It's Only a Movie, Take Three": Film Freak is in front of a camera, taking multiple takes to recreate the famous line from 1976's Network--"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." He remarks on Peter Finch's untimely death before he could accept
Appearing in "It's Only a Movie, Take Three"
- Bobby Schaper (Dies)
- Gotham City
Synopsis for "It's Only a Movie, Take Three"
Film Freak is in front of a camera, taking multiple takes to recreate the famous line from 1976's Network--"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." He remarks on Peter Finch's untimely death before he could accept his Oscar, then reveals that everyone in Gotham is likewise about to die an untimely death. The only way to get a last-act save is to correctly answer a movie trivia question: What do Killers From Space, Return of the Living Dead, and Dr. Strangelove have in common? He ends the broadcast by noting that he doesn't expect anyone to know the answer.
In the studio, only the station's movie critic, Bobby Schaper--who is operating the camera--is left alive. He wonders why, and Film Freak says it's because he is making cinema history.
Selina, Holly, and Karon are staring at the blank TV screen. Karon wonders what the hell that was, and Selina answers, "Trouble." She leaves Helena with Holly in the living room as she quizzes Karon about the references Film Freak made. Karon doesn't know the connection between the three films, and she's never even heard of Killers From Space. Selina pulls on her Catwoman costume and admits to Karon that not only does she know who Film Freak is, he knows who she is.
Catwoman arrives at the TV studio too late. Film Freak killed almost everyone there and then left. Holly tells Selina to call in the Justice League, but she already did that and look where it got them. Catwoman then notices that one of the station's vans is missing.
Film Freak is holding a gun to Bobby's head as he drives the station's van through the streets of Gotham. He is explaining the history of the cinematic car chase to him while he gives him directions. Then he notices that Catwoman is chasing them on a stolen motorcycle. Bobby takes a sudden turn to dodge a baby carriage as Catwoman gains on them. Film Freak throws a grenade out the window behind them, which goes off and knocks Catwoman off the motorcycle.
Catwoman flips her way across a rooftop to slow her descent and land safely. She lies on the rooftop as the van parks. Film Freak doubts she survived the blast. Catwoman is no longer important to the plot. He directs Bobby to a seemingly abandoned house, and when Bobby refuses to walk inside, Film Freak pulls the gun on him again.
Inside is a glowing green astronaut who claims he was fired after a covert mission went wrong. "Alien" wrong. All Film Freak knows for sure is that he has powerful friends who can obtain hard-to-find items. Like the one in that briefcase. Film Freak orders Bobby to walk forward and take the glowing green briefcase.
Catwoman is up and has called Holly to ask whether Karon figured out Film Freak's question yet. Karon has downloaded Killers From Space and fastforwarded it to the end where the hero watches from the window as the atomic bombs go off... That's the connection, she realizes. All three films end in a nuclear holocaust.
Catwoman climbs down to lie down on the van right before Film Freak and Bobby emerge from the house with the briefcase in Bobby's hand. Catwoman clings to the roof of the van as Bobby drives away. Film Freak reveals to Bobby that he feels sick from radiation poisoning, but don't worry, radiation poisoning from Uranium-235 takes years to kill someone. Besides, they're here.
Bobby parks the van outside a movie theater, and they bring the bomb and the uranium inside. Bobby finishes setting up at center stage and begs Film Freak to let him go. Film Freak points the gun at the center of Bobby's forehead and says, sorry. Like the cop with one day to go before retirement, he doesn't live to see the credits. Film Freak kills him.
Catwoman had passed out on the roof of the van, but the gunshot wakes her up. Her internal injuries act up as she climbs down from the van, and she calls Holly for reinforcements. She runs inside and up the stairs to find Film Freak watching a montage of nuclear explosions in films while posed onstage with his nuclear bomb. The bomb has two minutes and forty-eight seconds left. Catwoman tries to reason with Film Freak, but between dying like James Dean or Marlon Brando, he prefers James Dean.
Catwoman demands the detonator, but there is no detonator. Just a nuclear bomb and a ticking clock. The only way to stop it is to cut the correct wire, so which wire will Catwoman cut? Film Freak says there's no time left for her to figure it out, and anyway, this is the perfect ending. His movie will have people talking for years. He continues monologuing about his movie and Dr. Strangelove, frustrating Catwoman until she beats him Film Freak unconscious to make him stop quoting movies and to drive home that he isn't an auteur, he's just another Gotham lunatic.
Holly--likewise in her Catwoman costume--arrives just afterwards and takes in the scene, realizing at once that Selina is going to have to choose a wire to cut. Except Selina snips one seemingly at random. Cutting any wire would shut it down. "Don't believe everything you see in the movies, Holly. This is the real world," she says.
Holly asks if Film Freak remembered Irena Dubrovna's identity, but apparently that's the one thing Zatanna got right. That leaves them with nothing more urgent to do than to go home, get out of these costumes, and sleep for the next day or so.
They arrive at the apartment to find a trail of blood leading to a stunned Karon and a bleeding Slam, who is cradling Helena in his arms. He just wanted to hold his granddaughter. And he and Selina need to talk.
- This book was first published on November 15, 2006.
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