A young girl finds herself lost in one of Gotham City's worst neighbourhoods and after noticing her, a biker gang start chasing her. The girl tries to run, but she is unable to escape from the gang, who are all riding bikes. The leader approaches the girl, with real bad intentions, but just the
- Sometimes, there are no happy endings.
Synopsis for "Growing Pains"
A young girl finds herself lost in one of Gotham City's worst neighbourhoods and after noticing her, a biker gang start chasing her. The girl tries to run, but she is unable to escape from the gang, who are all riding bikes. The leader approaches the girl, with real bad intentions, but just then Robin shows up and tells the thugs to leave her alone. The bikers refuse and Robin confronts them, taking them down one at a time. However, once all the thugs have been taken care of, Robin finds that the girl is already running away towards a narrow alley, but she stops at the sight of the police vehicle, scared. Robin catches up with her and asks her if she needs help, but she can't recall anything and starts running again. Robin follows her again, but he notices the Bat-Signal coming from the GCPD Headquarters and is forced to go the other way.
Moments later at the GCPD HQ, Commissioner Gordon informs Batman about a recent series of crimes by the same person; a man with impressive strength that the police has not been able to find. As Gordon and Batman try to deduce this man's identity, Robin's mind is still with the young girl he met earlier and Gordon makes a comment about teenagers, glad that his daughter has already passed those years; which takes Batman by surprise.
Later on, Robin informs Batman about the girl and after noticing Robin's real concern for her, Batman tells him to keep his head clear, as to avoid any possible accidents in their line of work. The next day, Tim is being taken back home by Alfred and complains about Bruce treating him as a kid. Looking through the car window, Tim spots the girl and tells Alfred to drop him near the bus station, where the girl has entered. Once Robin gets out of the car, Alfred calls Bruce at the office to inform him about the situation.
Robin finds the girl, but she runs away in fear once again. The girl runs towards the road where she is almost run over by a bus, but Robin swings by and takes her to a safe spot. The girl finally breaks down and starts sobbing, holding on to Robin. The Boy Wonder asks her why she is constantly running and she explains that there's a man after her and that she has to keep running. When Robin asks her name, she can't remember it and Robin starts calling her Annie, inspired by a doll he just spotted. At that moment, the girl notices the presence of the man following her and from a dark corner comes the big man wanted by the law.
The man claims to be her father, but Robin doesn't like the menacing way he approaches them. The boy starts fighting the man, but Robin is no match for someone with that kind of strength. As Robin is about to lose the fight, Batman arrives and the man decides to escape instead of fighting the two of them. Batman and Robin start chasing him and they tell the girl to wait for them. During the chase, the man uses a parking building to lose the heroes and while the tactic works against Robin, Batman manages to keep up with the criminal, who is apparently capable of enduring a great amount of damage. Batman chases the criminal into a tunnel and Robin goes through the other end of the tunnel to capture him, but much to their surprise, the man has vanished. The only getaway route the criminal could've taken are the sewers, but the drains are tightly shut. To make things worse, when the heroes return to see Annie, they realize she's gone. Batman then takes a sample of mud from a broken bench from Robin's confrontation with the man and takes it to analyze it in the laboratory. However, Robin is not willing to wait until Batman completes his detective work and goes looking for Annie on his own.
After looking for her in the most likely places, Robin finds Annie near the Kane building, where they make a connection due to their similar backgrounds. It is then that Annie also recalls something from her past after seeing the bright spotlights of the building. After giving Robin an explanation of the place she remembers, Robin deduces that she is talking about the lighthouse near the shore and they go to that place. Once there, Annie starts remembering more until she notices three big pipes coming from a factory, which she can clearly remember.
Meanwhile, Batman analyzes the mud samples in the Batcomputer and when the results are in, Batman finally learns the identity of Annie's "father". Batman takes the Batmobile in a hurry in order to find Robin, using the tracer in the boy's utility belt.
At that moment, Robin and Annie are walking inside the pipes and after taking a wrong turn, they come across Annie's "father", who finally reveals himself as Clayface. Robin and Annie manage to run away from Clayface and they find an exit from the pipes into the factory. Once there, Annie notices how some of the mud from Clayface merges into her own body and finally remembers everything. She explains that Clayface was no longer able to hold his form anymore and ended up washed up by the sea. The remaining mud from his body drifted closer to the pipes from the factory and the chemicals from the waste water helped him recover his form. However, the process was too slow and Clayface remained weak even after recovering his shape. It was then that Clayface formed Annie, using clay from his own body and sent her on a mission to Gotham, to make sure it was safe to go outside again, but once in the city, Annie forgot all about Clayface.
Annie understand that she is not a real person, but Robin disagrees and continues to protect her from Clayface, who has found them and wants to take her back into his body. After telling Annie to run, Robin fights Clayface to the best of his abilities, but he is no match for the villain. Clayface gets the upper hand in the fight and is ready to dump Robin inside a vat of acid, but it is Annie that saves Robin by pushing Clayface off balance. The effort however, allows Clayface to merge Annie into his body and become whole again, much to Robin's dismay.
Robin attacks Clayface with a Batarang, but Clayface shields himself, causing the weapon to ricochet into a vat of solvent. The vat craks, causing some liquid to come out and disintegrate Clayface's body by barely touching him. Robin aims the batarang to the solvent tank and opens a second crack, pouring more fluid near Clayface, who ends up cornered at the end of a catwalk. Robin demands him to bring back Annie, but Clayface insists that she is gone for good. Robin is ready to throw the batarang a third time and end Clayface, but Batman arrives in time to stop Robin. Clayface takes the opportunity and attacks the heroes with his hands turned into axes. The heroes dodge the attacks, which causes the axes to hit the metallic catwalk, creating sparks. These sparks reach the solvent on the ground and the fluid catches on fire. Batman takes Robin off the danger zone and the whole tank explodes, leaving Clayface unconscious.
Moments later, the police has arrived at the place and Clayface is taken in a special container. Batman notices Robin's sorrow and tells him that sometimes, there are no happy endings, but the words of wisdom are lost on the young boy. While an officer informs Gordon that they can charge Clayface with the multiple robberies, he inquires if there is any other crime, to which Robin replies "murder", more to himself than to the authorities. After this, Robin turns around and starts walking away from Batman.
Appearing in "Growing Pains"
- This episode acts as a sequel to the episode Mudslide, from Batman: The Animated Series, where Clayface meets his apparent demise.
- The "Kane" building in this episode is a homage to Batman's co-creator Bob Kane.
- 2 Images from New Batman Adventures (TV Series) Episode: Growing Pains
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Links and References