Bane (Batman: The Animated Series)
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|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Mitch Brian|
|Written by||Kevin Altieri|
|Original air date||September 10, 1994|
|Running time||22 minutes|
Bane is the tenth episode of the second season of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 10th, 1994. It was directed by Mitch Brian and written by Kevin Altieri. It is the first episode in the series to feature the titular villian Bane who went on to be featured in the Batman films Batman and Robin and The Dark Knight Rises. In comics, Bane first appeared in Batman: Vengance of Bane Issue 1# in 1993.
Bane, an enormous, South American masked mercenary, is picked up from the airport by Rupert Thorne's secretary, Candice. Thorne has put out a hit on Batman as revenge for him busting a diamond smuggling operation that cost Thorne ten million dollars. Candice tells Bane that she is the one who got him hired. Bane responds by thanking her and kissing her hand. Candice then escorts Bane to Thorne's house. Thorne gives Bane a briefcase full of the diamonds that luckily managed to avoid confiscation. Thorne tells Bane that Candice is more than willing to provide him with information on Batman, but Bane tells him that won't be necessary, as he has learned that Killer Croc has recently escaped police custody, and that he will trail the criminal so he can observe Batman in action, stating, "Once I understand how he thinks and fights, I will break him."
Later, Killer Croc and his henchmen are in the process of robbing a warehouse, when Batman and Robin appear. After dispatching the henchmen, the Dynamic Duo chase Croc, who manages to lead them into the sewer. Croc is ready to ambush them with a lead pipe, when all of a sudden, Bane punches his way through one of the sewer walls, and proclaims that Batman is his target, and that Croc should back off. Croc responds by challenging Bane, who does not all appear to be intimidated. Bane then presses a button on a device attached to his wrist that feeds tubes into the back of his head. Within seconds, Bane nearly doubles in size, leaving Croc in complete bewilderment. By the time Batman and Robin enter the sewer, Croc has been beaten to a pulp, and Bane is nowhere to be found. Upon dragging Croc out of the sewer, they discover that the Batmobile has been completely pummeled. Batman determines that the culprit is the same person who savagely beat Croc, and that the damage to the Batmobile was done with bare hands.
Batman visits Croc in the prison infirmary, demanding he tell him who assaulted him. Croc is uncooperative, but after Batman messes with the traction devices that are holding Croc's broken bones, Croc agrees. He describes his assailant as being huge and having a South American accent, as well a device that greatly increased his mass. Croc then sneeringly tells Batman that when this person does decide to strike, he won't stand a chance.
Back at the Batcave, Croc's description makes Batman remember a scientific experiment at a maximum security Cuban Prison that he read about. Three years ago, an experiment called Project Gilgamesh was undertaken at a lifers only prison-where the scientists would attempt to turn the convicts into super-soldiers; the first test subject being a prisoner named Bane. Although the experiment was a success, it backfired immediately, as Bane overpowered the guards and became the first prisoner to escape in 25 years. The newly escaped Bane went on to become an assassin for hire, charging five million dollars per hit. Batman deduces that Rupert Thorn must have hired Bane, as he is the only one of his enemies with that much disposable income.
Shortly afterwards, Batman and Robin stake out Thorn's building. Robin perches on the rooftop of the building directly across from Thorne's office, spying on Bane and Candice and recording their conversation. Robin overhears that Bane and Candice plan to kill Thorne after he takes care Batman, allowing them to run Thorne's criminal empire. They share a kiss shortly before Thorn enters the room, prompting Candice to casually leave the building. Batman tails her in the newly repaired Batmobile. Robin looks over at Batman following Candice for a brief moment, and right as he is about to resume spying on Thorne, he turns around to see that Bane has snuck up behind him, and is now charging him. Robin manages to evade Bane for a brief period, but the cunning Bane eventually manages to sneak up behind him again and bear hugs him into unconsciousness.
Candice enters her apartment to find Batman waiting for her, who proceeds to interrogate her about Bane. She tells him that Bane knows everything about him, and that his ultimate dream is to defeat him. Batman waits with her in the apartment to surprise Bane, but Candice mockingly tells him that Bane has already anticipated this move. Suddenly, Batman receives a phone call from Bane, who reveals that he has kidnapped Robin, and that Batman can find him at Thorne's ship, The Rose's Thorn located at the Gotham City wharves. Candice heads to the wharves to join Bane.
On the Rose's Thorn, Bane has Robin suspended in the air by a crane with a large weight chained to his legs. Candice begins to pull off Robin's mask, but Bane stops her, telling her to be patient, for it will be more pleasurable wait until Batman has arrived, so she can unmask them both. Using the crane, Bane lowers Robin into the ship's hold, which begins to rapidly fill with water. Batman arrives at the ship, with Bane ready for him. Pumping the growth chemicals into his body, Bane begins to duel with Batman. Many of Batman's attacks are largely ineffective, but he is able to use his agility to counter Bane's attacks. After a short while, Batman manages to shoot Bane with a large harpoon gun, sending him flying off the ship and into the water.
Just as Robin is about to drown, Batman dives into the ship's hold and detaches the weights. But just as he and Robin are climbing up the exit ladder, an infuriated Bane is there waiting. Bane body slams Batman into the ground, then kicks Robin back in the water. Candice removes her shoes and dives in the water to fight Robin as Bane and Batman continue their battle. Candice appears to be getting the better of Robin, but he eventually gains the upper hand.
Bane then begins to dominate Batman, beating him near the point of unconsciousness. He gives Batman the chance to beg for mercy, shouting the words, "SCREAM MY NAME!" Batman refuses. Bane then lifts Batman over his head, preparing to bring Batman's body down on his raised knee, when Batman jams a Batarang into the controls on his wrist. To Bane's horror, the chemicals begin to overflow into his bloodstream, causing him to over-inflate and sending him into cardiac arrest. Batman manages to rip the tubes from Bane's head just as Bane is about to suffer a catastrophic heart attack, causing the now-weakened Bane to shrink back to normal size. Candice, having lost her fight with Robin, flees back to Thorne's office.
Batman drags the barely-conscious Bane back to Thorne and Candice, jeering at them for not bringing him a more challenging opponent. Batman remove's Bane's mask, revealing a defeated not-so-intimidating face. Batman then plays the audio of Bane and Candice planning to murder Thorne. As Batman exits the office, we hear Thorne angrily scream his traitorous assistant's name.
|Kevin Conroy||Bruce Wayne/Batman|
|Loren Lester||Richard "Dick" Grayson/Robin|
|Efrem Zimbalist Jr.||Alfred Pennyworth|
|John Vernon||Rupert Thorne|
|Aron Kincaid||Killer Croc|
|Joe Lala||Dicky the Thug|
The script drew from events in Batman: Knightfall.  However, the episode focused on Bane's character simply as an assassin, as opposed to the genius criminal mastermind that Knightfall portrayed him to be.
The episode received a 6.6/10 rating on IMDB. 
Oliver Sava of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B-, writing, "It will be interesting to see if The Dark Knight Rises elevates Bane past his gimmick and into a multi-dimensional character, because this episode doesn’t."