Story by Mitch Brian
Teleplay by Sean Catherine Derek & Laren Bright
Directed by Kevin Altieri
Borrowing elements from the film Rashomon, “P.O.V.” is the first Batman: The Animated Series episode to be told in flashback. It’s a unique storytelling technique, especially for the moment when this was aired, as it was not a contrived technique of telling a story. Also, all things considered, Batman: The Animated Series was primarily an animated program for children. The flashbacks and varying point of views on the story are handled flawlessly, proving once again that the creative team were well ahead of their time. Batman: The Animated Series is a highly impressive show and over the course of its first season, it has easily become one of the most defining chapters in the Batman’s 76 years.
Renee Montoya, Officer Wilkes, and Detective Bullock recount a bungled sting operation that cost two million and was blown in five minutes. Lt. Hackle from Internal Affairs interrogates them as Gordon watches from afar. Bullock, up first, recounts the story which paints Batman as the one who ruined the operation and him as the hero who saved The Caped Crusader. It’s obviously a lie and we see it play out against everything Bullock just told Hackle. According to the detective, he saw Batman enter the warehouse and went in after him, forcing him not to wait for Montoya and Wilkes. While inside, Batman alerted the crooks and Bullock had to fight them off and rescue the vigilante. The reality of the story is, in fact, the complete inverse of that situation. It’s actually Bullock who ran into the warehouse and accidentally alerted the thugs. After the place caught on fire, it was Batman who rescued the detective.
Up next is rookie Officer Wilkes. His story is straight forward and concerns itself more with the Batman. He “heard of him but never seen him” before the sting. Wilkes’ story is told through strong animation work that demonstrates the classic staples of Batman. His movement, usage of gadgets, and tactics all feel true to the spirit of the icon; Wilkes story is largely representative of how we’d probably view The Batman – in awe!
Wilkes awe of Batman is also shared with Montoya as she states that he was in “rare form.” According to her point of view, when they arrived on scene, they found Bullock laying on the ground outside with the warehouse already on fire. After she told Wilkes to pursue the thugs outside, she went indoors, but was soon thrown off guard when paint cans started to explode. To no surprise, Batman rescued her, but she then watched him get buried under rubble. Lt. Hackle, disregarding Gordon, suspends all three officers as all three stories did not add up. Until further notice, Montoya, Wilkes, and Bullock have their badges taken away. While Montoya is on the train, she starts to piece together names she heard mentioned while at the warehouse. While she’s looking out the window, she sees Hathcock Shipping Company and realizes that Hathcock isn’t a person, but a place. She heads over to the dock and finds that the thugs from the previous night have Batman. Relieved, she waits until he cuts himself loose and then they team up to fend off the rest of “The Boss”‘s thugs.
“P.O.V.” concludes with Gordon demanding that his officers have their badges returned, as the I.A. farce has gone on long enough. With the investigation closed, and the criminals behind bars, it’s another win for the G.C.P.D. with a little help from… The Batman!
“P.O.V.” will long be remembered as one of Batman: The Animated Series finest episodes. The story, teleplay, and direction set a benchmark for how animated stories could be approached and also raised the level for animation. Warner Bros. have a truly, incredible legacy when it comes to animation and Batman: The Animated Series is easily at the top of the list.
And, as always, thanks for following and please stay tuned for more!