Appointment In Crime Alley was first broadcasted on September 17, 1992 with a script by Gerry Conway and directed by Boyd Kirkland.
Based on the comic book story, There’s No Hope In Crime Alley, by Denny O’Neill and Dick Giordano, in this episode, with the help of arsonists, Roland Daggett plans to destroy Crime Alley and use the land to expand his business empire. But that plan would mean killing the residents or forcing them to abandon their homes. Now, Batman must foil Daggett’s plan and try to prove that he is a criminal.
For most people who don’t know the overall significance of why Crime Alley is such a pivotal piece of Batman’s history, this episode explains how this is the place where Bruce’s parents were murdered thus making sure that not only other children end up with the same fate that he ended up facing but also a number of reasons but we’ll delve more into that as we go along.
What makes this episode work so well is its’ structure and how it plays this story out. A pivotal moment of the episode that Roland Daggett, once again voiced by Ed Asner, has his assistants Crocker (voiced by Jeffrey Tambor) and Nitro (voiced by David E. Lander) rig the alley to blow up so that he can use the land to expand his empire and he plans to do it at 9pm and the episode makes it very clear that Batman is running out of time to try to stop them as we see the clock keep cutting back and forth as the moment of apparent doom is near and this episode really does such a good job of building up the tension and the intensity of the situation that you have no idea how it’s going to end when it’s all said and done.
Another thing to take notice of in this episode is Leslie Thompkins, a character that Batman keeps visiting over the course of the series, voiced here by Diana Muldaur, she’s one of the few elements that remain from the original Batman story this is based off of and she’s also a pivotal character in Batman’s life as, in one of the new changes in this episode, she knows who Batman really is, Bruce Wayne. Although they never really explain when she found out who Batman is, maybe she always knew or maybe she figured it out at some point, but the moment where it really does come together is in the very last scene of the episode:
For a little bit of context, there’s a scene early on where Batman goes into Leslie’s home and finds old articles of the night Bruce’s parents were murdered and a photo of a younger Leslie comforting Bruce after the murder and so this all ties back together with the ending and here is where you see how great that connection between these two is because there’s very little dialogue in this scene and no real exposition, the scene itself is playing out why these two have such a strong connection with each other, the animation and the music doing the work for you by not giving you too much explanation.
I’ve used one word to talk about Appointment In Crime Alley throughout this post and it is pivotal and this is a very pivotal episode in focusing on the significance of this specific alley in Gotham and the episode works to give us this fully realized storyline of why Batman is protecting this part of the city the most. Packing on a lot of great action, great animation, great voice work, and great drama, Appointment In Crime Alley is another classic Batman episode that is highly recommended.