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This is a transcript of the Batman: The Animated Series episode "It's Never Too Late" from season one, which aired on September 10, 1992. It is divided into major dialogue sections for better comprehension.

THE GANG WAR

STROMWELL AND HIS THUGS WATCH THE NEWS

  • Constance Blaine: The mob war in Gotham continues tonight. Rival crime families led by Rupert Thorne and Arnold Stromwell continue to battle for control of the city's underworld.
  • Mason: Hey, that's a nice picture of you boss!
  • Arnold Stromwell: Quiet down!
  • Constance: According to police commissioner Gordon, mob violence is intensifying.
  • Commissioner Gordon: What we have here is a battle between an older crime boss and his younger rival, for control of the rackets in Gotham. And in this case, it looks like youth has the edge. I say Stromwell is about to be retired.
  • Stromwell: We'll see about that!
  • Constance: But the struggle may now be taking a tragic twist with the reported disappearance of Arnold Stromwell's only son, Joseph.

STROMWELL DESTROYS THE REMOTE AND SHUTS OFF THE TV

  • Mason: Calm down, boss! Remember your blood pressure!
  • Stromwell: I want my son back!
  • Mason: I know, Arnie, I know.
  • Stromwell: This war has to stop. I want a meeting with Thorne and I want it tonight!
  • Assistant: I'll set it up, Mr. Stromwell.
  • Stromwell: (watching his son's portrait) It's Thorne. He's got my son, I know it! I know it!

THE SET-UP

AT PETE'S RESTAURANT

  • Pete: (taking a hobo outside at Thorne's request) C'mon, buddy. You're outta here. (Takes him to the door) Let's go.
  • Rupert Thorne: Stromwell wants the meeting tonight. We'll put up a sign that says private party.
  • Simon: Hehehe- Yeah! A going away party.
  • Thorne: Now, when Arnie gets here, we're all gonna act nice nice. Make him feel we want a truce. all everybody has to do is follow my instructions, and you get the first cue, Pete. It's gotta go like clockwork. After Pete leaves, the lights go out. We have to the count of five to get clear. And it will be all over for Arnold Stromwell.

CHILDHOOD LOST

STROMWELL AND HIS GANG GO TO THE MEETING BUT ON THE WAY THERE...

  • Stromwell: I'll teach Thorne to (.....) on me. This is my town. I made it what it is!

STROMWELL'S MIND IS TAKEN BACK TO HIS CHILDHOOD

  • Kid Arnold: You gotta swear you won't squeal on me, Mike!
  • Kid Michael: Jee Arnie...you keep stealing junk, you're gonna get caught.
  • Kid Arnie: Nah. Someday I'm gonna own this town!

A TRAIN APPROACGES THEM

  • Kid Mike: Arnie! What are you doing? Get off the tracks! Arnie! Arnie!

STROMWELL'S MIND RETURNS TO THE PRESENT AND HE JUST STARES AT THE WINDOW OF THE CAR TOWARDS THE CHURCH

  • Batman: (enters the church) Excuse me, Father.
  • Father Michael Stromwell: What can I help you with-- you?
  • Batman: It's coming down tonight, Father. He's going to need you.
  • Father Michael: Arnold? That's one soul I wish I could give up on.
  • Batman: I don't believe you'd give up on anyone, Father. Please be there.

IN WAR AND LOVE

STROMWELL ARRIVES AT PETE'S

  • Thorne: Hi, Arnie. I'm glad we could get together!
  • Stromwell: We'll see, Thorne. It's time to talk.
  • Thorne: Don't you wish we could talk alone, man to man? Let the boys get some air. (All thugs leave the place) We made the news today.
  • Stromwell: I saw. It's making things... difficult. You're making things difficult.
  • Thorne: Come on, Arnie! This town is big enough for the two of us!
  • Stromwell: WHERE'S MY SON?
  • Thorne: What?
  • Stromwell: MY SON! WHERE IS HE? What've you done to him?
  • Thorne: I don't know anything about it!
  • Stromwell: You're a lowlife! You'd do anything to take over my city!
  • Thorne: I didn't touch your kid! I swear it Arnie! You know I don't mess with family! (Stromwell let go of him) Hey... Come on! He, we're awaken with the wrong foot here! It's a shame about your kid. Maybe I can help.
  • Stromwell: How?
  • Thorne: Well, I've got connections you don't! (Stromwell agrees and sits down) Good. Now, we can't talk with an empty stomach. Pete! I wanna see now a pasta out here that would knock our stocks off.

PETE LEAVES THE ROOM AND THORNE BEGINS TO FOLLOW

  • Stromwell: NO!

PETE'S RESTAURANT IS BLOWN TO PIECES


STROMWELL IS ALIVE

  • Assistant: The boss!
  • Mason: You can't go in there!
  • Assistant: It was a set up!
  • Mason: We can't do nothin' now! We gotta regroup! Come on, before the cops get here!

THORNE AND HIS GANG WATCH AS THE PLACE BURNS TO THE GROUND

  • Thorne: Consider yourself replaced, Arnie. Hehehe It's party time!

BATMAN SAVES STROMWELL FROM THE BACKDOOR OF THE PLACE

  • Stromwell: (as he slowly recovers) wh-- yo--- (sees Batman) no... what...where am I? I'm alive! You! What are you doing?
  • Batman: Saving your hide.

POLICE ARRIVES AT THE CRIME SCENE

  • Onlooker: Wow... heavy barbecue action man! (sees Batman leaving with Stromwell) Wow, he's really out there!
  • Stromwell: Let me go, you (........) freak!

THE FIRE DEPARTMENT PUTS OUT THE FIRE

  • Gordon: The media is going to nail us on this one.What are you looking at?
  • Harvey Bullock: Your hair. It looked better on TV.
  • Firefighter: Definitely arson, Commissioner Gordon. A bomb.
  • Bullock: Done shame. They made the best cannolis.
  • Gordon: Anybody in there?
  • Firefighter: There's no evidence anyone was inside.
  • Onlooker: There was somebody in there! Batman saved his butt! I've seen him, man. He was just leaping on the rooftops. Carrying somebody on his shoulders. I seen it! Like a dark angel snatching the guy from the fires of Hades, man.

SIMON INFORMS THE NEWS TO THORNE

  • Thorne: Your news puts a crump on our celebration, Simon.
  • Simon: Sorry, Mr. Thorne.
  • Thug #1: But, why would Batman wanna save a guy like Stromwell.
  • Thorne: To get him to spill his guts about the organization. Get everyone on the streets! Check the train yard! Find Stromwell and the Batman and get rid of them!

EVERY ACTION COUNTS

BATMAN TAKES STROMWELL ACROSS GOTHAM

  • Stromwell: Alright. Why the heroics?
  • Batman: You've got something I want.
  • Stromwell: Yeah? What's that?
  • Batman: Information. About the gangs.
  • Stromwell: Hahahaha. While I appreciate you saving my life and all, but you gonna have to come up with a better reason for me to turn stooley.
  • Batman: I'll try and deliver.

BATMAN TAKES STROMWELL TO SUNRISE

  • Stromwell: You're gonna pay for this! Hey, I know this place. I started out here.
  • Batman: Selling drugs.
  • Stromwell: Prove it!
  • Batman: And now you manufacture them!
  • Stromwell: Prove that too! Nobody twists anybody's arm to take 'em, you know? And for the record, I make candy. (Batman drags him along) Hey, hey...what are you doing? Sunrise Foundation? Means nothing to me! (they get inside) What is this place?
  • Batman: A drug rehab center.
  • Stromwell: No! I ain't going in! Your ten cent tour of the city is over!

BATMAN PUNCHES THE WALL IN FRONT OF STROMWELL

  • Stromwell: So, what could it hurt? One little look, right?

THEN ENTER THE ROOM WHERE JOEY STROMWELL IS RECOVERING

  • Stromwell: Joey!
  • Connie Stromwell: Yes, and he's lucky. He'll pull through.
  • Stromwell: Connie! Why didn't you call me?
  • Connie: I didn't know until today. I'd never have known if it weren't for Batman. (Joey moans and Stromwell tries to approach) Don't get any closer! The nurse said not to disturb him!
  • Stromwell: I'll find the guy who got him hooked!
  • Connie: Just look in the mirror. It were your drugs and your people who sell them. I left you to get away from what you're doing. Our son wasn't so lucky.
  • Batman: Help stop it, Stromwell. All your power and money has bought you is an empire of misery.
  • Stromwell: What do you want me to do?
  • Batman: Close down the organization. Talk to the D.A. Turn in all the records. It has to stop, Stromwell. It has to stop. Now.

THE LAST STAND

BATMAN AND STROMWELL AT THE TRAIN YARD, STROMWELL'S OFFICE

  • Stromwell: Here are the records. Look 'em over.
  • Batman: These are dummy books.
  • Stromwell: Yeah, and you're the dummy.

THORNE'S GANG FINDS THEM

  • Thorne: They're both up there, alright! Let's smoke 'em out!

STROMWELL PRETENDS TO ATTACK BATMAN

  • Stromwell: You think I'd go down that easy? Ha! I got scores to settle. I'm big-bad-nosed. Always have been! Always will be!
  • Batman: What about Joey?
  • Stromwell: I'm getting him out of that freak ward so I'll know he'll get better.
  • Batman: You're fooling yourself again, Stromwell.
  • Stromwell: You're the fool, Batman. Now, if you just stay nice and quiet--

A TEAR GAS BOMB COMES INTO THE OFFICE

  • Batman: Tear gas!

ARNOLD SURRENDERS

BATMAN TAKES OUT THE BOMB AND HELPS STROMWELL

  • Thorne's Gang: Hey! Lookout!
  • Thorne: Stash! Freddie! Get up there!
  • Batman: Stay here. Don't move. (To Stromwell)

BATMAN ATTACKS THORNE'S MEN AND GRABS STASH

  • Freddie: Stash? Is that you? Where's Batman?

THORNE'S GANG ENTERS THE PLACE AND FINDS STASH AND FREDDIE TIED UP

  • Thorne: You blew it, you jerks!
  • Simon: (Spots Stromwell) Over there! It's Stromwell!

THE GANG TRIES TO FIND HIM

  • Freddie: He ain't here!
  • Simon: He's gotta be here, somewhere!

STROMWELLS RUNS AWAY BUT HE STUMBLES IN THE RAIL TRACKS WHERE MICHAEL IS WAITING FOR HIM

  • Father Michael: Arnie, it's time to go home.
  • Stromwell: No! Get away from me!
  • Michael: You can't run anymore, Arnie!

THE MEMORIES COME BACK AGAIN

  • Kid Arnie: Go ahead, take some.
  • Kid Mike: No! You stole that candy, Arnie. I don't want it.
  • Kid Arnie: Aww.. what a momma's boy.
  • Stromwell: No...not again!
  • Kid Arnie: Someday, I'm gonna own this town.

THE TRAIN COMES AGAIN

  • Stromwell: Get off! Get off!
  • Kid Mike: Arnie! What are you doing? Get off the tracks! Arnie! Arnie! Jump Arnie! Jump! (Michael saves Arnold from the second train)
  • Kid Arnie: Michael! Michael!

THE MEMORY STOPS

  • Stromwell: Michael!... Michael
  • Michael: I'm here, Arnie.
  • Stromwell: What are you doing here, Michael?
  • Michael: I came to help you, Arnie.
  • Stromwell: I don't need your help!
  • Michael: Is that a fact? An empire crumbling? A marriage shattered? A son lost? Sure, you're doing fine.
  • Stromwell: Stay away, Michael! The last time you tried to help me, it cost you your leg!
  • Michael: Oh, I get by... (taps his leg) Knock on wood.
  • Stromwell: You know I was no good, Mike. Why did you save me?
  • Michael: Arnie, what else could I do? Now you got a chance to save yourself. Come on, Arnie. Do the right thing. For yourself. For your son. For me your little brother.
  • Stromwell: (hugs his brother) Michael.
  • Thorne: Your family reunion touches me, Stromwell. Now, say goodbye.

BATMAN KNOCKS DOWN THORNE AND THE POLICE ARRIVES

  • Stromwell: Commissioner Gordon, I have a statement to give you.

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