|The Lion and the Unicorn|
|Season 2, Episode 20|
|Air date||September 15, 1995|
|Directed by||Boyd Kirkland|
|Written by||Steve Perry|
|Music by||Brian Langsbard|
A Bullet for Bullock
The Lion and the Unicorn is an episode of the second season of Batman: The Animated Series. This episode is notable for featuring Red Claw in her last appearance in the series. It also provides some insight to Alfred Pennyworth's past and it was the final episode of the series to be aired, serving as the series' finale.
"The Lion and the Unicorn" was the 77th produced episode overall and the 12th episode produced in the second season.
The International terrorist known as Red Claw strikes again and kidnaps Alfred, luring him into a trap on his native England. Alfred once worked for the British Secret service and Red Claw has learned he was entrusted with the firing code to a hidden long range missile. Batman and Robin have to rescue Alfred before Red Claw learns the firing code, or else she will use the missile to bring England to its knees.
Dick Grayson is honing his acrobatic skills in the Batcave only wearing shorts and Batman prepares to go out on patrol. Alfred Pennyworth insist on cleaning the Batsuit before Batman goes out and then he tells Dick to put on some clothes or he might catch a cold. Batman leaves home, glad to see his family well and Dick wonders what would be of him and Bruce without Alfred's care, the idea of which makes the englishman shudder.
Later that night, the phone of Wayne Manor rings and Alfred answers the call just to listen to an old acquaintance on the other end asking for him to go to the "usual place". Alfred agrees, hangs up the phone and leaves the place at once. In the morning, Bruce finds a note left by Alfred and gives it to Dick, who is wondering where is the trusted butler. The note explains that he left Gotham to meet his cousin and that he would be in touch, which is very strange since Alfred doesn't have cousins.
A short time later, Alfred arrives to London, England and waits for his "cousin" Frederick on a bus station. However, two unknown men approach Alfred and tell him that Frederick send them to pick him up. Alfred notices that something isn't right and he manages to escape from them. Making his way back to his apartment, Alfred calls Bruce and tells him his location, but as he tries to explain the situation, the two men break into his room and they attack Alfred, while Bruce listens to the whole situation from the telephone.
Batman and Robin decide to take the Batwing and fly to England to find Alfred and help him in whatever trouble he might be. During the flight, Bruce fills his astonished partner in on Alfred's background: before entering service with the Waynes, Alfred was a highly trained agent of the British government, expert at resolving diplomatic and military crises. Bruce also realizes that "cousin", is also espionage parlance for a fellow agent, and reasons that, whatever trouble Alfred is in, it is a cause for concern. At that moment, Alfred is taken to a mysterious castle where he meets with his old friend Frederick and learns that he has been captured by the international terrorist Red Claw and now they're both her prisoners.
Bruce and Dick arrive at England and they head to Alfred's last know apartment, unaware that they're being watched by the same thugs who attacked and kidnapped Alfred. They communicate Red Claw about the two americans looking for Pennyworth and she commands them to eliminate them. Bruce and Dick investigate Alfred's apartment and they find signs of a fight and after learning the most they could, they head outside and walk into a dark alley. The thugs follow them, but they find the alley dark and empty and soon, Batman and Robin appear and attack them. The two thugs run away to the nearest bus stop and they hijack one of London's famous double-decker buses. Batman and Robin follow them and after a brief stuggle, Robin causes the driver to crash the bus against a light post. Batman knows that when the thugs recover, they'd tell him who they're working for, but Robin notices a tattoo on one of them and they learn that they're working for Red Claw.
The terrorist has taken Alfred and Frederick as prisoners because, as former agents, they each have a code that would activate a giant missile known as Project Excalibur, which is held inside the castle. The two agents refuse to tell her the codes and Red Claw uses truth serum to make them talk. Frederick gives her the code at once, but Alfred resist the effects of the serum and starts talking gibberish to avoid telling the code directly. Red Claw knows that it's just matter of time until Alfred gives in.
Elsewhere, a group of government officials are discussing the dire situation they find themselves in after the capture of the former agents. Batman and Robin infiltrate the meeting and demand to know the location of the bomb and in return, they would turn Red Claw to the authorities. The government officials tell him the information since they have little choice and the duo learn the location of the castle.
Meanwhile Red Claw starts a TV transmission and tells the people of Britain that she would destroy London with her missile unless she is paid an enormous ransom and that it must be paid in one hour. After making the threat, Red Claw figures Alfred's code among the nonsense he was speaking and she activates the missile with destination to London by typing the code "The Lion and the Unicorn". However at that very moment, Red Claw notices that Batman and Robin have found her and that they're already inside the castle.
Batman and Robin make their way inside the castle, taking down as many henchmen as possible. Red Claw tries to stop them by activating several traps in the castle, but in the end, the duo make their way to the main chamber. Red Claw and her men go out and try to stop the duo, but they are no match for them. Robin finds the secret room where Alfred and Frederick are being held but he is soon knocked out by Red Claw, who gets inside and locks the door to prevent Batman from thwarting her plan. She launches the missile and gets out of the casle while Batman uses his equipment to open the door. When the dark knight finally gets inside, the missile is already on its way to London. Batman runs out of the castle and summons the Batwing remotely with the Utility Belt.
Batman gets inside the batwing and follows the missile as fast as he can. When the plane is close enough to the missile, Batman gets ready to shoot and destroy it in mid air, but from the backseat appears Red Claw and attacks Batman from behind, ripping off the cowl from the batsuit.
Before she gets a closer look at the man behind the mask, Batman ejects the backseat and launches Red Claw out of the plane and into the water below. The missile has almost reached London and Batman has to reach it again to destroy it. When the missile is just a few miles from London, Batman gets a clear shot and he destroys the weapon saving London from destruction.
Aftewards, Alfred says farewell to Frederick, who suggests that he should come back from retirement and join the secret service again, to which Alfred replies that he is most needed at Wayne Manor.
|Kevin Conroy||Batman/Bruce Wayne|
|Loren Lester||Richard Grayson/Robin|
|Efrem Zimbalist Jr.||Alfred Pennyworth|
|Kate Mulgrew||Red Claw|