"Sweet Obsession": At the Gotham Goliaths baseball stadium, Jervis Tetch sells hats to Gotham Goliaths fans from his Krazy Hats stand there. Each hat that he sells contains a mind-controlling microchip w
- I'm sorry you didn't understand. Really. I apologize. I've been known to lose my cool. But there are certain standards that have to be upheld. There are no shortcuts, see. You can't cheat the process or you wind up with a bad product. And we can't have a bad product. No, that just wouldn't do. But if you drink the tea, I promise you'll feel all better. It's a very special tea...
- -- Jervis Tetch
Appearing in "Sweet Obsession"
- Gellman (Flashback only)
- Alice Dee (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Sweet Obsession"
At the Gotham Goliaths baseball stadium, Jervis Tetch sells hats to Gotham Goliaths fans from his Krazy Hats stand there. Each hat that he sells contains a mind-controlling microchip with which he can command his unsuspecting customers.
Meanwhile, Batman has been data-mining for wire-transfers from Jervis Tetch's accounts before he last disappeared. The money is filtered through a number of offshore accounts and shell companies, ending up in the forms of donations, bribes, and investments in various locations in Gotham. Each location represents a sphere of influence that has grown as a result of these money transfers. These locations are each geographically proximate with the scene of one of the recent kidnappings. This means that the Mad Hatter is using his influence to shop for people to kidnap.
Batman reports his findings to Commissioner Gordon, explaining that the Hatter is funding businesses, stores, and events - and then kidnapping people from them. However, they can't follow his money-trail, or they'll just be chasing themselves around in circles. The Hatter isn't doing anything yet, all of the kidnappings have been performed by others who he has controlled with his micro-chipped hats. The thug Batman spotted losing his wig the other night seemed confused when the wig fell from his head, suggesting that it was the wig that prompted him to act, and that it was the loss of control that prompted his companions to shoot him dead. In the meantime, Hatter's One Size, Inc. is sponsoring a picnic dinner at Gotham Pediatric Hospital tomorrow, and Gordon agrees to place some unmarked cars in the vicinity and some undercover cops on the scene.
The Hatter, meanwhile, is still casting for his major plan, and becomes intrigued with one woman, who manages to scream "Help Me!" in just the right way that piques his interest. He remembers the place from which his inspiration comes: Alice Dee. Alice was a girl he knew in school, and though Jervis was something of a geek, Alice and her friends looked out for him and included him in their games. He had grown enamoured with Alice, and told his father - a haberdasher - about the girl. The man warned Jervis to avoid putting Alice on a pedestal, lest she disappoint him, but offered a plan to help his son succeed. The next day, Jervis invited Alice to the opening of a new park, and she accepted.
As Batman prepares check out the charity picnic in the Batplane, Alfred Pennyworth notes that he hasn't heard from Natalya lately. Brushing it off, Bruce states that she is simply gone, like all of his other former lady-friends. As Bruce leaves, Alfred remarks that Natalya was different, and Bruce knows it.
At the picnic, two of Hatter's thugs single out a small boy and lead him away to an abandoned rotunda. While their backs are turned, though, Batman swoops down and takes the child away to safety before returning to beat the thugs down. Even so, he lets them get away, having placed a tracker on the back of their van.
At the park, young Jervis and Alice had a wonderful time exploring a series of Alice in Wonderland themed displays. They shared a funnel cake, and afterwards, Alice admitted that though she wasn't sure she'd have fun, she was glad that she agreed to come with him, and held his hand.
Jervis' reverie is interrupted by the warning that Batman has arrived. However, Alfred is unable to find any sign of the Mad Hatter or his base at the location of the van. This is because Tetch has used an abandoned missile silo as his base, hidden beneath reinforced concrete. Though annoyed that his men failed him earlier, the Hatter is assured of his victory, and decides to take some tea by himself. There, in the desert, he sips the tea, and slips away into hallucination.
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