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Read My Lips

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"Read My Lips" is the 59th episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It introduces the Ventriloquist & Scarface, a new criminal mastermind operation with a bizarre secret.


After a boxing match, the take is transported through the halls and instantly robbed by a trio of muggers. The muggers make a clean getaway by climbing an air vent then jumping into a getaway truck just as the police arrive. They then go to their boss, Scarface, who claims they'll own the town soon. The gang goes on a crime spree leaving the police baffled.

Later, Batman goes to talk to Commissioner Gordon about the spree. Gordon is concerned because the boss is too smart and all his plans easily evaded the police. All he has is a video of the gang escaping.

The video shows the men escaping leaving a crime scene with masks and gloves so they cannot be identified. However, one tears his shirt revealing a tattoo. Using this tattoo, Batman identifies him as Charles “Rhino” Daly.

Batman goes to interrogate Rhino but the police arrive before he gives any information. Batman then follows him to his hideout. Rhino goes to his hideout and insists to see the boss. One of the thugs goes to get Scarface after hearing that Batman is on the case. To Batman's shock, it is revealed that Scarface is actually a puppet.

Once Rhino explains how Batman was on to him, Scarface figures that there is a squealer in the team. He goes back to bed, and the thugs talk amongst themselves, letting the newest member know that the Ventriloquist is just hired help and Scarface is the real brain of the outfit.

That night, Batman searches the hideout and finds that Scarface is indeed just a puppet. During his search, he runs into the Ventriloquist and interrogates him. The Ventriloquist claims he knows nothing. Batman believes the Ventriloquist is playing dumb but Scarface wakes up and calls him in. Seeing how frightened the Ventriloquist is, Batman leaves after planting a bug on him.

Back at the Batcave, Batman plays back the voices of both the Ventriloquist and Scarface noting that even the computer is fooled into thinking that they're two different people. He deduces that the Ventriloquist suffers from multiple personality disorder and that he and Scarface are essentially two different people in one body. He decides to listen until Scarface reveals his plans.

In his hideout, Scarface explains that there's a shipment of platinum being held on a luxury liner and his men are to steal it. However, he feels that there will be a double cross from one of them. He doesn't know who it is yet but he vows to kill him when he finds out.

The thugs head out and make their way into the ship and help themselves to the precious metal bars, but Batman arrives and attacks them. The fight is brief, however, as Rhino shoves a whole stack of metal bars onto Batman, knocking him out.

Batman wakes up tied over a pit of dummies with exceedingly sharp fingernails all pointing up. Scarface explains that the heist was a trap and he knew of Batman leaving the bug. Batman tells Scarface that he had inside help but he refuses to tell who it is. Scarface orders Batman killed, but Batman gives in and says that the Ventriloquist is the traitor. The Ventriloquist denies it but Batman starts using his own ventriloquism skills to make it sound like the Ventriloquist is insulting Scarface. Angered, Scarface orders the Ventriloquist to be killed but his thugs are worried that if they kill the Ventriloquist, they kill Scarface. Scarface decides he'll do it himself, but Batman gets free and throws a batarang that cuts off his hand. The thugs then attack Batman, but none of them are a match for him. Finally, one of the thugs grabs Scarface's gun and shoots at Batman but hits Scarface instead, much to the Ventriloquist's horror. The thug is knocked out by a batarang while the Ventriloquist cries over Scarface's punctured body.

The Ventriloquist is taken to Arkham where he is given medication that the doctors believe has cured him of Scarface's personality. However, in secret, the Ventriloquist has been crafting a new body for Scarface.

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