It’s been 2 years, time to put the cherry on the sundae.
22 – Harley’s Holiday. Season 3, Episode 25. Director: Kevin Altieri. Story: Paul Dini
What a power couple. Move over Mr. J. Imagine Batman and Harley Quinn an item? Harley is free and she wants to enjoy her life. The simple things in life you know? What do most girls love to do? Go shopping! So when she decides to have a nice holiday and go on a shopping spree, well you guessed it. Things go horribly wrong and she ends up on the wrong side of the law. Not hard to do when you’re expected to turn to a life of crime in no time, but this was a mere misunderstanding and now Harley is running for her life over a simple security tag. She’s taken a hostage and everyone from a crazy father, Batman and Detective Bullock is on the hunt for Harley. Any episode that features Harley is top-notch, we owe it to Paul Dini for creating her, and she simply doesn’t have enough time to shine in this show. That’s why we can’t take her solo episodes like this for granted. Besides, it’s just an all-around fun episode, and that’s what’s most important. We get to see the more human side of Harley and realize how damaged she is, and that her love for a crime only runs so deep. She’s a complex and complicated character and I wish it was explored more throughout this show. The low key awesome moment is when Harley’s hyenas are barking at Bruce Wayne and Harley is trying to figure out who he is. Just a cute little moment. Also, Robin uses fish has nunchucks, that is worth a ton of credit where I come from. Grade. B+
“I had a bad day too once” – Batman
21 – The Man Who Killed Batman. Season 2, Episode 23. Director: Bruce W. Timm. Story: Paul Dini
Not The Joker, Two-Face or The Penguin. It’s someone no one knew existed until this very show. Sidney or Sid The Squid. Imagine that, some random low-level thug is the guy who offs the bat. Well, that’s at least what he wants you to think. After a botched robbery attempt, up and newcomer Sid wants a part of Rupert Thorns gang. So they give him the “easy” job, the lookout. All is going according to plan until Batman shows up and when the fellow gang members look on as it appears he’s going toe-to-toe with old Batsy, he’s actually tripping and falling all over the place. When Batman falls over a building and into a massive explosion it appears that Sid had killed the Batman. Now the toughest guy in Gotham, Sidney quickly gains a reputation that he can not uphold. Every thug in Gotham wants a piece of him and even the Joker wants him. He can’t believe that Batman is really gone. He’s upset because he wasn’t the one who did it and that crime no longer has any meaning. We get a hilarious funeral scene that encompasses Joker and Harley crying, they soon turn their frustrations onto Sidney. So when Sidney finally ends up at the feet of his boss Rupert Thorn, he can’t help feel a little lucky. He killed Batman and made a fool out of The Joker, no easy task mind you. So of course, it’s no surprise that Thorn doesn’t believe Sidney and thinks he is some criminal mastermind, well he’s not and when Thorn is moments away from putting a bullet in him, Batman shows up to save the day! I don’t know why I love this episode so much, maybe seeing how The Joker would react to the death of Batman, makes you wonder. Without Batman, crime has no punchline, as The Joker likes to say, it’s almost disheartening to see that side of Mr. J. Grade B+
“You really know how to put the “fun” in funeral” – Harley Quinn
20 – Harley & Ivy. Season 2, Episode 28. Director: Boyd Kirkland. Story: Paul Dini
The new queens of Gotham crime are among us. Even if it’s for a short-lived period of time, Harley and Ivy make a spectacular team. After her puddin’ tosses her out of the gang for not contributing, Harley is set on showing Mr. J that she can, in fact, pull off a worthy heist. On that said heist she bumps into Ivy who is pulling a job of her own and it doesn’t take long for the pair of them to realize they make a killer team. They are the perfect mesh of brains and brawn and soon start pulling jobs and realizing that maybe they don’t need men in their lives to be successful. This episode does such a wonderful job exploring Harley’s obsession with The Joker and why she needs and relies so much on him. Ivy also asks her why he loves him so much, and Harley always has the hardest time describing her feelings and giving a straightforward answer. It’s a sickness really, where mere moments after she leaves him, she says “I miss him already.” Turns out that Harley was an important piece in Jokers life, as his hideout and life have turned upside down. Throw in a showdown with Harley, Ivy, The Joker and Batman all on a toxic waste dump, that’s my kind of fun. The dynamic between Ivy and Harley is something I wish was expanded on a little bit more, we do get to see them reunited in “Holiday Knights” but it’s for a brief stint and it doesn’t come across as the same bond or chemistry. This is a duo I really hope to see kick some ass in live-action someday.
“Aren’t you that plant lady? Poison Oaky?” – Harley Quinn
19- Nothing To Fear. Season 1, Episode 3. Director: Boyd Kirkland. Story: Henry T. Gilroy.
Remember this classic episode? The introduction to The Scarecrow? It might look familiar because good old Christopher Nolan ripped the incredible ending from this episode and put it in Batman Begins. See even the great Nolan respects his elders, because not only was this a fantastic scene in BTAS, but also one of the most comic book-ie scenes in all of his Batman trilogy. Giving professor Crane a taste of his own medicine only to see Batman appear as large Bat-like gargoyle creature. Batman, unfamiliar with Scarecrows tactics is affected by his fear toxin and soon starts to hallucinate. Mostly about his parents and how they now view him as a failure, and how he has let them down with how he has turned out. We all know that isn’t true, but it’s his worst fears coming to life, letting down the people he loved most, doing the thing that makes it possible for a tragic night like he had to never happen again. Pretty deep stuff, and in the first season Scarecrow is featured 3 times and each episode is so good. Why they stopped having him appear is beyond me because he really sticks out as one of the more memorable baddies from the show. This episode also gives us one of the most iconic scenes in the entire shows run. Batman seeing a giant skull, flames coming out its eyes, his father’s voice telling him he’s a failure. But no, Batman overcomes his fears and shouts – ” I AM VENGEANCE, I AM THE NIGHT, I AM BATMAN!” Grade A-
” I AM VENGEANCE, I AM THE NIGHT, I AM BATMAN!” – how could I not put this as the quote?
18 – Shadow of The Bat. Season 3, Episode 1 & 2. Director. Frank Paur. Story: Brynne Stephens.
The introduction to Batgirl! Took the show long enough to finally feature Barbara as the new trusty side-kick. They teased her skills in earlier episodes, showcasing her talents at getting into places and her all-around toughness, but it wasn’t until dear old Dad gets locked up she decides to take matters into her own hands. With mob bosses being caught and prosecuted left and right, the man responsible is the new right-hand man to Commissioner Gordon, Gil. When Batman decides to go undercover himself as Matches Malone and finds out that Two-Face is partially responsible for these events, it’s up to Robin and Batgirl to get him out of a pinch. Whenever Two-Face is involved with an episode it’s always a doozy. Batgirl is a worthy addition to the Batfamily, where we see that it takes more than just a costume to be a hero in Gotham city. You can see the instant chemistry between Dick and Barbara when they are under their respected masks. Another reason why I like this show so much, it’s a cartoon but yet they touched on mature matters and it just didn’t feel like this was for children. We only ever get to see Batgirl once more before the animation change and it’s a real shame. She never gets to share the screen with this Batman ever again and I think that’s a major flaw in the show. Grade B+
“Funny, I don’t remember a girl being invited to this little club” Robin
17 – Jokers Favor. Season 1, Episode 22. Director: Boyd Kirkland. Story: Paul Dini
Imagine having a terrible day, one of the worst days of your life and you take all that frustration and anger out on The Joker? Well, for Charlie Collins that exactly what happens. After being cut off in traffic, he’s had enough and finally for once in his life decides to stick up for himself. Little does he know, driving that car is Mr. J himself. So instead of you know doing the usual killing thing, Joker tells Charlie that he owes him a favor and leaves. Years pass and Charlie has moved away and even changed his name, but Joker knows him all too well. The real reason why this episode is so great and honestly so memorable? The creation and the very first appearance of none other than Harley Quinn! That’s right the man who wrote this episode along with so many others Paul Dini is the creator of this iconic character. Now, creating a character in a cartoon show that goes on to get her own comic, show, and be the star of a live-action movie is one incredible feat. Throw in the fact that in the end Charlie pulls one over on Joker and that is such a rare sight to see. Seeing him scared that perhaps he had managed to create a monster more deranged than him. Charlie, of course, is just joking and this is just one of the more all-around polished episodes. There’s also a very clever make-shift bat-signal that Charlie cooks up, another reminder of how ingenious this show was. Grade B+
“Jumping Jiminy Christmas! Charlie Collins. It’s been forever. How are you man” – The Joker
16 – Mad Love. Season 4, Episode 21. Director: Butch Lukic. Story: Paul Dini & Bruce Timm
The last episode that ever aired, and what a beauty she was. A true romance story. Joker and Harley, destined to be at each others throats and destined to be together forever. Still can’t believe how far she has come from being created in this show, to where she is now. Mad Love shows the nasty side of this relationship and how twisted Harley is. Her mind has been mutilated by Joker and she doesn’t even know it. It explores the origin of their relationship and how in moments these two can be completely different. Once a respected psychiatrist turned one of Gotham’s most notorious criminals. It’s sad to see someone take as much abuse as Harley does, but her sickness is the Joker. Her love and affection for the man are what keeps her both sane and insane. The thing is, she can’t tell the difference between the two.
15 – Beware The Gray Ghost. Season 1, Episode 18. Director: Boyd Kirkland. Story: Dennis O’Flaherty.
The man who started it all really. Adam West, the first actor to portray Batman in live-action. An icon, one of the all-time greats. So when Batman The Animated Series decided to do an episode about The Gray Ghost, Bruce Waynes hero growing up as a kid, it was a no brainer to hire Adam West to do the voice. Perhaps the best voice works from someone outside the main cast. He nails the role perfectly, and it’s such a heartwarming episode. When someone calling themselves the Mad Bomber is blowing up half of Gotham City, Batman is having a hard time solving the case. Until he realizes that this has happened before, not in his past life, but in his favorite television program, The Gray Ghost. There he hunts down Simon Trent, the man who portrayed The Gray Ghost in the show, only to find out, he’s now a has-been actor, who can’t find any work. When he needs to find a copy of the episode, Trent is the only person left with a copy, and soon enough the pair team-up. Batman is dark, he broods and keeps to himself. He keeps his emotions in check and doesn’t let anyone get close. Tables turn in this episode, where we see the kid come alive in Batman, as he gets to work alongside his hero, a side that is rarely seen. Grade A
“Thanks, Mr. Trent. You know, as a kid I used to watch you with my father. The Gray Ghost was my hero.” – Bruce Wayne
14 – The Laughing Fish. Season 2, Episode 6. Director: Bruce W. Timm. Story: Paul Dini
Okay, first things first here people. Batman fights a shark. That’s right, Batman fights a shark. Obviously, that should be enough to be the best episode ever, but not in my books. The darkest episode ever produced perhaps. It’s almost like a mini horror movie, the way people are attacked by The Joker. It can most certainly be scary and quite shocking for the younger viewers. I always wanted to see this adapted in live-action, I think we’ve never really seen The Joker use his laughing gas, and other means of making people go insane with some sort of chemical and I think that would be awesome. The interaction where Batman and the man swap places always throw me for a loop, such great writing throughout this episode. The best Joker story? There’s a fun side story with Bullock as well, a conflicted character to say the least, but he’s such a good cop, but believes in his way and his way only. Another character I would love to see come to life in the upcoming Matt Reeves Batman movies. James Gordon needs that cop that he can lean on and someone for Batman to butt heads with. The commercials for Joker Fish are downright hilarious. Making Harley eat this disgusting fish after she sings the jingle. This is an episode that I feel Hitchcock would be proud of. They simply just don’t make ’em like they used to, you would never see an episode like this for a Superhero cartoon anymore. Grade A-
“See Batsy, I think of everything!” – Joker
13. Old Wounds. Season 4, Episode 17. Director: Curt Geda. Story: Rich Fogel
The episode where we finally get to see Dick Grayson snap! He even punches Batman in the face. One of the many things that change when the new animation rolls out for the Animated Series, is the time jump. Where we see Dick Grayson don his new persona as Nightwing. How did we get here? How did this friendship come to such a chaotic ending? When Dick sees the new Robin Tim Drake and decides to tell him the story of what happened between him and his new mentor, it becomes clear that the old Robin and Batman always had a hard time seeing eye-to-eye when it came to crime-fighting. I can’t preach this enough, but this is another classic episode that would have best been suited in the old animation format, but that just wasn’t possible. One of the most mature episodes in the show’s history, where things finally come to literal blows between former crime-fighting partners. This ultimately leads to one of the best and more memorable scenes the show has ever produced. Grade A-
“I’m nothing like him” Nightwing
12- Over The Edge. Season 4, Episode 11. Director: Yuichiro Yano. Story: Paul Dini
This episode hits heavy. The big “what-if” of the Animated Series. What if someone close to Batman were to die? What if that person was none other than Barbara Gordon, also known as Batgirl and the daughter of Commissioner Gordon. When a typical night trying to deal with Scarecrow turns into a nightmare, that ends with Batgirl falling off a rooftop and dying in her father’s arms. All hell breaks loose on the Batfamily, where we see Batman and Robin running for their lives inside the Batcave and a swat team setting a trap for Nightwing. This episode is the real deal because we’ve always wondered what would happen if someone close to Batman were to die. Especially on his watch, where he feels responsible. It’s the only episode in the entire series that deals with death, where throughout the shows run, they would go out of their way to depict that death really wasn’t on the table in this show. So to open an episode up with the death of Batgirl, really makes your head turn. This is just the first half of it! How far would you go if your own child died in your arms? Gordon felt that Batman was someone he could trust, someone he relied on for so many years, and not only did he keep this secret from him, but he didn’t do the one thing he should have done, protect his daughter at all costs. So when a man breaks, when his spirit is ripped in two, he will go to unspeakable lengths to try to seek revenge. So Gordon turns to one man who could take down the Bat, Bane. Seeing how this episode deals with such mature content, it’s a shame that it’s not in the old animation style because it feels less mature than it should because the new animation makes everything seem more childlike. Another classic episode that would benefit from the old animation style in my opinion. Bane’s design was flawless, it was walking perfection and they turned him into a dominatrix. Way to much leather and spikes if you ask me. After an epic battle on a rooftop that leaves Bane dead after using his last bit of energy to catapult Gordon and Batman from the roof. Thank god this was all a dream and Barbara was another victim of some classic Scarecrow fear toxin. You know that this is the case pretty much the second the episode begins but you can’t help but go along on this incredible journey. Grade A
“You would fight to the death?” – Bane
11 – Riddler’s Reform. Season 3, Episode 23. Director: Dan Riba. Story: Paul Dini, Alan Burnett.
Riddler’s Reform really explores the genius of The Riddler and how like every villain of Batman, their greatest strength usually is their greatest downfall. Pretending to go straight but the whole time is actually still committing crimes. It’s a fantastic end to The Riddler’s arc, truly standing out as one of Batman’s greatest foes in the shows run. The last little bit of this episode, The Riddler not being able to understand and solve the riddle of how Batman escaped his “perfect” trap, just sums up how unique and smart this show was. One of the things I loved about this version was how they made him kind of a bigger guy like if he had to come to blows with Batman he would be okay with it. He’s just not some scrawny guy hiding behind a computer screen. He is the embodiment of what I want to see for Paul Dano in the upcoming live-action Batman movie. Without a doubt the smartest villain amongst the rogue’s gallery always trying to be one step ahead. His biggest flaw, he almost wants to be caught, he’s always leaving cookie crumbs for Batman follow. He loves the thrill of the chase, even with making millions of dollars by going straight, he loves trying to be the smartest man in Gotham. He no longer needs crime, but can’t help himself, that’s the problem, these villains can’t truly be happy unless they are dealing with Batman. He’s addicted at trying to stump Batman, at trying to one-up him. The show also explores Batman’s genius, how he always finds a way to figure out whatever The Riddler is scheming. He really is the world’s greatest detective in this show. For once in this episode, The Riddler does get the best out of Batman and flexes on him at a party, which was odd to see. But in the end, it’s The Riddler’s own creation that is what Batman uses to finally put an end to him. Grade A+
“Those were things of the past Batman, ancient history that’s gone now. I’m a new man” – The Riddler
10 – HarleQuinade. Season 3, Episode 16. Director: Kevin Altieri. Story: Paul Dini
The defining Harley Quinn episode in my opinion. It sums up her character to a tee and perfectly depicts not only her relationship with the Joker but with herself as well. Incredible writing, tons of action, and it even as a great Cruel Intentions moment in the car. I guess this would have inspired that classic moment in that movie, where Harley is making funny faces at Batman while he drives the Batmobile, just a beautiful moment. Again, this show could have provided inspiration to another movie, you may have heard of it, The Dark Knight. The Joker entering the gang meeting at the beginning of the episode, strap with a bomb, turns out it’s fake, but it reminds me so much of that memorable scene, where Heath Ledgers Joker walks in on Gotham’s most dangerous criminals and puts them all to shame. Harley and Batman do make a unique but effective team, you get the sense that deep down maybe Harley is an anti-hero, she’s just always so internally conflicted about who she is because of her relationship with the Joker. Because on the opposite side of the coin sits Joker and this episode demonstrates truly just how evil that man is. He is willing to blow up the entire city of Gotham, with no remorse. He was willing to leave everyone behind including Harley, all of their friends and even Harley’s babies, her hyenas. She might be sick and twisted but she still has a heart and it really shows, and it’s a sweet and heartwarming moment. You finally understand what makes her tick and what exactly makes her so attracted to Mr. J. He was the first person to stop telling her their problems and start listening to hers, and that was the turning point in her life. Again for a kid’s show, they can go deep with the lessons and themes of an episode and explore things best they can. Lastly, this episode has a fantastic casino sequence that is freaking hilarious. Grade – A+
“We’re blowing town, literally” – The Joker
9 – Dreams In Darkness. Season 1, Episode 28. Director: Dick Sebast. Story: Garfield Reeves
A complete acid trip. The only way to describe one of the best overall episodes of this show. Batman Begins, where the Nolan trilogy all started. Well, we can thank this very episode for being one of the building blocks to its foundation. The plot of this episode poisoning Gotham’s water supply with a fear toxin by the Scarecrow, well Nolan clearly liked what he saw and improved on it just a little bit. But when Batman himself is exposed he wanders down a rabbit hole at almost lands him in Arkham forever. Scarecrow really is the MVP of villains for the first season of the show. 3 for 3 on his episodes, all classic stories being told, all executed to perfection. That’s why it’s such a let down that he’s never really seen again, not until they transform him into the Grim Reaper and change his entire design. Watching Batman trickle down slowly but surely into darkness, into madness is so bizarre to watch. Slowly watching him become what he fights every night, a crazed lunatic that can’t tell reality from fiction. The strongest minded superhero that DC has to offer, can’t grab a couple of power cords, it’s crazy to see Batman so weak-minded, afraid of anything that moves. One of my all-time favorite sequences in the show’s history occurs in this very episode. Batman descends further into madness literally and figuratively, as he ventures into the caves beneath Arkham Asylum. His mind racing as giant, larger than life versions of his most formidable foes, Poison Ivy, Penguin, Two-Face and the Joker come looking for a fight. The animation is just so beautifully crafted as each villain morphs into the next. Grade A+
“The great Batman scared out of his mind. How does it feel?” – The Scarecrow
8 – The Demon’s Quest. Season 3, Episodes 4 & 5. Director: Kevin Altieri. Story: Dennis O’Neil
Has Batman finally met his match? It only took 3 seasons, but the world’s greatest detective finally meets his greatest foe, Ra’s al Ghul. When his trusty side-kick and Ra’s daughter are both apprehended on the same night, the two must work together in order to track them down. Ra’s has honestly one of the better introductions of any character in the show, surprising Batman in the Batcave alongside his own trusty side-kick Ubu. Batman can’t believe what he is seeing, someone not within his inner circle knowing the truth about his secret identity. Suspicious from the beginning, Batman agrees to tag along and join them on their journey as they try to locate the people that mean the most to them. Turns out, Ra’s daughter is none other than Talia al Ghul who Batman had once previously met, and the two took a liking to one another. This episode just has so much to offer, from Batman going outside Gotham city, and seeing him do Batman things all over the world. Being the great detective that he is and always knowing that Ra’s was full of shit, but playing his cards right. It sets up this vast world, where Batman realizes that he will face threats just no within Gotham City, that he will be needed all over the globe. Perfect voice casting again, by David Warner, it really makes the character of Ra’s come to life. The epic showdown in part two, both men shirtless sword fighting above a Lazarus Pit sticks out as one of the best scenes the show has to offer. Batman knows that Ra’s is his greatest enemy, yet his love interest for his daughter stands in the way of truly defeating him. This interpretation is something I would love to see in live-action and hope we maybe get to see someday down the line. Even the opening scene of Part 1, where Robin is entering his dorm building, climbing the side of the building in the pouring rain, really sticks out to me as just some top-notch beautiful animation. Grade A+
“The Demon’s Head, I thought you were only a legend” – Batman
7 – Feat of Clay. Season 1, Episodes 20 & 21. Director: Dick Sebast & Kevin Altieri. Story: Marv Wolfman.
Without question, the best piece of animation this show has ever produced. Some of the best animation I can ever remember seeing in a cartoon. Considering how old this show is and how well this stands the test of time, really encompasses how much effort and heart went into making this show. Clay-Face a man who can become anything he wants, imagine trying to draw all these different designs and shapes and forms, must have been hours of work. Not only that, to produce such ingenious animation but also give us a beautiful story? Now they are just spoiling us! Clay-Face is such a Shakespearean character. He’s a tragic figure, one who you can’t help but feel sorry for. A lost cause who had to turn to crime because of a freak accident. A man of a thousand faces, one of the few foes that Batman feels sorry for. He always tries to help his enemies, make them see the proper way, to believe that they can be saved, but Clay-Face hits a soft spot for our hero. There’s something poetic about him, the way he speaks, remember before his transformation, he was Matt Hagan, the once-great actor. He knows a thing or two about the dramatic side of things. That’s why he’s so appealing and such a worthy foe for Batman. The episodes are a ton of fun, introducing Roland Dagget, giving us numerous Batman vs. Clay-Face showdowns. One thing I love about this episode, Clay-Face might be grotesque and gross, but it’s Roland Dagget who is the true monster. Grade A+
“Hmm, Crimson Fever. Lousy way to go. No cure, you know.” Batman
6 – I Am The Night. Season 2, Episode 21. Director: Boyd Kirkland. Story: Michael Reaves.
This episode hits hard. Batman learns how important the people in his life are, and how valuable a single life can be. Batman is a lone wolf, he keeps his inner circle close, so when one of those people who are closest to him James Gordon is shot on the job, Batman can’t help but feel responsible. He respects and admires everything he stands for, he’s one of the few good cops left in Gotham, and he is the same age his own father would have been if his life wasn’t tragically taken. Batman asks himself one of the most important questions he will ever ask. “How much good has he really done in Gotham?” Because no matter how many times he stops the Joker, or Two-Face or Poison Ivy, he can’t help but see them back on the street. There is so much bad within Gotham, and he is just one man. Does being Batman creates a vortex for those closest to him down a darker path. Batman is just one man, he can’t be everywhere at once, and when he sees Gordon lying on the ground, it shatters his entire existence. Never give up, that’s something that Batman teaches Robin, and a phrase uttered back to him by Jim Gordon. Gordon looks up to Batman so much, what he stands for. The mutual respect between the two is palpable. The most mature episode ever made and gets better with each new viewing. This is summed up in a heartfelt and tear-jerking moment between the two men, in one of the best-written scenes in the show’s history. The cherry on top of the sundae is the kid at the end of the episode telling Batman that he saved his life. Reminding Batman once again that he is doing good in this crazy world, and that he is, in fact, doing good in Gotham. Grade A+
5 – Second Chance. Season 3, Episode 24. Director: Boyd Kirkland. Story: Paul Dini.
Two-Face flipping his coin and having it land on edge sums up his character arc to perfection. He can’t decide what to do, his whole life is through chance and only does what the coin says, so it works out beautifully. Not only is this the crown jewel between Batman and Two-Face, everything that the show has built comes down to this. Two-Face has decided that he wants a clean slate. He’s going under the knife for surgery to fix his split personality disorder. The first step in his rehabilitation, first he fixes his body, then his mind. Unlike all other villains, Two-Face has a close personal connection with Batman. Before his accident, Harvey Dent and Bruce Wayne used to be the best of pals. So Batman has to come to grips with the fact, the person he once knew is no longer inside the mind of his friend. It’s an emotional dynamic between them, that is encapsulated so well in this episode. There is another relationship at play here. Batman and Robin, where Batman is trying too hard to help Dent, that he is blinded by how he treats Robin. One of the best interactions between them happens when Robin fails to stop a car and Batman says “he tried his best.” Robin says “yeah, I’m just the kid in tights.” One of the last few potential straws that break the relationship between these two. This is just a vital scene for what’s to come. It shows that no matter what happens Batman will always be there for Harvey and Robin will always be there for Batman. Even Penguin has a nice cameo, that shows that one rogue will never ever hurt another, it’s just not practiced in Gotham crime. Grade A+
“Good old Bruce, he’s never given up on me. He’s always been my best friend” Two-Face
4 – Robin’s Reckoning. Season 2, Episode 2 & 3. Director: Dick Sebast. Story: Randy Rogel
By far my favorite “two-part” episode in the whole series. Robin was taken so seriously in this show, I loved how they made him a young adult who had problems. He wasn’t just some goofy kid like later on in the series. He had issues with how Batman conducted himself some times and would often struggle to navigate his decision making. When Tony Zucco, the man responsible for the deaths of Dick’s parents returns to Gotham, it’s a race against time in to see who tracks him down first, Batman or Robin. Another episode that dives deep into the mythos of Robin and it’s basically his origin story, not to mention it encompasses everything we know about their relationship. Just having Robin being older makes for better story-telling, it can be used to tell more mature stories and really hit home some meaningful messages. Robin has been waiting his entire life to get the revenge he thinks he deserves. So when Zucco arrives back in Gotham he can’t help but feel betrayed by Batman when he lies about it and asks him to sit this one out. When everything unfolds and Robin realizes that Batman in-fact does not have a stone-cold heart, but rather he was protecting him, is an emotional moment. Robin never realized that Zucco took so much from him that Bruce couldn’t fathom what it would be like if Zucco someone managed to take him as well. This whole time Robin thinks Batman is treating him like a little kid still, while he is protecting him from doing something he will ultimately regret, and something that might cause him to go down a dark and dangerous path. Robin gains even more respect for his crime-fighting partner and finally realizes that it’s not about revenge but doing what’s best. This is the Robin story I would like to see adapted in live-action. Grade A++
“He shuts me out, man, treats me like a kid!” – Robin
3 – Almost Got Im.’ Season 2, Episode 18. Director: Eric Radomski. Story: Paul Dini.
There aren’t many more iconic shots in the show then the one right here. Five of Gotham’s most notorious baddies all sitting around playing cards. Just this interaction alone has to be enough to slot this episode into the top 3. For a short instance, these rogues seem normal, it’s poker night in Gotham, and besides trying to rip one another off, they have all decided to tell war stories about Batman. Like any card game, stories are shared and tempers are flared and each one of these people believe that they have come to closest to nabbing the Batman. Another episode that would surely pop as live-action, because seeing all these characters share the same screen together is simply a treat each time I watch it. Personally, I love how for once the bad guys aren’t doing bad guy things, just gathered around having a stick measuring competition. It makes them feel more human if you ask me. That’s the beautiful thing about this particular cartoon, the realism. Why wouldn’t Gotham’s most sought after criminals get together every once in a while? Here’s the thing, the greatest minds that Gotham has to offer, all sitting around, and not a single one of them realizes that this whole thing is a trap. Batman, much like his counter-parts is always pretty good at setting traps himself. Even the Joker, someone who thinks he knows Batman better than anyone is sitting across the table from him and doesn’t even realize it. Between that, and introducing the origin of the giant penny and how Two-Face used it to almost kill Batman, and how it now sits in the Batcave is one of my favorite Easter Eggs from the show. Finally, this episode delivers the most comedic sequence in the show’s history. Joker and Harley pump laughing gas into a room full of people and Batman is hooked up to a device that generates electricity when there’s laughter. So Harley starts reading the phone book and once they begin to laugh, the device starts to shock Batman, so Joker does the only logical thing, takes a hot dog and starts to roast it over his body. Jeeze, this show was perfect. Grade A++
“I threw a rock at him!” Killer Croc
2 – Heart of Ice. Season 1, Episode 14. Director: Bruce W Timm. Story: Paul Dini
The episode that literally changed the game. The way we see a villain and the way cartoons could be actually taken seriously. Heart of Ice remains the most famous episode ever produced and some believe it’s one of the best pieces of Batman literature ever created. The way this show was able to transform villains who were often seen as joke and turned them into some of the best versions of bad guys this world has ever seen, is beyond me. Take Mr. Freeze, before this episode the world didn’t think twice really about him, but there approach to him. To make him cold as ice, as cheesy as that sounds, was such a unique spin that it changed how we viewed him forever. Lost of all emotion, he is unable to quantify not only his own but those around him. After the tragic accident, like most of Gotham’s villains, he had to turn to a life of crime. Another classic example of a person who was created by someone who Gotham believes is a well-respected member of their society. I love how throughout countless episodes, the true villain was always the person being rewarded or someone the city thought was a hero. As episodes go, they just don’t get much better than this, the only short-coming of Mr. Freeze was the lack of appearances from him. He’s in two episodes before they decided to totally destroy his character and that my friends is the biggest tragedy of the entire show. Grade A++
“That’s Mr. Freeze to you” Mr. Freeze
1 – Two-Face. Season 1, Episodes 10 & 11. Director: Kevin Altieri. Story: Alan Burnett
From the very get-go, you know this episode is special. How they deal with Harvey’s personality disorder, that really hadn’t been seen before when tackling his alter ego. Much like Mr. Freeze, this show decided to take a realistic approach to these characters and in my humble opinion, besides Batman, Two-Face is the crowning achievement of this series. The flipping of his iconic coin, the way he is slowly slipping further into the darkness, and his character design. The voice work, the design, his origin, it’s all so damn flawless. The way they explore the relationship between Bruce and Harvey, how their past friendship is clouding Batman’s judgment on how to handle the situation. It all leads to the greatest two episodes the show has ever produced. It breaks Batman that for the first time in his life he failed at protecting someone, not only as Batman but Bruce Wayne as well. The scream that Harvey lets out the moment he sees his reflection for the first time is the most haunting moment of the show, then Grace seeing him, her disgust and fear is what finally drives him away. It’s one of the best endings to any episode. When the show picks up for part two, it opens with a robbery, and the address is 222, clever. How the only muscle Two-Face uses are a set of identical twins, the show was just so ahead of its time, it just fit so well together. He is now Two-Face but can snap out of it whenever Grace’s name is mentioned, it’s always an inner battle going on inside his mind. Even the sound effects of the coin flipping through the air is perfect. All the little tidbits, when Thorne throws the newspaper in the fire, it burns the bad side of Harvey’s face first, when he cries at the end, it’s Graces face and his good side, making it seem like maybe he isn’t lost completely. Even Batman Forever stealing the coin-tossing trick, that Batman uses in order to stop Two-Face in the end. How without it, he doesn’t have control. His entire life is now based on chance, and the man and the friend that both Batman and Bruce Wayne knew, is gone. Grade A++
“This is my world now. A dichotomy of order and chaos, just like me” – Two-Face
The show was beyond anything we had ever seen before, and with every rewatch, which is two times a year, reminds me how lucky we are to have it in our lives.