Friday, August 15, 2014

Batman: The Animated Series - Episodes 66-70 Reviews

And just when it seemed like the second season was beginning, it also came to something of an end but at least with a slew of interesting episodes, one of which included the most bizarre TV trial since the Sixth Doctor had to endure one for fourteen weeks back in 1986.

Episode 66: House & Garden

I've made no bones about the fact that I've enjoyed any episode that's featured Poison Ivy but I have to admit that while I've always found sympathy for her character, this was without a doubt her darkest episode going. Holding a professor captive and using him to live out an idyllic family life on her own terms was actually the creepiest thing I've seen any of the Rogue Gallery members do in the series and even then, there seemed to be a tiny part of Ivy that actually wanted redemption. As an episode, it's bloody fantastic with a subplot involving Dick being used as leverage and while the plant monster did look a little rubbish, this was still an incredible episode. 10/10.

Episode 67: Sideshow

Like Clayface, I'm oddly impressed (and excluding his appearance of sorts in Almost Got 'Im) that this show took it's time to give audiences another story with Killer Croc. His second one was a little more original than his first but like with Birds Of A Feather and House & Garden, there was a tease of Croc perhaps redeeming himself when a freak show of people befriended and sheltered him before reverting to his usual type. I found the nonchalance of him admitting to being himself at the end rather refreshing and this was one of two episodes in the batch where the action was away from Gotham as well. 7/10

Episode 68: Avatar

Yay, another Ras and Talia episode but not as good as either Off Balance or The Demon's Quest. Mainly because it felt a little too familiar in some respects. We had Ras going on another mad quest to sustain his immortality and Talia being forced to pick between her father and Batman once again. It also didn't help that Ubu still is little more than stereotypically written but the plot involving the Egyptian goddess Thoth Khepera was interesting enough and I liked the setting as well. A good one but previous episodes involving this volatile father/daughter duo have been better. 8/10

Episode 69: Trial

Clearly the show loves putting as many members of the Rogue Gallery together as humanly possible. If they're not appearing briefly in certain episodes like Fear Of Victory, Joker's Wild or Fire From Olympus or more prominently like five of them did in Almost Got 'Im. Then there's Trial, which decided to feature nine of them together for the fun of kidnapping Batman and anti-vigilante lawyer, Janet Van Dorm for a trial in which the former could be blamed and sentenced for creating them. In this episode alone we had the Joker, Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, Scarecrow, the Riddler, the Mad Hatter, the Ventriloquist/Scarface. It's an absolute madcap episode and while I felt they could've thrown in some cameos from the Penguin and possibly Catwoman and Robin as Batman's other defence (maybe they would've had this been a two parter), there's no denying how much of a joy this episode was to watch. 10/10

Episode 70: Harlequinade

Given how much of an impact Harley Quinn has had in the Batman universe, aside from Harley & Ivy, she hasn't had really an episode that's really been hers. Technically this one isn't totally hers either as she's mostly sprang from Arkham Asylum so that she can help Batman and Robin locate her Puddin'. The grudging alliance between the Dynamic Duo and Harley was a highlight throughout the episode along with the momentary realisation from Harley that perhaps her relationship with the Joker might be unhealthy after all when he revealed his true colours. It seems if there's one thing Harley loves more than her Clown Prince, it's those hyenas of hers and her fellow criminals (Ivy in particular) but of course, the episode did end with her and the Joker settling their differences when he formed a new respect for her. 9/10

Next blog I'll focus on Bane, Second Chance, Riddler's Reform, Baby Doll and Time Out Of Joint.

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