Batman: The Animated Series 25th Anniversary #4: The Last Laugh

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The Last Laugh, the 4th produced episode, was first broadcasted on September 22, 1992 with a script by Carl Swenson and directed by Kevin Alteri.

The Joker covers Gotham City in a cloud of laughing gas and begins plundering the crazed city. But after Alfred is infected with the toxin, Batman has added incentive to stop the Joker and acquire an antidote from him before all of Gotham dies with a smile.

Okay, maybe not the most creative and intriguing plan the Joker has ever had but this is pretty much a villainous plot you would expect from the Joker.

This isn’t even written as strongly as I think the previous three were but at the same time, it’s everything you could ask for in a battle between Batman and The Joker and the fact that it takes places on April Fools Day makes it such perfect timing for the episode as well.

The best aspect of the whole episode to me is the final battle between Batman & The Joker at the end, not only does it have some really nice animation to it but I love how most of it is just letting the music do the work for us, there’s not a lot of dialogue until over 2 minutes into the final battle and not only that, it’s really amusing to see Batman actually put a smirk on his face for once in his life and also how all the lines in that scene are all just cheesy one-liners like it was intended to be that way.

The Last Laugh is probably the weakest episode that I’ve watched so far, I think the overall story doesn’t do anything too exciting for a good portion of the first half of it, the best part of this comes with the end but even then it’s about 6 minutes of a 22 minute episode. Certainly not a bad episode by any means, the animation is still really good, the voice work by Kevin Conroy & Mark Hamill is still really good, and the action is still fun to watch. If it had a stronger script to work with, then it would’ve been an overall great episode but as it stands, The Last Laugh is a decent enjoyable episode but not as strong as what the first three episodes brought us.

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