House & Garden was first broadcasted on May 2, 1994 with a script by Paul Dini & directed by Boyd Kirkland.
Not only has Poison Ivy been released from Arkham Asylum, but she’s also married to her doctor and settled down to help him raise his two sons. It would appear that Ivy has gone straight and that her old days as a criminal are over. But wealthy bachelors are being struck down by an unknown toxin, leaving Batman to question Ivy’s innocence.
70 episodes in and this is one of the biggest surprise episodes I have come across yet, I really loved this episode a lot more than I thought I was going to.
Once again, you’ve got spectacular animation in this one but the best aspect about this episode is how well it humanizes the character of Poison Ivy but not only that, they also manage to go all out with some of the interesting ideas that they have.
The big plant creature, for example, leads to a pretty intense action scene and it helps to have the voice of Jim Cummings as the creature too:
They even manage to bring in a horror aspect to it like in this scene where Batman and Robin are attacked by Poison Ivy’s children that were born a la Cabbage Patch Kids style:
I mean, holy mother of god, not only do they do such a good job of creating this creepy tension to it but if Batman of all people can be freaked out by this, you know how messed up this is.
This is why I love this episode more than I thought I would, it focuses in Poison Ivy’s insanity as a Doctor and at the same time what makes her human.
House & Garden is a great episode all around because you not only have a really solid Poison Ivy story to work with but the episode does such a great job of making her the threat as well as giving her a human side, right down to the final line Batman gives when he says “Ivy lost everything she had, everything she said she ever wanted. For what is worth, I believed her when she told me that for the first time in her life she was happy.” And the episode makes a case for that.
This is definitely an episode that should be checked out.