The Lion & The Unicorn was first broadcasted on September 15, 1995 as the last aired episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It was written by Diane Duane, Peter Morwood, & Steve Perry and directed by Boyd Kirkland.
The Red Claw organization kidnaps Alfred, seeking a code they need to arm a weapon of mass destruction that Alfred knows from his days as a British secret agent.
I really do not like Red Claw, I do not think she’s an effective villain at all. I think AV Club said it best about Red Claw:
Red Claw is completely useless, a villain with no clear motivation for her maniacal actions and no defining characteristics beyond her hilarious voice. Kate Mulgrew gives the character an absurd accent that sounds like Yzma from Emperor’s New Groove combined with Rocky And Bullwinkle’s Natasha, and it’s impossible to take her seriously.
That pretty much sums that character up as a whole which thankfully this is the last time we’ll ever see her.
I do like the idea that Alfred is a former British secret agent and that leads to some pretty investing and exciting action setpieces in this episode and it makes this episode more enjoyable that it has any right to be. But of course, when Red Claw shows up, the episode takes a huge notch down in quality mostly because she feels like she wants to be the center of attention of the episode. I mean, just look at this still:
Like, look at her face, she’s not menacing at all and she just comes off as annoying then threatening.
The Lion & The Unicorn does get a lot of its’ enjoyment value in the storyline rather than the actual villain, the animation is really solid, the action setpieces are nicely done, and I overall enjoyed it more than I ever thought I was going to. It’s a decent episode to say the least.