Batman: The Animated Series 25th Anniversary #106: Mad Love

Mad Love was the last broadcasted episode of the series, although there is still three more episodes left to look at, and was first broadcasted on January 16, 1999 with a script by Paul Dini from a story by Dini & Bruce Timm and based off the Eisner Award comic book of the same name that came out in 1994 and was directed by Butch Lukic.

Harley reflects on her first meeting with the Joker as she plots to eliminate her main competition in his attentions – Batman.

Now, it’s obvious that Harley Quinn and the Joker have had the most bizarre relationship of any couple in any form of entertainment and in this episode, they go all out and are not afraid to head into some pretty heavy material in this episode.

Where this episode succeeds is establishing how the relationship between Quinn and Joker first began with an engaging and intense flashback to when Harley was just a psychologist looking to cash in one of the many criminals in Arkham Asylum but slowly but surely got sucked in to Joker more and more to the point where she finally becomes his sidekick and later his lover.

The episode does a good job flashing back to the past but also shows the darker side of their relationship by showing how much abuse she takes being a part of Joker’s life, Joker really treats Harley like shit in this relationship and this episode is not afraid to show how harsh the relationship abuse is in this couple. No scene proves that more than the scene where Harley traps Batman thinking she’ll impress Joker and Joker literally snaps at her to the point where he throws her out of a window. I mean, you just hate Joker watching him in this episode:

The episode also works because of the impressive voice work by Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn, this is her episode to shine and my god, she gives it her all. Mark Hamill is once again excellent as Joker and Kevin Conroy has another great turn as Batman in this episode.

Mad Love is an episode that makes you glad Kids WB! was so flexible with letting the series do whatever they want because they go to places no other kids show would ever go to and are not afraid to go for it all with a deep, intense, action packed, and emotional episode showcasing the toxic relationship between Harley Quinn and The Joker.

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