Batman: The Animated Series--A Definitive Viewing Order

Batman: The Animated Series--A Definitive Viewing Order

Can the classic Batman: The Animated Series be arranged in such a way that it tells an ongoing story more in the line of a standard serialized comic or modern television show? Read on to find out!

 
 
 
Batman: The Animated Series:
A Definitive Viewing Order
 
Being a Distilled Commentary of the Series’ Chronology and Themes


[Including movies Mask of the Phantasm and Sub-Zero]
[heavily inspired by Jordacar from comicbookmovie.com; 07/26/2012 post]
 
By

M. G. Meadowstone

 
INTRODUCTION:

Batman: The Animated Series, as superb as it is, is heavily episodic. That works in its favor for the most part, with anyone really being able to just jump in and enjoy...but can the series be arranged in such a way that it tells an ongoing story more in the line of a standard serialized comic or television show? ‘Jordacar’ at comicbookmovie.com provided a simply excellent viewing order that answered that question. It was so good that I couldn’t resist tinkering with it to try to make it better, and it became the sturdy skeleton for what follows. I am also indebted to Steven Padnick for his insights in his Batman: The Animated Series Rewatch column at tor.com, as they influenced a number of my placements in the list. Jordacar, I went to Arkham and back, and this viewing order is dedicated to you.

Episode Key:
00 - 0 00 P0 000 V0 D0/S0 D0
 ^ Definitive Viewing Order (DVO) Total Episode Number
00 - 0 00 P0 000 V0 D0/S0 D0
     ^ DVO Episode Type (P—Premier, —Standard, B—Block, F—Finale)
00 - 0 00 P0 000 V0 D0/S0 D0
        ^ DVO Season Number (1, 2, 3, or 4)
00 - 0 00 P0 000 V0 D0/S0 D0
             ^ DVO Season Episode Number
00 - 0 00 P0 000 V0 D0/S0 D0
                  ^ Official Production Season Number
00 - 0 00 P0 000 V0 D0/S0 D0
                         ^ Official Production Episode Number
00 - 0 00 P0 000 V0 D0/S0 D0
                                ^ DVD Release Volume Number
00 - 0 00 P0 000 V0 D0/S0 D0
                                     ^ DVD Release Disk Number
00 - 0 00 P0 000 V0 D0/S0 D0
                                            ^ Blu-ray Release Season Number
00 S 0 00 P0 000 V0 D0/S0 D0
                                                  ^ Blu-ray Release Disk Number
Example(s):
01-P101-P1031—V2D1/S1D3 The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy
                The first episode of the watch order, being the Season Premier/first episode of season one; from production season one, episode thirty-one; can be found on Batman: The Animated Series DVD Volume 2, Disk 1; or on Season One, Disk Three of the Blu-ray set.
28-B212-P1018—V1D3/S1D2 Beware the Gray Ghost
                The twenty-eighth episode of the watch order, being the twelfth episode and part of the the mid-season block of season two; from production season one, episode eighteen; can be found on Batman: The Animated Series DVD Volume 1, Disk 3; or on Season One, Disk Two of the Blu-ray set.
62-F325-P1060—V3D1/S1D5 The Demon's Quest
                The sixty-second episode of the watch order, being the twenty-fifth episode and the Finale of season three; from production season one, episode sixty; can be found on Batman: The Animated Series DVD Volume 3, Disk 1; or on Season One, Disk Five of the Blu-ray set.
87--F424-MOVIE: Batman and Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero
                The eighty-seventh episode of the watch order, being the twenty-third episode and Finale of season four; BTAS movie separate from DVD release (but not from Batman: The Animated Series Blu-ray release).


                 In how the episodes are organized, I kept to Jordacar’s original guidelines for the most part. I deliberately avoided having two ‘poor’ episodes back-to-back (subjective, I know), and having the same villain appear in two episodes twice in a row. I also tried to be mindful of continuity between episodes and to not be too jarring with seasonal weather changes. As I continued to organize the episodes in this format, I noticed trends in episode structure which organically evolved into themes in the ‘seasons’ themselves. To my delight, I realized that each season could be structured in such a way as to provide additional meaning to the series as a whole, as well as Batman’s development as a character, including mid-season blocks/breaks for episodes that do one of three things: break up the action, offer retrospection, and/or refocus/progress the overall narrative of the season. There are four seasons, just like in a year. The seasons’ themes are: Grounding, Transition, Escalation, and Culmination.
                I wanted, throughout the course of season procession, to start with knowing nothing at all about Batman and gradually pull the curtain back to reveal what he looks like, from outside to inside. As such, Season One keeps closely to the format laid out by Jordacar and is structured with more personal stories in mind, with less of the outlandish, which will come into play later. That way, when we see Batman’s shock and disbelief in episodes with more science fiction and fantasy-inspired elements (starting with ‘On Leather Wings’) it makes these reactions more understandable. Season One is standalone, ending with ‘Mask of the Phantasm’, however, with the aforementioned ‘On Leather Wings’ being the final episode before the Season Premier, it introduces science fiction which will gradually become more prominent on an ongoing basis (unless you count Captain Clown in ‘The Last Laugh’, but I won’t get into that ;).
                Season Two—‘Transition’—is about two things, the relationship between Batman and Two-Face/Robin, and the gradual change from Gotham City being primarily characterized by crimes by the Mafia to crimes by Batman’s Rogues and/or monsters. By the time we get to Season Three—‘Escalation’—we have progressed from threats to ordinary citizens to city-wide and even global threats. Season Four—‘Culmination’— is about both looking back at where we’ve been, and looking ahead to the future. Batman has changed, his enemies begin to see the error of their ways (at least in some fashion), and a new generation rises up on their own, inspired by Batman’s example.


SEASON ONE DESCRIPTION:
After years of operating in Gotham City, the masked crime-fighting vigilante "Batman" has established an uneasy relationship with the Gotham City Police Department via Commissioner James Gordon. As Batman begins to make headway in his systematic dismantling of the city's organized crime families, wariness begins to grow within the Gotham P.D. and City Hall of his methods.

SEASON ONE EPISODE LIST:

01-P101-P1031—V2D1/S1D3 The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy
02---102-P1013—V1D2/S1D1 I’ve Got Batman in My Basement
03---103-P1004—V1D1/S1D1 The Last Laugh
04---104-P1035—V2D1/S1D3 Night of the Ninja
05---105-P1019—V1D3/S1D2 Prophecy of Doom
06---106-P1006—V1D1/S1D1 The Underdwellers
07-B107-P1015—V1D3/S1D2 The Cat and the Claw
08-B108-P1016—V1D3/S1D2 The Cat and the Claw Part 2
09---109-P1020—V1D4/S1D2 Joker’s Favor
10---110-P1012—V1D2/S1D1 It’s Never Too Late
11---111-P1055—V2D4/S1D5 The Mechanic
12---112-P1008—V1D2/S1D1 The Forgotten
13---113-P1026—V1D4/S1D2 Appointment in Crime Alley
14---114-P1003—V1D1/S1D1 Nothing to Fear
15---115-P1001—V1D1/S1D1 On Leather Wings
16--F116-MOVIE: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

END SEASON NOTES—Season One Theme: ‘Grounding’
It is common for the first season of a television show to be 'hit-and-miss', with both highlights and perhaps a few stinker episodes. Much like the comics' early stories, the focus in Batman's early years is primarily on organized crime with a sprinkle of the Rogues as a hint of what's to come. This approach plays to both outcomes: getting the stinkers out of the way early and playing as an introduction to an ongoing theme. Batman and the Joker are the primary focus of season 1, and Joker is the main link between the ‘Year One’ era where Batman mostly dealt with thugs and drugs, and the ‘Freaks’ era where Gotham City is practically overrun with them (AKA Season Three). Using Mask of the Phantasm as the Season Finale acts as the bridge between the two eras, with the obvious link being The Joker.


SEASON TWO DESCRIPTION:
After the dismantling of the Stromwell, Bronsky, and Valestra crime families, the remains of these organizations consolidate under Rupert Thorne, who becomes the de facto head of all organized crime in Gotham City. As Batman makes peace with Gotham City officials, he is shocked to discover the Joker is still alive, having been spared by the Phantasm. In addition, there is a spike in mutagenic bioengineering caused by the research of Dr. Kurt Langstrom and his associates, and a new asylum is completed to house and treat the more dangerous ‘super-criminals’. As Bruce struggles with balancing his dual identities, he faces the possibility of losing forever his closest friends in *both* of his lives…

17-P201-P1007—V1D1/S1D1 P.O.V.
18---202-P1005—V1D1/S1D1 Pretty Poison
19---203-P2077—V3D3/S2D2 The Lion and the Unicorn
20---204-P1009—V1D2/S1D1 Be a Clown
21---205-P1010—V1D2/S1D1 Two-Face Part 1
22---206-P1036—V2D2/S1D3 Cat Scratch Fever
23---207-P1040—V2D2/S1D4 “If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?”
24---208-P1011—V1D2/S1D1 Two-Face Part 2
25---209-P1042—V2D2/S1D4 Tyger, Tyger
26-B210-P1044—V2D3/S1D4 Day of the Samurai
27-B211-P1024—V1D4/S1D2 Fear of Victory
28-B212-P1018—V1D3/S1D2 Beware the Gray Ghost
29---213-P1043—V2D3/S1D4 Moon of the Wolf
30---214-P1034—V2D1/S1D3 The Laughing Fish
31---215-P1023—V1D4/S1D2 Vendetta
32---216-P1053—V2D4/S1D5 Paging the Crime Doctor
33---217-P1045—V2D3/S1D4 Terror in the Sky
34---218-P1029—V2D1/S1D3 Eternal Youth
35---219-P1037—V2D2/S1D3 The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne
36-F220-P1032—V2D1/S1D3 Robin's Reckoning
37-F221-P1033—V2D1/S1D3 Robin’s Reckoning Part 2

END SEASON NOTES—Season Two Theme: ‘Transition’
There are three elements from the final few episodes of Season One which set up the majority of Season Two: 1) Harvey Dent, 2) Kurt Langstrom’s animal mutagenic research, and 3) Harvey Bullock’s antagonism towards Batman. A fourth element is also present in that of Dick Grayson/Robin: Dick’s relationship with Bruce Wayne/Batman contrasts thematically with Harvey’s, culminating in the episode Fear of Victory, with both characters making appearances. The other two elements blend together and conclude toward the end of the season, with the Two-Face/Robin contrast becoming prominent again and finalizing with the Season Two Finale, ‘Robin’s Reckoning’.


MID-SERIES BREAK NOTES—

By the end of Season Two, we know everything we need to know about the main characters. Season Two is heavily codependent on Season One, but Season Three is standalone like Season One. If you had not seen the other two seasons, you would still be able to enjoy Season Three. Season Four draws from all the previous three seasons and should not be seen alone.

Each Season is notable for having ‘break’ or ‘block’ episodes which refine or refocus the narrative:
Season One: The Cat and the Claw, Part 1 and Part 2
Season Two: Day of the Samurai, Fear of Victory, Beware the Gray Ghost
Season Three: Heart of Steel Part 1 and Part 2, Perchance to Dream, Almost Got ‘Im
Season Four: Trial
The mid-season block for Season Two begins closing Season One and refocuses on why Batman does what he does following his failures in the first half of the season. From the start of Season 2 forward, the show gradually takes a more sci-fi oriented focus, reaching its peak in Season Three and plateauing into Season Four.


SEASON THREE DESCRIPTION:
Gotham City is at the mercy of Batman's Rogues as themed crimes become prominent due to the revolving door at Arkham Asylum. As Batman struggles to keep the super-criminal population in check following the takedown of Rupert Thorne's drug ring, the feared terrorist organization the Society of Shadows comes to Gotham and results in Batman and Robin becoming embroiled in a global threat.

SEASON THREE EPISODE LIST:
38-P301-P1002—V1D1/S1D1 Christmas with the Joker
39---302-P1021—V1D3/S1D2 Feat of Clay
40---303-P1022—V1D3/S1D2 Feat of Clay Part 2
41---304-P1028—V1D4/S1D3 Dreams in Darkness
42---305-P1027—V1D4/S1D3 Mad as a Hatter
43---306-P1025—V1D4/S1D2 The Clock King
44---307-P1051—V2D4/S1D4 The Man Who Killed Batman
45---308-P1014—V1D2/S1D2 Heart of Ice
46---309-P1056—V2D4/S1D5 Harley and Ivy
47---310-P1048—V2D3/S1D4 “What is Reality?”
48---311-P2066—V3D2/S2D1 Sideshow
49-B312-P1038—V2D2/S1D3 Heart of Steel
50-B313-P1039—V2D2/S1D3 Heart of Steel Part 2
51-B314-P1030—V2D1/S1D3 Perchance to Dream
52-B315-P2046—V2D3/S1D4 Almost Got ‘Im
53---316-P1054—V2D4/S1D5 Zatanna
54---317-P1064—V3D2/S1D5 Read My Lips
55---318-P1063—V3D1/S1D5 Fire from Olympus
56---319-P1049—V2D3/S1D4 I Am the Night
57---320-P2071—V3D3/S2D1 Terrible Trio
58---321-P1041—V2D2/S1D4 Joker’s Wild
59---322-P1050—V2D4/S1D4 Off Balance
60---323-P1062—V3D1/S1D5 His Silicon Soul
61---324-P1047—V2D3/S1D4 Birds of a Feather
62-F325-P1060—V3D1/S1D5 The Demon's Quest
63-F326-P1061—V3D1/S1D5 The Demon’s Quest Part 2

END SEASON NOTES—Season Three Theme: ‘Escalation’
After getting most of the stinkers out of the way between Seasons 1 and 2, we have some of the best episodes in the series here in Season 3. The season finale shows Batman literally saving the world.


SEASON FOUR DESCRIPTION:
As themed crimes reach their peak, Arkham Asylum finally sees some success on paper with the rehabilitation and release of some of their incarcerated super-criminals. Batman finally begins to trust and rely more on his partners, public and private, resulting in a degree of healing and peace for himself, and greater compassion for his adversaries.

SEASON FOUR EPISODE LIST:
64-P401-P1057—V3D1/S1D5 Shadow of the Bat
65-P402-P1058—V3D1/S1D5 Shadow of the Bat Part 2
66---403-P1052—V2D4/S1D4 Mudslide
67---404-P2074—V3D3/S2D1 Catwalk
68---405-P1017—V1D3/S1D2 See No Evil
69---406-P2069—V3D2/S2D1 Avatar
70---407-P1065—V3D2/S1D5 The Worry Men
71---408-P2070—V3D2/S2D1 House and Garden
72---409-P2072—V3D3/S2D1 Harlequinade
73---410-P2067—V3D2/S2D1 A Bullet for Bullock
74---411-P1059—V3D1/S1D5 Blind as a Bat
75---412-P2078—V3D4/S2D2 Showdown
76-B413-P2068—V3D2/S2D1 Trial
77---414-P2084—V3D4S/2D2 Deep Freeze
78---415-P2079—V3D4/S2D2 Riddler’s Reform
79---416-P2073—V3D3/S2D1 Time Out of Joint
80---417-P2075—V3D3/S2D1 Bane
81---418-P2085—V3D4/S2D2 Batgirl Returns
82---419-P2081—V3D4/S2D2 Harley’s Holiday
83---420-P2076—V3D3/S2D2 Baby Doll
84---421-P2082—V3D4/S2D2 Lock-Up
85---422-P2083—V3D4/S2D2 Make ‘Em Laugh
86---423-P2080—V3D4/S2D2 Second Chance
87--F424-MOVIE: Batman and Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero

END SEASON NOTES—Season Four Theme: ‘Culmination’
There was a string of Robin episodes following the rebranding of the show to ‘The Adventures of Batman and Robin’, but the new opening credit sequence was inconsistently applied. For the sake of consistency, I included all episodes with the new TAOBAR premier following the mid-season break, ‘Trial’, starting with ‘Deep Freeze’—giving a nice break between that and ‘Sub-Zero’ at the end of the viewing order.
END SERIES NOTE:
‘Sub-Zero’ acts as the coda for the series as a whole, the focus of the movie mostly on the new generation. The series is capped with one last act of charity, as Victor Fries walks away alone but grateful that his wife Nora will live: the perfect ending for the series.



BTAS: A DEFINITIVE VIEWING ORDER SEASON ANALYSIS AND EPISODE PLACEMENT BREAKDOWN

Side Note:
                As one may have noticed, this viewing order does not include The New Batman Adventures. Although TNBA shared continuity with BTAS, it was—in many ways—a completely different show. The animation style was simplified, and there was an even greater emphasis on serialization excesses: cross-continuity, violence, darkness, and cyclical character development (essentially walking back any character progress that Batman could be said to have made by the end of BTAS/TAOBAR). Maybe this might have been remedied if TNBA was allowed to continue for more than twenty-five episodes, but the series was cut short via executive decision. Therefore, this list assumes the series ended at the end of the original Production Season 2 and the direct-to-video movie ‘Batman and Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero’.

Additional Notes:
--all references to ‘firsts’ and ‘seconds’ are of course, in reference to this watch order
--included recurring character introductions of all characters that make speaking appearances in more than one episode
--‘FLASHFORWARD EPISODE’ marker, designating a possibly significant passage of time from the prior episode due to indications in-episode, production format changes, or arbitrary designation by organizer



**THE INFORMATION BELOW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS**
(If you wish to skip to the comparison section, please skip to the bold **The Information Above May Contain Spoilers** tag.)


Episode Key:
00 - 0 00 P0 000--[Episode Title]
 ^ Definitive Viewing Order (DVO) Total Episode Number
00 - 0 00 P0 000--[Episode Title]
     ^ DVO Episode Type (P—Premier, —Standard, B—Block, F—Finale)
00 - 0 00 P0 000--[Episode Title]
        ^ DVO Season Number (1, 2, 3, or 4)
00 - 0 00 P0 000--[Episode Title]
             ^ DVO Season Episode Number
00 - 0 00 P0 000--[Episode Title]
                  ^ Official Production Season Number
00 - 0 00 P0 000--[Episode Title]
                         ^ Official Production Episode Number

BEGIN SEASON ONE

SEASON ONE EPISODE LIST:
01-P101-P1031—The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy
02---102-P1013—I’ve Got Batman in My Basement
03---103-P1004—The Last Laugh
04---104-P1035—Night of the Ninja
05---105-P1019—Prophecy of Doom
06---106-P1006—The Underdwellers
07-B107-P1015—The Cat and the Claw
08-B108-P1016—The Cat and the Claw Part 2
09---109-P1020—Joker’s Favor
10---110-P1012—It’s Never Too Late
11---111-P1055—The Mechanic
12---112-P1008—The Forgotten
13---113-P1026—Appointment in Crime Alley
14---114-P1003—Nothing to Fear
15---115-P1001—On Leather Wings
16--F116-MOVIE: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

THEME OF SEASON ONE: GROUNDING
(Definition: basic training or instruction in a subject.)
--The Number One: number most associated with independence, self-sufficiency, determination; in mathematics, is the building block of positive integers
--Introducing Batman/Bruce Wayne, and the first appearances of nearly every supporting character
--Introduction to Batman’s world, Gotham City: the look, the feel, the people, the police, the criminals, the Rogues

Episode-Specific Notes:
1. ‘Season One’ needed fairly generic opening episode that still leaves an impression of what the show is like and where it’s going, so ‘The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy’ fit the bill. Establishes right off the bat (so to speak) the relationship between Batman and Gordon, the origin of the Bat-Signal, and that the public officials are uneasy about working with him for fear of both endorsing vigilantism as well as looking incompetent. The episode also shows very little about Batman himself other than that criminals are terrified of him and that he is both daring and clever.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Jim Gordon, Batman

2. ‘I’ve Got Batman in My Basement’ is basically ‘Batman and Encyclopedia Brown team up against the Penguin’, which is pretty cool if you’re a kid. This is another episode that reveals almost nothing about the main character. As far as what it contributes to the larger series, it shows how Gotham City middle-class children see Batman and also the barest hint of how long Batman has been in operation, given the urban legends that have grown up around him (surprisingly spot-on about the Batcave). It also serves as an introductory episode for The Penguin, be that as it may. It’s good to get this one behind us; with the occasional dip, quality is uphill from here.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot/The Penguin

3. Jordacar was right that ‘The Last Laugh’ is a good Joker episode to start with, not too dark or scary just yet (that will certainly come later). The episode establishes that Batman and Joker both know each other and have tangled a few times already. This is also the first episode to feature Batman without his mask and we confirm that his first name is ‘Bruce’ via the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth.  Lastly, we get the first appearance of the Batboat/Batsub. (Awesome!)
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne (private), Joker, Summer Gleason

4. The name of the show is ‘Batman: The Animated Series’, but didn’t want to go too far before introducing Dick Grayson/Robin. ‘Night of the Ninja’ works well as an introduction to the character and he works as a great contrast to Batman’s broodiness. This is also the first time we hear Bruce’s last name, see more of his background, and how he learned to fight. Via Summer Gleason, we get to see how the press and/or the public views Bruce Wayne. The ninja Kyodai-Ken accuses Bruce of being a ‘pampered rich man’s son’, not knowing the truth. The truth of who Bruce Wayne is makes for a good contrast to what we observe of other wealthy Gothamites in the very next episode.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Bruce Wayne (public), Kyodai Ken, Dick Grayson/Robin, Yoru-Sensei (in flashback)

5. In ‘Prophecy of Doom’, we see the *actual* pampered rich men of Gotham City and what they do to pass the time with all their money. The haplessness of his peers makes one wonder why Bruce isn’t the same way…so why is he Batman? A question built up and answered in the remainder of the season.

6. ‘Underdwellers’ is the first episode that really shows Batman’s compassion for children and his rage against abuse. At this point, we still don’t know why Bruce dresses up as a Bat and fights crime in the first place, so this is the first hint into where that drive comes from. Also shows a lot of Batman being awesome with his trip through the sewer and more Batmobile coolness ahead of ‘The Mechanic’.

7-8. Here we have the first two-part episode in the viewing order as the mid-season break. There are good reasons why ‘The Cat and The Claw’ was a good first episode to be broadcasted in the series. I also included it early for a number of reasons, detailed here: Selina’s relationship with Bruce Wayne/Batman is an ongoing element of the show that is revisited even to the end; this is the first time we’ve seen Batman sacrifice his own feelings for the sake of his mission (and also get our first hint of past flames in his life in his line to Selina: ‘I haven’t felt this way about anyone in a long time’); we see more of Batman’s presence and reputation in Gotham City’s criminal underworld after briefly seeing it in the first episode, ‘The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy’ [ahead of ‘It’s Never Too Late’]; and it’s also the first time we see Batman face a criminal threat from outside Gotham City. To top it off, this is the first appearance (a cameo, really) of the Batwing.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Secretary Maven, Red Claw

9. **FLASHFORWARD EPISODE**
‘The Joker’s Favor’ gives more background on the Joker, that he’s been an active presence in Gotham City long enough for the general public to have known about him for years. Since the first part of the episode takes place in flashback, it can be implied that some time has passed between the end of ‘The Cat and The Claw and this episode (post-flashforward). This episode also shows more of Joker’s sadistic and cruel personality. We see what the average citizens of Gotham are like via Charlie Collins, and we get to see Harley Quinn briefly before a long absence (which will certainly help us accept her evolving personality starting with ‘The Laughing Fish’ in Season Two). A few other continuity notes: Joker makes a comment about arranging ‘another early parole’, which implies the episode takes place before the founding of Arkham Asylum; Harvey Bullock makes his first appearance prior to seeing his open animosity for Batman starting with ‘Nothing to Fear’; and we have the first [non-speaking] appearances of Renee Montoya and Mayor Hamilton Hill.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Harley Quinn, Harvey Bullock, Reneee Montoya (cameo), Hamilton Hill (cameo)

10. ‘It’s Never Too Late’ is one of my favorite episodes, a great redemption arc for an aging gangster based on the James Cagney film ‘Angels With Dirty Faces’. Is also the first appearance of Rupert Thorne, who will soon become very important on an ongoing basis as the face of Gotham City’s organized crime.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Arnold Stromwell, Rupert Thorne

11. ‘The Mechanic’ was an end-season episode of production season one, but I thought it made sense to include it here for several reasons. First—despite the fact that it entered production later—it feels (to its detriment) more like the first batch of 10 episodes where the show was finding its footing. Its placement here is also a convenient way of explaining where Penguin has been when he reappears an entire season later. Kidnapping is a major charge which would certainly result in serious jail time. It would only be amplified if the authorities found the body of the drowned accountant—the big yellow duck would be a pretty big tipoff (not to mention the signed check). Although he managed to beat his petty theft and breaking and entering charges before, his sentence here would certainly be worse than what he’s been accustomed to in the past. On an unrelated note, with the Batmobile being out of action, I made sure to include an episode next in which it did not appear. At some point, Earl must have cut his ties and retired, because there are episodes after this one where we see Dick or Alfred working on the Batmobile instead. Dick Grayson returns to college following the end of the episode and remains until after the Season Finale and the beginning of Season Two. Given what happens in said Finale—this really hammers home that Batman doesn’t rely on *anyone* and only opens up on a need-to-know basis, even to those that might be considered his family. This attitude will gradually change as the series progresses.

12. In ‘The Forgotten’, Joker gets a cameo here ahead of his reappearance in the Season Finale, ‘Mask of the Phantasm’. This episode also gives us our first close look at what was hinted at in ‘It’s Never Too Late’: Gotham City’s ‘forgotten’ homeless population. ‘The Forgotten’ and ‘Appointment in Crime Alley’ (the forgotten versus the remembered) juxtapositionally build to the climax of the season. The Batwing makes its first full appearance here ahead of its reappearance in the climax.

13. ‘An Appointment In Crime Alley’, along with ‘The Forgotten’, gives us the first glimpse into what drives Batman to do what he does. In this viewing order, this episode is the first appearance of both the corrupt businessman Roland Daggett, as well as friend and confidante Doctor Leslie Thompkins; and it is the first time we see disapproval in the rank-and-file of the police with Batman’s interference. (“Good thing you showed up” says an officer sarcastically J)
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Roland Daggett, Leslie Thompkins

14. ‘Nothing To Fear’ ends with Batman capturing the new villain, Scarecrow, but not before he crashes a burning zeppelin in the heart of Gotham City. Harvey Bullock makes his dislike of Batman known clearly here, carrying over to the next episode with Gotham City’s officials finally declaring war on Batman.  This is another episode that peels back who Batman is, with the ‘remembering’ theme from the last two episodes continuing here. Thomas Wayne makes the first of many appearances here (voiced by different actors). By the end of the episode, Batman remembers and re-embraces his goal, his means, and his identity (“I am VENGANCE. I am THE NIGHT. I..AM…BATMAN!”).
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow; Thomas Wayne

15. ‘On Leather Wings’ works best as a prelude to the Season Finale. It is also the first episode to go full-on sci-fi with monster madness. As such, it sets the tone for the series going forward. After unrest builds in the Gotham Police Department for several episodes, Mayor Hamilton Hill finally ignores Jim Gordon’s intuition and authorizes a manhunt for Batman after he is blamed for a series of pharmaceutical robberies. Detective Harvey Bullock leads the manhunt, with District Attorney Harvey Dent (making his first appearance here) agreeing to prosecute Batman once apprehended. Although Batman is exonerated from *that* crime by eyewitness testimony, the suspicion of Gotham authorities for Batman still remains, leading to the Season Finale.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Kurt Langstrom, Francine Langstrom, Dr. March, Hamilton Hill (speaking), Harvey Dent

16. ‘Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’ makes a great Season One Finale, having touches of sci-fi with the Phantasm’s ‘powers’ but still firmly in the realm of gritty noir. We get more background on Bruce Wayne/Batman and the Joker, as well as confirmation that at the time of the film, it’s been roughly ten years since Bruce Wayne first assumed the identity of Batman. After two prominent mobsters are murdered, the Gotham City authorities led by City Councilman Arthur Reeves renew the manhunt for Batman. After seeing proof of Batman’s innocence again and again, the exasperated Gordon recuses himself from command and hands it over to Bullock and Reeves. With the sudden collapse of several criminal empires, the Gotham Mob is thrown into disarray, allowing for a clean takeover by Rupert Thorne. Joker is presumed dead at end of the film at the Phantasm’s hand but unbeknownst to Batman, is spared for two reasons: Beaumont realizes that Joker is insane, and he is no longer the same man as Jack Napier; and sparing Joker is one last acknowledgement of Bruce’s words before their parting. As part of the manhunt, the Batwing is impounded by the Gotham Police Department. At some point after the Season Two Premier episode ‘P.O.V.’, but before ‘The Lion and The Unicorn’, the Batwing is released from impoundment as a professional courtesy by Commissioner Gordon. Between the results of the police investigation into the meeting between Joker and Arthur Reeves, Reeves’ confession and testimony to Batman and/or in court regarding his conflict of interest (Batman could have had a wire on him during his interrogation), and Joker’s alleged video recording release of the Phantasm (not to mention the people Batman saves), the matter of Batman’s innocence is closed and never reopened.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Jack Napier (may or not be the Joker’s name: is the first chronological appearance of Joker in the series)

END SEASON ONE
BEGIN SEASON TWO

SEASON TWO EPISODE LIST:
17-P201-P1007—P.O.V.
18---202-P1005—Pretty Poison
19---203-P2077—The Lion and the Unicorn
20---204-P1009—Be a Clown
21---205-P1010—Two-Face Part 1
22---206-P1036—Cat Scratch Fever
23---207-P1040—“If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?”
24---208-P1011—Two-Face Part 2
25---209-P1042—Tyger, Tyger
26-B210-P1044—Day of the Samurai
27-B211-P1024—Fear of Victory
28-B212-P1018—Beware the Gray Ghost
29---213-P1043—Moon of the Wolf
30---214-P1034—The Laughing Fish
31---215-P1023—Vendetta
32---216-P1053—Paging the Crime Doctor
33---217-P1045—Terror in the Sky
34---218-P1029—Eternal Youth
35---219-P1037—The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne
36-F220-P1032—Robin's Reckoning
37-F221-P1033—Robin’s Reckoning Part 2

THEME OF SEASON TWO: TRANSITION
(Definition: the process or a period of changing/moving from one state or condition to another.)
--The Number Two: has (2) associations: (1) that of friendliness or cooperation or (2) that of division:
Harvey Dent/Two-Face, Dick Grayson/Robin; the second two-parter episode; two episodes in between each Harvey Dent appearance until mid-season break; season cut into two parts narratively with two interlocking parts each; 22 episodes in Season Two
--Gotham City crime shifting from mobsters to ‘the Rogues’ with Two-Face exemplifying both; gradual shift from more grounded stories to science fiction
--Robin’s beginning to grow out of Batman’s shadow as his equal and beginning to make his own decisions
--Batman’s growth and development; is gradually learning to trust his allies and coming to realize that he may be wrong in his belief that only he can save Gotham City

Episode-Specific Notes:
17. The first three episodes of Season 2, are all about Batman patching things up with the Gotham City authorities. Following these episodes, he never has problems with them again (although Bullock continues to be a thorn in Batman’s side). In ‘P.O.V.’, Batman saves a bunch of cops and also takes down the primary drug trafficker for Gotham City. The first episode focused on Detective Renee Montoya. At some point between this episode and the next, the Batwing is released from impoundment.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Renee Montoya

18. **FLASHFORWARD EPISODE**
We see more of Bruce Wayne’s personal life and background outside of his secret life as Batman in ‘Pretty Poison’. ‘There’s nothing we don’t know about each other’, Harvey says about Bruce, which is doubly ironic given the secrets they keep from each other. After saving the lives of three police officers in the last episode, Batman proceeds to save the life of the Gotham City District Attorney. If they weren’t sure of Batman’s intentions before, they are now.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Pamela Isley/Poison Ivy

19. Following the patch-up with Gotham authorities, we have ‘The Lion and The Unicorn’, which is essentially about Alfred, and in which Batman and Robin save the United Kingdom and simultaneously close the book on Red Claw. This is a Production Season 2 episode and originally the last new episode broadcasted of Batman: The Animated Series, so why is it here? I placed it here for a number of reasons, not least of which is how Robin behaves at the start of the episode. Really feels more like a seventeen/eighteen year old (or younger) and lines up with his behavior in ‘Night of the Ninja’ in Season One. This episode is Red Claw’s only other appearance in the show and given the circumstances around her ‘disappearance’ here, it is unlikely that she survives the end of the episode. Also, this episode’s placement here juxtaposes well against ‘Pretty Poison’, which explored Harvey and Bruce’s relationship. Robin’s appearance here is his third overall, following ‘The Mechanic’, and really showcases the ‘Dynamic’ in ‘Dynamic Duo’. This is easily the finest example yet of the bond/teamwork they share and makes Dick’s frustration more palpable when he’s drugged/poisoned in ‘Fear of Victory’ down the line.

20. “That laugh…” Bruce says, as he walks into Mayor Hamilton Hill’s son’s birthday party and the clown makes his exit. In this viewing order, it comes as a surprise the first time that we see the Joker has cheated death in ‘Be a Clown’ (although he’ll do it again and again). There are several cameos from background characters from the first season at Jordan’s birthday party. Batman follows the exploits of the previous three episodes by saving the mayor’s only son from corruption and/or death; this is the last time someone dares speak against Batman until Season Four. At some point after this episode but before ‘Two-Face, Part 2’, Jeremiah Arkham’s historic mansion is retrofitted as a new location to house and treat Gotham City’s population of the criminally insane. Joker is captured off-screen and imprisoned there to begin rehabilitation, along with Scarecrow and Poison Ivy, and more to come.

21. **FLASHFORWARD EPISODE**
(I admit that ‘Two-Face Part 1’ being designated a flashforward episode is a completely arbitrary decision [like everything else here, arguably]. There’s no real reason based on the script of the episode itself that it should be. However, since this season swings on Harvey Dent, it just makes sense. It also explains his sudden engagement with Grace Lamont. Then again, given how quickly that he proposed to Pamela Isley, maybe he’s just a fast worker (…then again…*Pamela Isley*). Season Two is about Harvey Dent/‘Two-Face’, and Dick Grayson/Robin; his failure to reach out to his first friend leading to his greatest failure, and how that affects how he approaches Robin in the Season Two Finale. I broke up Harvey Dent’s/Two-Face’s appearances with two episodes in between each until the mid-season break. In this viewing order, ‘Two-Face’ is the second two-parter; this breakup works well considering there are six months of time chronologically between them.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Grace Lamont, Assistant Candice, Dr. Nora Crest, Two-Face (cameo)

22. ‘Cat Scratch Fever’ is a pretty bad episode in a lot of ways (although the ending is sweet), but all the same it’s important to see Selina Kyle again as she’s going to pop up just a few episodes later when Bruce Wayne tries to rekindle his relationship with her. This episode also has the first appearances of Dr. Milo, who will show up again in ‘Moon of the Wolf’ (if one cares to watch that episode), and Lucius Fox, who will make appearances from time to time as the face of Wayne Enterprises’ day-to-day operations. Also is the second appearance of corrupt businessman Roland Daggett and the last time we’ll see him until Season Three. He’s definitely up to no good during his absence, though (again—see ‘Feat of Clay’ two-parter in Season Three for reference). Batman seems very somber in this episode, and that makes sense…his thoughts are with Harvey and he sees a chance to help Selina in a way he couldn’t with his friend. This episode also marks the last appearance of Selina’s live-in secretary, Maven.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Lucius Fox, Dr. Milo

23. **FLASHFORWARD EPISODE**
“If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?” wins for Longest Titled Episode. Of course, it’s the first appearance of The Riddler and a little reminder of Harvey Dent, too: his aide Carlos gets a cameo coming out of the elevator with Nygma during the Competitron flashback. Also shows more interaction between Batman and Robin. Again, a few line deliveries here while Batman is riding around with Robin make him seem more thoughtful and/or somber than usual (‘Before your time…’). Riddler successfully escapes but will return next season to again match wits with Batman.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Edward Nygma/The Riddler

24. In Two-Face Part Two’, we see Harvey/Two-Face is trying to take down Rupert Thorne for destroying his life. It’s too bad that Thorne’s goons manage to destroy the evidence before it gets into police custody and/or is considered inadmissable, because all things considered, Harvey gets the bad end of the deal and has a legitimate reason for hating Batman for his interference. He is moved to Arkham Asylum for rehabilitation but Batman’s having put him there combined with Grace Lamont’s disappearance makes him sink further into his new persona. This happens off-screen, which ultimately makes it a shock when Two-Face reappears in ‘The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne’ to bid for Batman’s secret identity.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Two-Face

25. ‘Tyger, Tyger’ marks the return of Selina Kyle and her last appearance this season, as she attempts to rebuild her life without the thrill of being Catwoman. Is also the first appearance of the zoo security guard who will show up again after taking bribes from Dr. Milo in ‘Moon of the Wolf’. We also see Kurt Langstrom again ahead of his official sequel episode, ‘Terror in the Sky’. Following this episode, Selina disappears until the mid-season break in Season Three. One can assume—at least partially—that her absence is to recover from her bodily trauma due to the serum.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: John Hamner (the zoo security guard)

26. ‘Day of the Samurai’ placed here makes a bit of a vacation for Bruce Wayne, with some nice Season One closure to his training days and the approval of his old master, Yoru-Sensei, who has guessed he and Batman are the one and the same.

27. ‘Fear of Victory’ shows Robin in college, which officially explains his periodic disappearances. This was originally Robin’s first appearance in Broadcast Order, but in this viewing order it’s the fifth. It makes this episode and Robin’s frustration more understandable to both him as a character and the audience. Also, we see Batman trying (but failing) to encourage Robin, but he’s particularly moody and short with his allies in this episode whether he intends to be or not. On a related/important note, this episode is the first appearance of the infamous Arkham Asylum and the various super-criminals deemed ‘insane’ that have been moved there for treatment—including Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, the Joker (who will break out a few episodes later). Last but not least, we see Two-Face again, with Batman literally looking back at his former friend.

28. ‘Beware the Gray Ghost’ – an episode that doesn’t necessarily add anything to continuity as a whole but a great one-and-done for the series that looks at both Batman’s inspirations and his aspirations, as well. Matt Hagen gets a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it written cameo on the cover of People Magazine at the end of the episode ahead of ‘Feat of Clay’ in Season Three.

29. ‘Moon of the Wolf’ is terrible (in several meanings of the word) but if one chooses to watch it, it’s good for one reason: Harvey Bullock. This episode works great as the start of a two-episode final buildup to ‘Vendetta’.

30. ‘The Laughing Fish’ is a great Joker episode to mark an increasingly dark season (and also marks the second, perhaps third time Joker ‘dies’). Harvey Bullock makes his second appearance in a row, again showing his stuff as a good detective. Harley Quinn reappears here with her personality almost fully realized.

31. We have been building to ‘Vendetta’ for nearly a full season now, ever since ‘Nothing to Fear’ when Harvey Bullock began to make himself a nuisance to Batman. We also see that Rupert Thorne is still free and in charge of the rackets after beating the charges levied against him in ‘Two-Face Part Two’.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: ‘Killer Croc’ Morgan

32. ‘Paging the Crime Doctor’ follows up Rupert Thorne’s brief appearance in ‘Vendetta’, in which we finally get to see a little background on him. Not just Thorne, but also Leslie Thompkins and Bruce’s father in the bargain.

33. ‘The nightmare’s finally over.’ ‘Terror in the Sky’ closes out the string of ‘mad scientist’ monster episodes and the lingering plot threads from Season One. Season Three will bring us a *new* kind of monster...

34. The last time we saw Poison Ivy was in a cameo in ‘Fear of Victory’ in which we saw she had been moved from Stonegate Prison to Arkham Asylum. Apparently, she was a model patient, because it appears that she was released legitimately. That she was even able to open a resort here makes her the only villain to successfully fool the doctor(s) not just once, but *twice* during the course of the series. Had she broken out of Arkham directly, that would certainly have thrown up some red flags when getting funding—whether she falsified her identity or not. This is another episode that shows a lot of Alfred Pennyworth, with Poison Ivy presumably apprehended for medical attention at the end of the episode (she’s referenced but not seen in the Season Three episode ‘Dreams in Darkness’, prior to her escaping before the events of ‘Harley and Ivy’).  Also the first time we hear a character in the show reference Batman’s ‘gallery of rogues’, of which we get to see a good sampling in the very next episode.

35. ‘The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne’ is the first time we see the villains team up for a mutual goal, which will happen periodically going forward. We see that Joker survived the shark attack, Two-Face has returned to crime after escaping from Arkham Asylum, and Penguin has been released from Stonegate Penitentiary following his lengthy sentence from the events of ‘The Mechanic’. Going by this viewing order, it’s a shock to see any one of the three, let alone *all* of them. Robin bookends the episode ahead of the Season Two Finale.

36-37. Given that ‘Mask of the Phantasm’ was the Season One Finale about Batman, it makes sense that the Season Two Finale ought to focus on Batman’s No. 2, Robin. In ‘Robin’s Reckoning’ we finally get some backstory on Robin, as well as flashbacks from the years prior to the start of the series, featuring former crime boss Arnold Stromwell (last seen dismantling his organization in ‘It’s Never Too Late). Based on the background we received from the Season One Finale and Robin’s line about being in sixth grade, the flashbacks took place within one to two years of the flashback events of ‘Mask of the Phantasm’. Speaking of which, this two-parter again really feels like something from Season One, with a grounded story focusing on organized crime. At the same time, it’s really looking ahead to the future. Batman still has some issues to work through before he can trust others again, and even when he does he occasionally has relapses (see: ‘Blind as a Bat’, in Season Four), but this is a good start. At episode’s end, he struggles to finally admit out loud his implied love for Dick Grayson/Robin, pushing past his fears.

END SEASON TWO
BEGIN SEASON THREE

SEASON THREE EPISODE LIST:
38-P301-P1002—Christmas with the Joker
39---302-P1021—Feat of Clay
40---303-P1022—Feat of Clay Part 2
41---304-P1028—Dreams in Darkness
42---305-P1027—Mad as a Hatter
43---306-P1025—The Clock King
44---307-P1051—The Man Who Killed Batman
45---308-P1014—Heart of Ice
46---309-P1056—Harley and Ivy
47---310-P1048—“What is Reality?”
48---311-P2066—Sideshow
49-B312-P1038—Heart of Steel
50-B313-P1039—Heart of Steel Part 2
51-B314-P1030—Perchance to Dream
52-B315-P2046—Almost Got ‘Im
53---316-P1054—Zatanna
54---317-P1064—Read My Lips
55---318-P1063—Fire from Olympus
56---319-P1049—I Am the Night
57---320-P2071—Terrible Trio
58---321-P1041—Joker’s Wild
59---322-P1050—Off Balance
60---323-P1062—His Silicon Soul
61---324-P1047—Birds of a Feather
62-F325-P1060—The Demon's Quest
63-F326-P1061—The Demon’s Quest Part 2

THEME OF SEASON THREE: ESCALATION
(Definition: a rapid increase; a rise; an increase in the intensity or seriousness of something)
--The Number Three: associated around the world as associated with blessing, good fortune or power:
‘Third time’s the charm’ (some of BTAS’ best episodes are in this season)—mathematically, 3 is the first prime number and is indivisible and stable—first stable number geometrically (triangle);  3 2-part episodes; love triangle between Talia Al Ghul, her father and Batman
--longest of the seasons
--Joker’s dramatic increase in appearances from Season Two
--marked increase in new themed criminals
--massive increase in crimes by the Rogues
--drastic increase in Batman’s efforts to control the situation
--the scale of threats: has gone from city-wide threats to global threats
--for the first time, a criminal deduces Batman’s secret identity

Season Three Note:
     Two villains are introduced in Season One (Harley Quinn and Scarecrow [Joker, Penguin, and Catwoman don’t count]), followed by four in Season Two (Poison Ivy, Two-Face, Riddler and Killer Croc) and another six in Season Three (Clayface, Mad Hatter, The Clock King, Mr. Freeze, The Ventriloquist/Scarface, and Ra’as Al Ghoul). *All* of them make appearances in Season Three. Batman is very busy this season and Robin rarely appears, though occasionally offering moral support when Batman finally breaks down under the pressure.  The Joker gets name-dropped or makes appearances this season 10 times, more than the previous two seasons combined.

Episode-Specific Notes:
38. ‘Christmas With The Joker’ is a great season premier with Joker breaking out of prison to hold Gotham City hostage, all for Batman’s benefit. Several scenes of Bruce and Dick enjoying each other’s company following the events of the Season Two Finale. The Joker’s first of many re-appearances this season. Two-Face makes a cameo as a member of the Joker’s cardboard cutout audience.

39-40. Next we have parts one and two of ‘Feat of Clay’, as we go full-on sci-fi with shape-shifting mud monsters. We also see what Roland Daggett has been up to for nearly a season, with his planned corporate takeover of Wayne Enterprises. Having Clayface here in Season Three really solidifies the direction the series is taking: the shift from petty criminals, to monsters, to super-villains (and Clayface is all Three, get it? :). We also see Roland Daggett’s third and last appearance for a good while. The bad press he must have gotten between the events of ‘Cat Scratch Fever’ and as a result of this two-parter episode really must have hit him hard (being on public television and all).
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Matt Hagen/Clayface

41. ‘Dreams in Darkness’ is another look at Batman’s psyche, with Arkham Asylum as the metaphor.  We are given updates on the status of some familiar villainous faces. The Joker, Two-Face and Poison Ivy are all referenced as being locked up at the time of the episode, and we are introduced to Dr. Bartholomew, the psychiatrist in charge of the patients in Arkham Asylum. He is every bit the sad-sack one would expect and clearly has no idea what he’s dealing with, giving some legitimacy to Lyle Bolton’s claims in the Season Four episode, ‘Lock-Up’. All of the aforementioned villains will make escapes within the next ten episodes. This is also the last episode with a focus on the Scarecrow, and certainly his best. In the bargain, we have cameos from virtually the entire BTAS cast.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Dr. Bartholomew

42. ‘Mad as a Hatter’ is the second episode in Season Three to introduce a new villain, and he will reappear soon for the mid-season break, in one of the best episodes in the series.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Jervis Tetch/The Mad Hatter

43. **FLASHFORWARD EPISODE**
In ‘The Clock King’, we check in with Hamilton Hill for the first time since ‘Fear of Victory’ and ahead of his reappearance in the mid-season two-parter ‘Heart of Steel’. This is another episode, much like ‘Joker’s Favor’ or ‘IYSSWAYR?’, that allows for implied passage of time between the previous episode and this one. ‘Mad as a Hatter’ seems to take place during the summer, and here we are with Temple Fugate taking potshots at Hamilton Hill during election season. Fugate survives the episode, but we won’t see him again until Season Four.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Temple Fugate/The Clock King

44. Given how easily it is that Joker breaks out of Arkham Asylum in the Season Three Premier, it’s not hard to see him being free so soon after ‘Dreams in Darkness’, especially given the doctors’ poor record of keeping track of their patients. The previous episode being a flashforward episode helps with believability. ‘The Man Who Killed Batman’ is also the first time since ‘Paging the Crime Doctor’ that we’ve seen Rupert Thorne and that he is still in charge; however, at the end of the episode Batman apprehends him and his gang. It apparently takes him a while to beat the charges, but he again shows up in the Season Four Premier, ‘Shadow of the Bat’. The Joker is still at large by the end of the episode, and his treatment of Harley Quinn will be looked at more closely just two episodes later.

45. Everyone agrees that ‘Heart of Ice’ is one of the best episodes of the Batman: The Animated Series, but the question was where to put it. Much like Clayface, Mr. Freeze is a character very much in the realm of science fiction, so Season Three was the best fit. In continuity, we have a nice buffer between Joker appearances (unless you count Mark Hamill voicing Ferris Boyle [ha]). His appearance in Season Three gives a nice long gap (but not too long) between this and his next appearance in the ‘Adventures of Batman and Robin’ episode ‘Deep Freeze’, and the concluding chapter/BTAS coda, ‘Sub-Zero’.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze

46. In ‘Harley and Ivy’ we have the third appearance of Poison Ivy (not counting cameos or name-drops) and another look at her hyper-feminist ideals and treatment of Harley Quinn. Poison Ivy has escaped from Arkham and is hiding out at a toxic waste dump outside of Gotham City (!?). Joker is apprehended once again and he and Ivy’s contempt for each other is referenced ahead of its periodic resurgence in episodes like ‘Almost Got ‘Im’ and ‘Joker’s Wild’.

47. Robin and The Riddler return in ‘“What is Reality?”’. Following the end of this episode, Edward Nygma is shipped to Arkham Asylum for treatment of his catatonia. We will see him next in Season Four.

48. Killer Croc tries to kill Batman with a rock in ‘Sideshow’. Although this is a Production Season 2 episode, I think it’s really funny to have this episode here, so close to ‘Almost Got ‘Im’. Not only does it bring back the more cunning Killer Croc we remember from ‘Vendetta’, but when he pops up again just a few episodes later in ‘Almost Got ‘Im’, we know something’s off right from the start given how recently he was captured and his shrewd/resourceful behavior throughout this episode.

49-50. The mid-season block begins. ‘Heart of Steel’ epitomizes the direction of this season, and parts 1 and 2 is particularly significant for introducing two new recurring characters, Karl Rossum and Barbara Gordon, the latter of which will of course go on to be Batgirl.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Barbara Gordon, Karl Rossum

51. Having ‘Perchance to Dream’ and ‘Almost Got ‘Im’ together is just a perfect pairing (thank you, Jordacar!). I would even say these two episodes together make a good climax to the series, which plateaus right into Season Four. Leslie Thompkins makes a cameo prior to her reappearance in ‘I Am The Night’.

52. Following ‘Perchance’, an episode all about how Batman sees himself, we have ‘Almost Got ‘Im’, an episode all about how Batman’s enemies see him. Penguin, Joker, Poison Ivy, and Two-Face have all escaped from Arkham Asylum prior to the events of this episode, making a complete joke (if it wasn’t already) of Dr. Bartholomew’s comments about Arkham security just a few episodes earlier. ‘Almost’ is the first episode to explicitly confirm that there are more adventures and escapades going on off-screen than what we see in the series itself. Robin gets name-dropped in ‘Almost’ between his previous appearance in ‘What is Reality?’ and his upcoming reappearance in ‘I Am The Night’.

53. We haven’t had an episode touching on Bruce Wayne’s pre-Batman days since ‘Day of The Samurai’, in Season Two. It’s too bad for Bruce that their relationship is platonic, as ‘Zatanna’ and Batman make a good team and perhaps the sweetest, most non-toxic couple of the series.

54. ‘Read My Lips’ and ‘Zatanna’ have an odd connection, the link being Zatanna’s father Zatarra, and ventriloquism. ‘Read My Lips’ is also, of course, the first appearance of The Ventriloquist, who after first being sent to Stonegate Penitentiary (in which his Scarface personality again resurfaces), will later be moved to Arkham Asylum after breaking parole in ‘Catwalk’.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Arnold Wesker/The Ventriloquist/Scarface, Mugsy, Rhino

55. Not much to say about ‘Fire From Olympus’ other than we check in again with the Arkham Asylum inmates and see they’re again locked up at the time of the episode. There’s also a line about part of Maxie Zeus’ crackup being due to the stress of running shipments for The Mob (AKA, Rupert Thorne). Two-Face escapes again from Arkham not long after this episode, planning both his criminal takeover of Gotham and his revenge against Rupert Thorne, which will go into effect at the beginning of Season Four.

56. ‘I Am The Night’ shows the second appearance of Barbara Gordon ahead of ‘Shadow of the Bat’ and the return of Dick Grayson/Robin. Given Jim Gordon’s injury this episode, there are two episodes following this one where he doesn’t appear.

57. In ‘Terrible Trio’ we see Batman and Robin adventuring again following his reappearance in ‘I Am The Night’, but Robin immediately gets a broken arm (which likely feeds Bruce’s fears he expressed in the previous episode). The broken arm puts Dick out of action until the Season Three Finale, where we see him sneaking back to his dorm room after his arm heals. Joker gets a name-drop ahead of the next episode…

58. ‘Joker’s Wild’: Joker tries to kill Donald Trump for ripping off his likeness without permission. We get to see the Arkham inmates interacting together again after their arrest in ‘Almost Got ‘Im’, including the Scarecrow and Mad Hatter. Sometime after this episode, Poison Ivy seduces/poisons her psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Carlyle and settles into a faux-marriage with a clone of him as cover for her human/botanical experiments.

59. Batman meets his match with femme fatale Talia Al Ghul and the first appearance in Gotham City of the Society of Shadows. When we see Jim Gordon again here in ‘Off Balance’, he’s at the firing range at the Gotham P.D. but not on the field, as if he’s recovering—almost as if to say ‘Yeah, still got it.’ Following the end of this episode, Ra’as Al Ghul begins his investigation of Batman’s secret identity.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Talia Al Ghul, Ra’as Al Ghul (cameo)

60.  The main monitor/hub for the Batcomputer is blown up at the end of ‘His Silicon Soul’, so we don’t see it again for a few episodes during its repair. We also see what Karl Rossum has been doing since HARDAC was destroyed (a life choice to which he makes adjustments after the events of this episode). This episode also breaks up Veronica’s appearances a bit, allowing for more time between her appearance in ‘Catwalk’ and her visit to South America immediately preceding the next episode…

61. **FLASHFORWARD EPISODE**
‘Birds of a Feather’ has a place of distinction: it takes place over an unknown length of time; it is the first and only episode to actually be *about* The Penguin; and it is the first appearance of Gotham City socialite Veronica Vreeland, who will periodically reappear going forward. This episode helps transition into Season Four: Penguin, being the first super-villain to be introduced in this viewing order, is also the first of the villains to attempt reform.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Veronica Vreeland

62-63. Following the threads from ‘Off Balance’ and ‘The Terrible Trio’, we have the Season Three Finale: ‘The Demon’s Quest’ parts one and two. Batman literally saves the world.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Ra’as Al Ghul, Ubu

END SEASON THREE
BEGIN SEASON FOUR

SEASON FOUR EPISODE LIST:
64-P401-P1057—Shadow of the Bat
65-P402-P1058—Shadow of the Bat Part 2
66---403-P1052—Mudslide
67---404-P2074—Catwalk
68---405-P1017—See No Evil
69---406-P2069—Avatar
70---407-P1065—The Worry Men
71---408-P2070—House and Garden
72---409-P2072—Harlequinade
73---410-P2067—A Bullet for Bullock
74---411-P1059—Blind as a Bat
75---412-P2078—Showdown
76-B413-P2068—Trial
77---414-P2084—Deep Freeze
78---415-P2079—Riddler’s Reform
79---416-P2073—Time Out of Joint
80---417-P2075—Bane
81---418-P2085—Batgirl Returns
82---419-P2081—Harley’s Holiday
83---420-P2076—Baby Doll
84---421-P2082—Lock-Up
85---422-P2083—Make ‘Em Laugh
86---423-P2080—Second Chance
87--F424-MOVIE: Batman and Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero

THEME OF SEASON FOUR: CULMINATION
(Definition: the highest or climactic point of something, especially as attained after a long time)
--The Number Four: number of ‘being’, safety, security, stability, completion, finality:
Fourth and also Final Season of BTAS; Harley Quinn reaching her fourth stage in the grief cycle (Bargaining); Harvey Dent/Two-Face makes four speaking appearances in Season Four, including the Final episode 22 (2 + 2 = 4 = 2 x 2); The Worry Men has the fourth appearance of The Mad Hatter (counting his cameo in ‘Joker’s Wild’), and is the fourth appearance of Clayface (post-mortem); the Season Four Finale is the fourth appearance of Mr. Freeze (counting his cameo in ‘The Worry Men’); Scarecrow makes four cameos this season; following mid-season break, villain ‘re-Four-m’ episodes occur every four episodes
--No new characters introduced after the Season Four Premier
--Batman has changed; he’s more willing to accept help and has gradually become more compassionate towards his adversaries
--A new generation of crime-fighters has been inspired by Batman’s example, and he shows greater willingness to trust their efforts
--Batman’s enemies come to the realization that it’s not Batman’s fault that they are who they are
--Some former criminals that have gone straight backslide; and some begin to see what’s wrong with their lives and attempt change
--A few characters only appearing in Season Two reappear in Season Four, each associated with Two-Face
--Batman's archenemy finally suffers complete and ignominious defeat

64-65. ‘Shadow of The Bat’ Parts 1 and 2 work great as a season premier with the emergence of Batgirl, Jim Gordon being arrested and the reappearance of Two-Face, who helps cap the season as well. Two-Face’s plan here puts anything any other villain has accomplished to shame. If it weren’t for the Dynamic Trio’s actions to stop it, not only would he have been in charge of all crime in Gotham City after deposing Rupert Thorne, but he would have had the Commissioner of Police in his pocket, too. This is also Janet Van Dorn’s first appearance as the new District Attorney following Harvey’s disposition in Season Two, prior to her next appearance in the mid-season break episode, ‘Trial’.
*RECURRING CHARACTER INTROS: Batgirl, Janet Van Dorn

66. Much like how Clayface helped start Season Three, he helps begin Season Four in ‘Mudslide’—oddly enough with an ‘end’, of sorts (if you don’t count the character’s DCAU appearances). Matt Hagen’s ‘final performance’ is the first taste of the end of the series.

67. ‘Catwalk’ shows Selina Kyle finally returning to crime as Catwoman and teaming up with The Ventriloquist/Scarface in his second appearance after having been released from prison. It also firmly puts the nail in the coffin for Batman and Catwoman’s relationship. She remains at large at the end of the episode and Batman hasn’t the heart to go after her. Apparently after his capture in this episode The Ventriloquist is moved to Arkham Asylum, where he remains to the end of the series. We also learn that Penguin was a potential fence for Veronica Vreeland’s stolen goods; he can definitely hold a grudge.

68. Following that, we get a surprisingly grounded and personal episode that is highlighted by the sci-fi elements we’ve been increasingly seeing up to this point in the show. ‘See No Evil’ is another episode that shows Batman’s drive to protect children and families. The events of this episode get a name-drop after the mid-season break in 'Time Out of Joint'.

69. Ra’as Al Ghul makes his reappearance in ‘Avatar’, as well as the first appearance in the show of full-blown supernaturalism/magic. This marks the last appearance in BTAS of Talia Al Ghul, tying her fate to her father for all time.

70. There’s a cacophony of cameos in ‘The Worry Men’ of villains we haven’t seen in a while.  Harley Quinn, Joker, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Clayface, and others make appearances as either statues or dolls in the third act, reminding us of their existence ahead of some of their reappearances this season. The Riddler in particular gets both a name-drop from Alfred and tommy gun-toting doll.

71. A significant gap marks Poison Ivy’s last speaking appearance in the Season Three episode ‘Joker’s Wild’ and her reappearance here, in ‘House and Garden’. The episode clearly indicates it’s been a long time since Batman last tangled with her and at *least* six months since her successful rehabilitation declaration via the efforts of Dr. Stephen Carlyle. There is another, smaller gap in time between this appearance and her recapture immediately prior to ‘Trial’.

72. It felt right to have ‘House and Garden’ and ‘Harlequinade’ together. In the context of BTAS, this is the first episode where Harley makes a decision (if temporarily) to rebel or pull away from the Joker’s influence. Poison Ivy always encouraged her to dump the Joker, so it’s appropriate that when their episodes are grouped together, she’d make her first [admittedly small] progress. Within this show and this viewing order as a Season Four episode, this episode marks Harley Quinn’s reaching Step Four in her grieving process over her relationship with the Joker: Bargaining. Mayor Hill makes another appearance of several this season. Batgirl also gets a name-drop prior to her reappearance after the mid-season break.

73. In ‘A Bullet For Bullock’, we see the pitiful home life of Harvey Bullock as Batman attempts to help him survive a number of assassination attempts over the Holidays.

74. ‘Blind as a Bat’ is Leslie Thompkins’ last appearance in the series, as well as Penguin’s ‘finest’ hour as he engages in domestic terrorism and holds Gotham City hostage. Mayor Hill also makes an appearance negotiating the Penguin’s demands.

75. ‘Showdown’ is Ra’as Al Ghul’s final appearance in Batman: The Animated Series, and Batman allows him to take his decrepit son home, showing compassion for his worthy foe. The episode also gives legitimate claim to Ra’as being over 600 years old.

76. Finally! ‘Trial’ is the last episode in this viewing order to have the Batman: The Animated Series original title card, working as the mid-season break and climax episode for the series. After Poison Ivy is recaptured by Batman after some time from the events of ‘House and Garden’, the Arkham Asylum inmates throw a coup and take over with the help of The Mad Hatter. All the insane villains (plus one Killer Croc—who has faked insanity to get moved to Arkham Asylum, being an easier place to break out of) make appearances here, even The Riddler, who gloats from the jury box but strategically does not interfere. His role (or lack thereof) in the Arkham Asylum takeover likely played a big part in his release just two episodes later. This is also Harley Quinn’s second major fallout [Stage Four] with the Joker, and after this episode, the Arkham Asylum doctors finally figure out the best thing for Harley is to separate her from him, given he was the root of her psychosis [about time!]. Following this episode, the remainder of the season is structured so that the remaining episodes all include the revamped ‘The Adventures of Batman and Robin’ title sequence.

77. **FLASHFORWARD EPISODE**
After a long absence (with a brief cameo in ‘The Worry Men’), we have Mr. Freeze’s second appearance. At some point following the events of ‘Heart of Ice’, Victor Fries was moved from Arkham Asylum to a special cell at Stonegate Penitentiary (makes sense…he’s not nuts, and they have to make room…this is Gotham, after all). Having ‘Deep Freeze’ as the first episode of TAOBAR gives a nice bump of time between the end of this episode and his reappearance in the Season Four/Series Finale, ‘Sub-Zero’. This episode is also Karl Rossum’s last appearance. After his encounter with the Batman duplicant in ‘His Silicon Soul’, he has a change of heart about his vocation and returns to robotics to make toys rather than tools as a way of remembering the daughter he lost.

78.  ‘Riddler’s Reform’ is next, the last appearance of the Riddler with a quick cameo of The Penguin’s trial following the events of ‘Blind as a Bat’. Robin injures his arm but not as badly as in ‘The Terrible Trio’; he’s up and going in the following episode. We also see brief cameos from several Arkham inmates, including Two-Face and the Joker who are still locked up at the time of the episode.

79. We then get the some closure with the reappearance of Temple Fugate/The Clock King in ‘Time Out of Joint’. The Batmobile takes a beating but is fixed quickly, only to meet its worst vandalism since Season One in the very next episode.

80. Both the Batmobile and Killer Croc get absolutely wrecked in ‘Bane’. As it is being repaired, the Batmobile doesn’t appear in the next episode. Following the taped confession at the end, this is unsurprisingly the last appearance of Candice, as she would certainly be ‘terminated’ by Rupert Thorne. Killer Croc is in traction and remains in recovery for the remainder of the series, as this is his last appearance.

81. ‘Batgirl Returns’ is the final appearance of Batgirl until the Series Finale. Love its placement here for several reasons: it give time for the Batmobile to get fixed; its placement after ‘Bane’ and absence of Batman allows him to actually take a break; and the fact that Bruce is letting Robin and Batgirl handle things means he’s learning to place more faith in their ability to do so. It also appears that despite his feelings for Selina, Bruce has finally made peace that it wasn’t meant to be. This is the final appearance of Roland Daggett and Catwoman. Joker, Two-Face, and Penguin all make cameos in Barbara’s daydream ahead of their reappearances in a few episodes.

82. ‘Harley’s Holiday’ is the first episode to feature Harley Quinn in which the Joker also doesn’t appear. This episode is probably the best example in the show of Batman’s desire to see his ‘enemies’ go straight. Scarecrow makes a [great] cameo, as well as Poison Ivy, her last in the series. Bye, Pam.

83. Between ending of the previous episode and this one, ‘Baby-Doll’, a great contrast is set up between Batman’s compassion and Lyle Bolton’s cruelty in the following episode…

84. **FLASHFORWARD EPISODE**
Batman confronts a vigilante even more extreme than himself in ‘Lock-Up’. Speaking of which, having Lock-Up here allows us to check in with and say good-bye to a number of characters that we will never see again in the series. This is the final appearance of quite a few of them, both supporting and villains.

85. The episodes leading up to ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’ have all been hammering in that Batman cares about people’s lives—even criminals’—and this is the best example yet that the Joker doesn’t care about anyone else but himself. The two things he hates most of all are to either be ignored, or to not be taken seriously (ironic). The final image of him being led away in his underwear, humiliated, is just the perfect victory over him and a great way to say good-bye, helping close out the series. As he was introduced in the third episode, we now say goodbye to him in the third-to-last episode of this viewing order.

86. ‘Second Chance’ wraps the series with the final villain reform episode. For the first time, we see a direct flashback to the events of the Season Two episode ‘Two-Face Part 1’ and also the reappearance of psychiatrist (and surgeon, apparently) Dr. Nora Crest. When Batman realizes who was trying to sabotage Harvey Dent’s life, he tries to take care of things by himself again one last time. And at last, Robin doesn’t listen to him and gives Batman what he needs, rather than what he thinks he wants. We also say good-bye to Rupert Thorne, still in power following the events of ‘Bane’ (but power is *all* he has…following the alienation of his brother and Candice’s ‘disposition’, Thorne is now completely alone relationally). In addition, we have Penguin’s last appearance, after having been possibly imprisoned for good following his terrorist actions in ‘Blind as a Bat’ (if you don’t count his appearances in TBNA). Much like how Penguin helped introduce the series in the second episode as a criminal at-large, here he is in the second-to-last episode as a criminal imprisoned. And skipping ahead to the end of the episode, that final scene with Bruce meeting Harvey personally at Arkham Asylum and walking away shoulder-to-shoulder with Dick Grayson has an element of hope that closes the series: a second chance, not just for Two-Face, but for Batman himself.

87. Coda: the concluding passage of a piece or movement, typically forming an addition to the basic structure.  
The Series Finale ‘Batman and Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero’ is the final good-bye that wraps the emotional journeys of Batman and Mr. Freeze, both. It is so fitting that the character that the series did the best would be the one to help us say goodbye to it. The final emotion we see in the series is one of bittersweet gratitude. Victor Fries lives to see his wife’s life restored, but at the price of being separated forever.




**THE INFORMATION ABOVE MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS**

 

For comparison purposes, I have included the Jordacar’s original list first, followed by mine, and then the Production and Broadcast orders.

EPISODE LIST (JORDACAR CHRONOLOGICAL)
*Season One:
31—The Cape & Cowl Conspiracy
15—The Cat and the Claw Part 1
16—The Cat and the Claw Part 2
13— I've Got Batman In My Basement
06—The Underdwellers
04—The Last Laugh
19—Prophecy Of Doom
35—Night of the Ninja
64—Read My Lips
08—The Forgotten
17—See No Evil
12—It's Never Too Late
26—Appointment In Crime Alley
*Season Two:
01—On Leather Wings
03—Nothing To Fear
MOVIE: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
07—P.O.V.
05—Pretty Poison
09—Be A Clown
18—Beware The Gray Ghost
22—Joker's Favor
10—Two-Face Part 1
36—Cat Scratch Fever
25—The Clock King
43—Moon Of The Wolf
34—The Laughing Fish
23—Vendetta
11—Two-Face Part 2
59—Blind As A Bat
54—Zatanna
24—Fear Of Victory
40—If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?
44—Day of the Samurai
29—Eternal Youth
37—The Strange Secret Of Bruce Wayne
*Season Three:
02—Christmas With The Joker
14—Heart of Ice
20—Feat of Clay Part 1
21—Feat of Clay Part 2
27—Mad As A Hatter
56—Harley and Ivy
28—Dreams In Darkness
42—Tyger, Tyger
41—Joker's Wild
32—Robin's Reckoning Part 1
33—Robin's Reckoning Part 2
51—The Man Who Killed Batman
30—Perchance To Dream
46—Almost Got 'Im
63—Fire from Olympus
38—Heart of Steel Part 1
39—Heart of Steel Part 2
45—Terror In The Sky
48—What is Reality?
47—Birds Of A Feather
49—I Am The Night
50—Off Balance
53—Paging the Crime Doctor
68—Trial
60—The Demon's Quest Part 1
61—The Demon's Quest Part 2
*Season Four:
57—Shadow of the Bat Part 1
58—Shadow of the Bat Part 2
62—His Silicon Soul
72—Harlequinade
52—Mudslide
75—Bane
65—The Worry Men
67—A Bullet for Bullock
66—Sideshow
69—Avatar
70—House and Garden
71—The Terrible Trio
73—Time Out of Joint
76—Baby Doll
77—The Lion and the Unicorn
78—Showdown
74—Catwalk
79—Riddler's Reform
80—Second Chance
81—Harley's Holiday
82—Lock-Up
83—Make ‘Em Laugh
55—The Mechanic
84—Deep Freeze
85—Batgirl Returns
MOVIE: Batman and Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero

As one can see, I owe a lot to Jordacar. The overall structure of my list is clearly lifted from his: the four seasons, Premier/Finale episodes, the placement of certain episodes to create layered meaning (especially that of his genius idea to place episodes 30 and 46 together). This idea that my favorite television show could be organized chronologically had been rattling around in the back of my head for years, but reading Jordacar’s list suddenly gave it focus and drive.

EPISODE LIST (M.G.M. CHRONOLOGICAL)
*Season One:
01-P101-P1031—The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy
02---102-P1013—I’ve Got Batman in My Basement
03---103-P1004—The Last Laugh
04---104-P1035—Night of the Ninja
05---105-P1019—Prophecy of Doom
06---106-P1006—The Underdwellers
07-B107-P1015—The Cat and the Claw
08-B108-P1016—The Cat and the Claw Part 2
09---109-P1020—Joker’s Favor
10---110-P1012—It’s Never Too Late
11---111-P1055—The Mechanic
12---112-P1008—The Forgotten
13---113-P1026—Appointment in Crime Alley
14---114-P1003—Nothing to Fear
15---115-P1001—On Leather Wings
16--F116-MOVIE: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

*Season Two:
17-P201-P1007—P.O.V.
18---202-P1005—Pretty Poison
19---203-P2077—The Lion and the Unicorn
20---204-P1009—Be a Clown
21---205-P1010—Two-Face Part 1
22---206-P1036—Cat Scratch Fever
23---207-P1040—“If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?”
24---208-P1011—Two-Face Part 2
25---209-P1042—Tyger, Tyger
26-B210-P1044—Day of the Samurai
27-B211-P1024—Fear of Victory
28-B212-P1018—Beware the Gray Ghost
29---213-P1043—Moon of the Wolf
30---214-P1034—The Laughing Fish
31---215-P1023—Vendetta
32---216-P1053—Paging the Crime Doctor
33---217-P1045—Terror in the Sky
34---218-P1029—Eternal Youth
35---219-P1037—The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne
36-F220-P1032—Robin's Reckoning
37-F221-P1033—Robin’s Reckoning Part 2

*Season Three:
38-P301-P1002—Christmas with the Joker
39---302-P1021—Feat of Clay
40---303-P1022—Feat of Clay Part 2
41---304-P1028—Dreams in Darkness
42---305-P1027—Mad as a Hatter
43---306-P1025—The Clock King
44---307-P1051—The Man Who Killed Batman
45---308-P1014—Heart of Ice
46---309-P1056—Harley and Ivy
47---310-P1048—“What is Reality?”
48---311-P2066—Sideshow
49-B312-P1038—Heart of Steel
50-B313-P1039—Heart of Steel Part 2
51-B314-P1030—Perchance to Dream
52-B315-P2046—Almost Got ‘Im
53---316-P1054—Zatanna
54---317-P1064—Read My Lips
55---318-P1063—Fire from Olympus
56---319-P1049—I Am the Night
57---320-P2071—Terrible Trio
58---321-P1041—Joker’s Wild
59---322-P1050—Off Balance
60---323-P1062—His Silicon Soul
61---324-P1047—Birds of a Feather
62-F325-P1060—The Demon's Quest
63-F326-P1061—The Demon’s Quest Part 2

*Season Four:
64-P401-P1057—Shadow of the Bat
65-P402-P1058—Shadow of the Bat Part 2
66---403-P1052—Mudslide
67---404-P2074—Catwalk
68---405-P1017—See No Evil
69---406-P2069—Avatar
70---407-P1065—The Worry Men
71---408-P2070—House and Garden
72---409-P2072—Harlequinade
73---410-P2067—A Bullet for Bullock
74---411-P1059—Blind as a Bat
75---412-P2078—Showdown
76-B413-P2068—Trial
77---414-P2084—Deep Freeze
78---415-P2079—Riddler’s Reform
79---416-P2073—Time Out of Joint
80---417-P2075—Bane
81---418-P2085—Batgirl Returns
82---419-P2081—Harley’s Holiday
83---420-P2076—Baby Doll
84---421-P2082—Lock-Up
85---422-P2083—Make ‘Em Laugh
86---423-P2080—Second Chance
87--F424-MOVIE: Batman and Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero


Perhaps the biggest differences between Jordacar’s original and my own are Seasons Two and Four, with a few episode reorganizations here and there.

Key:
P-Season Premier
B-Mid-Season Break/Block Episode
F-Season Finale



EPISODE LIST (PRODUCTION ORDER)
*Season One:
1. On Leather Wings
2. Christmas With The Joker
3. Nothing To Fear
4. The Last Laugh
5. Pretty Poison
6. The Underdwellers
7. P.O.V.
8. The Forgotten
9. Be A Clown
10. Two-Face Part 1
11. Two-Face Part 2
12. It's Never Too Late
13. I've Got Batman In My Basement
14. Heart of Ice
15. The Cat and the Claw Part 1
16. The Cat and the Claw Part 2
17. See No Evil
18. Beware The Gray Ghost
19. Prophecy Of Doom
20. Feat of Clay Part 1
21. Feat of Clay Part 2
22. Joker's Favor
23. Vendetta
24. Fear Of Victory
25. The Clock King
26. Appointment In Crime Alley
27. Mad As A Hatter
28. Dreams In Darkness
29. Eternal Youth
30. Perchance To Dream
31. The Cape & Cowl Conspiracy
32. Robin's Reckoning Part 1
33. Robin's Reckoning Part 2
34. The Laughing Fish
35. Night of the Ninja
36. Cat Scratch Fever
37. The Strange Secret Of Bruce Wayne
38. Heart of Steel Part 1
39. Heart of Steel Part 2
40. If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?
41. Joker's Wild
42. Tyger, Tyger
43. Moon Of The Wolf
44. Day of the Samurai
45. Terror In The Sky
46. Almost Got 'Im
47. Birds Of A Feather
48. What is Reality?
49. I Am The Night
50. Off Balance
51. The Man Who Killed Batman
52. Mudslide
53. Paging the Crime Doctor
54. Zatanna
55. The Mechanic
56. Harley and Ivy
57. Shadow of the Bat Part 1
58. Shadow of the Bat Part 2
59. Blind As A Bat
60. The Demon's Quest Part 1
61. The Demon's Quest Part 2
62. His Silicon Soul
63. Fire from Olympus
64. Read My Lips
65. The Worry Men
*Season Two:  
(The Adventures of Batman and Robin)
66. Sideshow
67. A Bullet for Bullock
68. Trial
69. Avatar
70. House and Garden
71. The Terrible Trio
72. Harlequinade
73. Time Out of Joint
74. Catwalk
75. Bane
76. Baby Doll
77. The Lion and the Unicorn
78. Showdown
79. Riddler's Reform
80. Second Chance
81. Harley's Holiday
82. Lock-Up
83. Make ‘Em Laugh
84. Deep Freeze
85. Batgirl Returns
*BATMAN ANIMATED SERIES FILMS:
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Batman and Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero


This is the same order in which the episodes are placed on the DVD and Blu-ray releases of Batman: The Animated Series, with the exception of the Volume 1 DVD release, which placed Two-Face Parts 1 and 2 out of order for DVD spacing purposes. The films were released separately on DVD and included as a bonus with the Blu-Ray release.

EPISODE LIST (BROADCAST ORDER)
*Season One:
1. The Cat and the Claw Part 1
2. On Leather Wings
3. Heart of Ice
4. Feat of Clay Part 1
5. Feat of Clay Part 2
6. It's Never Too Late
7. Joker's Favor
8. The Cat and the Claw Part 2
9. Pretty Poison
10. Nothing To Fear
11. Be A Clown
12. Appointment In Crime Alley
13. P.O.V.
14. The Clock King
15. The Last Laugh
16. Eternal Youth
17. Two-Face Part 1
18. Two-Face Part 2
19. Fear Of Victory
20. I've Got Batman In My Basement
21. Vendetta
22. Prophecy Of Doom
23. The Forgotten
24. Mad As A Hatter
25. The Cape & Cowl Conspiracy
26. Perchance To Dream
27. The Underdwellers
28. Night of the Ninja
29. The Strange Secret Of Bruce Wayne
30. Tyger, Tyger
31. Dreams In Darkness
32. Beware The Gray Ghost
33. Cat Scratch Fever
34. I Am The Night
35. Almost Got 'Im
36. Moon Of The Wolf
37. Terror In The Sky
38. Christmas With The Joker
39. Heart of Steel Part 1
40. Heart of Steel Part 2
41. If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?
42. Joker's Wild
43. His Silicon Soul
44. Off Balance
45. What is Reality?
46. The Laughing Fish
47. Harley and Ivy
48. The Mechanic
49. The Man Who Killed Batman
50. Zatanna
51. Robin's Reckoning Part 1
52. Robin's Reckoning Part 2
53. Birds Of A Feather
54. Blind As A Bat
55. Day of the Samurai
56. See No Evil
57. The Demon's Quest Part 1
58. The Demon's Quest Part 2
59. Read My Lips
60. Fire from Olympus
*Season Two:
1. Shadow of the Bat Part 1
2. Shadow of the Bat Part 2
3. Mudslide
4. The Worry Men
5. Paging the Crime Doctor
6..House and Garden
7. Sideshow
8. Avatar
9. Trial
10. Harlequinade
*Season Three:
1. Bane
2. Second Chance
3. Riddler's Reform
4. Baby Doll
5. Time Out of Joint
6. Harley's Holiday
7. Make 'Em Laugh
8. Batgirl Returns
9. Lock-Up
10. Deep Freeze
*Season Four:
1. The Terrible Trio
2. Showdown
3. Catwalk
4. A Bullet for Bullock
5. The Lion and the Unicorn
*BATMAN ANIMATED SERIES FILMS:
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Batman and Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero

This is the original order in which Batman: The Animated Series was shown on network television.


This article took shape over a long period of time, and many hours were spent researching, cataloguing, and proofreading its contents. I didn't want to leave things without giving a big thank you to those ultimately responsible for it!


SPECIAL THANKS:

For A Definitive Viewing Order for Batman: The Animated Series:
Jordacar [of comicbookmovie.com]
Stephen Padnick [of tor.com]
The Review Crew at A.V. Club
Vulture.com’s Oral History of Batman: The Animated Series

For Batman: The Animated Series:
Jean MacCurdy
Bruce Timm
Eric Randomski
Alan Burnett
Paul Dini
Mitch Brian
Kevin Altieri
Shirley Walker
Hans Zimmer
Andrea Romano
Adam West
Kevin Conroy
Mark Hamill
Paul Williams
Ron Perlman
Danny Elfman
Tim Burton
and all the other writers, artists, actors, musicians, and directors that helped bring Batman to life.

For Batman:
Bob Kane and Bill Finger
Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams
Dick Sprang
Frank Miller
Alan Moore
Jeph Loeb
Jim Lee
Scott Snyder
and the countless others who have given us one unforgettable story after another of the Caped Crusader and his world.

For Everything:
God
[“Come, let us create humankind in our own image…”]
Yeshua Messiah
[‘For God so loved the world that he gave…’]
 
 

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BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES Sequel Reportedly In Development For HBO Max

Batman: The Animated Series is rightly considered a classic, but reliable sources are now reporting that a sequel of some sort is currently in development for HBO Max. Find out more details after the jump!
BATMAN: SOUL OF THE DRAGON Exclusive Interview With Michael Jai White About Playing Bronze Tiger

BATMAN: SOUL OF THE DRAGON Exclusive Interview With Michael Jai White About Playing Bronze Tiger

We recently caught up with the legendary Michael Jai White to discuss his role as Ben Turner/Bronze Tiger in Batman: Soul of the Dragon, and he talks in-depth about what he brought to this interpretation.
BATMAN: SOUL OF THE DRAGON Exclusive Interview With Kelly Hu About Playing Lady Shiva

BATMAN: SOUL OF THE DRAGON Exclusive Interview With Kelly Hu About Playing Lady Shiva

X2: X-Men United and Arrow star Kelly Hu plays Lady Shiva in Batman: Soul of the Dragon, and we recently caught up with the actress to discuss her role in the awesome new animated movie. Check it out...
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Marvel Comics Will Celebrate Black History Month With MARVEL'S VOICES: LEGACY #1 By John Ridley And More

Marvel Comics Will Celebrate Black History Month With MARVEL'S VOICES: LEGACY #1 By John Ridley And More

Marvel's Voices: Legacy #1 will feature stories by creators like John Ridley, Nnedi Okorafor, and Danny Lore, and we have a series of incredible variants featuring Miles Morales, Black Panther, and more.
Mad Cave Studios NOTTINGHAM Offers Dark Twist To Robinhood's Popular Story

Mad Cave Studios NOTTINGHAM Offers Dark Twist To Robinhood's Popular Story

Get your first look at Mad Cave Studio's darker take on Robinhood with Nottingham issue #1 and find out how to enter their Nottingham giveaway!
WANDAVISION Showrunner Jac Schaeffer Says She Can't Answer When Asked If [SPOILER] Is The Show's Big Bad

WANDAVISION Showrunner Jac Schaeffer Says She "Can't Answer" When Asked If [SPOILER] Is The Show's Big Bad

Most fans are confident they've worked out who the big bad is in WandaVision, but showrunner Jac Schaeffer basically shared a "no comment" when asked about the villain during a recent interview...
WE CAN BE HEROES Exclusive: Stephen Clee Talks Creating Squiggle Monsters For The SHARKBOY & LAVAGIRL Sequel

WE CAN BE HEROES Exclusive: Stephen Clee Talks Creating Squiggle Monsters For The SHARKBOY & LAVAGIRL Sequel

The sequel to The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D is now on Netflix, and we recently spoke with the movie's Animation Supervisor Stephen Clee about creating the exciting squiggle monsters!
TASM 2 Actor Dane DeHaan Debunks Rumored Return As Green Goblin For SPIDER-MAN 3

TASM 2 Actor Dane DeHaan Debunks Rumored Return As Green Goblin For SPIDER-MAN 3

Dane DeHaan played Harry Osborn/Green Goblin in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and it was recently claimed that he was set to reprise the role for Spider-Man 3. However, the actor has now debunked the rumor...
BLACK WIDOW Runtime Revealed Ahead Of Its Planned Theatrical Release This May

BLACK WIDOW Runtime Revealed Ahead Of Its Planned Theatrical Release This May

Black Widow is still set to be released in theaters this May, and while we take a "wait and see" approach to that, the movie's official runtime has now been revealed. Hit the jump for further details...