Batman: The Animated Series: A Definitive Viewing Order Season Four *REVISED AND EXPANDED* CONCLUSION

Batman: The Animated Series: A Definitive Viewing Order Season Four *REVISED AND EXPANDED* CONCLUSION

The Culmination of the Batman Saga has arrived! The Complete Season Four, with Afterward, Order Summaries and Special Thanks to all who made it possible!

If you missed it, here's Season One and the Forward to the Revised and Expanded Edition!
Here's Season Two: 'Transition'.
Here's Season Three: 'Escalation'.

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
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.
63-F326-P1060—V3D1/S1D5 The Demon's Quest
                The sixty-third episode of the watch order, being the twenty-sixth 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--F423-MOVIE: Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero
                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).


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. Following his experience from his many adventures—and his encounter with the doomed cyrogenicist, Dr. Victor Fries—Batman finally begins to trust and rely more on his allies, resulting in a degree of healing and peace for himself, and greater compassion for his adversaries. 


64-P401-P1014—V1D2/S1D2 Heart of Ice

65---402-P1057—V3D1/S1D5 Shadow of the Bat

66---403-P1058—V3D1/S1D5 Shadow of the Bat Part 2

67---404-P2072—V3D3/S2D1 Harlequinade

68---405-P2069—V3D2/S2D1 Avatar

69---406-P2074—V3D3/S2D1 Catwalk       

70---407-P2070—V3D2/S2D1 House and Garden

71---408-P1052—V2D4/S1D4 Mudslide

72---409-P2067—V3D2/S2D1 A Bullet for Bullock

73---410-P1065—V3D2/S1D5 The Worry Men

74---411-P1059—V3D1/S1D5 Blind as a Bat

75-B412-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--F423-P2080—V3D4/S2D2 Second Chance

87--F424-MOVIE: Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero

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 ‘SubZero’ at the end of the viewing order.


Mr. Freeze’s three-episode storyline also works as an exploration of how Batman’s character has been shaped over time, and the series finale, ‘SubZero’ acts not just as a close for Mr. Freeze’s narrative arc, but as the coda for the series as a whole, with the focus of the movie less about Batman and more on the new generation that he has inspired. The series is capped with one last act of charity, as Victor Fries walks away on his own, but grateful that his wife Nora will live; and also never knowing the part Batman played in his wife’s restoration. Perhaps the perfect, bittersweet ending for the series, as well as Batman’s development.


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: SubZero’.

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

(If you wish to skip to the comparison section, please skip to the bold **The Information Above May Contain Spoilers** tag.)


(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)
--24 episodes in Season Four: number spiritually associated with heaven; ascension; priesthood
--Harley Quinn reaching her fourth stage in the grief cycle (Bargaining); Harvey Dent/Two-Face makes four speaking appearances in Season Four, including the second-to-last episode; following mid-season break, villain ‘re-Four-m’ episodes occur every four episodes

--Mr. Freeze’s 3-episode journey: water in all its forms is symbolic of knowledge, truth, and/or completion; also makes a cameo in ‘The Worry Men’, making four appearances total in the fourth season
--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 now 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

Episode-Specific Notes:

“It can’t end this way! Vengeance…” “No. Justice.”
--Mr. Freeze and Batman
“I must say, you’re showing a surprising amount of compassion for that man, considering that he would surely have left you to die in his place.”
--Alfred Pennyworth
These lines solidify the direction Batman’s character has taken over the course of this viewing order. From the third-to-last episode of Season One (“I am VENGEANCE” [present]), to the third-to-last episode of Season Two (“I wanted revenge!” [past]), we have finally come to this Season Premier, ‘Heart of Ice’. Batman’s long-suffering and self-sacrifice over the course of the show has gradually caused an increase in empathy for those he combats. Batman sees himself (and The Phantasm…and Two-Face…and Clayface…) in Dr. Victor Fries, a man who blames his circumstances for his extreme behavior – the one who says, “I will have satisfaction—at any cost.” An odd truth is that “cold”—technically speaking—does not exist. It is a word that people have made up to describe the *absence* of something—that is, warmth. Ironically, Victor Fries—despite his alleged coldheartedness—is actually driven by an *excess* of feeling due to his loss, which he buries under his icy façade. Ferris Boyle, on the other hand – despite what his name suggests—is characterized by a lack of it, having all the tics of a sociopath. Batman pegs it well. After having saved Ferris Boyle’s life (as well as a building full of people), he can’t resist a parting shot to Boyle illustrating this contrast. For perhaps the first time, Batman clearly practices what he preaches, and his allies will be surprised by this again and again as this season continues.


65-66. In ‘Shadow of The Bat’ Parts 1 and 2, the season starts in earnest, with both Rupert Thorne *and* Jim Gordon arrested under a brilliantly diabolical two-pronged threat masterminded by 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 now-Dynamic *Trio’s* actions to stop it, not only would he have been in charge of all crime in Gotham City, 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’. But of course, we know who the real draw is: Barbara Gordon.  Just as she was introduced as a capable young woman in the 2nd/3rd episodes of Season Three, here she is again in the 2nd/3rd episodes of Season Four, as she comes into her own as Gotham’s newest costumed vigilante. Ironically, Two-Face has tried twice now to put an end to Rupert Thorne—both within and outside of the law—and because of Batman’s interference and subsequent indictment of Gil Mason, Rupert Thorne is released *again* due to mistrial.

67. In ‘Harlequinade’, Harley Quinn reaches Step Four in her grieving process over her relationship with the Joker: Bargaining. Joker is the only character who has consistently gotten worse over the course of the series, now progressing to wanton, indiscriminate mass murder—the realization of which breaks Harley out of her adoration of him (if only for a moment). In addition to the Joker, Harley shows off her other mob connections as well, introducing us to her old bookie ‘Boxy’ Bennett. Mayor Hamilton Hill makes another appearance of several this season, and Batgirl also gets a name-drop by Harley Quinn following her good press from the previous episode.

68. What happened to Ra’s Al Ghul following the Season Three Finale? ‘Avatar’ is the first and perhaps only appearance in the show of full-blown supernaturalism/magic, all wrapped up in an homage to Stephen Spielberg’s Indiana Jones series—which themselves were an homage to the pulp/adventure serials that helped inspire Batman: The Animated Series.  

69. ‘Catwalk’ shows Selina Kyle tragically returning to crime as Catwoman. After trying and failing to leave the thrills of the heist behind, she teams up with The Ventriloquist/Scarface in his second appearance after having been released from Arkham. 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. We also learn that Penguin was a potential fence for Veronica Vreeland’s stolen goods; he can definitely hold a grudge. Catwoman quotes Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Just So Stories’ in a fitting epitaph for her character.

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’. Jim Gordon relates to the surprised Batman that Pamela Isley was released six months before, following her successful rehabilitation with her psychiatrist and husband, Dr. Stephen Carlyle. Harley mentions Ivy in ‘Harlequinade’ as one of the inhabitants of Arkham, but Harley would not necessarily know if Ivy had been released, given the inmates isolation from each other and its low-key nature. There is another, smaller gap in time between this appearance and her recapture immediately prior to ‘Trial’, after having returned to Gotham for reasons unknown.

71. As the series begins to conclude, ‘Mudslide’ marks Matt Hagen’s last ‘performance’, as the first supervillain we say good-bye to as the series begins to conclude. Much like how he used and abused his ‘partner’, Lucas, he now uses and abuses the deluded Stella Bates, manipulating her to give up her livelihood with her similarly disturbed relative, Norman Bates. 😉 After Batman renews his offer to save Hagen’s life, Hagen chooses to go his own way and steal his source of salvation instead, ironically using the very resources that Batman would have drawn from. Even more ironically—because Hagen wants salvation but on his own terms—he threatens the potential salvation of others and Batman has no choice but to shut it down, triggering the tragic final confrontation.

72. There’s a cacophony of cameos in ‘The Worry Men’. Harley Quinn, Joker, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Clayface, and others make appearances as either statues or dolls in the third act. The Riddler in particular gets both a name-drop from Alfred and tommy gun-toting doll ahead of his upcoming reappearances in ‘Trial’ and ‘Riddler’s Reform’.  A familiar enemy makes this episode their final starring role, one that illustrates how truly far they have fallen, and what mental hoops they’ve jumped to sift their responsibility.

In ‘A Bullet For Bullock’, we see the pathetic personal life of Harvey Bullock as Batman attempts to help him survive a number of assassination attempts over the Holidays. We also get an idea of how long it’s been since the series started: Harvey Bullock mentions he’s been working for the Gotham P.D. for fifteen years. Given that he was a shown as a beat cop in the flashback scenes of the Season One Finale, ‘Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’—and assuming he was just starting there as a rookie—it’s been about four to five years since the first episode of this watch order, ‘The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy’.

74. ‘Blind as a Bat’ is Dr. 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. This is also the Penguin’s last starring appearance, and for good reason: the harm he causes here dwarfs anything he did previously, and results in a prolonged deliberation, with his trial only beginning at the time of ‘Riddler’s Reform’. While following up on the Penguin’s indictment as Bruce Wayne sometime after this episode, Bruce meets and begins dating Janet Van Dorn, Gotham City’s new District Attorney.

75. ‘Showdown’ is Ra’s Al Ghul’s final appearance in Batman: The Animated Series: an entertaining side-story giving legitimate claim to Ra’s being over 600 years old. This episode is also notable for three reasons: 1) it closes out the Ra’s Al Ghul episodes for Batman: The Animated Series, going back to the Season Three Finale; 2) it features Robin, foreshadowing the second half of this season and the format switch to The Adventures of Batman and Robin; and 3) it shows how far Batman has grown in compassion for his enemies, with Robin being visibly surprised by his decision to let Ra’s go. More examples to come…

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 plateau 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 plays 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.

After a long absence (with a brief cameo in ‘The Worry Men’), we have Mr. Freeze’s second appearance, in which he is kidnapped by Walt Disney to procure the secret of immortality. We also see that Arkham Asylum has really bumped up security following the constant escapes in Season Three and the inmates’ takeover in the previous episode. 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, ‘SubZero’. 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 leg but is not as badly wounded 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 some closure with the reappearance of Temple Fugate/The Clock King in ‘Time Out of Joint’. Dick Grayson makes references to 2 Season Three episodes that he was filled in on while recuperating from his injury in ‘The Terrible Trio’. 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 her infidelity displayed here would certainly be cause for ‘termination’ 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 gives time for the Batmobile to get fixed; its placement after ‘Bane’ and absence of Batman allows him to recover following his trashing by Bane in the previous episode; 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 (and a cameo from Officer Wilkes, from way back in Season Two’s ‘P.O.V.’!). Joker, Penguin, and Two-Face all make cameos in Barbara’s dream sequence ahead of their reappearances in a few episodes.

82. ‘Harley’s Holiday’ is the first episode to feature Harley Quinn in which the Joker doesn’t also appear. This episode also contains 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 the 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…

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.

“When a man is getting better, he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his badness less and less.”
-C.S. Lewis
The episodes leading up to ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’ have all been hammering in that Batman—despite his stern outward demeanor—has grown to care more and more about people’s lives, even criminals’. This episode is the best example yet that the Joker doesn’t care about anyone else but himself, ruining three people’s lives due to a single slight. The two things Joker hates most of all are to either be ignored, or to not be taken seriously (ironic). The final sight 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 of Season One, we now say goodbye to him in the third-to-last episode of this viewing order.

86. ‘Second Chance’ helps wrap the series with the final villain reform episode. For the first time, we see a direct flashback to the events of a previous episode, being the Season Two episode ‘Two-Face Part 1’ (from Batman’s perspective) 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 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.  
Despite the fact that Batman is in the title of the movie, this is Mr. Freeze’s story. The Series Finale ‘Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero’ is the final good-bye that wraps narrative arcs both Mr. Freeze *and* Batman, by extension. It is so fitting that the character that the series so famously reinvented would be the one to help us say goodbye to it. It is appropriate, given Batman’s development, that he is in the background of this episode; and yet all his blood, sweat, tears, and sacrifice over the course of the series have evidentially changed this formerly remorseless avenger.
The series is capped with one last act of charity by Batman, with Victor Fries never knowing the part Batman played in his wife’s restoration. The final scene shows Victor Fries walking away alone, separated from his wife but grateful that she will live again. Perhaps the perfect, bittersweet ending for the series, as well as Batman’s development.

“Good and evil increase at compound interest. That’s why the little decisions we make every day are of infinite importance.”
-C.S. Lewis


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

*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
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
11—Two-Face Part 2
59—Blind As A Bat
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
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
65—The Worry Men
67—A Bullet for Bullock
70—House and Garden
71—The Terrible Trio
73—Time Out of Joint
76—Baby Doll
77—The Lion and the Unicorn
79—Riddler's Reform
80—Second Chance
81—Harley's Holiday
83—Make ‘Em Laugh
55—The Mechanic
84—Deep Freeze
85—Batgirl Returns
MOVIE: Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero

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.


P-Season Premier
B-Mid-Season Break/Block Episode
F-Season Finale
*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-B109-P1020—Joker’s Favor
10-B110-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-B213-P1053— Paging the Crime Doctor
30---214-P1043— Moon of the Wolf
31---215-P1034— The Laughing Fish
32---216-P1023— Vendetta
33---217-P1045— Terror in the Sky
34---218-P1027— Mad as a Hatter
35---219-P1029— Eternal Youth
36---220-P1037— The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne
37-F221-P1032— Robin's Reckoning
38-F222-P1033— Robin’s Reckoning Part 2

*Season Three:
39-P301-P1002—Christmas with the Joker
40---302-P1038—Heart of Steel
41---303-P1039—Heart of Steel Part 2
42---304-P1063—Fire From Olympus
44---306-P1048—“What is Reality?”
46---308-P1051—The Man Who Killed Batman
47---309-P1017—See No Evil
48---310-P1064—Read My Lips
49-B311-P1030—Perchance to Dream
50-B312-P1046—Almost Got ‘Im
51-B313-P1028—Dreams in Darkness
52-B314-P1021—Feat of Clay
53-B315-P1022—Feat of Clay Part 2
54---316-P1062—His Silicon Soul
55---317-P1025—The Clock King
56---318-P1056—Harley and Ivy
57---319-P1049—I Am the Night
58---320-P2071—The Terrible Trio
59---321-P1041—Joker’s Wild
60---322-P1050—Off Balance
61---323-P1047—Birds of a Feather
62-F324-P1060—The Demon's Quest
63-F325-P1061—The Demon’s Quest Part 2

*Season Four:
64-P401-P1014— Heart of Ice
65---402-P1057— Shadow of the Bat
66---403-P1058— Shadow of the Bat Part 2
67---404-P2072— Harlequinade
68---405-P2069— Avatar
69---406-P2074— Catwalk        
70---407-P2070— House and Garden
71---408-P1052— Mudslide
72---409-P2067— A Bullet for Bullock
73---410-P1065— The Worry Men
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: SubZero

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.
*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: Mask of the Phantasm
Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero

This is the original order in which Batman: The Animated Series was shown on network television.
*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: Mask of the Phantasm
Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero

AFTERWORD to A Definitive Viewing Order Revised and Expanded Edition:

On Sunday, September 6th, 1992, as my child-self sat down to watch the primetime premier of the first episode of Batman: The Animated Series, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. By the end of that half-hour, as I watched the end-credits roll for the episode ‘On Leather Wings’, I knew that I had witnessed something special.  On New Years’ weekend of the following year, 1993, after begging my mother to let me go to the theater to see ‘Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’, I excitedly sat down in the [empty] theater and waited for it to begin. Seventy-five minutes of thrills, chills, and tears later, I sat in stunned, somber silence as the first few notes played of Tia Carrere’s 90’s-era end track, signaling the end credits.

In 2004, on my college fall break (and having left the show behind nearly six years before) I was browsing through Barnes and Noble’s DVD section with my girlfriend when I came across the recently released Batman: The Animated Series Volume 1 DVD Box Set. As I stared at the embossed, glossy cover, I was hit by a flood of memories, and the set was an immediate purchase. After arriving home at my parent’s house, I proceeded to watch ‘On Leather Wings’ again, this time with my girlfriend. I found my childhood memories marked with a mature appreciation of the confluence of passion and effort that went into the making of the series.

On a Friday afternoon in late 2018—fourteen years, 2 more BTAS DVD sets, a degree, a job, a wife, and three kids later—I was making a shopping trip at a local Food Lion when I came upon a $5.99 DVD copy of ‘Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero’. (Strangely, I had never seen it.) Five minutes later, I was sheepishly dropping it on the checkout conveyor belt. I had always heard it was the lesser of the two BTAS movies, so I sat down to watch with low expectations. I was pleasantly surprised. Following the final scene in the film, I found myself in tears once again as the final image faded to black. I wondered at it and mused that the last line chronologically spoken by Batman in the original style was to scream the name of an enemy he had failed to save, a man who was falling to his apparent death. As I pondered this, I realized that this film worked as both an amendment to *and* an ending to the series. And not for the first time…I idly wondered if anyone had come up with a definitive viewing order for the series.

Six months later, I was looking up random trivia on the show when I happened to find a link for a suggested chronological viewing order by someone at going by the handle ‘Jordacar’. I read it over repeatedly and was absolutely delighted with what I saw. A clear beginning, middle and end, with explanations and some decidedly inspired episode groupings. It was a ‘diamond in the rough’, and I found myself thinking about it in my quiet moments and wondering what I would change to make it even better. Well…I couldn’t get the idea out my head…and the rest, as they say, is history.

Batman: The Animated Series is my favorite television show. Of all the television I was allowed to watch as a child—many shows of which still hold nostalgic value for me—there’s only one that my adult self can still call objectively ‘great’. The more I’ve learned about the show and the story about how it was made, the more I’ve grown to love it. It isn’t perfect—nothing by human hands is—but given the enormous amount of ideal circumstances that surrounded its production, this show is a miracle. It shouldn’t be this good, but it is. I look forward to the day when I can share it with my own children, who will have their glimpse into Batman’s broken, flawed, honorable, guilty, compassionate, faltering, hopeful, ambiguous, and yet undeniably heroic world.

Raf Grassetti (for the above picture)
‘jader3rd’ of Jared’s Space (for the title cards)
‘GwenLantern’ and ‘pathofneo’ (for their kind comments on my previous list
For A Definitive Viewing Order for Batman: The Animated Series:
(for inspiration, adoration, and insight)

Jordacar [of]
Stephen Padnick [of]
Andy Knode [of]
Patrick H. Willems [of]
The Review Crew at A.V. Club’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:
[“Come, let us create humankind in our own image…”]
Yehoshua HaMashiach
[‘For God so loved the world that he gave…’]


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