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Episode #23 - Strange Minds
Original Airdate - September 3rd, 2005

Joker takes Detective Yin hostage, but once captured he refuses to tell of her whereabouts. Convinced it's the only way to learn Yin's location before she meets her demise, Batman uses a device created by Professor Hugo Strange to enter the bizarre brain of the Joker in search of an answer.

Review by Jim Harvey
Media by Gareb
Credits
Supervising Producer Duane Capizzi
Supervising Producer Michael Goguen
Producer Linda M. Steiner, Jeff Matsuda
Associate Producer Kimberley A. Smith
Written by Greg Weisman
Directed by Brandon Vietti
Animation by DR Movie Co., LTD.
Music by Thomas Chase Jones

Voices
Rino Romano as The Batman
Alastair Duncan as Alfred
Ming-Na as Detective Ellen Yin
Kevin Michael Richardson as Joker
Frank Gorshin as Hugo Strange
Jesse Corti as Chief Rojas

Video

Screen Grabs








Pans


Review

The Joker has kidnapped Detective Yin, and after being captured, is not giving up any hints to her location. Dr. Strange, head of Arkham Asylum, suggests testing a new experimental procedure that would allow the Doctor to enter the mind of the crazed clown and retrieve the information. Once Strange enters, The Batman decides to follow in an effort to retrieve the information more efficiently.

This isn’t an easy episode to review. On one hand, I find The Batman’s interpretation of Joker lacking from a story-perspective. In theory, this episode shouldn’t work at all. But it does. Writer Greg Weisman gives us an interesting look into the Joker’s mind. It’s not as strong as his previous script “Meltdown,” but it’s still an entertaining script with a lot of great moments.

The Joker still gets a bit irritating, but there are some great scenes hidden within. We get a look at a pre-acid bath Joker, and his design looks great, definitely reminiscent of “The Killing Joke” but with a Matsuda twist. There’s also some excellent delivery from Kevin Michael Richardson which sounds so good. He delivers a few lines of dialogue with a quiet, controlled delivery. You can just feel the insanity from every word.

I’m not spoiling anything by saying Batman saves the day. That’s given. But on the road to success, we’re given a few clever trick scenes that pull the rug out from under us. It’s a pretty solid episode from Greg Weisman that shows just how good this show can get when we actually dive into the psychosis behind these characters. With Batgirl/Poison Ivy and team-up heavy third season episodes on the way, I really hope we continue to see episodes of this fine caliber.

This was a fun episode that gave us a much needed peek into Joker’s mind. It’s not Weisman’s strongest script, which belongs to “Meltdown,” it’s still a solid episode. This series has really turned around from its earlier episodes.

 

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