Now let's discuss whether or not "Two of a Kind" was a Royal Flush or a Dead Man's Hand. (Guess I had one more.)
Metafictionally, the main theme can be described as "'Mad Love,' but set in the Ultimate Universe." (If I may mix my comic book metaphors.)
As I've said multiple times before, The Batman zigs where Batman: The Animated Series zags, and this episode is no exception. Retelling Harley's origin story with her as a fame-hungry pop psychologist as opposed to an accolade-hungry clinical psychiatrist is an interesting twist that nevertheless stays true to the character's roots. Of course, it helps that Paul Dini adapted his own story into this episode. And who doesn't like taking a few shots at Oprah/Jerry Springer?
You may remember that, in my review of "Mad Love," I ruminated for quite a bit over whether or not the Joker loves Harley. While it's too early to tell here, it's quite clear that Harley holds a spot in Joker's heart. At the very least, there may not be "love," but there is a spark of chemistry. At the very least, there seems to be a mutual crush born of the Joker's scheme to take advantage of her fragile mental state.
Now that I mention it, here's the proper response to a creepy clown playing Hannibal Lecter with you.
|Take notes, Harley.|
Harley Quinn (Hynden Walch)
Forget the Dr. Harleen Quinzel from B:TAS, this Harley was a bit screwloose before the Joker got to her. It's easy to see why they stay together. You know, besides the whole "they're both wanted criminals" thing.
Hynden Walch does a great Arleen Sorkin impression. This might sound a bit sacrilegious, but I kind of wish she had come up with her own voice for the character. While Harley's distinctive accent is iconic, I feel like this different take on Harley's origin might have benefited from a different voice for the character. Still, Ms. Walch does a darn good job, as ever. Though I can't help but hear Princess Bubblegum/Starfire, even through the accent.
Harley Quinn's new costume design is a bit of a miss. I do like that the traditionally-black areas are now dark red, but I feel like her hat's too big and her blank-eyed mask makes her look a bit too much like Robin, facially speaking.
|Once you see her with Robin's face, you can't unsee it.|
See you next time.