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Recap / Batman: The Animated Series E27 "Mad as a Hatter"

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Jervis Tetch, a scientist at Wayne Tech, has a crush on Alice, the secretary. After failing to woo her, he becomes the Mad Hatter and uses mind-control technology to turn those who've wronged him into his own slaves.


Tropes in this episode include:

  • Captive Date: Jervis Tetch tries to win his co-worker Alice's heart after her recent breakup. She is charmed by Jervis but mistakes his romantic overtures as attempts to cheer her up, and she later reconciles with her boyfriend. Jarvis then uses his Mind Control technology on her and takes her on a "date" at a Wonderland-themed amusement park.
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  • Dogged Nice Guy: Jervis is originally this. However, he turns Yandere after she gets engaged.
  • Ejection Seat: Batman uses one of these to launch himself out of the Batmobile to intercept the brainwashed muggers. It even comes with a built-in Batglider!
  • Entitled to Have You: This is Jervis's problem, and what ultimately turns him into the Mad Hatter; he comes to view Alice as a prize to be won, not a person.
  • A Glass in the Hand: When Jervis learns that Alice and Billy are back together soon after Jervis and Alice's "date" and are now engaged, he crushes a bouquet of roses he was going to give her. Alice noticed he's crushing the roses, but Jervis walks away as she becomes concerned.
  • Heroic Bystander: When the Mad Hatter sends his People Puppets after Batman to keep him from rescuing Alice, Batman is initially overwhelmed until he manages to disable the mind control device on one of them. The man he frees is Alice's boyfriend Billy, who returns the favor by removing the rest of the Hatter's devices—since the puppets were only told to attack Batman, Billy can move among them unmolested.
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  • Hypno Fool / Psychic-Assisted Suicide: The Mad Hatter tells two thugs who were trying to mug him to "go jump in the river." Since this is a kid's cartoon, Batman catches them right before they jump off the bridge.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Tetch originally didn't want to use the mind control cards on Alice, realizing that it would just reduce her to a mindless doll, and attempts to woo her on his own merits—or rather, his merits augmented by mind-controlling everyone else, from their waiter to fellow socialites. However, when she reconciles with her boyfriend, he becomes desperate and uses the card on her anyway, preferring a doll over not having her at all.
  • Ironic Echo: Tetch asks Alice if she remembers the Mock Turtle's song, reciting, "Would you, won't you, would you, won't you... won't you join the dance?" before dancing with her in the park. Later, as she is hugging her fiancé Billy, while the Hatter lies trapped in the claws of a Jabberwock, he moans softly, "Would not... would not, could not... oh, could not join the dance," as the camera pans out to a statue of a crying Mock Turtle.
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  • Loony Fan: Tetch is obviously a huge fan of Lewis Carroll, quoting from his books, taking Alice to a Wonderland-themed carnival.
  • Mean Boss: Tetch's boss yells at her employees a lot, often saying that "heads will roll" if a mistakes keep happening. (Ironically, when she later appears as one of his brainwashed victims, she's dressed as the Queen of Hearts.)
  • Mobile Maze: The Wonderland park includes a maze build of giant playing cards, which can slide and rotate.
  • Never My Fault: Instead of accepting Alice's relationship with her boyfriend and acknowledging that he went too far, Jervis blames Batman for what happened.
  • Nightmare Face: Jervis's grimace when Alice announce her engagement to her boyfriend.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Jervis crushes a bouquet of roses (which he meant to give to Alice) after she reveals that she and Billy got back together and are now engaged. Bruce notices the spot of liquid over Billy's picture when he comes looking for Jervis.
  • Oblivious to Love: Alice has no idea that Jervis is in love/obsessed with her, seeing their night on the town only as an attempt to cheer her up. It's only after he nearly turns her into a mindless toy that she realizes how he felt.
  • Pet the Dog: The abrasive Dr. Cates sits down and commiserates with Alice over her breakup, while Jervis Tetch, eavesdropping, reacts with glee that she's no longer attached.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: In a milder example, Jervis uses his mind control technology to land Alice, a co-worker he was too shy to talk to, but Batman calls him out on this, asking if a mind-controlled, compliant Alice with no personality was what he really wanted. Tetch has a breakdown and attacks him, blaming Batman for driving him to that extreme.
  • Sanity Slippage / Villainous Breakdown: Jervis becomes unhinged after Alice announces her engagement to her boyfriend. Not that he was all there to begin with.
  • Stalker with a Crush: How the Mad Hatter is first portrayed in his obsession with his co-worker Alice, being too shy to ask her out.
  • Start of Darkness: Jervis becomes the Mad Hatter precisely at the point where he forces two muggers to leap from a bridge, and it goes downhill from there.
  • Super Strength: Jervis mentions that the strength of his mind-controlled slaves is enhanced. His boss, dressed as the Queen of Hearts, is able to overpower Batman and nearly kills him before Billy saves him.
  • Yandere: Jervis goes to extreme measures to ensure that Alice would be his. He would have even killed Batman.

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