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Recap / The Batman S 4 E 10 Two Of A Kind

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After Punch and Judy get sent to prison, Joker's on the lookout for a new henchman, finding one in TV pop psychologist Harleen Quinzel.

The episode is written by Paul Dini of Batman: The Animated Series fame, and is a loose adaptation of his story Mad Love.

Tropes appearing in this episode include:

  • Adaptational Dumbass: While Harley in most versions actually earned legitimate doctor's credentials, here she reveals she got an online degree in psychology. Though she is people-savvy, the Joker immediately turns the tables on her when she offers to write a tell-all about him and split the profits fifty fifty.
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  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In keeping with this version being more affable than most, the Joker's abusive traits are toned down considerably. The biggest thing is that while in other adaptations he'd manipulate Harley as his "get-out-of-Arkham-free" card, here he decides to indulge her on realizing she'd be vulnerable after losing her show. He still lashes out at Harley Quinn when sufficiently agitated, though, and doesn't bother helping her when she's trapped in a burning building.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Harley to a minor extent. One comic had her manipulating her college boyfriend into committing a Murder-Suicide, long before she became an Arkham intern. While she is manipulative and shows a Lack of Empathy here, she only becomes murderous with the Joker's influence.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Zig-Zagged. Most of Harley's origins cast her as a relatively tragic villain only helping Joker out because of her Extreme Doormat personality; the DCAU is the most notable since it cuts out her comic-character tendency to sleep with professors for higher grades. Here, she starts out as a sadistic narcissist (she dupes Bruce Wayne into coming on her show for the sole purpose of humiliating him for laughs) and happily shacks up with Joker after getting a taste of the supervillain lifestyle.
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  • Adaptational Wimp: Harley in most origins has a gymnastics background that allows her to grapple with the Bat family. Here she can't even throw a successful punch at Batman.
  • Bad Boss: Joker abandons Punch and Judy to the police because he doesn't want to be late for his favorite TV show. He later threatens Harley for "ordering him around" and abandons her in a burning building.
  • Bait the Dog: Joker takes advantage of Harleen after she loses her job, purely to have a night of laughs. He acknowledges as much when he sees her show cancelled, and Batman explains this to Batgirl and Robin when Robin is concerned that Harley left willingly with Mr. J. While she does enjoy herself, he also leaves her behind in a burning building.
  • Bookends: The episode begins and ends with Joker abandoning his henchmen and fleeing.
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  • Bullying a Dragon: Even if she didn't know he was Batman, Harleen ought to have realized that heckling a multimillionaire philanthropist onscreen would be a bad idea. When Bruce storms out on hearing the Joker call, on the pretense of being offended by what Harleen did, she immediately gets the plug pulled on her.
  • Call-Back: Batman easily unmasks and identifies Harley Quinn as "Dr. Quinzel". This isn't the first time he's done such an unmasking.
  • Continuity Nod: The last time Joker knocked on someone's door, he broke in using a bomb. Here he actually waits for Harley to let him in before revealing his flowers and identity.
  • Cringe Comedy: The entire Hearts Out With Harley segment, holy cow.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Subverted; when Batgirl arrives first on Harley's revenge show, Harley prepares to grapple with her. Joker then simply knocks out Batgirl with a bomb.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Harley vows revenge against everybody related to her fall from grace, including the TV psychologist who replaced her and the news reporter that did a story on her escapades with Joker.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Harley can't quite grasp why nobody takes her seriously, and ends up going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against anybody who criticized her.
  • Entitled to Have You: Harleen gives this advice to a guy nervously phoning in for dating advice: "Flowers, flowers flowers. And never take no for an answer."
  • Everyone Has Standards: Batman is horrified when he sees Harleen going along with Joker's crime sprees and trying to defend him. So is the rest of the media, judging by the news coverage.
  • Expy: The guy who replaces Harley's show is one of Dr. Phil, accent and all.
  • Forgiveness: Despite the fact that Harleen Quinzel tried to humiliate Bruce Wayne, Batman tries to reason with her about going out with the Joker. He doesn't bear any malice towards her and keeps attempting to talk her down.
  • Freud Was Right: Invoked when Batman points out the reasons for Joker's interest in Harley.
    Batgirl: And join us next week, when Batman analyzes the Freudian implications of Penguin's umbrella.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Robin is confused that anyone would willingly go with the Joker, and what the Joker would want with a random talk show host. Batman explains that right now Harleen is vulnerable, and thus easy prey for someone like the Joker who enjoys a laugh.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In a literal example, Harley ends up getting knocked out by one of her own bombs.
  • Ignored Epiphany: At the end, getting arrested seems to shake Harley back to her senses, and she mopes at how the Joker used her. Then she sees the card from him, as well as a whoopie cushion, and she starts Laughing Mad in the paddy wagon.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Harley Quinn" is a nickname Joker gave Harleen Quinzel when she joined him.
  • Jerkass Hero: Bruce Wayne, billionaire, apparently stiffed one of his dates with the check.
  • Jump Scare: The episode begins with a closeup on a painting of a screaming face, complete with a Scare Chord.
  • Jumped Off The Slippery Slope: Harleen started out as a bully with an online psychology degree but "evil" would be too harsh to describe her. When Joker convinces her to spend a night on the town with him, however, she goes along with all of his escapades: robbing a bank and leaving the staff Bound and Gagged, drugging squirrels with Joker venom, filling a fountain with explosive foam, and destroying one of Bruce Wayne's banners in the city. Even Batman asks What Were You Thinking? when he catches up to the pair.
  • Karma Houdini: In a rare occurrence, this is one of the few times Joker doesn't get caught for his crimes. He gets away, and Batman has to stay behind to rescue an unconscious Harleen.
  • Mad Love: Naturally, but with some twists. One notable thing is that Joker doesn't rely on Harley to bust him out of Arkham, as he did before; he indulged her simply because he could.
  • Mama Bear: Monica's mother calls to berate Harleen Quinzel for telling her daughter to sneak out with a boy she didn't like. Harleen quickly hangs up on hearing the call.
  • Mythology Gag: While calling Harleen during her show, Joker refers to himself as "Mr. J", Harley's Affectionate Nickname for the Joker in the DCAU and in the comics.
  • Not So Different: Joker claims this while giving Harleen a therapy session. He says he's also been called a "joke", and she admits they seem to have a lot in common.
  • Out-Gambitted: Joker calls out Harleen for attempting to use him to write a tell-all, when she honestly tells him she wants to use him to get her show back. She doesn't deny it, but seems to win him over by ordering his hyenas. Come to their next scene, he convinces her to go on a rampage as "research for her book" and has her under his thumb. She and Batman lampshade that she was outsmarted and manipulated after she gets arrested.
  • Paint the Town Red: Verbally invoked during the opening fight in the art museum, where Joker invites Batman to check out his "latest piece," Bat Bits on Canvas before lobbing a grenade at him.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Averted; Harley's disguise completely covers her face and hair. Even so, Batman immediately recognizes her when he unmasks her.
  • Parasol Parachute: Joker and Harley escape from Batman with one of these. He mentions borrowing the trick from Penguin.
  • Periphery Demographic: In-Universe, Hearts Out With Harley is a relationship advice show that's presumably aimed at teenage girls, but at least one supervillain counts himself a fan. Though it's maybe not too surprising, since it veers close to being a Point-and-Laugh Show.
  • Point-and-Laugh Show: Poor Bruce gets duped into showing up on Hearts Out With Harley (he's told he'll get to talk about a charity drive). Harley invites one of his jilted exes who spends several minutes roasting him, before opening the phones up to laugh at him.
    Batgirl: He's faced some pretty nasty sneak attacks, but nothing like this.
    Robin: We have to save him.
    Batgirl: It's too late, Robin. There's nothing we can do.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Bruce leaves the show when Joker calls; he recognizes the man's voice and pretends to be upset at what Harleen is doing. When she tries to stop him, her producer immediately pulls the plug and apologizes to Bruce for the humiliation.
  • The Shrink: Harley is a psychologist, albeit a distressingly incompetent one with questionable credentials.
    Joker: Pop Psychology at its worst! That girl's theories are unfounded, her professional manner's a joke, and her training, if ANY, is shoddy at best! (Beat) I LOVE THIS SHOW!
  • Silly Love Songs: Harley and Joker sing Hank Williams' Setting the Woods On Fire while wreaking havoc in Gotham.
  • The Sociopath: Joker, of course (Batman even calls him a psychopath), but Harley as well, which is fairly unusual for the character. Even before she becomes a supervillain, she's clearly a hedonistic, shallow creep with a gigantic ego.
  • Talk Show: Harley is the host of Hearts Out With Harley, a disastrous primetime talk show where she dispenses terrible relationship advice (such as telling a man to "never take no as an answer" or advising a girl to go behind her parents' back to date a boy she wasn't allowed to see) and harasses guests.
  • Villain Has a Point: Joker has a point when he calls out Harleen for obviously trying to use him for publicity. Even so, he rolls with it since it's all fun and games to him, and Harleen never gets the chance to write her book.
  • You Got Spunk: After Joker calls out Harleen for wanting to use him for a tell-all book, she tells him they can split the profits fifty-fifty. He applauds her for having "moxie" and sets his hyenas on her. Then he gets more impressed when they sit on her command.

Alternative Title(s): The Batman S 4 E 8 Twoofa Kind

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