March 26, 2023

The next comprises spoilers from the Sept. 1 episode of HBO Max’s Harley Quinn.

It was a really darkish night time for Harley Quinn this week, because the grownup animated sequence served up “Batman Begins Ceaselessly,” an episode chockablock with nods to earlier incarnations of the Caped Crusader.

In Season 3’s eighth episode of 10, Harley (voiced by Kaley Cuoco), Ivy (Lake Bell) and Clayface (Alan Tudyk), with an help from Physician Psycho (Tony Hale), journeyed inside a cussed Bruce Wayne’s thoughts, to seek out out what the billionaire playboy has performed with MIA Frank the Plant (Run Fucnhes).

There, they rapidly realized that Bruce Wayne has repressed all recollections besides that of his mother and father’ tragic homicide — which they noticed play out time and again… and time and again… and many extra agains. (Poor Clayface, by no means attending to seek the advice of Thomas on his biopic position!)

Finally, Harley discovered herself alone inside Bruce’s thoughts, the place she A) realized that he is Batman!, after which B) did her finest to play therapist to the distraught eight-year-old.

Justin Halpern, who serves as Harley Quinn co-showrunner with Patrick Schumacker, his accomplice at Scrumptious Non-Sequitur Productions, defined to TVLine, “We would have liked a turning level for Harley, the place she kind of understands why Batman would ever wish to be Batman, as a result of she’s type of on her journey to changing into somebody who’s questioning whether or not or not she’s a villain or a hero. And as we acquired to speaking about it, we had been like, ‘Oh my God, this might be such an excellent episode if we went in his mind.’

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“And likewise, I believe [the idea for the episode] began as a result of we needed to homicide Batman’s mother and father, like, one million instances,” Halpern mentioned with a coronary heart chuckle. “So these two issues type of got here collectively.”

Alongside the best way, Harley and Younger Bruce peeked inside literal home windows to moments from Batman’s existence, affording the always-cheeky cartoon the possibility to pattern different Batty fare resembling Batman Returns (his cavern conflict with the Penguin and robotic birds), Batman Begins (“As a logo, I could be incorruptible”), the supercampy Batman ’66 and, sure, copious quantities of Batman: The Animated Collection — together with precise art work and the Nineteen Nineties sequence’ model of Harley Quinn herself.

“The Batman: The Animated Collection [aka ‘BTAS’] of all of it, that was a later determination,” co-showrunner Patrick Schumacker shared. “Like, we needed Bruce’s inside thoughts to look slightly totally different. I can’t keep in mind who pitched it initially, however as soon as we landed on BTAS, it was like, ‘Yeah…. Yeah.’”

Schumacker famous that the Harley Quinn staff has through the years considered “nearly recreating well-known episodes of BTAS, however informed in our universe. Like, the ‘Nearly Received Him’ episode the place all of the villains share tales about how they very practically killed Batman. And who’s to say, if the present retains happening, that we will’t do this.”

Within the meantime, “Batman Begins Ceaselessly” provided the proper quantity of spoof.

“Visually, it had precise authentic art work from BTAS,” Schumacker acknowledged, “and sonically, Jefferson Friedman, our composer, took his fashionable themes and married them with Danny Elfman’s theme that he did for BTAS, and the [Tim] Burton motion pictures…. It was type of a serendipitous marriage of various types of Batman.”

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“Batman Begins Ceaselessly” thus scattered a bevy of Easter eggs for followers to seek out — although the EPs suspect the present’s savvy followers have collected every one.

“I believe most [of our references] had been pretty overt,” Schumacker admitted. “However it’s humorous, the episode has been out for like 24 hours, and folks have already put it beneath a microscope! Yeah, I don’t suppose anyone’s missed something, actually.”

The already-renewed Harley Quinn streams new episodes each Thursday, with the season finale set for Sept. 15.

Need scoop on Harley Quinn, or for some other present? E-mail [email protected] and your query could also be answered by way of Matt’s Inside Line.