Batman the Animated Series celebrated its 30th anniversary this last week, so at the suggestion of smarter people who work on this site than me, it’s time for a more explicit ranking of the Top 30 episodes of the show, concluding with 15-1.
Part I, featuring spots 30-16 here.
For my full writings on every single episode, movie and even the comic books set in the BTAS-verse, check out The Matt Signal.
- While I’ve reviewed all of these episodes already, 95% of these words are new!
- I ranked two-parters as individual episodes. Every time I did it, I acknowledged that it kind of hurts their overall standing compared to considering them a combined piece. Do I regret it? A little!
- Movies are counted as episodes.
- The New Batman Adventures episodes are included. Yes, I know it isn’t actually ‘Volume 4’ of the show as home releases like to categorise it, but whatever, it’s BTAS with a paintjob and some network mandates.
15) Robin’s Reckoning Part I
There’s no way around it: Robin is lame in BTAS. His network-mandated increased presence in Season 2 seriously threw the show off its rhythm. Yet here we have this beautifully written two-parter that not only makes Dick Grayson look like a badass, but also won the show its only Primetime Emmy. ‘Heart of Ice’ is sometimes erroneously credited for doing this, but that was a Daytime Emmy.
Telling the tale of Tony Zucco murdering Dick’s parents and Bruce taking him in, part one is a fascinating window into Batman’s psyche, before part two shifts into more action-oriented territory as Dick seeks revenge on Zucco in the present. It’s still good, but this first half is better because it’s more emotional.
Portraying a slightly younger Batman (in a subtly different costume) going off the deep end as he seeks vengeance on Dick’s behalf, it features a fantastic sequence where he infiltrates a mansion to threaten a mobster. But the most memorable scene is Alfred helping Bruce realise that his all-consuming crusade is actually making things worse as he’s leaving Dick alone every night, further isolating him.
Seeing the error of his ways, Bruce sits down with Dick for a heart to heart, bonding over their shared trauma, culminating in a tearful embrace. It’s one of the most touching moments in the series, and just one of many scenes where Kevin Conroy proves he is a titan. Perhaps most impressive is the subtle way in which he shifts Batman’s demeanour from the moment he learns Zucco is back on the scene, communicating to the audience this is serious stuff long before we learn why.
14) I Am the Night
As tired as we all are of being beaten over the head with Batman’s dead parents, this episode set on the anniversary of that tragic event is a powerful one that feels an awful lot like a series finale.
Questioning if he’s actually doing any lasting good for Gotham rather than constantly putting out small fires, Bruce is in full emo mode throughout and things only get worse when Jim Gordon is shot during a chaotic skirmish. While Barbara doesn’t blame Batman, Harvey Bullock sure does, and his scolding is enough to make Bruce quit his mission entirely.
Naturally this is extremely temporary, as Dick Grayson is able to snap him out of his funk, and he ends up saving Gordon’s life, telling him he’s his hero in a very sweet (surrogate) father/son moment. The episode ends with Bruce getting confirmation he helped turn a random kid’s life around, and he looks out over the city and… SMILES!
The entire voice cast bring their A-Game, but Kevin Conroy threads the difficult needle of turning fiction’s mopiest character sulking for 20 minutes into a devastatingly emotional story of existentialism and resolve.
You might feel like you’ve seen this story dozens of times, but this is essential viewing for BTAS.
13) Shadow of the Bat Part I
Following Jim Gordon’s shocking arrest for corruption by his own protégé, Batman & Robin set to work proving his innocence with an unlikely assist from Barbara Gordon, who suits up as Batgirl for the first time. At first, she’s pretending to be Batman himself, due to her frustration over his refusal to appear at a rally of public support for her father. This leads to some hijinks with a confused Robin, and the deepening of a conspiracy that involves Two-Face and a captured Bruce. It’s not as confusing as it sounds, I promise.
Barbara was written incredibly well as a supporting character by Brynne Chandler throughout the series (I think she may have written literally all of her appearances in BTAS), and giving her a turn in the spotlight pays off bigtime, especially given Robin’s less than stellar outings. The two sidekicks have some fun scenes together in both parts, and her crafty intellect is on full display here as she stages her little deception and also plays detective.
It’s also a nice Batman spotlight despite him having a smaller role than usual. He’s deeply bothered by how many mob arrests there have been lately because he simply can’t be happy, and then runs the emotional gamut when Jim is arrested. Furious. Compassionate. Stoic. Secretly nice. It’s all going on. Plus there’s plenty of his terrifying aptitude for stealth on display, and I’m a sucker for that as you can probably tell from this list.
12) Legends of the Dark Knight
You’d be forgiven for forgetting this episode even exists. I certainly did when I was recapping the whole series. It serves as a loving homage to iconic Batman artists Dick Sprang and Frank Miller, who both gave their approval of the adaptations of their work. They intended to go full ‘Treehouse of Horror’ with a third segment honouring Neal Adams, but found it too difficult, and he and Denny O’Neil’s run is the biggest influence on the show already.
First we’re treated to a campy throwback to the work that inspired Batman ’66, as the Dynamic Duo battle Joker in a music center. There’s giant instruments everywhere, including the obligatory ‘heroes strapped to an enormous piano that might crush them to death’ moment. It nails exactly what it’s going for (even if that’s not your cup of tea), with Michael McKean as Joker, hamming it up way beyond tasteful limits in the best possible way.
From there we move on to an incredibly abridged, family friendly adaptation of ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ that is shockingly good. Focusing entirely on Old Man Bruce’s visceral mud fight with the leader of the Mutant Gang, the segment also finds room for the gargantuan Bat-Tank. The iconic fight is as brutal as censors would allow as the two beat the piss out of each other, complete with the line “This isn’t a mudhole, it’s an operating table, and I’m the surgeon.” Michael Ironside takes on the role here and is sublime. Way better than Peter Weller, who voiced Bruce in the feature-length adaptation of the story.
The framing device for the episode is a group of kids (including Carrie Kelly) speculating about Batman’s exploits, hence the wildly different tones. The whole thing is a testament to the power and limitless potential of a character that is over 80 years old at this point, lovingly acknowledging the contributions of those that helped elevate him in the first place.
11) Judgment Day
The final episode of the series (again, we’re counting The New Batman Adventures as being part of BTAS), it squeezes in multiple villains for a final hurrah, while Batman gets to solve one last case. If you know anything about me, it’s that I stump for Batman playing detective.
A new masked vigilante, The Judge, terrorises Killer Croc, the Penguin and Two-Face, while giving Batman the slip. There’s a red herring in the form of a greasy councilman, but ultimately The Judge is revealed as a third persona of Harvey Dent, an extreme manifestation of his morality to counter Two-Face who mercilessly punishes evil. It’s a nice refresh on a character that already got plenty of mileage out of their gimmick, and The Judge later returned in a tie-in comic that was also great. The design rocks, employing different judicial weapons in each attack that keep the episode visually interesting.
I applaud the writers’ efforts to conceal the truth while also peppering in plenty of clues, such as the attack against Two-Face being the only one that The Judge does not perform in person, instead trapping him in a room and flooding it with gas. There’s even a secret exit only Harvey knows about that’s been sabotaged, which is cute.
For me, the best mysteries should be solvable for the audience, but still hold up under scrutiny, and this intricately crafted puzzle box meets that criteria.
10) Double Talk
Many of BTAS’ iconic villains got tremendous origin story episodes that were nearly impossible to top. Clayface and Mr. Freeze are perhaps the best examples, struggling to follow-up in their later returns. No such problems for the return of The Ventriloquist, though, as his sophomore outing leaves his debut in the dust.
Poor Arnold Wesker does his best to live a quiet, ordinary life, but is haunted by nightmares of Scarface and Batman (they’re phenomenal, with Batsy taking on a demonic visage). Hearing Scarface’s voice in his head and seeing his face wherever he goes, Wesker slowly goes mad. Things come to a head when he’s chased by his tormentor (yes, on little legs!), finally agreeing to work with him again.
Bruce & Barbara discover the whole thing was a ploy by Scarface’s former henchmen, who miss working for him, going as far as to hire a little person to wear a costume and impersonate their ‘boss’ through a hidden speaker to make Wesker THINK he was hearing voices.
The henchmen’s plot backfires on them massively though, as Wesker/Scarface turns on them for daring to think for themselves. Batman knocks the dummy out of Ventriloquist’s hands, and Wesker eventually riddles it with machinegun fire to free himself of its grip.
If you enjoy Batman dealing with psychologically complicated villains, you’ll love this episode, which is cleverly written, beautifully animated and features superlative voice work from George Dzundza once again. It also features evidence that Bruce Wayne DOES use his wealth to help the city, running a halfway house and offering employment to the downtrodden… though he also can’t help but spy on Wesker, because he is a paranoid, pessimistic man who can never accept that the rehabilitation he insists his foes are capable of has ever truly taken.
9) Riddler’s Reform
Speaking of refusing to believe a villain has changed…
Riddler’s design in BTAS is incredible. John Glover played him beautifully and is charmingly enthusiastic about the role to this day. Unfortunately it took them three tries to give Edward Nygma a good episode.
Some people will hate me for saying that, as they enjoy the giant puzzle gauntlet in ‘If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?’ The problem with that (and ‘What is Reality?’) is that the writers didn’t even understand what a riddle was. One of them just required you to speak Arabic. That isn’t a riddle. Even the ones that were relied on painfully outdated cultural references for a children’s cartoon. They even admitted they struggled writing riddles! For Riddler episodes!!! Conversely, ‘Riddler’s Reform’ deploys smart logic puzzles and in a wholly more satisfying way.
The entire episode hinges on Nygma ostensibly going straight, as the title suggests. Bruce doesn’t buy it for a second, repeatedly trying and failing to prove he’s still a crook. This makes the riddles even more delicious, because Batman is potentially looking for them where they don’t exist… but of course, they do, and they’re multi-layered, so even when Bruce thinks he’s got his man, Riddler gets the best of him. Bats even confronts Nygma at a party, but Eddie records the conversation and uses it to make him look so bad that the guests laugh our hero out of the room. Delightful.
The party also shines a light on Nygma’s true personality, as he juggles his confident public persona with his private lack of self-confidence, flustered by flirtatious females and having to psyche himself up in the mirror. Furthermore, he quietly, sadly confides in his henchmen that he knows Batman will inevitably catch him and send him back to Arkham despite his perfect deceit of the police, doctors and the parole board.
And he’s absolutely right, as Batman finally gets the better of one of his traps, frustrating Nygma so much that he offers to reveal the whole truth in exchange for an explanation of how he survived certain death. Batman refuses, instead turning a recording of their conversation over the GCPD, who have plenty to lock him up. Tragically, Nygma continues to rant and rave “I have to know!” behind bars.
For me this as good of a Riddler story as exists anywhere in the franchise, and like many of the best Batman stories, it shines a light on the duality of The Dark Knight. His mission is naively optimistic, refusing to kill as he insists his foes can be helped… yet he’s such a stubborn pessimist that when it seems one of them HAS turned over a new leaf. It can be really fun to playfully mock how broken-brained he is about all of this, and this episode actually goes as far as to make him look foolish. But the thing is… he’s always right. Always.
Originally planned as the premise of what became Mask of the Phantasm, this episode borrows from Grant Morrison’s legendary ‘Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth’, as Batman is locked in Arkham Asylum at the mercy of his greatest enemies. As the name suggests, the rogues gallery put on a mock trial in an attempt to prove they are in fact victims of The Caped Crusader. Two-Face serves as the prosecutor, Joker the judge, and the likes of Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, Riddler, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc and Harley Quinn (established for the first time as a former Arkham employee) as the jury.
But what of Batman’s defence? In a decision that elevates the episode into truly special territory, it’s District Attorney Janet van Dorn, who actually agrees with the villains’ belief that Batman causes more harm than good. She even lost a case at the start of the episode because Batman is not a recognised law enforcement agent, thus his actions invalidated the otherwise airtight prosecution. So why would van Dorn take up the defence of someone she despises? Because they both die if she loses, of course!
Thus we get a fascinating little philosophical melodrama, as the various witnesses (all members of the jury) crack under the scrutiny of cross examination and begin to turn on each other. Shockingly, they find Batsy innocent, but Joker says they’re going to kill him anyway. Naturally he escapes with an assist from van Dorn, and they eventually make it out safely.
Paul Dini is absolutely in his element, giving everybody a chance to shine (and the huge voice cast crush it of course), even van Dorn, who admits he’s a necessary evil, but she will keep working towards a Gotham that doesn’t need him. His episode-ending response? “Me too.”
Building on the reveal Harley used to work at Arkham and things aren’t hunky dory between her and Mistah J, this episode acts as a sort of trial run at one of the most famous episodes ever, coming up later in the list.
After Joker steals an atomic bomb (yep!), Bruce recruits an initially reluctant Harley to help track him down. Tomfoolery occurs instantly, and their odd couple dynamic is delightful. She betrays him repeatedly, but does end up helping find her Puddin’, and upon realising he had no intention of rescuing her, ends up being the one to take him down. She even goes as far as to try and shoot him, but it’s a trick-gun. Joker finds this so funny that he embraces her and tells her she’s the best.
Arleen Sorkin absolutely dominates, as is often the case when she’s given enough screen time, and from her first line to her last, she turns Harley into a relentless hurricane of chaotic energy. She even sings a disturbing number about Joker’s domestic violence. It’s good without being too good, which is perfect. If not for the existence of a much more famous episode, this would be the definitive character study for one of the most famous characters in superhero media.
6) Heart of Ice
I know, I know. For many people this is THE episode. It won an Emmy for goodness sakes!
I feel like I almost need to point out its faults to justify it not taking the top spot more than I need to highlight its merits like the others. But I’m not about that kind of negativity, so I’ll say that it’s a meticulously crafted script that systematically works its way through a checklist of Batman character traits; Detective work, high octane driving, stealth, empathy for his opponents, exploiting his Bruce Wayne persona, escapology, ruthless brawling, improvisation and even the importance of Alfred. All of that while making Freeze look borderline unstoppable, spanking Batman in their first two encounters.
It was a powerful reinvention of a long-forgotten character, thrusting him into the A-List of Batman villains thanks to a combination of the Mike Mignola-inspired design (animated so well it bankrupted Spectrum Animation Studios), Paul Dini’s script, which introduces Victor Fries’ wife, Nora, and the voice work of Michael Ansara. While Ansara found it frustrating to continually be told to be less emotional, the payoff was worth it.
So why not number one? For me it’s more about the strength of my Top 5 than the weakness of ‘Heart of Ice’, which I still think is better than 107 episodes/movies! (Plus don’t shoot me, but it is a tiny bit goofy in places, okay?)
5) Almost Got ‘Im
From a purely conceptual level, this might be my favourite Batman story anywhere.
The show’s towering legacy is its portrayal of the best set of villains in all of comic books. Many of their takes are considered definitive, with things like Mr. Freeze’s tragic backstory or Harvey Dent’s pre-existing multiple personalities getting written into the comics as essential canon. Heck, they invented Harley Quinn! I have also talked earlier in this list about how effective it can be when the point of view shifts to other characters reacting to Batman. This episode combines both elements, as Joker, Penguin, Two-Face, Poison Ivy and Killer Croc gather to play poker and swap stories about how they “Almost Got ‘Im.”
This amounts to a little anthology story, with five close calls between Batman and the narrating villain. Four of these are shown, while Croc simply states he tried to kill the Dark Knight with a big rock. Individually, the tales vary from fine to excellent, but it’s the total package that makes this such a phenomenal piece of scripting. Each encounter gets closer to our hero’s defeat, until Joker’s is revealed to basically still be in progress. One hilarious (and beautifully animated) reveal that Croc is Batman in disguise and a GCPD raid later, and Bruce is able to save a captive Catwoman. They flirt, but Bats rebuffs her advances as usual, causing her to mutter that she “Almost Got ‘Im.”
I’ve always felt this should have served as the template for Sony’s Sinister Six movie which was in developmental hell for years. Spider-Man has the second best collection of enemies, so why not lift from what worked so well for the champs?
4) Over the Edge
If you need an argument for the power of starting a story in-media-res, this episode has you covered. Opening with Jim Gordon and the GCPD raiding the freakin’ Bat-Cave, Batman & Robin barely make it out alive and Alfred is captured! They even blow up the Batmobile!
Linking up with Nightwing, Bruce tells Dick how they we got here, flashing back to Barbara Gordon’s shocking death during an encounter with Scarecrow that saw her fall off a skyscraper. Worse, she slammed right into the hood of her father’s car who weeps as she dies in his arms. With the knowledge his daughter is Batgirl, it doesn’t take Jim long to uncover Bruce’s secret. Filled with vengeful rage, he ordered the attack from the start of the episode.
From there, Nightwing is captured (incredible scene) and Bruce orders Tim to turn himself in for his own protection, while Jim gets so desperate he releases BANE from prison, going as far as to use Barbara’s funeral to spring a trap. The two old foes have another brutal confrontation, and by the time Jim realises it’s all gotten a bit much, it’s too late as Bane hurls both to their death!
… and then Barbara wakes up, having hallucinated the whole thing due to Fear Toxin!
Yes, that’s one of the most clichéd ‘twists’ in fiction, but it works beautifully here as it lets them have their cake and eat it. Breaking an unwritten rule of Batman by having outsiders invade the Batcave is an instantly effective plot point, and seeing the police go full tilt in their attempts to capture our heroes is surprisingly gripping, delivering the most intense action scenes in the whole show. While Batman fleeing from the cops is a common trope elsewhere, the GCPD were almost always on Bruce’s side in the series. More than that, Jim Gordon is basically his best friend, so for him to order his men to fire at will and execute such an extreme plot is something they could never come back from. The Bane fight is superb and justifies again why the meaty mercenary should have appeared more often.
As if the episode needed anything else going for it, it’s capped off by a quiet conversation between father and daughter with the HEAVY subtext that Jim knows Babs is Batgirl and he trusts her to make her own decisions.
3) Mad Love
Perhaps the most important episode of the series, ‘Mad Love’ is a big reason why I insist on including The New Batman Adventures as part of BTAS. Originally a comic book written by Paul Dini & Bruce Timm, it elevates Harley Quinn to even greater heights and provides some all-time Batman vs Joker moments.
Following a botched attempt to kill Jim Gordon, Joker tosses a lingerie-clad Harley out on the street, causing her to reflect on how they first met when he was her patient in Arkham. Initially fascinated with him from a clinical perspective, she of course falls in love with the Murder Clown, donning a costume and helping him escape. It’s a story that’s been retold over and over, but never as well as it is in (both versions of) ‘Mad Love’.
Harley actually manages to capture Batman, blaming him for her relationship problems, but rather than being grateful, Joker throws her out of a window!
In the story’s famous ending, Harley is recovering from her injuries, finally done with Joker… only to see he’s left her a flower, and just like that, she’s back under his spell. A lot of people clearly didn’t understand the point of this ending; that Harley is trapped in a never-ending cycle of abuse from a monster. The intent was sympathy for her plight. Unfortunately, a lot of people still ship this toxic couple. But hey, doesn’t make the episode less impactful.
I think the comic is a fraction better, but both are superb. They examine Joker’s complicated feelings towards Batman, who he would rather think about than the smokin’ hot babe trying to bone him. More than that, he attributes his own failures to Harley and would rather kill her than let anyone other than him beat Batman. He even thinks about letting him go! And is oblivious to the fact Harley comes closer than he ever did.
Likewise, Batsy shatters Harley’s illusion of Joker, reciting the fake sob-story he used to win her heart in the first place and pointing out he has dozens of variations. He also laughs at her, which she finds more terrifying than any of his actual intimidation tactics.
That’s a LOT to cram into 22 minutes, and the comic benefits from letting things breath a little more. The episode’s lone improvements come from the voice cast, and a montage of Joker and Harley’s early days together set over Quinn’s contradictory narration.
2) Mask of the Phantasm
Having a bigger budget and a longer runtime to work with does Phantasm a number of favours, but that’s offset by a chaotic production schedule (EIGHT months!) and the four writers clearly having very different strengths. Beginning life as what would later become ‘The Trial’, the film instead borrowed heavily from their planned series finale, a two-parter called Masks. That’s why Joker ‘dies’ at the end. It also absorbed another intended episode that retold Batman’s origins from Alfred’s point of view.
The result is a beautiful Frankenstein’s monster that is shockingly impactful and emotional, delving into the tragedy behind Bruce’s crusade against crime, why he’s ‘Like That’, and even finding the time for some romance. And The Joker.
On a surface level, it’s a mystery, with the titular masked vigilante murdering mobsters, but really it’s BTAS’ only window in our hero’s origins. The mystery is still good, as it doesn’t follow the rules of Scooby Doo and reveal the culprit as the only new character, with multiple red herrings before the ultimate reveal that it’s Bruce’s old flame, Andrea Beaumont. They even made sure that Phantasm shared a voice actor with Andrea’s father (Bruce’s favoured suspect). The final set-piece has a sense of theatricality, but devolves into a less interesting Batman vs Joker fight that has always irked me. I think adding Harley Quinn to the mix would have spiced things up, and Paul Dini agrees with me, but Bruce Timm overruled him.
But that’s enough about the main plot, because all anyone thinks about from this movie are the scenes of Bruce begging his parents’ gravestones to let him break his vow, and him suiting up for the first time as Alfred recoils in horror. Both moments are earned thanks to Kevin Conroy putting in the finest shift of his career, portraying a younger, more optimistic Bruce, blissfully unaware he’s heading for heartbreak. If you want to know why Conroy is so many people’s definitive Batman, this movie is a huge reason why. “I didn’t count on being happy” is a killer line-read, and summarises my favourite part of the script: the moment he’s on the cusp of creating Batman is actually the closest he ever got to giving up on his mission altogether. It takes losing a happy, normal life with Andrea that takes the difficulty of deciding whether to commit to The Vow out of his hands.
It’s also a beautiful film that holds up to this day thanks to their superlative art style working in tandem with every penny they could squeeze out of the studio to punch it up a little. It being a film also let them push the limitations around blood and violence, resulting in a shockingly brutal ‘Year One’ inspired narrow escape from the GCPD, and a bloody Joker getting his tooth knocked out at the end. Both of these achieve what Zack Snyder thinks he’s doing by having Batman say “fuck” once.
1) The Laughing Fish
For me, the quintessential Batman story must be a battle against the Joker. I say that as someone who thinks Joker is oversatured, should be shelved for long periods of time, and that he shouldn’t appear in Matt Reeves’ ostensible movie trilogy. Heck, I even criticise Mask of the Phantasm for including him! Nevertheless, he is the most famous villain in all of comics, and Mark Hamill’s portrayal of him in BTAS is untouchable.
Even if you agree with that notion, I’m sure you’d go to Mask of the Phantasm, ‘Mad Love’ or ‘Joker’s Favor’ first, but I’m built different. I just really respect the elegant simplicity of ‘The Laughing Fish’. Joker isn’t trying to blow up the city. He isn’t even trying to defeat Batman. All he wants is to win big in small claims court!
Dosing the fish of Gotham Harbour with drugs that make them look like him, he insists he’s owed compensation for infringement on his likeness. When the clerks won’t grant his request, he very publicly declares his intention to kill them, even giving the time he’s going to do it. Yet despite the full protection of the GCPD and Batman, he gets to both men (though it’s implied they survive the encounters). From there things transition to a gorgeous standoff in an abandoned tourist attraction, as per usual, with the bitter enemies settling things on the rooftop of an aquarium beneath a thunderstorm. Joker seems to die but of course returns later without explanation.
Bruce laments Joker’s unpredictability right at the start of the episode, and Paul Dini exerts maximum effort in underlining that point by having The Clown Prince repeatedly outwit Batman. Outwit isn’t even a fair way to describe it; his mind just works in a completely different way to anyone else’s, giving him an almost supernatural aura of inevitability. They don’t play in that lane very often in BTAS, potentially to try and keep things family friendly, with Joker defeated pretty easily in some earlier episodes, so for me, this is his greatest showcase in the series. If it isn’t Mark Hamill’s best work in the role, it’s pretty close. It’s also a huge expansion of Harley Quinn’s role, including her first use of “puddin’”, and some sublime double-act shtick between the two.
The greatest triumph of ‘The Laughing Fish’ is that you could show it to absolutely anybody and it doesn’t only work, but perhaps shines a light on everything that makes this show so memorable. It’s Batman vs Joker. The stakes are small. The animation is incredible (top tier shadow work!). The voice work is firing on all cylinders. There’s some cute trickery and detective work. It’s even pretty funny!
For me, this is the one that has it all.
Matt also presents Marvel Mondays, which continues its coverage of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
Finally, there’s There Will Be Movies, in which Ben Phillips and I present 25 of our favourite films of a chosen decade. Volume 4 is all about the 80s, and this week’s episode is Gremlins!