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B:TAS "House and Garden" Talkback (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'The DC Comics Animation Forum' started by The Penguin, May 19, 2002.

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Rate "House and Garden"

  1. *****

    10 vote(s)
    24.4%
  2. ****1/2

    10 vote(s)
    24.4%
  3. ****

    11 vote(s)
    26.8%
  4. ***1/2

    2 vote(s)
    4.9%
  5. ***

    1 vote(s)
    2.4%
  6. **1/2

    3 vote(s)
    7.3%
  7. **

    2 vote(s)
    4.9%
  8. *1/2

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. *

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. 1/2

    2 vote(s)
    4.9%
  1. The Penguin

    The Penguin All Hail the King!
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    Tonight at 7:30 p.m. EDT Cartoon Network airs the Batman: The Animated Series episode, House and Garden. It is # 4 on Bruce Timm's Top 10. Some of his thoughts will be offered during the show’s airing.

    [​IMG]
    Episode #070 - House and Garden
    Original Airdate - May 2nd, 1994.

    Not only has Poison Ivy been released from Arkham Asylum, she's also married her doctor and settled down to help him raise his two sons. Still, wealthy Gotham bachelors are being poisoned and robbed in ways that exactly mirror Ivy's old crimes. The attacks take a personal turn when Dick Grayson is kidnapped by the mysterious assailant. Is Ivy responsible? And if so, how can Batman prove it?

    Comments?

    Top 10 so far...
    10. Over The Edge
    09. Legends of The Dark Knight
    08. Beware the Gray Ghost
    07. Two-Face, Part 1
    06. It's Never Too Late
    05. The Laughing Fish
    04. House and Garden
     
  2. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
    Staff Member Administrator Moderator Reporter

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    I ma very intruiged why this episode is in the Top Ten. I thought it was a good episode, yes, but not anything voerly special. I still love to see the sequence where Robin delivers the polot twisting line: "Chris & Kelly are girls". I love that part...
     
  3. Green Guardsman

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    Yeah but Jim, you gave animation, plot, and overall three stars in your review on World's Finest. Care to tell us why please?
     
  4. Revelator

    Revelator In summary then: "Oh no."

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    This is certainly the best Poison Ivy episode, and though overlooked, is one of the series' best.
    It gives Ivy an instantly understandable and very human motivation, and is an example of Dini at his best--his supervillains are obsessives powered by clearly defined needs.
    There are moments of pure horror found nowhere else in the series--the shocking emergence of a baby from within Ivy's plant stalk coupled with Batman's look of total revulsion; the army of babies turning into men and then monsters; and the fake Ivy decomposing into a mass of slime.
    Like the flashback from "Return of the Joker," this episode centers around a villain trying to create a nuclear family to live in, but what results is a perverted parody of a conventional family thanks to the insanity at the root of the villain's character.
    What stays with us most all is Ivy's final regret at squandering the chance for a normal life, and the realization that she could never achieve such a thing in a million years.
    "House and Garden" deals with fertility--in its purest and most perverted forms.
     
  5. Brainiac

    Brainiac You've forced my hand.

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    Wow...now I remember why I liked this episode so much before. I hadn't seen it for quite some time, and didn't remember the creepiness of it. Like what's been said already, I loved the "Chris and Kelly are girls" line, along with the very creepy discovery of the babies in the plants. Also, the plant Ivy's "melting" was another plot twist which was great...one of the (if not the) best Poison Ivy episodes in the series.
     
  6. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
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    Sure - no problem. Becuase...I didn't write that review. RobinIII wrote for the episode review for House & Garden. He is credited at the bottom of the page for the review.

    Post #9300
     
  7. Lucky Bob

    Lucky Bob I'M BRIAN BLESSED

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    For my taste, this episode had too much of an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" twist. So, is Ivy supposed to do anything with her plants? Creating human-like plants is a bit "out there". I understand the emotions involved, and all. But still, this episode had me guessing the ending about midway through it. Unfortunately, I was called away before the end, and I couldn't see it. However, in my very first thread, someone was gracious enough to tell me what happened.

    In all, a bizarre episode that is probably best forgotten in favor of the better Ivy episodes.
     
  8. Frank White

    Frank White R.I.P Notorious BIG

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    I didn't like this ep. at first because the part where the fake Ivy melted freaked me out too much.
     
  9. Green Guardsman

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    he did? I thought he just made the page design, ah well, a VERY HONEST mistake right?
     
  10. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
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    It's a mistake, so don't worry. RobinIII does a reeal good job on the reviews, no typos - LOL! The design was done by a bloke named "SiCkBoY" who dissapeared from the site awhile ago.Real shame, too. I was hoping he'd do more page designs. Ah well...

    But yeah, that's RobinIII's review, not mine.
     
  11. Green Guardsman

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    than what reviews did YOU do?
     
  12. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
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    I so (well, did) almost al lof the comic reviews, except for the ones where a different reviwer (like Salvor or BNL) is noted. You can tell it's me by my horrible typos. I plan to do more. I don't plan to review GOTHAM ADVENTURES for the foreseeable futre so I should have a good oppurtunity to catch up.

    Now...back on topic...
     
  13. Mattashell

    Mattashell Before punk,there were NUGGETS

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    Who REALLY picked this as number four? That's just crazy!

    I've never seen this ep before and I was really shocked. Batman doesn't even know Ivy is married or immediately find out that Kris and Kelly were girls and what they look like. HE DIDN"T EVEN KNOW IVY WAS OUT OF CUSTODY. Batman is a better detective then that, and he keeps a close eye on rogues like Ivy (see Harly's Holiday). In the end Ivy shows that she could have created women all along, why wouldn't she make little Ivy's for the daughters? Just to fool Batman in the end? Or just to fool the audience?

    I hate episodes like this when the whole message is that someone can't change their life or reform themselves. In this ep it was totally obvious that Ivy was full of it anyway when Batman showed up to question her. I wasn't fooled for a second. When Metallo started to show a soft side in Action Figure I really was rooting for him to go strait. This episode carried no such weight.

    The writers gave sentience to the plant men but gave no value to their lives. They have human DNA, and are smart enough to do human things, but it's okay to kill them because their plant men. Ivy and Batman both slaughter them without remorse, Batman would at least questoin the ethics of his actions.

    I only gave this episode two stars, kepping in mind that I'm judging it against all of B:TAS, this is one of the weekest writing jobs I've seen on the show.
     
  14. Revelator

    Revelator In summary then: "Oh no."

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    "Who REALLY picked this as number four? That's just crazy!"

    Timm I think. (I could be wrong) In any case I fully agree with whoever picked it, though I'd give it a lower rank.
    You do have to suspend a lot of belief in this episode, but very few Batman episodes are particularly watertight anyway. (Not to mention lots of Hitchcock films.)
    My science is particularly shaky but what Ivy did was clone a copy of herself, which is not the same as creating daughters.

    "I hate episodes like this when the whole message is that someone can't change their life or reform themselves. "

    The point of the episode isn't in pointing out this fact. It's that Ivy genuinely wanted a family, but her character was so flawed that she invariably created a parody of one instead. The heart of the episode is in how a pure wish gets corrupted by defects of character. This isn't a moralistic episode--it's a semi-tragic one. We're shown how easily Ivy could have gone straight, and how she chose not to.

    "The writers gave sentience to the plant men but gave no value to their lives. They have human DNA, and are smart enough to do human things, but it's okay to kill them because their plant men. "

    Paul Dini gave very limited lives to the plant men. These are creatures with partially human DNA who have only a limited time before they become nasty plant creatures and quickly melt down into ooze. They are nowhere near being full people--they're doomed experiments with a short window of life. Batman surely did the right thing in eradicating a perverted series of misbegotten unnatural freak beings. When Batman shrinks with horror from the sight of a baby emerging from the pea pod, his action shows what an affront Ivy's creations are against humanity.

    "I only gave this episode two stars, kepping in mind that I'm judging it against all of B:TAS, this is one of the weekest writing jobs I've seen on the show. "

    The Harley/Ivy team-ups are enjoyable, but I can't think of a solo Ivy story that was half as good as "House and Garden."
     
  15. The Penguin

    The Penguin All Hail the King!
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    ****1/2

    "Ivy lost everything she had. Everything she said she ever wanted. For what it's worth, I believed her when she said for the first time in her life she was happy." - Batman, House and Garden

    At first glance I agree with Jim's first comments. Why was this episode in the top ten? When I think of the best of BTAS, this episode isn't one that comes to mind. But at the same time House and Garden is good on many levels.
    Ivy trying to go straight but wanting it on her terms is a classic example of the leopard’s inability to change its spots. She was truly happy, but at the same time she couldn’t give up the life she had before.

    You can’t help but wonder even if for a moment if maybe Ivy really has turned her life around and someone else is pulling the crimes, but just like Batman you can't accept it without proof.

    I almost felt a little sorry for Pamela as she looked through her photo album (which I thought was a nice touch) and shed a tear.


    (Did anyone else notice that the final stage of the plants looked very much like Ivy’s thug in Batman: Vengeance?)
     
  16. Mattashell

    Mattashell Before punk,there were NUGGETS

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    I don't want to come off as totally bashing this ep. I'm only comparing it to other B:TAS in general. It does much better if compaired to all of the garbage on television. In fact I'd probably not have been so harsh on it if it had not made the top ten, which was judgemental and unfair of me, and I do apologise.

    The copy of Ivy was a combination of Ivy's DNA and some plant. Just like the copies of the Professor, she came out of a pod, grew into a child that looked like Ivy did when she was young, and eventually it looked like a double of Ivy. If she had survived she would have looked something like a female version of the plant men in their final stage. My point here is that it would have been smarter of her to pass off young Ivy doubles as the Proffessor's daughters, than to pretend that they were boys like she did, and take the risk of Batman seeing through her charade, which he should have, had he been at the top of his game.

    My complaints may seem petty, and maybe you could similarly deconstruct any episode. But the problems here seem to add up to more than the sum of parts. It just doesn't work for me. At least not as much as some of the best in the series do.

    This seen was very clever. On every page she looks at there is a picture of her fake family. But there is also a pic of Harly on each of those pages. Who is she really crying for? ;)

    BTW As far as Ivy episodes go, I acyually like Pretty Poison more, but that, like much discussed on this board, is a matter of taste.
     
  17. Caped Crusader

    Caped Crusader Batman--The Dark Knight

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    That exactly what I was thinking! Batman should have been a much better detective than he was.

    And luckybob, I agree, this episode was bizarre. I'm really surprised it made it into the Top Ten. I think B:TAS had a lot of other episodes that were much better than this one.
     
  18. The Penguin

    The Penguin All Hail the King!
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    "House and Garden" airs tonight

    "Ivy lost everything she had. Everything she said she ever wanted. For what it's worth, I believed her when she said for the first time in her life she was happy."

    Tonight at 12 midnight ET, Boomerang airs the Batman: The Animated Series episode, House and Garden. If you do not have Boomerang, you are encouraged to follow along on disc 2 of your Batman: The Animated Series, Vol. 3 DVD set.

    [​IMG]
    Episode #070 - House and Garden
    Original Airdate - May 2nd, 1994.

    Not only has Poison Ivy been released from Arkham Asylum, she's also married her doctor and settled down to help him raise his two sons. Still, wealthy Gotham bachelors are being poisoned and robbed in ways that exactly mirror Ivy's old crimes. The attacks take a personal turn when Dick Grayson is kidnapped by the mysterious assailant. Is Ivy responsible? And if so, how can Batman prove it?

    Comments?
     
  19. Frank Castle

    Frank Castle Sic vis pacem, para bellum

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    I liked it. It was cool to see a villian carry on a normal life. I just knew it was was too good to be true when I saw the plant monster on the docks. Granted, I was still in Elementary school when I saw the original airing but it was very compelling with a great plot twist that the little Batman fan in me loved. 4/5
     
  20. Fone Bone

    Fone Bone Matt Zimmer

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    Usually a Batman: The Animated Series episode has a plot twist or a reveal. This episode had at least three that you don't see coming and it's to its credit.

    The first twist is the fact that Chris and Kelly are girls and that the REAL version of Ivy's husband has been locked up for months on end. Even though we KNOW Ivy is probably up to no good it is still a good twist. But then the mutant babies come out of those pods in one of the most horrifying sequences in the entire DCAU. Batman's revulsion and horror is completely justified as I'm sure the audience feels the same way.

    After that double whammy the audience is justifyably drained and weary and the episode has the guts to pull the shocker of "Ivy" melting. The shocks just keep on coming. Honestly this was one of the most surprising DCAU outings ever along with Return of the Joker and Epilogue. For that reason alone it definately deserves a spot on the top ten list.

    It is also notable that this is the first and really only time where we see Ivy actually happy and trying to "do right". It's tragic that she is incapable of that and by learning she is infertile she can NEVER have the family she desperately wants. I suppose it could be argued that she had a real shot here with the professor and blew it but I think that speaks more to the fact that Ivy wanted a family on her own terms. The video-commentary for this episode in BTAS: Volume Three said this and you realize that Ivy is too independant to actually tie herself down to a family. But she really wants one. But you cannot HAVE a family without having to rely on another person. It is these conflicting natures that makes this episode so sad.

    Poison Ivy was one of the least sympathetic Batman villians. Sure, you understood her love for plants and how mankind is destroying them. But all we previously saw was an activist. Here we actually see her as a person. ****1/2.
     

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