CREDITS: Written by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm; directed by Butch Lukic.
REVIEW: I sort of feel like I've said it all before, when I raved about the Mad Love comic, so check out the review HERE.
I WILL say that it looks great animated and that not very much was lost in the conversion (like, three pages?). The production team even took a lot of shots right from the comic, which is no surprise given Bruce Timm drew the thing. Retread or not, the dynamic art and the line readings made the book come alive, and makes the episode virtually as good as the original work (which I would still recommend as THE Mad Love you should experience).
Regardless, if the New Batman Adventures have to go, they could do a fair sight worse than end it on Mad Love. Harley gets an origin story in-canon, just in time. It's just a touch sexier and more violent than what we're used to, the three main characters are seen bleeding, and the Joker seems to die on screen (Harley too, but she's merely critically injured), so a nice shocker. The Joker will always come back, but we get a sense of closure from the way he makes his exit, Blofeld-style, from the show. And we're reminded, in the coda, that it's all been a manipulation anyway. And Batman, we'll see you again in a future or two...
IN THE COMICS: "Mad Love" was first a 64-page graphic novel by Dini and Timm that this episode is very faithful to, sometimes shot for shot. The cuts for time mostly have to do with Harley's origin flashbacks, which show how she trained in acrobatics and seduced a professor to get her degree, and the domestic fantasies she has.
REWATCHABILITY: High - As good as the original.