As great of a job as Telltale has done with a Batman series, can they just give us a Joker series? Asking for a guy I know.
What’s It About?
Episode 5, Same Stitch, pays off John Doe as the Joker is one of two ways: Vigilante or Villain. Your choices leading into and starting off this episode produce either version and will play out differently. For my playthrough, I dealt with Villain Joker.
The Pact has narrowed itself to simply Joker and Harley after the events of What Ails You. They’ve planted about 100 bombs around Gotham laced with the virus that Harley has been after for several episodes. The circumstances will have Bruce and Batman reform several alliances along the way, some of which may have been burned earlier. But ultimately, the story serves a larger purpose: showing why the Joker can be Batman’s greatest enemy.
Why Should I Care?
Same Stitch is a near-perfect conclusion to what’s been a great season and it’s all due to the long game that Telltale played with the Joker.
Based on my choices, I knew the only Joker I could face would be the villainous one. I had used him, betrayed him, and remained focused on stopping him. He had spent the season looking up to me, helping me, pushing several limits, and growing a sick confidence that digs deep into Batman at the end. The result is so unnerving, sadistic, and crazed – and it’s near all my fault. Despite knowing full well there couldn’t have been any non-Joker path for John, it was still easy to feel a large sense of responsibility for the creation of this villain. What a villain it was.
I felt the meat of the story was handled brilliantly. Joker and Harley have Bruce and several people that mean a lot to him in a very bad position. It’s all centered around the Joker proving how well he knows Bruce and just what strings to pull. But there’s a desperation that he exudes, and it shows the depth of their twisted relationship and just how much Joker needs Batman. And on the backend of the segment, a fist fight results in some fantastic exposition that puts so much of the blame on Batman, but Joker’s attitude is downright disturbing. It reminded me a lot of what Heath Ledger’s Joker was able to do in The Dark Knight. I’d argue that the Joker presented by Telltale can stand near equally to Ledger’s; it’s that good.
It’s the non-Joker parts that can feel a little too rushed or unimportant. Catwoman and Tiffany Fox avoid most of that. They serve solid purposes for this story, but it’s clear that Tiffany has some great things to do moving forward, which is existing. However, Harley is only really necessary to push part of Joker’s violent agenda. The rest of the Pact isn’t mentioned. The final portion of the story, featuring Alfred, wraps up so quickly, it’s hard for it to resonate too much.
What Makes It Worth My Time and Money?
Same Stitch provides such a fantastic story and a compelling villain that’s had an entire season reach the levels he does. The weaknesses have to serve a larger villain agenda, but that agenda is incredibly strong and primarily warranted.The quality of the Joker Telltale has produced could demand an offshoot similar to The Walking Dead’s Michonne. I’ll argue that this is one of the best Joker representations you’ll get in non-comic media. This is all still a Batman story, though, and a great one at that. Telltale absolutely nailed the ending, providing a satisfying conclusion with an emotionally packed punch.