THE ARKHAM SESSIONS, by Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, is a weekly podcast dedicated to the observation and clinical analysis of the characters in BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES.

It's the finale we've all been waiting for! Mr. Freeze's final appearance in Batman: The Animated Series / The New Batman Adventures arrives with all of the (dinosaur) bone-chilling glory you'd expect. Now that his beloved Nora has been revived, Victor has failed to visit her and she's moved on, which sends him into a spiral of depression and, possibly, PTSD. That's right; Drea explains how Victor is showing obvious signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and even discusses how she thinks he can be treated. Is it too late for Victor? Find out now!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_95_Cold_Comfort.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 1:11pm PST
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In this Thanksgiving week episode, we're formally introduced to the new Robin, Tim Drake--or is it Jason Todd? Maybe a combination of both? We also discuss the whereabouts of Master Dick Grayson. Was there a falling out between Bruce and his ward? We take a deeper look into empathy, what it means to be empathetic and Drea even gives us all a test to determine just how empathetic we are! How does Batman score? Find out in "Sins of the Father!"

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_94_Sins_of_the_Father.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 4:33pm PST
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We're reintroduced to some old friends and Rogues, as we begin our analysis of THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES--a series that premiered two years after the final episode of BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES and THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN & ROBIN. In this anthology of holiday-themed adventures, Bruce Wayne goes on a shopping spree with Harley and Ivy, Batman and a new Robin take on the Joker and Batgirl takes on a mysteriously revived Clayface. Harvey Bullock's showing a much softer side. And Gordon orders some food he never gets. Is it Batman's fault? Find out in "Holiday Knights!"

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_93_Holiday_Knights.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 2:47pm PST
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We're back! And we're bringing the long-awaited episode, "Subzero," with us! When Mr. Freeze abducts Barbara Gordon so that he can perform a blood transfusion that will help his beloved Nora, naturally Batman and Robin launch into action. Will the argument over Mr. Freeze between Brian and Drea finally be resolved? And did Bruce commit a crime so serious even Drea calls him out? Find out in "Subzero!"

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Arguably, she's a character who's become so popular that she's overcome her attachment to Gotham City and Batman lore. Join us, as we discuss Harley Quinn's origin, her popularity, her desire to be paired with others, that controversial relationship with the Joker and much more. Live from Long Beach Comic Con, it's our analysis of Harley Quinn with writer Jimmy Palmiotti!

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To commemorate the Caped Crusader on Batman Day, we discuss what Batman has meant to us over the years and share the various stories we have received about the impact Batman has made on the lives of our listeners! In addition, as we have arrived at the end of the original B:TAS collection, we provide a “wrap-up” discussion of the progress, transformation and psychological growth demonstrated by the core characters of the show, including, of course, Batman and The Joker! 

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_90_Batman_Day.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 9:00am PST
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We give our psychology-focused review of the 2016 film, Suicide Squad, offering up our thoughts about Jared Leto’s Joker, Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and other characterizations of DC Comics’ infamous gang of criminal outcasts. We compare the first-time big screen version of Harley Quinn to previous versions, observing more marked psychiatric symptomatology in this more “serious role” – patterns of behavior indicating self-harm, mood instability, hallucinations, and dissociation. Harley’s relationship to the Joker is also evaluated –though, we admit that we simply can’t get past Leto’s underwhelming caricature of the Clown Prince. Listen to the full episode for our all our thoughts and more news about upcoming episodes of The Arkham Sessions!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_89_Suicide_Squad.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 3:04pm PST
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This one's a doozy and one we've all been waiting for. Love it or hate it, The Killing Joke is one of the most influential and consequential books ever written about Batman and his arch-nemesis, The Joker. The animated adaptation is equally controversial, for some of the same reasons, as well as some different reasons altogether; including a passionate relationship between Batman and his protege, Batgirl. Dr. Andrea Letamendi discusses this story, its characters and what we can learn about having "one bad day" in this very special episode!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_88_The_Killing_Joke.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 1:24pm PST
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It's the end of Batman: The Animated Series as we know it; the final produced episode, "Batgirl Returns!" In this episode, Batman takes a back seat to young Barbara Gordon, as she teams up with Catwoman to take down Roland Daggett. Does this partnership give Batgirl everything she's ever wanted from her Dark Knight mentor? And what is the development of morality, as defined by the Heinz Dilemma? Plus, what's the deal with Barbara's weird dream about Batman? All this and more right here in "Batgirl Returns!"

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_87_Batgirl_Returns.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 4:59pm PST
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This week, we get feisty as we discuss Victor Fries' return in "Deep Freeze." It's revealed that Nora's alive and a theme park creator believes he has the technology to bring her back. But it comes for a price. Drea believes Nora is a symbol, but Brian believes Nora is...Nora! Who's right? And how should Victor be handling his grief? Find out now!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_86_Deep_Freeze.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 6:23pm PST
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This week, we learn a lot about the similarities between Robin and Alfred, particularly their love of comedy. We also get to know the failed comedian, Smilin' Shecky Rimshot *badum bum*, AKA The Joker! What drives The Joker's need to be seen as the funniest man in Gotham City? Find out in "Make 'Em Laugh!"

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_85_Make_Em_Laugh.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 5:12pm PST
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Fueled by bitterness and disillusionment about Gotham's legal system, Lyle Bolton becomes the menacing, hyper-masculine enforcer "Lock Up." In our consideration of Lock Up's abusive treatment of Arkham's patients, we explain the similarities and differences between Lock Up and real-life participants in the classic psychology study, The Stanford Prison Experiment (1971). We also discuss Interactionism as a potential explanation for Lock Up's behavior. Listen now for our complete analysis!
Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_84_Lock-Up.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 6:12pm PST
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One of the most requested episodes has finally arrived! When Harley is deemed "sane" and capable of going back into the public, she's determined to do what she can to keep herself out of trouble. But she's Harley, so you know that's going to be difficult. Still, we see progress in her and an unusually warm side to Batman, as well. Plus, we answer a listener's question about hybristophilia. What's that? Find out now!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_83_Harleys_Holiday.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 5:59pm PST
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Harvey Dent is given the chance to rid himself of "Two-Face," once and for all, but someone else isn't happy about that idea. This episode tests Harvey's diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder and the limits of Bruce's friendship with Dick Grayson.

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_82_Second_Chance.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 12:01pm PST
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It's another case of an infamous Gotham Rogue going straight... Or is he? Could the Riddler ever really go straight before he got the chance to defeat the Batman in a game of wits? And how realistic is his success at convincing the authorities that he's turned over a new leaf? You may be surprised. Plus some interesting thoughts about the Bat himself.

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_81_Riddlers_Reform.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 4:23pm PST
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What can 50 years of hard labor do to the mind? And who's the real villain? Ra's al Ghul? An unknown accomplice named Arkady Duvall? Or the bounty hunter, Jonah Hex? Revelations and psychological assessments are made in this special episode!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_80_Showdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:47pm PST
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In this very important episode of The Arkham Sessions, we discuss the role that Alfred plays in Batman's life, "truth serums" and torture in the context of the treatment of wartime detainees.

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_79_The_Lion_and_the_Unicorn.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 2:52pm PST
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Over Valentine's Day weekend, we held our second live San Diego Comic Fest panel and had a great conversation about the podcast and the psychology of Batman, his allies and the Rogues Gallery.

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She's a doll. She's a baby. She's ...homicidal? Baby Doll was a child actor who was afflicted with the congenital disease called Systemic Hypoplasia, a condition that stunted her growth and caused her to appear 5 years old forever and her developmental and identity mismatch created a significant amount of psychological conflict for her. In this episode, we discuss the complexity of Mary's condition: the psychic disequilibrium she experiences when her authentic self isn't recognized by others, the impact her physiology had on her social development, and the possibility that Batman seems to be the one person who relates to her.

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_77_Baby-Doll.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 1:45pm PST
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It's our first look at one of the most iconic villains in Batman history, Bane. He's the man who broke the Bat in the comics. Will he get the chance to repeat in the animated series? Find out if Killer Croc has made progress with social skills and how Bane uses his special purpose!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_76_Bane.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 4:02pm PST
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It's the beginning of a new year, but we get to revisit with some old friends...and villains! It's the return of the Ventriloquist and Scarface! And things aren't looking good for Selina Kyle, as she struggles with her perceived lack of freedom. Why can't Bruce offer more support? Can she conquer her impulsive nature? What's the psychology behind these villains?

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_75_Catwalk_.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 12:24pm PST
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