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 and DOOM PATROL.

To celebrate the holiday season, The Arkham Sessions takes a detour back to Gotham City! Merry Little Batman (2023), a new animated film by Warner Bros. and DC Studios (but released on Amazon!), is an Elseworld holiday special that takes place on the night before Christmas. Bruce Wayne has retired to focus his attention on raising his son, Damian, in what has been a crime-free Gotham. However, little Damian's obsession with becoming a superhero lands him into a lot of trouble--and triggers the resurgence of the city's most contemptible villains.

See the exclusive video version of the podcast by joining our Patreon!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_217_Merry_Little_Batman.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 9:00pm PDT

In "Deadly Reunions," we learn that Professor Charles Xavier (Professor X) uses an incredible superpower involving mind-melding and probing the memories of his students. Though he calls it "therapy," Professor X's methods are uncomfortably invasive, coercive, and arguably unethical.
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Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_216_X-Men_Deadly_Reunions.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 9:00pm PDT

In the third episode, the X-Men are introduced to the formidable villain, Magneto, a militant idealist who crusades against bigotry and oppression of mutants. His mission is to help mutants replace humans as the dominant species on earth--by any means necessary. 
Watch the video version of this podcast exclusively at our Patreon now!
Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_215_X-Men_Enter_Magneto.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 9:00pm PDT

Grab your Hot Pocket and Cactus Cooler, it's another 90's X-Men episode! The X-Men are thrown into crisis, collectively grieving the loss of a beloved member, uncertain how to rescue the survivor, and racked with guilt about their decisions on the battleground.

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Debuting just one month after Batman: The Animated Series, the first episode of X-Men: The Animated Series depicts a foster youth, Jubilation Lee--or "Jubilee"--who, like most teens, seeks independence, creative freedom, and the experience of belongingness. Her struggles are amplified when she is captured by the Sentinels and subsequently rescued by the X-Men, a mutant superhero team led by the avuncular telepath Charles Xavier. Professor X's School for the Gifted is a sanctuary for mutants, complete with institutional curriculum, advisors, and adult supervision. But is Jubilee ready to accept help from society's number one enemy?

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Star Trek: Generations (1994) resurrects familiar, core Trek film themes such as legacy, family, and mortality. Dr. Drea and Brian discuss these themes, as well as the Nexus and its very real philosophical origin. Plus, Brian gets to discuss his take on the Nexus and how it might continue to affect the Trek universe...even to this day.
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Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_212_Star_Trek_Generations.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 9:00pm PDT

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) marks the final adventure for the crew of the 1966 incarnation of the franchise. In this episode, we take a look at the Cold War allegory of this film, as well as the characters' arcs since our "introduction" to them in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Plus, Dr. Drea completes her ranking of these films! Will you be surprised?

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Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) is an ambitious film depicting a galactic pilgrimage in search of God. But is Spock's half-brother, Sybok, a true ambassador of God? A miracle healer? Or is he a cult leader? Or a delusional dreamer? Listen now to find out!

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) doesn't take itself too seriously, but it humbles us by asking us to de-center the human culture and the things we over-value, to recognize the triviality of some of our human norms and the way we alienate those who are different, and to stretch our minds to be open and accepting of the unknown.

This episode was recorded in front of our live Discord audience. To join our Discord channel, click here.

In this special episode of the podcast, we take a look at the spectacular third season of Star Trek: Picard with two of its writer/producers, Christopher Monfette and Matt Okumura. This episode was recorded as a panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2023 and doesn't have the best audio, but we want to thank Garrard Whatley for working his magic and getting it to where it is. 

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), though not as well executed as Star Trek II, successfully carries its big emotional moments, from the shocking murder of Kirk's son to the heart-crushing destruction of the Enterprise. Loss after loss, the story weighs heavily on anyone rooting for Kirk. Here, Dr. Drea describes the risks he faces psychologically, due to the shock and suddenness of his personal losses and explains the differences between typical grief and traumatic grief.

In our analysis of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, we join Admiral James T. Kirk and his Starfleet friends as they are once again pulled into a risky adventure. Since his infamous attempted coup on the Enterprise 15 years ago, Khan Noonien Singh is noticeably more emotional, ragged from years of hard survivorship on an inhospitable planet, but he's also deeply preoccupied with revenge. But as both the film and science can attest, achieving revenge is rarely as satisfying or as personally rewarding as we hope it will be.

When the survival of the whole planet is at stake, how much do purpose, logic, wisdom, and emotion matter? Do we rely on gut instincts or unfiltered logic to make critical decisions? The original cast of Star Trek reunite to represent the voyages of the Starship Enterprise in their first film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). Dr. Drea especially observes the internal struggle building within Spock, who is recently rejected by his Vulcan community due to his inability to suppress emotions to an extreme degree as his culture dictates; his elders chastise him for allowing feelings like yearning, friendship, and exhilaration to distract or break his mental discipline.

The last film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker (2019), seems to ret-con or reduce plot points in the previous film; and serves insights about the core theme of intergenerational trauma!

In one of the most divisive Star Wars films to date, The Last Jedi (2017) serves an unapologetic tale of the embittering consequences and casualties of perpetual war, reminding audiences that there are no true winners; just power grabs. Those who are truly liberated are the elite, the profiteers, and the arms dealers who benefit from people stuck in their ideologies. In totality, the film's messages become enticing, if not exhilarating: Find true peace by shifting the power dynamics. Abandon traditions, ties, legacies, and all the harms that come with them. Burn it down. Burn it all down.

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_203_The_Last_Jedi_1.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

Celebrate the 30th anniversary of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm with its co-director, Eric Radomski; and our very special guest, podcaster and comic writer Ashley Victoria Robinson (Geek History Lesson)! 

To vote on what we're covering after the nine Star Wars films, join our Patreon here!

You can find Ashley on social media as @AshleyVRobinson on Twitter and Instagram!

You can find her podcast here!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) resurrects a familiar uphill battle against the merciless and oppressive power of the second uprising of the Empire, the First Order. However, as Star Wars is more about relationships than politics, The Force Awakens focuses on the psychological struggles of its young warriors: Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren.
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We're celebrating our 200th episode by presenting our live Discord episode, which followed a shared screening of Batman Forever! Join us, as we chat about the questionable ethics of Dr. Chase Meridian; the differences between experiencing trauma as a child versus as an adult; and a lot more!
Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_200_Batman_Forever.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 12:00pm PDT

Return of the Jedi (1983), the final film of the classic Star Wars space opera trilogy, is packed with psychology, layering in lessons on family systems theory, Oedipal themes, social obedience, and human violence. We learn about our many selves as exemplified by the masks we wear. From the first to last scene, the film is telling many truths about the characters we have been following, their truest motivations and intentions.
Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_199_Return_of_the_Jedi.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT