Batman: The Enemy Within Episode 5 Review

By Mark Delaney, 9 months ago
It took a while, but the finale for Batman: The Enemy Within - The Telltale Series has finally arrived. Telltale went to some length to ensure everyone paying attention would know of the finale's two vastly divergent storylines based on which kind of Joker players had helped create in the rest of the season. This is a fun wrinkle and does well to quiet those who say all roads lead to the same destination in the studio's games. The problem, in this case, is that for roughly half of the players, one of those paths will be much too familiar.

Episode 5 Same Stitch

The Enemy Within's final episode of season two picks up three weeks after the last time we joined Telltale's Dark Knight. Joker, now fully realized and ready to abandon the John Doe identity, has been up to no good in that time, plotting a new devious plan to throw Gotham into chaos alongside his literal partner in crime, Harley Quinn. Depending on how you birthed Joker in the run-up to this finale, you'll either get a new and unseen vigilante Joker, who styles himself as another Batman (but without the functional moral compass), or a classical hyena-like Joker, bombastic and filled with puns that would make even dads cringe. The former is yet another interesting Telltale remix that will likely be interesting for anyone who finds themselves on that route. The latter is the same Joker we've all known for so long.

Even casual Batfans know enough about Joker to find this version of him familiar and perhaps even stale. For a series that has so far prided itself in interesting remixes, roughly half of all players will find themselves in the traditionally villainous Joker timeline, and with that will probably feel like they've seen it all before. To be fair, you can only repaint the same statue so many times before you reuse previous colors. Telltale's effort is still rather commendable, and even in the been-there-done-that version of events, the staging for the climax and final fight scene is well done. To have so many players involved in the conflict felt like a big deal, as it should, and more Batman and Catwoman connections are always compelling in Telltale's version of these characters. It does feel a bit strange to see so little of actual Batman in this episode and it focus almost entirely on Bruce instead, but that's what the story called for, so there's really no way around it.

Joker's voice performance was concerning in season one and seemingly only mildly improved in season two, but in this finale, self-actualized as he is in my timeline, Anthony Ingruber's Joker delivers something much stronger and memorable. His iconic laughter is spot-on and the shoddy Telltale engine even did a decent job of selling Joker's elastic and energetic movements. Through it all, he even remains a bit conflicted, too, which is the one bit of nuance Telltale adds to the villain Joker track that keeps it different from tried-and-true Jokers over the past half-century.

In the time away, Joker and Harley have found plenty of henchmen.In the time away, Joker and Harley have found plenty of henchmen.

Besides a thrilling climax, this episode also does well to wrap up other loose threads, while of course introducing several more for the inevitable season three. With such a storied history from which to draw, Telltale won't run out of ideas anytime soon, and the falling action in the finale paints a very clear picture that they intend to explore more of Gotham in years to come. One decision point in particular is again so divergent that it'll be interesting to see how the studio reconciles both routes in the next season premiere.

Half the fun of this episode is thinking about where the series will go next. How long until Batman retires? Will we ever see a Robin or similar sidekick? Which big bads are next? This finale touches on those topics each in different ways, some more subtly than others, and others still promising more remixing. If you've liked what you've played thus far, it'll be easy to get invested in these teases for season three.

As always the achievements come with story progression — no frills, no worries. If you've made it this far, add your now truly completed game to your trophy case.

Summary

Batman: The Enemy Within makes for a fun finale, even if it can be a bit too familiar for those on the villain Joker track. The vigilante track is unique to Telltale and thus feels more compelling for players, but not everyone gets to go down that route. In either case, the climactic fight scene delivers, Joker is finally here in mind and body (and finally portrayed well by his actor), and there's a lot of fallout from the events that teases what comes next time, which will inevitably be revealed over the coming months. If you enjoyed the season up to this point, The Enemy Within's finale is an unexceptional but solid conclusion.
3.5 / 5
Episode 5: Same Stitch in Batman: The Enemy Within - The Telltale Series
Positives
  • The Joker has arrived
  • An exciting climax with a fun fight scene
  • Sets up several fun threads for the inevitable season three
Negatives
  • Despite all the remixes over two seasons, half the audience will get a Joker finale all too familiar
Ethics Statement
The reviewer spent two hours concluding season two of Telltale's Batman, shipping Bat and Cat until the credits rolled once again. An Xbox One review copy was provided by the publisher.
Please read our Review and Ethics Statement for more information.
Mark Delaney
Written by Mark Delaney
Mark is a Boston native now living in Portland, Oregon. He's the Editorial Manager on TA, loves story-first games, and is the host of the community game club TA Playlist. Outside of games he likes biking, sci-fi, the NFL, and spending time with his family. He almost never writes in the third person.