Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Harley Quinn Offers Closure And New Wounds

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Spoiler Warning for Harley Quinn S01E12, Trigger Warnings for violence and death

Well, everyone, it’s almost over. The penultimate episode of Harley Quinn dropped last night, and while it did nothing to acknowledge that it was Valentine’s Day, it did a lot else in quite a few ways. Though the 22-minute time limit didn’t help on that front admittedly, leading to a certain prominence of unanswered questions as a result. But before we can discuss those questions, we must first discuss the plot!


The episode begins where the previous one left off, with Harley and Ivy being attacked by big ol’ murder-Ents. Ivy quickly realizes that they’ve mutated to the point where her powers have no effect on them, and she, Harley, and the crew are forced to run. They are, however, saved by the arrival of the Justice League, with Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (the John Stewart version), and Flash able to take the trees down with relative ease. They then attempt to throw the crew into the Phantom Zone, operating under the assumption that this was caused by Ivy. Which, given we haven’t seen any hint of Swamp Thing or even Floronic Man in this series, isn’t that terrible of an assumption to make. Tossing them in the Phantom Zone seems a bit like overkill though.

Fortunately, our villain protagonists are able to convince the League not to put them in the Phantom Zone by Ivy submitting to interrogation from the Lasso of Truth. Which…raises some questions about why they didn’t go for that first, but oh well. Before any alliance can be made between Harley and the League, the Queen of Fables re-enters the story, trapping the League in a storybook and then using a magic bean to send the crew up to a cloud and a giant via beanstalk. The crew manages to evade the giant for a while, with Ivy calling Kite Man to come rescue them.

It’s here where Harley learns about Ivy and Kite Man’s relationship, with Ivy accusing her of being too selfish and self-centered to notice what’s happening to others. This is a recurring theme in this series admittedly, but Ivy raising the point that Harley failed to notice Ivy coming home ‘smelling like kite’ and with leaves in her hair raises certain questions. Namely, what does it mean to smell like kite, and why would Ivy of all people having leaves in her hair raise questions? Like, I get that this is a theme of the show, that Harley’s trauma and determination to overcome it at all costs blinds her to the needs of those around her at times (torn on if this still being a thing in the show should be applauded for realism or if it’s an annoying instance of returning to the same well to cause conflict in Harley’s personal life) but maybe like, a montage of times of Harley not noticing Kite Man in the mall or something would have been better?

Regardless, by throwing sriracha into the giant’s eye (it’s a cyclops too) Kite Man manages to save the crew, though since he’s just got a hang-glider they have a rough landing. After a diversion where we see Batman being jumped by Scarecrow, Harley and friends steal a tank from Gordon (apparently the citizens of Gotham voted to give GCPD tanks, which…is a mixture of horrifying and hilarious) and head off to launch an attack on the Legion of Doom’s headquarters for their kidnapping and exploitation of Ivy…only for said headquarters explode, with a giant Joker tower rising from the ground.

The Joker broadcasts a declaration of his defeat(?) of the Legion of Doom and that Gotham is his, firing a giant harpoon into a clock tower from his new fortress and summoning a crowd of the murder-Ents to protect the gates. Then we learn that the Queen has teamed up with Joker, and he’s not happy that she didn’t kill Harley. She protests that she was trying to be theatrical, but sighs and heads off to kill them in a more basic manner. Fortunately however, our heroes are equipped to force their way through the defenses Joker has in place. Ivy gets some of the contaminated water and, after gently refusing a sudden and awkward marriage proposal from Kite Man (well, telling him to table it anyway, as Kite Man happily notes she didn’t say no), drinks it. Due to being half plant, it causes her to grow huge, and she manages to kill the killer trees guarding Joker’s tower.

As for the Queen of Fables, she sicks the Big Bad Wolf on the crew, and they quickly flee from the giant wolf (in Granny garb this time for some reason). Clayface attempts to confuse him by turning into a scolding Jewish grandfather wolf, but it doesn’t work, and the beast tackles Harley to the ground. We then cut to the wolf triumphantly returning to the Queen, opening its mouth to reveal Harley’s bloody head…which promptly grins and taunts the Queen before busting out, revealing that King Shark ate the insides of the wolf allowing Harley to use the corpse as a costume. Harley’s done with the Queen and kills(?) her, hitting her with the bat and causing her head to fly right off with no resistance. But the head speaks so it’s hard to say if that’s really it or not.

Before they can get inside the tower though, another tree emerges, grabbing Harley. Ivy, still a giant, saves her, and the two have a brief heart to heart, Harley apologizing for her behavior, stating that she’s so unused to people caring about her that sometimes she behaves very poorly. The two reconcile, with Ivy joking about how messed up it would be if she took advantage of the new height difference to eat Harley, but then the Joker fires another harpoon, which goes straight through Ivy’s chest, killing her. And that’s how the episode ends. With sad piano music as Harley screams and Kite Man and the crews cry over her body while Joker laughs.


…well damn. I know that this death probably isn’t permanent. Not just cause of the oft-repeated joking about comic book deaths, but because Ivy has very recently established the ability to regrow herself in the comics, and that makes sense as something that would appear here. If nothing else, this is a comedy show. All the same, it still hurt to watch, but it was done well.

On a less relatively positive note, I do have some questions about where the rest of the Legion is. How did Joker manage to pull this off without Luthor noticing? Or is this a long con on Lex’s part, letting himself be made to seem weak so he can pull something off on his own? It’s hard to say for certain, and speculation is very tricky. Generally, best not to engage. We’ll see if it’s addressed in the season finale.

Also…Kite Man? Really DC? Really? I don’t…why? What? I’m losing the patience to tolerate this relationship the more it seems like the show’s planned OTP. And it’s not just ‘boo, putting Ivy with a man!’ though that’s part of it. I’m just really sick of ‘competent woman and a man child’ ships. I tolerate it in Guardians of the Galaxy because there Peter Quill is visibly working to improve himself, but I don’t see any evidence that Kite Man is. Which makes sense for a comedy show I suppose, but it’s still annoying.

I’ll just have to see where things go in the next episode though I suppose. For all my questions and annoyances. Season finales tend to be the place for big twists and revelations.

Alright, see y’all next week, for the last time for a while! Thank you for reading!

Images courtesy of Warner Bros.

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