When Harley can’t make up her mind about a new super villain lair, her brain breaks and it’s up to Poison Ivy, Doctor Psycho, Clayface, and King Shark to go into her mind and help her sort out her issues.
I have never really accused this show of being deep or meaningful… as a matter of fact, the lack of deep meaning is probably one of the things about this series that I love the most, but as I said last week, something that I am also enjoying week after week is that you do get to see Harley move closer and closer to her goal of being a respected force of badness in Gotham City. She doesn’t spin her wheels or screw around, rather, she works hard to achieve what she wants and doesn’t take no for an answer.
That’s why I think that an episode like “Being Harley Quinn” is an important one… while chock full of immature humor and gags, this episode also succeeds in showing another significant milestone in Harley’s development and, yes… while I do think that the resulting scene of Harley realizing that it was her choice to become who she is and that the Joker actually had very little to do with it was a little on the nose and obvious, giving the show the very first instance of driving a message into the viewer’s skull with a sledgehammer, it was an important realization that Harley needed.
What’s more, the episode had a very fun ticking clock element to it as Jason Alexander’s character, a former spy now crotchety old cyborg man in a wheelchair, finds the gang’s comatose bodies on the ground wearing Suicide Squad t-shirts, assumes that they’re part of a suicide cult, and decides to burn the bodies to dispose of the evidence. It’s simply, hilarious, and adds a sense of urgency to the plot.
While episodes where people go into someone’s mindscape isn’t exactly a new concept, Harley Quinn did it with confidence and gusto. The big lesson was a bit blunt, but the gags mostly landed and the plot was clever enough to stand on its own. I loved it.
As I’ve said before, this is probably my favorite DC Universe series and given that I actually don’t like the Harley Quinn character as she’s been portrayed in the last few years – mostly because DC insists on shoving her down our throats – that’s saying something.