"The Harley Quinn Highway" to Hell

Ivy is being held by Scarecrow for nefarious purposes and so Harley, fresh from losing her entire crew because she became selfish and ambitious upon joining the Legion of Doom must reassemble her crew to rescue her, but that rescue is only the beginning of the adventure.

This episode is all over the place… and I do mean that in the best possible way. It goes from being incredibly dark to funny to even darker and then transforms into a comedy road warrior action piece all seamlessly and without a single trip-up. What other series can do this without going completely off the rails? Harley Quinn can… but mostly because it is already off the rails to begin with.

Okay, so… getting this out of the way, I’m glad that Scarecrow was the villan of this episode and not the Joker. To be sure, I’m certain that the Clown Prince of Crime is pulling the strings behind the scenes, setting up his inevitable showdown with Harley, but it was refreshing to bring in an antagonist that is, well… not an evil clown. That and I adore Rahul Kohli’s take on the character even though, and I’m sorry to say this, I honestly thought that Ricky Gervais was doing the vocals.

Deep in the heart of this episode, it’s really about Harley and Ivy’s relationship with each other and about how their opposites attract. Ivy is codependent and extroverted while Ivy is introverted and antisocial. The two of them shouldn’t be friends, but there they are… they are literally the best parts of each other if they could get over the dozen or so hangups that keep them from connecting. We’ve seen how their proximity to each other helps one another: Ivy opens up to other people, joins in adventures with Harely’s crew, and even starts a relationship with Kite Man and Harley becomes more independent and sure of herself… these two characters draw strength from one another and, although they will backslide and screw up, they are the best of each other.

Weirdly enough, this reminds me of the finale message of Bojack Horseman. There are peaks and valleys… when you end up in a valley, the the only thing you can do is claw your way back to a peak and be ready to claw your way out when the next valley comes. Harley and Ivy are in a valley and they’re just starting to claw their way out. I just hope that it’s a rewarding crawl and not a springboard of convenience although, all signs are pointing to a crawl.

The episode was a joy. From the surprising viciousness and scariness of Scarecrow, a character I had only seen as an amusing parody, to the Wacky Races antics on The Harley Quinn Highway (which was a marvelous piece of continuity). Tonally, it was all over the place, but given the cartoony feel of this series and all involved, it worked when it wouldn’t have worked in any other medium… or series for that matter.

There’s only episodes left this season and I honestly can’t wait to see where all of these converging storylines are going.

Well… it’s going to be the Joker. Obviously.

But I still can’t wait.

Written by Jason Gaston

Father, teacher, writer, photographer, artist, actor, male model, and inventor of the semicolon.

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