IR TV Review: HARLEY QUINN – EPISODE 5 (“Batman’s Back, Man”) [Warner Brothers Animation-S2]

Understanding the meta nature of fanboys in an interesting diatribe in the current climate since some kind of balance needs to be maintained. But this is “Harley Quinn”. Which makes it unusual to do a step back, but in doing so, it almost gives the show more credibility by understanding there is a little bit more going on below the surface. The first couple episodes of the season were very happy-go-lucky with a subtext running below the surface. That subtext was Barbara Gordon and her seeing light in a dark city. In “Batman’s Back, Man”, there is a view throughout,  again mostly played tongue-in-cheek realizing that Batman isn’t what he once was but that everyone comes to a point where they can’t do it anymore. While this was a variant on “The Dark Knight Returns”, it shows a necessity in the runners of the show to create something against the norm while still engaging the “Birds Of Prey” mentality. The question becomes where the idea of where this is moving towards.

One could tell the story of Harley just going hog wild and going into a out of control psychopathic rain of thought (which could be fun) but to that end it just becomes lurid escapism and her acting out because of the separation from Joker. Bruce Wayne here is put in his place by Alfred who calls him on his crap. Wayne is mostly nothing but a man-boy. The revel and artifice of the view of the city which tears away to Gotham on fire in Batman’s vision makes it all the more dynamic. Even Commissioner Gordon has to understand that his ally is too far gone to help retake the city. While Batgirl/Barbara Gordon’s social media importance seems a little too giddy there is a balance running below the surface as the citizens see the aspect of hope. Granted all of this is not pushed as the primary. But with a good stable backbone it makes Harley as a character more dynamic even if her actions so far have been more primal responses in certain ways. However it creates an interesting path for the series itself.


By Tim Wassberg

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