The evolving path of Harley Quinn requires a little bit of understanding in her ability to commit. Once she does no one can stop her. What is interesting in the evolution of the character throughout Season 2 is her ability to actually be seen as somewhat of a caring individual. It is hard to say if that is cohesive with other elements in the DC canon but this series like some before it (like “Batman Beyond”) color outside the lines in a very specific way in an attempt to access some greater truth, whether it be fanboy driven or not. With Episode 12: “Lovers Quarrel”, the progression is based off of Poison Ivy targeting Harley Quinn at the request of Darkseid through Mr. Psycho. it sounds complicated in a small way but it is really not in the better perception of the path being followed. Again Kite Man gets the shaft no matter what.
What is interesting is a throwback homage to Max Headroom in a way which points to a necessary MacGuffin to make the ending of the story work. It is a pretty weak connection and ploy but again having the Justice League stuck in a book for a while seems sort of out there as well. The issue, like with the Darkseid side story, is that when they (the real superheroes) come into play, the series tends to revert back to old tropes in certain ways. The big diversion though is the sardonic banter between the Superfriends is even more out there (because the censorship angle is not as much of a problem on streaming). One particular interlude between Batman and Wonder Woman is definitely interesting and speaks back to Justice League (the movie) in many ways. Harley again is at the center of this melee but there is a sense of brokenness in her.
What is great is that everyone seems to have an opinion. Watching Joker try to order dinner for his girlfriend while understanding Harley’s duality is interesting. It culminates in the final scene, which is both soapy, funny, almost too much fan service but also groundbreaking in certain ways. Again the normal progression is that the series is more meta than it has a right to be. With only one episode left in the season, the path has been forged both for an idea of something new but also a more intimate setting in a bigger world. Now if the creatives can find the balance between the two…though, in all reality, it is that off kilter approach that keeps each of the episodes interesting.
By Tim Wassberg