Sometimes, when you don’t want to deal with something, you’ll do anything and everything to avoid dealing with it, including unleashing Parademons on Gotham to start a war with the police commissioner. Spoilers follow for Harley Quinn Season 2, Episode 8, “Inner (Para)Demons.”
Last week’s episode ended with two big moments: Harley Quinn and Ivy’s kiss and the bumbling Commissioner Gordon finally getting his groove back and throwing Two-Face in jail. This week we pick back up on both. The commissioner wants to re-join the United States–remember, the President cut Gotham off from the rest of America. The president rightfully notes that Harley is the biggest threat to the city; she and her crew took down the Joker’s tower, crippled Batman, and have since taken out the Riddler, Penguin, and Two-Face. This version of Harley is genuinely dangerous despite her weirdly kind-hearted team of criminals.
Meanwhile, Harley and Ivy are doing everything but talking about what happened. For Harley, that means keeping herself busy and kissing literally everyone in hopes of drowning out her kiss with Ivy.
Everything is fine
Both Harley and Ivy go extra hard on avoiding their problem. For Ivy, that means working extra hard to prove to Kite Man’s parents–voiced by Jessica Walter (Arrested Development, Archer) and Andy Daly–that she’s worthy of their son. For Harley, it means assembling an army when she finds out that the Commissioner is gunning for her. It also means finding a Mother Box, confronting Darkseid, defeating Granny Goodness, and unleashing Parademons on Gotham.
Perhaps the most entertaining part of all that is that this might be the most petty reason someone in the DC universe has ever activated a Mother Box.
The show steps it up with some extra-juvenile humor this week, with some jokes about Boom Tubes and filling holes and all that good stuff. The core, though, is Harley’s avoidance. The kiss last week was a surprise because the show hasn’t really hinted at it at all. Ivy has been focused solely on her relationship with Kite Man, and she seems like she’s pretty happy. And Harley has stayed consistently goal-oriented.
The two had intimate interactions for sure, but they’ve never felt like repressed romantic moments. They’re the kind of bond close friends have–especially close female friends, as we generally see depicted in American culture. There’s physical touch, but it’s distinct from romantic touch. When they kissed, it felt so sudden.
Meet the parents
Of course, the idea of having an intimate, romantic relationship with someone is probably terrifying for Harley. Her last one ended with her boyfriend letting her get thrown in jail and her tearing down his tower and destroying a huge chunk of Gotham. It makes sense that she’d be reticent to engage in anything resembling an expressly romantic relationship. Despite how sudden the kiss was, I like this part. Harley and Ivy are endgame as far as I’m concerned, but I like that the show is willing to dig into the psychology of relationships like this. I like that Harley is hesitant and in fact throws her weight in the exact opposite direction to protect herself.
But Ivy and Kite Man are definitely getting in the way. In fact, after this week, their relationship seems stronger than ever. Ivy meets Kite Man’s parents, and it turns out they’re both super-powered bad people. It isn’t clear if they’re active supervillains or not, but they’re definitely villains in the capitalist sense and the powers are only tangentially related. Kite Man’s terrible parents only serve to cement their bond as Ivy defends her fiance’s honor.
I wish the show had done a little more work prepping for the kiss, but this aftermath is effective. This Harley is dangerous, and she’ll do dangerous things to avoid her feelings, and what’s more dangerous than making demands of Darkseid? She ends up defying him, which seems like something that definitely won’t come back around. I hope that we get more time developing the feelings our two main characters have. With Harley Quinn‘s record so far, I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt and let the writers develop things how they want.