Is there such a thing as being reverse canceled? Where everyone thinks you’re terrible, but it comes out that you’re not actually all that bad, or that maybe you’ve gone soft? Anyway, Joker is having a rough time this week. Spoilers follow for Harley Quinn Season 4, Episode 7, ‘The Most Culturally Impactful Film Franchise of All Time.’
“The Most Culturally Impactful Film Franchise of All Time”
This week, Harley Quinn just says the quiet part out loud, with Harley and Ivy agreeing that they’re better together after a time travel snafu sends them into a dark, post-apocalyptic future. The episode in general feels a little scattered as the show seems determined to separate everyone else and tell stories about them.
Ivy finally began to reclaim her power last week, and that follows into this week as she hatches a plan with her new crew, the Natural Disasters, to steal a time travel device that she wants to use as a conversation piece. Meanwhile, Harley spotted herself–across the room from her–at a party and is in full panic mode regarding her sanity.
Harley goes to Jim Gordon for footage of the party, but he’s a dumbass. Then she goes to Barbara Gordon, but she’s busy; she is certain that Joker didn’t kill Nightwing or his butt. Finally, she goes to Ivy, who is in the middle of her heist at the time. Harley explains that Nora Fries keeps “talk-blocking” her–keeping Harley from talking to Ivy, that is–and when Ivy doesn’t respond well Harley knocks over the truck and steals the time pod, which Ivy jumps into at the last minute.
They end up in the future, meeting a woman that has Harley’s blonde pigtails and Ivy’s green skin that they discover is their daughter. She’s named Neytiri, instantly cluing Harley to the fact that something isn’t as it seems. For those who don’t remember Avatar, the most culturally impactful franchise of all time, that’s the name of one of the very tall blue people.
All of this is to help Harley and Ivy realize that in being apart, they’ve given rise to apocalyptic conditions and missed out on raising their own daughter. As Damien Wayne is freezing them into his collection of superheroes, the couple literally tells each other, ‘We’re better together,’ which is what we (and others!) have been pointing out as the major flaw of this season, which has kept them apart over and over.
While all of this is going on, the show continues to play with Joker’s complicated place in Gotham society as the mayor and one-time-clown-prince of crime. Having announced his great crime, he finds himself back in with the Gotham’s criminal element, who welcomed him with open arms. Batgirl is suspicious, though. Why would Joker wait a whole entire day to claim responsibility?
She calls into Dr. Psycho’s podcast where Joker is guesting and, currently, floundering as he tries to answer questions about details of the crime, and drops video of him going into a sleep apnea clinic for testing during the time of Nightwing’s murder.
The work that they’re doing messing with Joker on this show is consistently one of my favorite parts. Despite being a literal clown, people take the character ultra seriously and treating him this way almost seems like an idea that the Joker himself would come up with. “What’s the weirdest, funniest way we can agitate those dudes who treat me like some kind of evil antihero?”
The idea that the Joker has gone so soft that he thinks he can claim someone else’s crime–a repeat of one of his own previous crimes, at that–and get away with it, is hilariously funny, and I love the way the show is treating it.
There’s a lot of good stuff in this episode, but it feels kind of disjointed, and I’m hoping that they can make things feel a bit more coherent as we get into the back half of Harley Quinn Season 4.