It turns out there’s a totally plausible explanation for why Harley’s been seeing herself everywhere, but the truth just raises more questions. Spoilers follow for Harley Quinn Season 4, Episode 9, ‘Potato-Based Cloning Incident.’
“Potato-Based Cloning Incident”
Aaaand they’re apart again. This episode starts with Harley and Ivy together, but while they try to figure out what to do about the Apocalex happening outside, Harley sees herself walk by. Oh–and Ivy sees her, too. The other Harley isn’t a hallucination, but rather a cloning accident. Remember when Jim Gordon was trying to microwave that potato in the cloning machine and found a hair on it?
That’s right, this Harley is 95% Harley Quinn, 5% potato. A lot happens in this episode.
After trying to infiltrate Lexcorp with the two Harleys and failing, Ivy goes off–at Potato Harley’s suggestion–to try to turn Lex’s board of directors against him. Meanwhile, Potato Harley reveals to real Harley that real Harley is the one responsible for Nightwing’s death. Harley has Dr. Psycho verify the memory for her, and then has her new friend, The Flash, rewind time so that she doesn’t have to pay Dr. Psycho back for the favor.
Meanwhile, Ivy has shmoozed her way into a golf tournament with the last remaining board member. After charming him, though, she accidentally kills him with a golf ball to the eye. Then, Harley’s time rewind happens and she accidentally kills him again, this time by letting the golf club go and sending it flying so hard that it impales him through his butt.
Real Harley tells Batgirl that Potato Harley killed Nightwing, and then Potato Harley shows up and the two Harleys fight. Batgirl figures out which one is which and Harley is able to defeat Potato Harley, who falls off the side of the building and splatters into a pile of mashed potatoes (that Gothamites then eat, off camera).
Ivy turns off the Earth Saver Ray, averting the apocalypse, but as Harley and Batgirl talk, a gunshot rings out–the Joker has made up for his lie about killing Nightwing by shooting Batgirl in the stomach.
Visually, this episode is intriguing just for the decision to have it take place mostly in a sepia-toned world where the sun has been blotted out with volcanic gasses. When color does show up in flashbacks and toward the end of the episode, it really does help the color pop.
So now Ivy’s saved the world from Lex Luthor, but we now know that Harley kidnapped Batgirl and killed Nightwing, and now Batgirl has been shot. But that leaves lots of questions–are they killing off Batgirl as well here? If Batgirl does survive, is this how she becomes Oracle? Were they really going to let Harley off the hook for killing Nightwing? She did just hack her way into Doctor Psycho’s podcast with ease. And even if Potato Harley wasn’t a hallucination, that means real Harley was still sleepwalking and doing some pretty heinous things in the process.
Both Batgirl’s death and the way the show is handling Harley’s actions seem antithetical to the way the show has worked thus far. It’s possible, maybe even likely that this is setting things up for another big reveal about Harley’s sleepwalking–maybe Dr. Psycho has been controlling her mind or something like that. Normally, though I feel like Harley Quinn tends to resolve stuff like this pretty quickly, having characters hold themselves or each other accountable for their behavior.
This is an intriguing way to end the episode, then, with just one more episode left in the season. It’s hard not to be concerned, though, with how inconsistent the season has felt throughout, with high moments like Bane’s adventure to Italy, and weirdness like the decision to send the show’s core quartet to the four winds. We won’t have to wait too long, though, to see how things resolve.