Harley Quinn 4×10 Review – I’m putting together a team…

Fighting the system from inside the system doesn’t always work–sometimes you have to go outside to get anything done. Harley and Ivy consider leaving their new positions behind to become the best versions of themselves. Spoilers follow for Harley Quinn Season 4, Episode 10, ‘Killer’s Block.’

“Killer’s Block”

There are all kinds of plot threads dangling as we head into the season finale for Harley Quinn Season 4. Nightwing is dead, Batgirl might be dead. Lex has been sprouting hair for who knows what reason. Harley knows she’s not meant to be a villain, but she isn’t cutting it as a full lawful-good, capital-H Hero either. Ivy has the power and authority she’s always wanted, but she’s frustrated.

The finale manages to tie a lot of that up. Harley kidnaps Joker to find out why he shot Batgirl and to torture him (not like one of those A24 horror movies, Joker hopes) and then stops by the hospital to check on Barbara Gordon, who confirms that she is, in fact, paralyzed from the waist down. Harley and Ivy head to the Moon (again) for Lex’s 16th 40th birthday party, where a super-powered Lex humiliates Ivy in combat.

With Barbara’s hacking help, they handle Lex and get their hands on his Earth-Saver Ray so that Ivy can blow up the businesses belonging to the other villainous women after they confirm that they’re maintaining the status quo for Lex. The two discuss what it means to be on the fringes of heroism and villainy; Ivy knows her goals are right, but isn’t interested in being nice about how she goes about them. Harley knows that heroes and villains are too black and white for her–she needs the freedom to help people who need help without the hard-wired codes of heroes like Batman and Superman.

Harley hands Joker over to Jim Gordon (who plans to torture Joker like in one of those A24 movies, he says), and then meets up with Ivy and Barbara in a cemetery at night. This is where the show confirms what it’s been laying the groundwork for. Catwoman is the one who invited all of them, and she wants to work with our protagonists. Someone suggests the name Birds of Prey, but then they realize that Catwoman, Harley, and Poison Ivy aren’t flying creatures. Take that, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). They settle on Gotham City Sirens and then find out that Nightwing’s grave is empty, setting up a mystery for next season.

This episode ends up being a pretty strong conclusion to what’s been an otherwise rocky season. Ivy is finally seeing her new friends clearly for what they are–a bunch of people completely uninterested in the kind of change she wants to create, and more than willing to do what it takes to stymie the change she wants. Harley is no longer conflicted thanks to her relationship with Ivy and her friendship with Barbara. She has two strong friends who want to do the right thing and see how hard the system around them makes it to do the right thing.

Meanwhile, Lex is out of the picture as a primary villain, making room for someone fresh–Talia al Ghul?–to take his place, and we have a pretty clear path ahead for the Gotham City Sirens to form. That move feels especially right. The four characters make for a nice gradient from villain to hero, and it sets up the potential for a good group dynamic when it comes to whatever plot stuff goes on in Season 5.

It still feels weird not having Clayface, King Shark, and Dr. Psycho around as much as they were in the past–they felt like big treats this season but at the cost of the show losing some of its charm. I also can’t recall the show actually dealing directly with the question of why Harley was sleep-murdering people. As mentioned last week, it feels like the show is letting her off the hook for her actions, even if the season finale’s conclusion sets up a revenge plot for next season.

With that said, it’s also great, even if the show is a bit bumpy at times, that Harley Quinn keeps moving forward. It’s not interested in just mining the Harley-Ivy dynamic until it’s out of gas. It wants to explore different facets of these characters and gives us something new to learn about them. Even rough Harley Quinn is still far more interesting than most comic book shows out there.