Review: Harley Quinn “Harley Quinn Highway”

 

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

Harley bites the bullet and apologizes for her actions in order to get the gang back together to save Ivy. Ivy herself tries and fails escaping from Scarecrow, only to get recaptured and given a special dose of fear gas that he plans to use on Gotham. Harley and the gang arrive soon to get her, but she’s in a crazed state, so they use Dr. Psycho’s abilities to go into Ivy’s mind like they once did with Harley. Inside, they eventually learn Ivy’s greatest fear: HARLEY! Or more specifically, Harley being someone Ivy trusted but ultimately let her down because she hasn’t moved on from the Joker. But there’s little time to reconcile as they try to stop Scarecrow from unleashing his gas!…and fail. Though they still get to use Sy turning into a car to go on Harley’s awesome highway (oh hey that joke paid off!) in the best new version of Mario Kart ever.

OUR TAKE

This is the first episode of Harley Quinn to come out after the release of the new Birds of Prey movie (or rather a Harley Quinn movie somewhat featuring characters resembling that group), and having seen that movie, I can safely say I enjoy this series far more, particularly in how it balances its zaniness with its characters and story (which I don’t think the movie does nearly as well). Heck, I might even go so far as to say this explores a much more interesting version of Harley through a far more creative lens, though to be fair, being a series and animated offers it advantages that the movie probably doesn’t have. Basically save your ticket money and get a DC Universe subscription just to binge this series.

Anyway, this episode, while not as dead center on Harley as last week, still offers pretty much all the things I absolutely love about this show. The sharpness and rapid fire pace of the jokes, the great dialogue, the craziness of everything that somehow makes total sense, which is utilized beautifully with the surprise payoff of Harley’s highway (that was a joke all the way back in the start of the series) that is an incredibly hilarious and fun sequence. Sy turns into a car, they used the highway as a race track that has power ups…it’s just so great and I really love this show if only for that.

But luckily this isn’t just a wonderful comedic moment, it’s also about rebuilding the bridge between Harley and Ivy after everything that’s gone down in this season. I think it’s safe to say that Harley has effectively learned her lesson after last episode showed her what family really meant, Vin Diesel-style, but now we gotta see her earn that trust back from her crew. Which means these supervillains have to…save a city? Huh. I’m getting some flashbacks from Suicide Squad of having the supposed villains have to save stuff just because the writers don’t know how to keep them villainous when there are worse villains, but whatever. I have thoughts about that and how weird it is next time, since that will be the main focus. In the meantime, this is another great episode. So if you’re wondering about choosing between this and Birds of Prey this weekend, I would honestly suggested watching this for six hours instead of that movie for two.

David Kaldor

Green Lynx (David Kaldor): Aimless 20-something given a paid outlet for his thoughts on cartoons. Fears being boring slightly more than being outright disliked.

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