With the heat gun obtained last episode, Harley blasts through the ice wall to get to Mr. Freeze, who instantly refreezes her and her insane clown posse so he can bring them inside to experiment on them for his plans to cure his sick wife, Nora. He’s also just started on human experimentation, meaning Harley’s the next test subject. Harley buys them time by saying that Ivy can help find a cure, even though Ivy is currently with Kite Man picking out a wedding venue.
Freeze also decides to give them all lunch while they’re waiting, which is where the crew learn of his tragic backstory, particularly how he met his wife and his trying to save her. Being totally jaded on love because of her toxic relationship with Joker, Harley thinks this means he actually destroyed Nora’s business and keeps her trapped in ice, though Clayface, Psycho, and Shark think otherwise. Either way, Harley takes Freeze’s gun and unfreezes Nora, which turns out to put her on death’s door AND she’s actually totally in love with Freeze. So now it’s time to REALLY call Ivy or else he’ll blow up the place. And with a little plant science magic, they find a way to cure Nora, but forcing Freeze to give her all of his blood in a transfusion. While they must leave Nora to grieve for her dead husband, Harley learns that true love does exist.
Most DC animation fans know Mr. Freeze for his iconic revamping for Batman: The Animated Series, which introduced his backstory and sympathetic background that would go on to be his trademark throughout most adaptations, including the god awful Batman & Robin movie from 1997. And in true Mr. Freeze fashion, the episode focusing on him turns out to be the saddest and heart wrenching so far in this series. Alfred Molina, best known for portraying Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2, brings his A-Game to Freeze as a social awkward, but ultimately well meaning supervillain who just wants to do right by his wife. He stands out quite a bit amongst the Injustice League members as the one that doesn’t really want power for power’s sake, even giving up his own life to complete his goal and give Nora a normal life again.
Heck, this does such a good job with him that it feels like such a waste to just toss the character aside like this, especially with how so much thought clearly went into this version. This freeze has probably got the coolest (pun intended) character design out of the bunch, his shtick of being a legitimately nice person who just happens to be a super villain lands some solid deliveries throughout the episode and even plays a part in Harley’s future development, which is something I was worried this season wouldn’t be as good at doing since it seems focused on its boss rush, which seems to be coming to an end soon seeing how we’re down to just Bane and Two Face, who I don’t see stretching out the remaining nine episodes in order to make threatening. Heck, if I were to pick any of the Injustice League guys to be a good final boss of the group, it’d be Freeze, but he’s been put on ice (pun also intended).
But what’s probably a clincher for me that this episode is a winner would have to be how the theme of believing in “true love” is handled between the A and B plots. Obviously we have it throughout Harley’s cynicism and thirst for revenge and learning that Freeze, despite freezing and humiliating her, actually saved her life AND is trying to save his wife as well, but Ivy and Kite Man looking for venues and meeting Condiment King (also a BTAS original) plays into that quite well, which is surprising since a couple episodes ago saw just a zany search for a water purifier to be a sufficient B plot. So I find myself with many mixed and complicated feelings about this episode and what it could mean moving forward, but most of those feelings are a mix of good and impressed, so I will still say this is a solidly built ice sculpture of an episode.