In a series whose first two episodes struggled to find their footing with balancing f-bombs, hyperviolence and comedy, Harley Quinn finds success in its best episode to date.
This episode gave us comedy from Dr. Psycho struggling to use the accepted words to Clayface being turned into an actor looking for roles. We also got jokes in the form of nods to Man of Steel having Superman kill Zod. From the meta humor in this episode to the new characters adding more jokes and interactions among the cast, this made the series that much more enjoyable. We also got the return of Kite Man jokes and people working with him so they can ride on his kite.
Compared to the heavy amounts of hyperviolence in the first two episodes, this episode saw a lack of that, as the focus was more on getting a supervillain team, and we see better written comedic moments spawn from this.
While I was hesitant on jokes and whether this show understood what it wanted to be, it’s now started to find its footing, thanks to adding more villains to her team. In my previous review, I’d stated that this was a possibility when we get more characters to add to comedic moments and change the series from the jokes they were attempting in the first two episodes. Now that we’ve had the addition of two more, this series has securely found where it wants to be. We have Ivy as a voice of reason still, but saw a smaller part from her in this episode, instead we get Dr. Psycho and Clayface as the focus. With two characters who breathe more life into the series and add to the character dynamics of outcasts forming a team, this episode shined above the rest.
Another aspect of this episode that I appreciated was the toned down involvement of Joker. In the first two episodes they focused on Joker and Harley being at each others throats in one way or another, but this time we have barely any involvement from him. Instead, the writers found something else to focus on and hopefully they take that and don’t ruin it in the coming episodes.
Having added more characters to work with helps the series, whereas going back to heavy focuses on Ivy or Joker can only hurt the show more. While Tudyk does a good Joker, the character itself isn’t needed to help Harley prove her point. He felt like a crutch by making him be the focus in the first two episodes, rather than using him for the first and giving him minor appearances in episodes after that.
Overall, this series improved in this episode by adding new character dynamics, new jokes, and relying less on Ivy and Joker to make the show funny. In anime, there is an unspoken rule that you don’t drop a series until you get through three episodes, and the same can be applied to any TV show. After Harley Quinn’s third episode, I can safely say that it did become a solid show after three episodes. If you have a DC subscription or plan on seeing this series through HBO Max, it’s well worth it.