From over the top violence to f-bombs and more, Harley Quinn has made sure it’s known as a raunchy, edgy show for DC Universe. In this weeks episode, the show decided to focus less on the usual humor and tropes, and delivered a more meaningful episode, with some of the charm wit and sensibilities we expect from the series.
Within the first few minutes, the show delivers a nod to Suicide Squad and jokes about the team wanting Harley. Then we se her have a breakdown after trying to find a villain lair, resulting in the team going into her mind to rescue her. During this time, we get the joke about stripper rules and not touching anything in Harley’s memories. Unfortunately, not everyone listens and the show focuses on escaping her mind, while changing her origin story that is glitched. By the end of the episode, we see a new Harley, new lair and new teammate.
Compared to the humor and jokes in previous episodes, this episode felt lighter. We got a meta joke with Suicide Squad. We got a joke about stripper rules and 11 year old Frankie Munez. and we got a joke about the landlord being a former spy. All of this was spread out throughout the episode and not as heavy or bouncing from joke to joke, like previous episodes. Seeing Harley take a good look at herself and change herself to what she wants to be, allowed for the series to deliver a somewhat more touching episode compared to what they’ve done before.
In previous episodes, the show focused on a villain trope and found a way to turn it on its head. Episode 5 decided it would rather focus a little on Harley’s lair, and more on how she ended up as a villain, allowing for some humor and dark jokes along the way. This resulted in an episode that would rather focus less on beating people up and its dark humor, and more on developing Harley as a character and showing her progress past her old trauma.
While not as fluid and engaging as previous episodes, due to a different tonal quality, the episode did showcase what the show can be at times. Focusing on her past and changing, demonstrates that the showrunners might do the same for other members of her team who are trying to better themselves. We could see Dr. Psycho working towards changing his word choices. We could see Clayface doing more to be an actor. We could see Ivy start to accept working as part of a team, rather than a lone female villain. All of these are possibilities in the episodes to come, that could impact the end result of the series. Though not as humorous as previous episodes, this one was good in a different sense, and I’m curious if they’ll try other tonal shifts and character focuses in later episodes.