Harley Quinn pursues emotion over comedy

Whereas the show has bounced between emotional developments to comic tropes to comedic standalone episodes, the latest focuses more on the emotional aspect of the series by coming full circle with the characters.

Since episode two, the show made it clear what Harley wanted to achieve, join the Legion of Doom to become acknowledged as Joker’s equal. Each episode leading up to this moment focused on some aspect of Harley achieving the goal. We’ve seen her get a crew, achieve notoriety through heists, a secret lair and more. What the show has chosen to do however, is lose some of the humorous charm and hyperviolence in favor of emotional appeals.

Initially, I expected the show to be more on par with Archer, Family Guy or Deadpool, but with only a few episodes left, the show has chosen its own path. Instead of focusing largely on providing a parody of a genre, the show has instead become more serious with humor taking a back seat. We now see Ivy and Harley have a rift in their relationship and are watching how it will unfold in the next few episodes. We know that Harley feels some amount of regret, while Ivy is open to starting over, but the show left it on a cliffhanger as to what we’ll get.

After next weeks trailer, it looks like Harley will officially get some acknowledgement or a wrench in her plan as Joker is involved in her initiation. This leads me to believe that this encounter will push Harley away from being in the Legion and acknowledge her own power by the end of the series, something that Ivy had been saying since early on.

While the show focuses on these more serious issues and the comedy has been put second that doesn’t mean that the show is without humor. We saw King Shark getting into a fight with fish in a tank, and we saw Aquaman being made a fool. These situations brought laughter and light to an otherwise serious and emotional episode.

As the show approaches its last few episodes, my current judgement of the series remains that it is still better than Titans seasons 1 and 2, but the show is not without its own problems. Shifting genres and what’s most important from episode to episode gives a feel of confusion and eccentricity to the series. In the previous episode we got comedy from hyperviolence as a result of recruiting Queen of Fables. We’ve also gotten episodes focused on Gordon and Batman’s relationship, compared to early on with crashing a party or destroying a villains lair to make a statement. The stark difference in the plot of each episode and whether it lends itself more to comedy or drama elements makes for an inconsistent series.

Does Harley Quinn remain entertaining and funny? Yes. This however doesn’t negate the fact that the show needs to find a better way to incorporate the serious and comedic elements, from the repeated tonal shifts, before I can put it on par with a show like Doom Patrol; whose plot and tone remained consistent throughout.

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