With the standalone filler episode the previous week, the latest episode focuses on Harley’s time spent as Joker’s therapist; after seeing a bartender that looks like him, but without makeup.
This flashbacks biggest draw was seeing how the showrunners decide o turn the traditional origin on its head.
Unlike Season 1, where she rewrites her past and turning into Harley, we instead get the moments that start to lead to that evolution.
In doing so, the show gives shared focus to seasonal villain, Two-Face, Joker and her friend, Poison Ivy.
Seeing how the characters come to be in some capacity was done well at times, though Ivy mostly cleans up over time, while her personality and relationship to Harley remains fairly consistent in the past.
Whereas the two are now best friends who have each others backs; We see Harley help Ivy after seeing her get burnt. This in turn sparks Ivy to save Harley from Joker.
Something we’ve seen recurring before, the interactions in the past where close to current interactions.
The largest changes to the past origin and current characters were Two-Face, Commissioner Gordon and how Harley handles her first meeting.
In typical Harley Quinn fashion, we see a slimmer Gordon and Harvey Dent as they waste time in a push-up competition, before Harley’s arrival. This was different from the drunk and slobbish Gordon we have now or the Harvey Dent who’s more of a mastermind and has less charisma.
Another different aspect was the decision to use Harvey’s running for office as a recurring joke. At every moment they could, the writers excessively nail home getting people to vote and doing things that make him look good for election. A caricature of politics, these were some of the better jokes in an otherwise more serious episode.
Having changed both Two-Face and Gordon, the episodes other biggest change was Harley’s meetings with Joker and Ivy. in the traditional sense, we see less of them meeting in the same room or her helping Ivy escape, and we see more focus on Jokers acting.
However, this episode turns it on its head by delivering a large focus on Ivy and Harley already developing a strong friendship back then. We also see Joker pseudo-dancing with Harley, only to draw a smiley face on her in pen.
We also see Joker focusing on his Dad sleeping with the maid and killing his ferret. These were all lies and based around Ivy’s life, but the difference and how Tudyk delivers these parts in the story helped make this episode. I like how we have a different kind of telling that worked for giving the cliff notes on Harley’s past, while finding a way to parody the original storyline.
While not as consistently funny as earlier episodes this season, the showrunners did find a way to parody an iconic backstory some more, especially with how they treated Two-Face.
What the episode needed more in the backstory, would’ve been going larger in finding more parts to parody to this iconic story. I love when they go further at parodying tropes or taking canon storylines and finding ways to parody it in this show, but they didn’t go as far in this episode as they could’ve.