Spoiler Warning for Harley Quinn S01E10, Trigger Warnings for violence, death, and suicide
Welp, we’re ramping up into the finale now, much like with the previous season! While the second season has been more interconnected than the previous season, this looks like we’re getting a straight shot of storyline until the season ends, much like how the last four episodes of the first season did that.
So, let’s dive right into this first part!
We open in the mall, with Harley, King Shark, and Clayface returning from the bachelor and bachelorette parties of the previous episode. Harley’s sporting new attire from Themiscyra (a themed t-shirt and baseball hat) that she didn’t have on at the end of the previous episode, but I’ll go ahead and assume she put that on as part of her emotional armor, since we see her struggling to project an air of normalcy and stability for her friends.
Clayface and King Shark aren’t entirely buying it, but don’t want to press the issue and soon leave. Harley’s not alone though, with Sy (in case you’ve forgotten him since he hasn’t appeared in a few episodes, he’s the cyborg in a wheelchair voiced by Jason Alexander) popping up to get her to open up about her feelings and problems. She does to a certain extent but decides the best route is to go get drunk and have a hookup.
This takes her to the bar at the top of Wayne Tower, where after briefly tolerating a man blathering about John Mayer she finds out that the now sane and amnesiac Joker is working as a bartender, having made quite the upward climb from the dive where Harley frequents to here. Harley is not happy to see him, which is understandable given her current, very poor, mental and emotional state. Being alright with him existing is one thing, being alright with being right in front of him is another. She attempts to leave, but amnesiac!Joker stops her, pointing out that the parademons didn’t all retreat into the portal back to Apokolips and that the Wayne bar is the only safe bar due to the reinforced glass and walls. Harley is intent on leaving regardless, only for a group of armed men in ski masks to pop up and take everyone hostage.
Harley attempts to escape, since her dress is a rental, but amnesiac!Joker distracts her, getting her knocked out by the leader of the thugs. She wakes up to find that she and he have been handcuffed together, but she kills one of the thugs and they escape through an air vent. Along the way, amnesiac!Joker gets her to open up about what’s bothering her, allowing her to vent about both the situation with Ivy and her recent relationship with…well, him. He’s kind, positive, non-flirty, and altogether a good guy, and she’s able to get a lot off her chest. While they’re conversing however, they stumble upon Riddler.
It turns out that Harley putting him on hamster wheel for…an undetermined period of months has resulted in him becoming buff, though I’m unclear on why months of running and doing nothing else would give him muscular arms and pecs. And, more pressingly, it turns out that the hostage situation is in fact a misdirect for him to steal a special helmet from the tower. Harley and amnesiac!Joker flee as Riddler shoots electricity at them from his cane, eventually coming upon another lab within the tower, where they manage to cut their handcuffs with a laser while being shot at by Riddler’s henchmen.
Harley gets taken down by a taser disc in the lab, but amnesiac!Joker has a moment of reverting to being the Joker and stabs the man in the eye before laughing maniacally. Harley slaps him, restoring him to his more benevolent and fearful personality, and they head up to the heliport where they find the Batplane, piloted by Gordon (Batman allowed him to do so to take down the parademons). Gordon recognizes amnesiac!Joker immediately (as did Riddler actually, making it kind of odd that it took Ivy so long, though I suppose her disinterest in men and humans in general can excuse that) and tackles him, cuffing him. This results in another reversion, but he’s snapped out of it when Gordon bodily throws him into the Batplane.
Gordon declares that he feels Joker and Harley must be together again, with Harley snapping that that’s not the case. Before they can truly get into an argument though, Clayface, Sy, and King Shark show up, claiming to have gotten a text. Harley’s confused, since she didn’t text them, but then Riddler opens the door to the helipad, followed shortly by Psycho. It turns out that the two don’t hate each other at all, and share a mutual respect. The helmet Riddler stole amplifies Psycho’s powers, and allows him to take control of all the parademons in Gotham, ranting about how he’ll kill Harley and how much he hates her.
A fight ensues, with King Shark, Clayface, and Sy getting to demonstrate how effective they can be in combat. Eventually Psycho decides he’s had enough and creates a force field around the tower, then takes control of King Shark and Clayface, with Sy escaping due to a metal plate in his head. Things go south for a bit, but Gordon gets in the Batplane while the villains are distracted by Harley and Sy and manages to turn things around. They’re still trapped though, and need to get out so they can get more help. Sy decides to sacrifice himself, giving Harley his cyborg eye and standing up for the first time in the series. The pair give a tearful goodbye, and then Sy mocks Psycho for his betrayal before rocketing up into the force field. It’s a serious moment, played for all it’s worth and done quite well.
Harley, Gordon, and amnesiac!Joker escape, with the latter of the three revealing that he’s had dreams about doing something to the book of fables the Justice League were trapped in, but always wakes up before seeing where he puts it. A despondent and distraught Harley gets Gordon to drop them off at Ace Chemicals and, determined to clean up her mess (as the parademons are present because of her) pushes amnesiac!Joker into a vat of chemicals, trying to turn him back into the Joker so he’ll remember where to find the book. We end somberly again, with Harley staring sadly into the vat.
This was definitely a better episode than the previous one. It hit some good beats, had some good character moments, some good jokes, and was all around just generally good. Psycho’s turn feels earned and makes sense, as it’s always felt a little bit…off, having him be in the crew, and it fits his personality. So that was particularly good. But the episode wasn’t without its flaws. Sy and amnesiac!Joker have both left the show a bit too soon for the full impact of their losses to really hit. It’s definitely sad and heavy, particularly Sy, but not nearly enough.
With the case of the amnesiac!Joker, it’s mainly the fault of the formatting of the show. Longer episodes, or a longer season, could have allowed for more time spent with him. But since we only see him in two episodes, most of the sadness over his fate comes from knowing that it means the Joker will return, and pity for his girlfriend and her children who’ll likely never learn what happened to the man they loved. We know enough about him to like him, but not enough to be attached. With Sy…they just didn’t use him enough, and they had two seasons with him. Despite being a member of the crew he barely appeared this season, to the extent that his appearance at the beginning of this episode was noteworthy. I was sad when he died, but I can’t help but wonder how much sadder I’d feel if we’d had more time with him. How much sadder I’d be if it had been King Shark, Clayface, or even Kite Man.
Still, while this wasn’t the greatest episode, it was definitely a good one! Thank y’all for reading, and see you next week!