Harley Quinn 02×08 “Inner (Para) Demons” (Review)

Spoilers Ahead

After Last Week’s Tease, Harley’s Emotions Take A Violent Turn in This Wild Harley Quinn Episode Featuring Parademons

Last week’s episode of Harley Quinn ended with quite the cliff-hanger. Harley and Ivy kissed. However, that was just the cherry on top. The last episode was one of the best so far of the show. Fans saw Bane at his most threatening, redemption for Jim Gordon, a Two-Face takedown, and much more. Jim Gordon’s comeback especially was a long-time payoff with his character having previously brought to the lowest of lows. As for Bane, he got his grand moment in the legendary pit and actually served as the villain of the episode instead of as the butt of jokes. The episode also saw Two-Face and the rest of the Injustice League taken down leaving Harley as the only major “villain” left standing. And then the duo’s grand moment topped it all off.

Harley and Ivy’s relationship has come so far in this show. Harley was the first person who showed actual compassion to Ivy. Instead of being a villainous character, Ivy is by far the most relatable character on the show and she learned to embrace the pair’s friendship. Harley has also gone on quite the journey finally getting her emancipation from the Joker at the end of the last season. Harley and Ivy have only become more inseparable since. The show has previously teased at a romantic aspect to their relationship e.g. the hand holding. This would be a comic book accurate way to go and the writers have said previously that it was their intention to go down this route. The obvious obstacle in their way is Kite Man. What happens to Kite Man when Harley and Ivy kiss? The relationship between Ivy and Kite Man has been built up so much as well and it would be heart-breaking to see it all fall apart. Therefore, the question remaining is what happens now after the kiss?

The Emotional Aftermath

The response to the kiss by Harley and Ivy is interesting to say the least. Even with this tease and many rejoicing about a potential romantic relationship, the show is still not taking that plunge. It probably is inevitable down the line in later episodes of this season but in this episode such a romantic relationship does not happen. 

These characters are complicated, and the show has continually respected them enough to illustrate that. Ivy started out isolated and insecure but now she has grown in confidence and finally settled into a great relationship with Kite Man. This kiss could not come at a worse time for Ivy. Kite Man and Ivy are currently planning their wedding. Instead of confronting a potential romance, however, Ivy and Harley decide to dismiss it as just a silly, in the moment thing. The characters are too afraid to admit what the kiss really meant for fear of the consequences. Despite what just happened, Ivy is clearly sticking by Kite Man and tries her best at first to please Kite Man’s parents for his sake. This is an Ivy who has come so far. Ivy has finally found happiness. When Kite Man’s parents ridicule their own son, Ivy defends him in a really satisfying moment. 

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Ivy just continues on with her normal life – She might display some signs of being affected but her emotions pale in comparison to Harley’s. Pretending it never happened, Ivy does not tell Kite Man about the kiss. Ivy has just cheated on Kite Man and now she does not tell him. Kite Man will probably discover what happened in a future episode causing their relationship to fall apart. The storyline is taking an annoying predictable turn using a well worn out trope to potentially ruin a relationship that has been built up so much. One can only hope that the show handles the potential breakup in a more satisfactory manner.

As for Harley, however much she might pretend that she is fine with moving on, the kiss had a big impact on her. The writers capitalise on this moment by painting Harley as reckless and most importantly insecure. In denial, Harley lets her emotions get the better of her lashing out by bringing a war to Gotham. 

Journey to Apokolips

Driven by her emotions, Harley and her team aim to make a big statement with chaos and destruction. Luckily for Harley, Dr. Psycho is at hand to help. The show puts the spotlight on Dr. Psycho in this episode – He is the standout character. The writers give him autonomy and an individual voice. Instead of him just being part of Harley’s crew, Psycho has his own aims and wants to be a proper villain again. Psycho is aggressive and excited about villainy as he pushes Harley along on the course to destruction. He is the one who comes up with the plan to travel to Apokolips, meet Darkseid, and lead the parademons to Gotham. 

The journey to Apolokips in this episode is sure to delight fans with special cameo appearances from characters including Mister Miracle, Darkseid, and even Granny Goodness! The show has so far covered so many aspects of the DC mythos, but this takes it to the next level. It is amazing seeing Harley and her crew interact with these characters. Even more exciting is seeing Harley get a Granny Goodness inspired costume before leading her own parademon army. The chaos may get out of hand at times losing its emotional grounding. Nevertheless, the Apokolips stuff is fantastic, and the episode does return to its emotional centre by the end. 

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Jim Gordon is Gotham’s New Saviour

The last person standing against Harley Quinn is oddly Jim Gordon. A few episodes ago no one would have thought of Gordon as anything other than a failure. The show has quickly turned around the character into “a damn good cop” who now aims to restore Gotham to the United States. The only person standing in his way is Harley Quinn since the President is demanding that Gordon eliminates her as a threat. Therefore, Gordon raises all his forces including large tanks to take on Harley Quinn.

Batgirl meanwhile tries to reason with both of them: Harley and Gordon. She tries to persuade them not to fight each other. Her comments however have no effect and only make Harley and Gordon more determined to go to war with each other. Batgirl’s lack of effectiveness is played off for jokes and it is annoying seeing her sidelined like this when she has been positioned as a great successor to Batman. It does serve the story though teeing up a great standoff between the two. The show is fully leaning into the wilder parts of the DC mythos – bringing a bold Gordon, a powerful Harley, and parademons into the mix is a perfect way to do just that.

Conclusion

This new episode explores the emotional fallout of last week’s big moment. Harley is unleashed and up to all sorts of chaos. While the show does not yet reveal its plans going forward concerning a romantic relationship between Harley and Ivy, Harley’s actions in this episode are a consequence of that kiss between the two. The visit to Apokolips is sure to delight fans with special cameo appearances and the show rightly puts the spotlight on Dr. Psycho with all his aggression as he makes this happen. Fans of Jim Gordon will also not be disappointed as he has made quite the comeback. Gordon has taken up the task of eliminating Harley Quinn and he even raises an army of his own. The chaos may get out of hand at times and Batgirl’s appearance is disappointing; however, this episode is not one to miss if simply due to the inclusion of Darkseid.

Pros:

  • Ivy takes on Kite Man’s parents
  • Harley’s anger
  • Dr. Psycho 
  • Apokolips characters and locations
  • Jim Gordon goes all out

Cons:

  • Ivy lying to Kite Man
  • Batgirl
  • Sometimes the episode gets lost in the chaos
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