Harley Quinn 02×09 “Bachelorette” (Review)

May 29, 2020

Harley Quinn
DC Universe

Season 2, Episode 9 “Bachelorette”

Spoilers Ahead

The Harley Quinn Show Stumbles in An Episode Which Embraces Its Immature Side

The Harley Quinn show has so far been very consistent in quality. Each episode has delighted fans with its character treatment and references to the overall DC lore. The show has actually given depth to Ivy’s character, built up the Injustice League, and even featured Darkseid himself in the previous episode. What differentiates the DC Universe TV show from other DC shows is its spot on humour. A lot of the show is simply parody. Notably Bane and Gordon have been parodied in previous episodes and played off for jokes. However, the show is at its best when it draws a fine line between being parodic and being over the top. This has perhaps served Harley’s crew especially well in the cases of Dr. Psycho and Clayface. Gordon’s characterisation often went too far but the show has quickly gotten the character back on track in recent episodes. The biggest challenge that the show faces now is how to handle the romantic relationship between Harley and Ivy.

Throughout the course of the show, the relationship between Harley and Ivy has blossomed into a beautiful friendship. Ivy has grown so much as a character from an insecure eco-terrorist to a confident person with actual friends. Harley meanwhile has learned to be less selfish after her emancipation from the Joker. The question thus always remained whether their friendship could become something more. The show has teed this up for quite a while now. After the shock kiss two weeks ago, however, Ivy and Harley did not get in last week’s episode. Instead, the two dismissed it as a joke. Ivy went back to her “normal” life with Kite Man, but Harley, on the other hand, was clearly affected. After everything had settled down, though, Harley still kept quiet about her true feelings setting up this week’s episode focused on the bachelorette party.

Bachelorette Party

As Ivy’s maid of honour, Harley has taken it upon herself to organise a bachelorette party. Present is an odd group consisting of Catwoman, Nora Fries, and Jennifer. Ivy has few female friends apart from Harley and it is questionable whether these women could even be considered as friends. They certainly are not enjoying the bachelorette party and they make no attempt at first to please Ivy. It is only when Harley threatens them that they make an effort. This is a perfect way to highlight that Harley was Ivy’s first real friend. Previously, Ivy distanced herself from everyone and even afterward she has been unable to find friends like Harley. The fact that one of the women present, Jennifer, is Ivy’s kindergarten friend just shows how few friendships she has made since. By assembling this group for the bachelorette party, the writers are not retconning anything which has been previously established; instead, they are respecting the canon and building on it.

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The destination of choice for the bachelorette party is Themyscira. The beautiful island, Themyscira, is the home of an all-woman group, the Amazons. The Amazons are a group of warrior women with strict moral and religious customs. The presence of a resort in Themyscira is certainly strange then. That is because Lex Luthor is trying to buy out the island for his own personal gain. Like any other episode, this one is packed with special cameos, including Hippolyta and even the Invisible Jet, and other elements of Wonder Woman mythos which are sure to delight DC fans. Unfortunately, this episode falls short in many other regards.

It feels like the show has gone on vacation abandoning its sturdy characterisation in favour of lazy writing. The bachelorette party is unnecessarily raunchy losing some of the show’s previous depth. Nora cheating on Victor after his death just feels off. Nora has clearly quickly gotten over Victor undermining the romance between them established in the show’s best episode, “Thawing Hearts”. The show goes for quick laughs and lazy writing in the case of Jennifer as she too cheats on her husband. While Catwoman is handled well enough, her character is completely wasted in this episode; she does not get much to do other than listening to Harley. It is a real shame that the episode cannot treat its supporting cast properly especially since previous episodes have excelled in that regard. As for Harley and Ivy, their relationship has its ups and downs in this episode and it is sure to be contentious.

Harley and Ivy Finally Hook Up

After so much teasing, Harley and Ivy finally hook up in this episode. The group of women party at the bachelorette and things get out of hand, to say the least. While it is great to see Harley and Ivy in a romantic relationship, the issue of Kite Man needs to be resolved. Ivy has spent so much of the show growing as a character and has developed a really good relationship with Kite Man. However, the show’s recent handling of that relationship has not been so impressive and Ivy’s characterisation feels off. Ivy cheated on Kite Man with Harley, chose not to tell him, then acted normal. Even in this episode, after hooking up, things go down pretty much the same way. Ivy is painted as an awful character who abandons her friend crying to at the end go off with Kite Man whom she is not even being honest with. Harley and Ivy hooking up is a good pay off – A romantic relationship between the two is deserved; however, it has not been handled in the best way by the writers. They have constantly postponed any major fallout and will likely eventually go down a predictable route when everything comes out in the open. For a show which prides itself on being different, this turn to Ivy’s love life feels predictable and simply boring.

What this episode does excel in is illustrating the lengths to which Harley will go to for Ivy. Harley organises Ivy’s bachelorette party and gets all the women in line to please Ivy. Harley is a dedicated friend who really cares about Ivy. Their friendship has been built up so much throughout the course of the show and it is great to see Harley now acting selflessly after her emancipation from Joker. A romantic relationship between the two may have its ups and downs but for now, their friendship more than delivers.

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King Shark’s Disappointing Call Back Home

While the women are on their bachelorette party, the rest of the characters are on Kite Man’s bachelor party. Unlike with the bachelorette party, the writers go for something much more simple for the bachelor party. Kite Man and the others are just relaxing on a boat playing poker. Its genius lies in its simplicity as the writers focus on the crew as a whole including King Shark, Clayface, and even Frank the Plant. This is a group of friends just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company like in normal life. This part of the story was all going so well until the lobster appeared.

The lobster’s arrival signals that King Shark needs to return home. His father needs him to return to the seas to marry Tabitha so that there can be an alliance between the sharks and the hammerheads. This storyline is just annoying and completely unnecessary. The lobster’s song is unbearably immature. King Shark’s seeming decision to defy his father is powerful but then completely undone offscreen – this is completely anticlimactic and undermines his character growth. There is probably nothing redeemable in this storyline and stands as the worst of the show. This is what happens when the show leans too much into parody; the result is not even humorous.

Conclusion

Overall, this episode marks a low point for the Harley Quinn show and stands as one of the worst episodes of the show. “Bachelorette” embraces the worst aspects of the show and is much worse off for it. It feels like the show has gone on vacation storywise. From a rude song to male strippers, the show has become very immature and the writing feels lazy. That is not to say that “Bachelorette” is a bad episode of television. Quite the contrary. The episode is worth a watch if simply for the new takes on the DC mythos. It may not be worth a rewatch but the Harley Quinn show is still good even at its worst. The show’s main strength has always been to offer new, humorous takes on the characters by placing them in real-life situations. This episode perhaps takes the concept too far but nevertheless still makes for an enjoyable watch even with its flaws.

Pros:

  • Odd bachelorette group
  • Resort in Themyscira
  • Wonder Woman lore
  • Cameo appearances
  • Harley goes all out for Ivy
  • Bachelor party

Cons:

  • Bachelorette antics
  • Ivy’s characterisation
  • King Shark’s storyline

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