Harley Quinn 02×12 “Lovers’ Quarrel” (Review)

Spoilers Ahead

The Harley Quinn Show Gets a Justice League Sized Boost

The latest arc of the Harley Quinn show has prominently featured the parademons with Dr. Psycho at the helm. Psycho, once just another member of Harley’s crew, has become a villain in his own right and now threatens everyone and everything. After Harley Quinn failed, Psycho has taken up the task of world domination in accordance with Darkseid’s wishes. The cost of Psycho’s war has already been devastating having claimed Sy’s life.

The last episode brought more cheer and was sure to delight fans as Harley and Joker teamed up and the Justice League was rescued from the Book of Fables. Not everything went according to plan though since Psycho had one last secret weapon. One especially close to Harley’s heart: Ivy. Dr. Psycho has psychic abilities and the helmet has only amplified his powers allowing him to completely control Ivy and turn her against her own friends. The episode thus ended on quite the cliffhanger with Ivy under mind control going up against Harley and the Justice League.

Poison Ivy as the Villain

And now Poison Ivy bends to Dr. Psycho’s will. This episode picks up right where the cliffhanger left off with Ivy facing down Harley, the Joker, and the other heroes. Despite her close friendship with Harley, Ivy goes full out villain as she goes head to head with her friend determined to kill her. Poison Ivy is a formidable force to be reckoned with and she even singlehandedly takes on the entire Justice League. Ivy uses her powers to control plant life and the Justice League fights back. This makes for some amazing action sequences that definitely stand among the best on the Harley Quinn show. Making Ivy as the antagonist works so well since it allows for small scale and large scale moments. The episode is of such epic proportions as it features the JL and even Darkseid but the smaller and more personal moments involving Harley and Ivy also make an impact. An Ivy without any agency being brought into this fight may seem like a lazy plot device but the show could not have utilised it better.

Harley Teams Up With Kite Man

With Ivy under Psycho’s control, Harley needs to think of a plan and act quickly. To free Ivy, Harley and Kite Man, Ivy’s two lovers, must team up. Kite Man’s character in all this has been handled quite badly since the first season really established his relationship with Ivy but now he just feels like a third wheel. His desperation in this episode in front of Harley could not be more annoying given the love triangle. If only the show had actually addressed Ivy’s romantic relationships beforehand so that she could reach a meaningful decision. Instead, they have left it to the last moment to address it at the end of this episode and presumably for the majority of the next one, the finale. Nevertheless, this storyline is a fun albeit sometimes unnecessary excursion that distracts from the overall story. Sy being brought back to life in some form makes for humorous interactions with Kite Man and Harley but it kind of undermines his sacrifice in the previous episode. The key elements of this storyline are essential to take on Dr. Psycho but a lot of the side story outstays its welcome.

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Darkseid’s Plans

Darkseid had something terrible in store for Earth. In this episode, the grand ruler of Apokolips watches over his parademon hoard which he has bestowed on Dr. Psycho. Darkseid’s intent is to take over the Earth and in the process kill Harley Quinn for betraying him. Darkseid is the big bad of the DC Universe so it makes sense that he would be there for this Earth-shattering event which everything has built up to. Darkseid’s design looks great featuring the Omega symbol and his classic eyes. Hopefully, fans will get to see his Omega Beams in a future episode.

Once again, the show excels at parody simultaneously portraying Darkseid as an intimidating presence and someone who can naturally fit in with the ridiculously over the top characters of this world. At one point, Darkseid is an impassive, threatening villain; at another point, he is actively excited about how the fight between Harley and Ivy will turn out. Speaking of the fight, instead of merely killing Harley Quinn, he has decided to do something even more despicable: Pit best friends, Harley and Ivy, against each other in a battle to the death. Like all great villains, however, Psycho’s arrogance proves to be his undoing.

Love Conquers All

In Psycho’s arrogance, he has pitted Harley and Ivy against each other but little does he know what true love can do. Kite Man sadly tried and failed so it’s all up to Harley. As Darkseid and Dr. Psycho watch on eagerly, Ivy goes head to head with Harley in mortal combat despite Harley’s pleas. All seems lost but then in the spur of the moment, Harley kisses Ivy. Unlike with Kite Man, Harley’s kiss brings Ivy back to old self free from Psycho’s control. Everything revolves perfectly around this well constructed moment that has been built up throughout the show. Unlike Harley’s previous kiss which divided the pair, this kiss saves Ivy and unites them against Psycho. The writers are clearly trying to say that Harley’s love is better than Kite Man’s since it saved Ivy. The storyline with Sy even pays off as the mind control blockers prevent Psycho from controlling the pair. He could have just killed Harley but he went for an elaborate show which in the end cost him dearly. Darkseid even turns against him having gained a newfound respect for Harley. Psycho is now outnumbered and has well and truly lost.

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The only thing Dr. Psycho can do now is ruin it for everyone else. Using his powers, Psycho dramatically exposes Harley’s romantic relationship with Ivy to the world. The montage is amazing featuring basically everyone alive in this world from the Joker to Gordon to Bane (Yes, Bane is alive). This perfectly captures how expansive and incredible the world is that the Harley Quinn show has built up. There is one character whom this revelation is likely to hit the hardest: Kite Man. Poison Ivy’s fiancĂ©, now awake, finds out about her infidelity. And that is how the episode ends.

Conclusion

The Harley Quinn show goes all out this week and the scale is of epic proportions. After bringing the Justice League back, this episode makes use of them pitting them against a villainous Ivy. The action sequences are amazing as Ivy becomes a full blown villain controlling the plant life albeit under the control of Dr. Psycho. The League’s greatest villain, Darkseid, the ruler of Apokolips, is an intimidating presence as he watches everything unfold. The final montage features a host of cameos and even reveals that Bane is alive! While this is on a grand scale, the smaller, more personal moments also make an impact. This episode truly feels like the culmination of the Harley Quinn show and everything it has been working towards. For fans and casual viewers alike, this is a must-watch to see fan favourite characters in action. Watch for a different, more satirical take on them which also has the heart to back it up. The cliffhanger tops everything off in perfect fashion. Stay tuned for the much anticipated Season 2 finale next week.

Pros:

  • Ivy’s powers shown off
  • Justice League battle sequences
  • Darkseid
  • Cameo appearances
  • Love triangle cliffhanger

Cons:

  • Handling of Kite Man
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