It’s another slow week on Harley Quinn, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good one. This show has consistently proven that it can be one of the best comic book properties around even when there’s very little going on, and that’s exactly what we get here
‘All the Best Inmates Have Daddy Issues’ is basically all flashback after Harley and Ivy run into a man they think could be the Joker resurrected. The subsequent conversation shows us the beginnings of Harley and Joker’s relationship back when she was Dr Quinzel, introduces us to Harvey Dent before he was Two-Face, and shows us the more brutal stages of Joker’s relationship with Batman.
It’s a doozy of an episode all-round, with particular credit going to the writing this week. The episode takes a step backwards and does something different while still remaining true to the established core of the show, and that’s not something that’s easy to do. The Joker’s hold on Harleen is fascinating to watch unfold, and the beginnings of her bond with Poison Ivy are also really sweet – honestly, don’t we all want a bestie who loves us as much as these two love each other?
Fair play, too, to the writers for letting Harleen be the one to figure out the Joker’s plan, rather than Batman. As in The Dark Knight’s infamous interrogation scene, the bat’s fists have no effect on the Clown Prince of Crime (although it is a great scene to watch unfold), and it’s only Harleen’s words that eventually get through to him. Kaley Cuoco and Alan Tudyk are stunning to watch together, as ever, and it’s a dynamic that’s been missing this season with the Joker’s absence.
We also get a nice nod to The Killing Joke with Joker’s fabricated backstory that turns into one of the show’s most poignant moments yet when we realise that the story the Joker told of an abusive father was not his, but was in fact Ivy’s. Harley’s realisation of this brings the two closer than ever, and as much as we love Ivy and Kite Man, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a Harley/Ivy romance before too long.
It’s another unsurprisingly strong entry from DC’s best ongoing project, and as Harley Quinn starts inevitably revving up towards the season finale, we’re on the edge of our seat waiting for what happens next.
HARLEY QUINN continues on E4 on Mondays and is available via ALL4, Amazon, and Apple thereafter.