The gays have arrived in Harley Quinn, folks, and it was glorious. That’s right, this week’s episode ‘There’s No Place to Go but Down’ (itself a hilarious title in light of the recent Batman/Catwoman discourse) finally gave fans what we’ve been wanting for so long: Harley and Ivy kissed!
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because this is a bumper episode all-round, and there’s plenty to discuss. The main plot this week sees Harley and Ivy sentenced to life imprisonment in The Pit with all of Gotham’s other criminals, while the B-plot follows Jim Gordon as he vows to clean himself up and take back the city – with a little help from Batgirl, of course.
As a whole piece, this is one of the show’s strongest instalments so far – it may even be the strongest. Everyone gets their due, and the two plots work beautifully in sync as Harley, Ivy, Jim, and Barbara all finally learn to love and appreciate what they have in front of them. Harley and Jim get the most play as they’re the ones with the biggest issues, and seeing each of them put their own ego to one side and do what’s best for the important people in their lives is a really special and emotional moment for each character.
Harley admitting that she loves Ivy (in either a romantic or platonic sense, it doesn’t matter all that much) before sacrificing herself so Ivy can be free of The Pit is a beautiful moment, because it shows just how much she’s grown as a character. The Harley of early days season one would never have dreamed of doing this, but for our current Harley it’s a no-brainer. She loves Ivy, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make her happy – it’s as simple and beautiful as that.
Jim’s arc is similarly emotional: we’ve only seen him be unstable and a tad off the rails so far in the show, but we’ve seen enough flashes of brilliance that we know there’s a damn good cop hidden somewhere underneath all the booze. When Two-Face’s attempt on his life forces Barbara to come clean about being Batgirl, Jim finally gets the kick he’s needed to get his shit together and take control of his life again. It’s sweet and badass all at once, and we couldn’t have hoped for a better redemption arc for old Jim.
We get some great villain moments this week, too: Bane gets a great amount of play as The Pit’s warden (he’s so picky it’s almost adorable), and we get introduced to some other DC classics including Killer Croc and Mr Zsasz (both of whom we hope to see more of going forward).
But, of course, the big moment this week was THAT KISS. It’s been a long time coming, and it feels completely genuine and earned by the writing team. We’ve no idea where things will go next, and, judging by the looks of surprise on their faces, neither do Harley and Ivy, but it’s so great to see some fantastic LGBTQ+ representation in a comic book property (especially when most others are trailing far behind). It’s a wonderful moment that caps off a damn-near-perfect episode, and we can’t wait to see what happens next.
HARLEY QUINN continues on E4 on Mondays and is available via ALL4, Amazon, and Apple thereafter.