Harley Quinn debuts new episodes on Fridays via the DC Universe streaming platform in North America. International air dates are yet to be confirmed.
In search of a nemesis, Harley goes after Batman (Diedrich Bader) but ends p with an adolescent Robin (Jacob Tremblay), making her the laughing stock of the criminal underworld.
This week Harley Quinn takes a more ensemble approach to its storyline. Though the titular Quinn (Kaley Cuoco) remains at the centre of the action, the spotlight shines heavily on her new supporting crew including the addition of King Shark (Ron Funches).
This is easily the busiest episode of the series to-date and that’s saying a lot for a show which already includes a handful of villains on top of Batman, Commissioner Gordon and Wonder Woman all also appearing.
“Finding Mr. Right” adds Robin (Tremblay), Superman (James Wolk) and Lois Lane (Natalie Morales) to the roster of characters and deep cuts from the DC Universe.
Writer Jess Dweck (The Tonight Show) is able to balance the large ensemble well throughout the episode. Though it feels busy it is in-keeping with the frenetic nature of the series and doesn’t feel like overstuffed nightmare, instead feeling like a comedy road trip through the DCU.
The episode employs some clever misdirection in setting up the conflict between Quinn and the Boy Wonder. When Harley steals the Batmobile, cleverly using a mix of Batman’s voice to circumvent the controls the show calls back to its pilot episode and is another example of the tight storytelling of Harley Quinn.
The scenes build to a confrontation between Quinn and the Dark Knight who is quickly revealed to be Robin and things quickly escalate. Though Quinn is able to best the 12 year-old Damian, it doesn’t earn her the respect of the villainous underworld or the Legion of Doom and she quickly becomes even more of a laughing stock.
Her hunt for a nemesis leads her to take Lois Lane prisoner which, of course, brings our first appearance of Superman. What does become evident is how Harley Quinn portrays its female characters as strong and empowered, Lois barely bats an eyelid at being taken hostage, but Superman and the other male characters are often played for laughs.
I’m not accusing the show of being sexist, not by a long shot. What I’m saying is the writing cleverly places the female leads ahead of their male counterparts in a way which doesn’t necessarily betray their source material but allows them to often be the punchline of a joke.
It supports the overall ethos of the show well and isn’t particularly alienating to any gender watching the show.
Recalling the success of The Tawny Show from the previous episode (reviewed here) much of the story plays out in front of a live studio audience as the situation becomes more-and-more preposterous. From shark tanks, to Ivy attacks and another appearance from Alan Tudyk’s delightful Joker, it all takes place in front of the cameras with Lois, Superman and also Wonder Woman watching from home.
It offers Harley Quinn the chance to become insanely meta as it pokes fun at its own storytelling devices (Bat-Joke-Ley anyone??) in the most brilliant way.
Ultimately “Finding Mr. Right” doesn’t forward the overall narrative of Harley Quinn particularly. It’s easily the most standalone episode of the season to-date but also one of its most fun. The writers are clearly still flexing their muscles and that’s entirely fine with me.
Harley Quinn delivers its most bash*t crazy episode to date, overflowing with DC characters and outlandish action sequences. It’s got a Robin, sharks and a show down on the set of a talk show… what more could you ask for?
Harley Quinn stars Kaley Cuoco as the voice of Harley, and she’ll be joined by Lake Bell, Alan Tudyk, Ron Funches, JB Smoove, Jason Alexander, Wanda Sykes, Giancarlo Esposito, Natalie Morales, Jim Rash, Diedrich Bader, Tony Hale and Chris Meloni.
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