HARLEY QUINN (2019- ) S01E06 “You’re a Damn Good Cop, Jim Gordon” review

Harley Quinn (DC Universe)

Harley Quinn debuts new episodes on Fridays via the DC Universe streaming platform in North America. International air dates are yet to be confirmed.

Synopsis

When Clayface loses his arm in a heist, it turns out to be not only evidence for Jim Gordon (Christopher Meloni), but also a key witness against Harley and her crew.

Review

Okay so at this point I’ve said that Harley Quinn is crazy at least once in every review. But here, with episode six, this show has really gone crazy. Somehow the writers have managed to turn Jim Gordon’s (Chris Meloni) failing marriage and Clayface (Alan Tudyk) losing part of an arm in to the plot of an entire episode… and it’s pretty funny!

The crux of Harley’s sixth episode is bringing the show back around to the core storyline which began in episode two, Harley (Kaley Cuoco) wants to gain the attention of the Legion of Doom. Her current capers just aren’t cutting it and so she decides to steal an invisible motorcycle developed by Wayne Tech.

Of all the episodes to date this feels the most lacking in heart. Whilst Harley’s mission to further her super villain career is still omnipresent it’s underwritten by her statement that she wants to do so to finally be on the same level as Joker. Whilst the episode scores points for featuring Joker in name-only, it loses those points for pitching Harley as a jealous ex rather than a woman fighting for her place in a male dominated society.

“You’re A Damn Good Cop, Jim Gordon” does continue the series trend for positioning its male characters in lesser roles than the female. Jim Gordon is a torrid mess, referring to his loveless marriage he seems defeated and at peace with the face his wife has to make love to a man who is dead behind the eyes. It’s a far cry from how we find him in the comics but it’s bloody hilarious to watch on screen.

Batman, too, is demoted to become a character far more driven by his emotions than he would have us believe. One of the biggest laughs of the episode comes when the Batcomputer screen saver appears during an exchange in the Batcave with Harley.

As sad as I was to see Harley Quinn lose some of the subtext that it has prided itself on maintaining so far this season, there’s no denying that it made up for it in other ways. During the final confrontation on the roof of the GCPD it was abundantly clear that Harley now has a fully functioning gang. Each member played their part – apart from poor, forgotten King Sark (Ron Funches) – and they were able to fall in to specific roles that made use of their individual skills and abilities.

Easily one of the silliest and probably most ridiculous (and I can’t believe I’m saying it) plot points the show has featured so far is Clayface’s severed arm. During the heist on Wayne Tech the arm is lost and taken in as evidence by Gordon’s police squad. It transpires that the hand is sentient and, with Batman out of the friendship picture, Gordon befriends the hand.

It leads to a crazy montage of the two bonding over drinks and other activities in a sequence mocking just about every cheesy montage ever made.

It’s outlandish, even by Harley Quinn standards and puts the show dangerously close to slapstick territory. The episode is saved by the fact it comes six weeks in to it’s debut run, had this been an earlier episode the experimentation with this type of plot device may have not carried over as well.

It’s not that Clayface’s appendages can live without him that feels out of place. More that it’s characterised as a strange, man-child which is simultaneously able to converse with Jim and help repair his sex life whilst also being portrayed as childlike when the two eventually has to say goodbye.

I’m being unfairly critical on this episode but after five excellent episodes the bar has been set on what Harley Quinn is able to execute and “You’re a Damn Good Cop, Jim Gordon” falls ever so slightly short.

Verdict

“You’re a Damn Good Cop, Jim Gordon” is another solid, fun entry to the DC Universe series packed with some of its most outlandish plot devices to date!

6/10

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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By Neil Vagg

Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & TV and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember. Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG