HARLEY QUINN S01E12 “Devil’s Snare” review

Harley Quinn (DC Universe/Warner Bros.)

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

Harley thinks the Legion of Doom is behind Ivy’s capture and the tree monsters currently ravaging Gotham.

Review

A little behind the time I’m today taking a look at both episode 1.12 and 1.13 of DC Universe’s Harley Quinn animated series (finale review coming later today).

Over the last twelve weeks I’ve found it difficult to criticise Harley Quinn for an aspect of the series storytelling as it’s effectively created a Gotham without the need for a Batman and a Harley without the need for a Joker.

The series has impletement stories with a laser sharp focus on their subject matter with character development being at the core of everything the series has tried to accomplish.

With “Devil’s Snare” we find ourselves at the penultimate episode of the season and deeply entrenched in some highly serialised storytelling. This episode picks up directly where the last episode (reviewed here) left off and similarly this episode leads directly in to the finale.

What impresses me most about this level of storytelling in animation is that it’s been kept so cleverly under the radar. This endgame scenario really began in episode 9 with the capture of Poison Ivy (Lake Bell). This level of care and attention to the story, particularly within an adult comedy series, is incredibly rewarding to the audience.

It plays heavily on the relationship between Harley (Kaley Cuoco) and Ivy, their relationship has very much been at the core of the season to-date and so it makes sense to circle back around to that and reflect on their individual growth.

All the various dangling plot threads eventually point to Harley’s own self-awareness and her ability to accept herself in this post-Joker world of hers. But this being Harley Quinn the lead character has to jump through some major hoops in order to get there.

As with previous episodes “Devil’s Snare” employs some great comedic plot points to get form A to B, the episode features some great cameos from member’s of the Justice League and the sub-plot centered on Jim Gordon’s obsession with tanks is pure genius.

Harley Quinn is expertly pulling on plot threads littered throughout the season as it pushes towards its finale. As Joker (Alan Tudyk) also weaves his way back in to the plot the feels done in earnest for the character and not purely to up the ante for Harley.

Whilst a specific plot point from the finale is easily predictable based on events in “Devil’s Snare” this is still a hugely successful episode. The closing moments as the team surrounds a fallen comrade are some of the most emotional in the show to-date and certianly come as a surprise.

As always the level of emotional awareness the series has continues to surprise and impress me.

Verdict

Here Harley Quinn cleverly calls upon aspects of its storytelling from throughout season 1 to craft an epic endgame scenario just in time for the season finale.

9/10

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