Harley Quinn 2×03 “Trapped” review

Harley Quinn (Dc Universe)

Harley Quinn airs new episodes Friday’s via DC Universe, the series will air in the UK on E4.

Synopsis

Harley and Ivy team up with Catwoman to steal an artifact from a museum that’s been boobytrapped by none other than Dr. Trap. Meanwhile, Dr. Psycho (TONY HALE) tries to prove himself as a leader, which Riddler exploits as an opportunity to escape.

Review

There’s a moment in this week’s episode of Harley Quinn, called “Trapped,” which will is built to satisfying a huge cross-section of the series’ audience. The small moment, shared between Harley (Kaley Cuoco) and Ivy (Lake Bell), is a step in a direction which fans have been hoping for since the series began.

It certainly feels like “Trapped” is built around pushing the two-characters towards further defining moments in their relationship with each other and those around them. But it’s not without its pitfalls.

“Trapped” features another brilliantly simple premise, this time cooked up by writer Sarah Peters, which centres on Harley, Ivy and newcomer Catwoman (Sanaa Lathan) breaking in to one of the Gotham museum’s to steal a weapon needed in the fight against Mr. Freeze.

In typical Harley fashion, “Trapped” features a cold (literally) opening with the team attempting to break into Freeze’s New, New Gotham territory. When she can’t break through the ice, a frustrated Harley sets out to steal the weapon she needs.

The series’ second season is, so far, doing an excellent job of not overcomplicating its narrative. Instead opting for simple stories which allows the humour to shine through and the characters to fully inhabit their hyper-realist environment.

For instance, whilst there is a high stakes caper going on this week which features a deep cut DC Comics villain, Doctor Trap, the focus on the episode is projected more towards the introduction of Catwoman and the Harley-Ivy-Kite Man dynamic.

Hopefully we’ll get to see more of Catwoman as the season moves forwards as she is certainly an interesting addition to the cast. This feels like a unique interpretation of her character which takes cues from Eartha Kitt, Batman the Animated Series and most definitely some of the sensibilities from Michelle Pfeiffer.

The character has some interesting inter-play with Ivy as the two have history. It’s a nice pivot for the storytelling to give the character history with someone other than Harley and expands the universe around the characters in a very satisfying way. There’s still some of the trademark Harley Quinn humour but by comparison the character is far more mature in her representation.

As with the previous episode (reviewed here) there’s a fun sub-plot featuring Harley’s crew. Once again the focus is put on Psycho (Tony Hale) and King Shark (Ron Funches) as the two have brilliant chemistry. With Riddler (Jim Rash) seemingly escaping from Harley’s lair the two fumble around in an attempt to find him.

The plot provides some satisfying antagonism for Psycho as he bemoans Riddler for not inviting him in to the Injustice League. It seems there may be something bubbling under the surface with Psycho feeling like he’s playing second fiddle to Harley. It will be interesting to see if Riddler plays on the individual crew member’s fears in order to exploit then for his own uses.

The level of investment in the characters individual development over using them purely as comedic foils continues to impress with each new episode.

Now for that aforementioned moment between Harley and Ivy. Yes, the two characters do hold hands in this episode, albeit momentarily. But the context of the scene in the episode is much more about their friendship rather than being romantic.

Given Ivy’s actions in the following scene it will likely disappoint some fans that “Trapped” doesn’t take a larger step towards a romantic entanglement for Harley and Ivy but it doesn’t feel earned yet within the couple’s narrative.

Verdict

“Trapped” is yet another example of how the Harley Quinn team isn’t afraid to take risks with DC Comics canon. It pushes forward the arc of the season and features a number of strong character moments.

8/10

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