Harley Quinn 2×08 “Inner (Para) Demons” review

Harley Quinn (DC Universe)

Synopsis

Harley and Ivy are feeling post-kiss awkwardness. Harley runs as far as she can from her feelings and the running leads her all the way to Apokolips. Contrary to Harley, Ivy faces her feelings and Kite Man’s parents head on. Ivy feels the weight of her kiss with Harley and in turn, doubles down on her relationship with Kite Man. Meanwhile, the President tells Gordon that in order to put Gotham back on the map, he must get rid of Harley Quinn.

Review

This week Harley Quinn is doing what it does best and failing to confront its own, deep seeded emotional issues just as Harley (Kaley Cuoco) and Ivy (Lake Bell) are failing to face up to theirs.

In the wake of their groundbreaking kiss in last week’s episode (reviewed here) the series does exactly what I had hoped it would do this week and showed very “real life” ramifications of their actions.

Part of me was concerned that “Inner (Para) Demons” would see the pair starting a torrid affair behind poor Kite Man’s back as the series leaned in to the source material a lot harder. But I should have had more faith in writer Tom Hyndman as the series takes the characters down the path I had hoped it would.

Whilst fans no doubt feel they had earned the kiss, waiting 20 episodes in to the series for it to happen, there is still a long way to go for these characters to accept their feelings for one another.

“Inner (Para) Demons” brilliants covers a broad spectrum of reactions between the pair with Harley rushing to prove she is okay with it and Ivy clearly feeling guilty. Their reactions lead them down wildly different paths which, as we have come to learn from Harley Quinn, eventually converge in to a satisfying, if heartbreaking, conclusion.

Let’s start with Ivy. This week she goes for brunch with Kite Man (Matt Oberg) and his parents. She’s uncharacteristically shaken by the kiss and it leads her to act out in some particularly interesting ways. Although it allows the series to satire troubling parent-child relationships it also subtly confirms something I have long suspects, Ivy harbours true feelings for Kite Man.

Meanwhile, Harley is utterly hellbent on proving that she is okay and bad ass. This week her story is very much tied to Jim Gordon (Christopher Meloni) as he continues to push himself towards redemption. When the POTAS tasks him with taking out Harley in order to bring Gotham back in to the world it sets of a rather crazy chain of events, even for Harley Quinn.

Going in to “Inner (Para) Demons” my biggest fear was whether the show would be able to pull off such a huge concept. Taking a number of the leads to Apokolips, fighting Granny Goodness and squaring up to Darkseid is a huge task for even the Justice League, never mind Harley and her goons.

But to his absolute credit, Hyndman has crafted an excellent storyline which not only opens up a huge corner of the DC Universe but also shows the scope of how far this series can push its boundaries.

Easily one of the most ultra-violent episodes of Harley Quinn, “Inner (Para) Demons” is really perfectly encapsulated in that title. Harley’s weak spot for self destruction is so easily exploited in all the emotional confusion that it nearly leaves what is left of Gotham in ruins.

One could easily be left wondering why the Justice League didn’t step in to stop the battle with Gordon. But from a comedy standpoint it was much more rewarding to see him and his army of tanks trying to take on Harley and an army of Parademons.

As the action escalates, both Harley and Ivy circle back to each other as they inevitably do. Once again confined to a life-or-death situation, both characters choose very different paths this time around.

The end of the episode leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, one which is satisfying to the characters emotional journeys but leaves a whole in the heart of fans who just want to see these two be happy.

Verdict

“Inner (Para) Demons” is an emotional rollercoaster for Harley Quinn fans. It gives so much richness and texture to the world of the series but also takes away hope for a bright future for Harley and Ivy.

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