It’s Bachelor/Bachelorette weekend for Ivy and Kite Man. Ivy and Harley finally talk about their kiss and agree it was a heat of the moment thing. Harley throws Ivy’s bachelorette party on Themyscira and despite having to deal with difficult guests (Mrs. Freeze, Catwoman, Jennifer), she’s determined to give Ivy the time of her life. Meanwhile, Kite Man is having the world’s most boring Bachelor party, which is quickly upstaged when a talking lobster visits King Shark asking him to save their underwater kingdom.
Strap yourself in Harlivy fans, you’re in for a bumpy ride and I don’t mean the turbulence on the way to Themyscira. The Harley Quinn writers are doing exactly what I had hoped they would do and are continuing to complicate the path to happiness for our two favourite leads.
”Bachelorette” put the characters in a very interesting position as it takes them away from home soil and separates them from the rest of the gang. but before we get to that we need to talk about those poor pigeons.
I loved who the episode – written by Sarah Peters – does a brilliantly bonkers job of steeping Harley (Kaley Cuoco) and Ivy (Lake Bell) in the mythology of Wonder Woman and Themyscira by starting out having the gang fly to the island on an invisible jet. Naturally pigeons don’t understand invisible jets (or invisible vans) and it leads to one of the series most laugh-out-loud running gags.
From the outset it’s clear that something isn’t quite right as it seems the Amazons have commercialised and appoint Eris (guest star Jameela Jamil) to run their new, exclusive resort. But as an audience our job is not to focus on the oddities but instead to be distracted by the events of Ivy’s bachelorette weekend.
With Harley in charge – and finally wearing the infamous cap from the trailer – there’s a very odd guest list for the event. There’s Nora Fries (guest star Rachel Dratch), Catwoman (Sanaa Latham) and Jennifer “don’t-call-her-Jen” (Mary Holland). As Ivy points out, it’s not a girl-gang of friends but more of a disparate group of people she has latched on to at various points in her life.
But these women all representative of those times in her life too, Jennifer represents the hopeful, young Ivy. Catwoman the more carefree Ivy. finally Nora, the broken-hearted, downbeat Ivy with plenty on her conscience. These women might not like each other but they’re stuck together for the weekend whether they like it or not.
It’s not just Ivy who is “celebrating” her upcoming nuptials though. Kite-Man (Matt Oberg) is also out celebrating his bachelor party on a boat with King Shark (Ron Funches), Clayface (Alan Tudyk) and Frank the Plant (JB Smoove). Frank has been absent for much of season two but here he fills the gap left by Dr. Psycho who abandoned the team last week following their trip to Apokolips.
This subplot turns out to be more focusses on Funches King Shark than on what ends up being the most sedate bachelor’s weekend known to man. It’s nice to see Shark get to share the spotlight. As the relationship between Harley and Ivy has continued to become more complicated it has shifted the supporting cast further in to the background and whilst it’s understandable for the narrative the show is at its best when it utilises its cast to their full potential.
”Bachelorette” is total winner purely for being able to spoof Disney’s The Little Mermaid by not only including a talking lobster (Phil Lamaar) but also by having him sing a brilliant “Under The Sea” spoof all about fish poop.
The underwater caper serves an interesting purpose to the overall story of the episode. On the one hand it exposes a new area of this version of the DC Universe, the underwater landscape inhabited by the shark people, but King Shark’s storyline with Tabitha opens up a potentially interesting future plot point for Kite Man.
On the face of it we see King Shark stand up to his father and refuse an arranged marriage, only to find out moments later that he changed his mind off-screen and went back and married her. It gives the episode room for some incredibly meta jokes, “is it because I can smoke underwater?” But it’s when King Shark returns to the surface that things get interesting.
He recounts the story of his marriage to Kite Man, Clayface and Frank. the realisation that this woman agreed to marry him without a proposal, without refusal and without even knowing him, momentarily stops Kite Man in his tracks. Although he quickly refers to himself and Ivy as soulmates afterwards I wonder if this will come back to haunt him when the two walk down the aisle.
Could the season end with Ivy choosing neither to get married or be with Harley? Perhaps she will end up alone thanks to her own choices.
Back on Themyscira things aren’t going well. The bachelorettes aren’t getting on very well and Harley is forced to wade in and force them to make pretend fun. But when they discover there’s an island nearby filled with men they go off on their first excursion. A drunk night ends in Harley and Ivy sleeping together, taking their relationship to the next unfortunate level.
Once again we’re faced with Harley leaning towards her feelings for Ivy and Ivy leaning away from hers. As with the kiss both react in polar opposite ways and it’s heartbreaking to watch.
Harley still has a trick up her sleeve and reveals the true reason behind their trip to Themyscira: to save the island and the environment by ridding the Amazons of the evil Eris. Ivy falls in love with the plan and it leads to a fun brawl between the hungover women and the brainwashed Amazons.
When it, once again, seems that the Harley Quinn status quo has been maintained the Amazons decide to celebrate taking back their island in true Amazon style… with a “fucking ranger.”
With the alcohol flowing once more it leads to another steamy night between Harley and Ivy and at the episodes climax we hit the emotional heart of the episode. Harley, truly at peace with her feelings, is able to tell Ivy that she loves her over a beautiful Themyscirian sunrise. It’s yet another huge moment for a character who is really only 22 episodes old at this stage.
But when they return to Gotham, Ivy shatters what is left of Harley’s heart with a frank statement on her own feelings. Whilst she trusts Harley with her life, she cannot trust her with her heart. It’s a brutal statement from Ivy but her words ring true to Harley and us as an audience.
The moment is a true emotional peak for the series and left me feeling like we’ve finally reached the top of the rollercoaster and are about to rush back down to Earth in the remaining episodes.
At this stage it certainly feels like we’re heading towards a bittersweet ending to the second season.
“Bachelorette” is yet another nuanced, emotional rollercoaster for Harley and Ivy.
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.