HARLEY QUINN 2×12 “Lovers’ Quarrel” 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

Darkseid will grant Psycho the world if Psycho can prove himself by bringing him the head of Harley Quinn, the earth woman who absconded with his army without making good on her end of the deal. Psycho manages to control Ivy’s mind, which results in the Justice League fighting Ivy, and the ultimate showdown: Ivy vs. Harley!

Review

We’ve reached the penultimate episode of Harley Quinn’s second season and that means it’s time for the Big Bang. Following last week’s cliffhanger ending, potentially pitting Harley (Kaley Cuoco) against Ivy (Lake Bell) in a fight to the death, “Lovers’ Quarrel” fails to disappoint in paying off plenty of the season’s plot threads.

Without a season 3 renewal announcement – expect that to come at DC’s FanDome event – the series needs to wrap up in a way which satisfies the audience enough, in case it never comes back, but leaves the door open for much more.

In order to do that, show runners Patrick Schumacker and Justin Halpern have crafted a story which brings the bulk of the action to a close in this episode. Rather than have the final battle for Gotham take place in the finale, they have cleverly placed all that action in this episode.

Doing this enables them to have a huge episode guest starring the Justice League and Darkseid along with most of the series’ main and recurring cast. Only Commissioner Gordon, Batgirl and Frank the Planet are missing here. After some slower episodes which focussed on the Harley-Ivy dynamic it’s a great move to ramp up the action and really show what the series is capable of before transitioning in to a more emotional finale.

”Lovers’ Quarrel” is high stakes action from the beginning. The episode moves a breakneck speed as the Justice League take on the ParaDemons, Doctor Psycho (Tony Hale) and Riddler (Jim Rash) plot to take over the world and Harley reluctantly works with Kite Man (Matt Oberg) on a way to save Ivy.

This episode, written by Adam Stein and directed by Christina Sotta, masterfully breaks up the core cast in a new and interesting ways. First off we’ve spent very little time with just Harley and Kite Man together. Kite Man rescuing Harley from the mind controlled Ivy puts the two on a dangerous path. Their mission entirely aligns for the first time, possibly ever, but it also sets them on a collision course to the episode’s big reveal.

The dynamic between Riddler and Psycho is a great source of comedy in an otherwise fairly serious – by Harley Quinn standards, episode. Riddler STILL flexing those calf muscles and Psycho falling in to his own ego are brilliant foils for the intense battles taking place on the streets of Gotham.

Stein and Sotta are able to fold Clayface (Alan Tudyk) and King Shark (Ron Funches) back in to the mix, albeit in a different role to where we are used to finding them. But with Psycho’s mind control spell broken, these two will hopefully be back to providing emotional support to Harley in the finale. Whilst they have both had moments to shine, these characters have taken a little too much of a back seat in this second batch of episodes.

There’s an inevitability to “Lovers’ Quarrel” which, in a lesser show, would be damaging to the overall plot. As we sprint towards the finale it becomes apparent how Ivy will be snapped out of Psycho’s mind control and there’s only one way that it could all end.

With Kite Man professing that true love’s kiss is the only way to save his bride-to-be, it’s clear that heartbreak is on its way for one of our leads. But what “Lovers’ Quarrel” does to ensure the audience is left on the edge of their seat, is break the love triangle in the most bombastic way possible.

Leave it Doctor Psycho to make sure that, in defeat, he is still able to ruin Harley, Ivy and Kite Man’s lives.

Watching the final moments of the episode you can feel that the whole audience will be holding their breath as Psycho forces the world to watch Harley and Ivy sleep together on Themyscira. What remains to be scene is whether viewers will be left in tact when the season comes to an end next week.

Verdict

“Lovers’ Quarrel” is a breathtaking trip through the streets of Gotham at breakneck speed. Wrapping up plenty of the season’s dangling plot threads in time for an emotional 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