HARLEY QUINN 2×13 “The Runaway Bridesmaid” 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

In the season two finale, nothing screams season finale more than a big wedding!  As Ivy and Kite Man make final preparations, their special day is threatened to be derailed by an overzealous and scorned Commissioner Gordon who can’t resist the opportunity to crash a party attended by all of Gotham’s biggest villains.  In the end, Ivy and Kite Man’s best chance at a happily ever after is for Harley to come to the rescue…that is if she can first sort out her own feelings for Ivy.

Review

Well Super Friends we have reached the end of Harley Quinn season 2. But hopefully not the end of the show overall. It’s also time for the super villain wedding of the century as Ivy (Lake Bell) walks down the aisle with Kite Man (Matt Oberg).

“The Runaway Bridesmaid” makes quick work of wrapping up events from the previous episode to allow the narrative to transition to the wedding scenario. We finally get to meet the Mayor of Gotham, perfectly called out for his lack of screen time by Tawny (Tisha Campbell-Martin) as she reports on the events.

The Justice League – complete with a number of random members like Space Cabby – receive a key to the city and with breakneck speed their time in Harley Quinn (for now) is over.

The scene itself acts as a catalyst for the rest of the events in “The Runaway Bridesmaid” as episode writer Sarah Peters ramps up the hilarious rhetoric against Jim Gordon (Christopher Meloni).

Over the course of two seasons we’ve seen Gordon go on quite the arc. He’s gone from down-on-his-luck loser to helping reclaim his city. But in “The Runaway Bridesmaid” he just can’t catch a break.

In the previous episode (reviewed here), the wedding of Ivy and Kite Man was discussed as due to take place the following day. But it’s clear when we catch up with Harley (Kaley Cuoco) that some time has elapsed since we last saw her. She’s now an inmate of Arkham Asylum, once locked up for her crimes against the city.

“The Runaway Bridesmaid” is an entirely self aware episode. It knows that fans know this could be the last episode of the series. So whilst it spends some time setting up the coming emotional conflict you can feel a slight sense of the plot being dragged towards it’s inevitable conclusion.

There’s only a short period of time spent with Harley in Arkham before she busts out and makes tracks for the wedding, but really the entire situation is a manipulation by Two-Face (Andrew Daly). Without his meddling Gordon may never have attended the wedding, Harley may have stayed in Arkham and Ivy would now be Mrs. Kite Man.

The writers find themselves in the unenviable position of trying to wrap up all the potential storylines of the show. But at the same time they need to leave some plot threads dangling in the hope of a season 3 renewal (expect an announcement at DC FanDome on Aug 22).

The story of “The Runaway Bridesmaid” feels, to me, like the ending that producers Patrick Schumacker and Justin Halpern had planned for. Given that all 26 episodes were produced in one block there was little to no time to change stories based on audience reaction.

With that in mind I admire the arc they have crafted for Ivy. Strip away the powers and the villainy and what Harley Quinn has done is portray a very human story of self discovery. I find her emotional core to be grounded in a level of realism which will resonate with plenty of audience members.

Whilst Harley has led the series, it’s been Ivy who has taken the most realistic journey towards this finale. Whilst some fans of the couples relationship in the comics will be upset it really on blossoms in the final moments, I think the story told in the show is far more important on a human level.

The wedding itself offers the opportunity to bring all of the cast together, with the notable absence of Batgirl (Briana Cuoco) and Joker (Alan Tudyk). All our favourites return and the background of scenes are littered with villainous cameos. Given the episode runtime there’s not a chance for every character to get the send-off they deserve. But once again we implore you to wait for that season 3 announcement to understand why.

With Dr. Psycho (Tony Hale) sidelined, it’s up to the remaining gang members, King Shark (Ron Funches) and Clayface (Tudyk) to carry the supporting cast.

Both have some hilarious moments as part of the wedding party. But Clayface takes the MVP for mistaking Catwoman‘s date as being Hollywood (and Batman) legend Tim Burton. It’s one of the series’ best ever gags and I lapped up every moment of it as Clayface desperately worked to get his attention.

But ultimately all eyes are on Harley and Ivy. Harley crashes the wedding with the best of intentions but, of course, at this stage nobody believes her. We know that she’s right and that Jim Gordon and the GCPD have infiltrated the wedding. But it all comes to a head in a fiery showdown which is befitting of a season finale.

It seems only fair to the emotional arc of Harley Quinn that it would be Kite Man who gives Ivy the final push towards accepting her feelings. His impassioned speech feels perfectly in character and in the moment. I took time to appreciate the fact it seemed he was going on way before ending their relationship. It feels grown up. It feels right and I’m glad this is how the writers chose to end it.

All of the mayhem and chaos leads to a Thelma & Louise inspired chase around the venue and a closing scene which will no doubt warm the hearts of thousands of fans. The close title card “The End?” feels like the perfect way to cap off an exhilarating two seasons of storytelling.

Long may Harley Quinn run!

Verdict

“The Runaway Bridesmaid” is the finale that fans of Harley and Ivy has been waiting for. It’s both a satisfying end to the series, if need be, but also a great jumping off point for lots more storytelling.

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