With the recent release of The Suicide Squad film featuring none other than Harley Quinn, we’re going to take a look back at America’s most loveable psychopath on her animated series on HBO Max. The adult animated cartoon follows none other than the woman herself, Harley Quinn, in a series of misadventures along with other notable characters in the DC universe such as Poison Ivy, Batman, and King Shark. Here we’ll revisit the best episodes from the first season of the DC show. Let’s get started.
1. Till Death Do Us Part (Episode 01)
To start off this wild series is Till Death Do Us Part, where Harley Quinn and Joker are murderously taking down a bunch of goons. The Problem? Harley wants to be a partner whereas Joker sees her as nothing more than a sidekick. From there, Harley gets caught by Batman (with no help from the Clown Prince of Darkness himself) and the entire episode is spent focusing on how little Joker cares about Harley. The insanity of this animated series is what makes this show pop and the dynamic of Quinn and Joker is a riot. Quinn not getting the message that Joker clearly doesn’t care about her is funny, though the story is clear and easy enough to follow. Joker choosing to let Batman live over Harley feels true to form for the DC villain and the writers do an excellent job of highlighting how much of a douche he is. Of course, the top-notch voice acting and animation help sell the series overall. Other characters are given a chance to shine here too, with the interaction between Quinn, Batman, and Jim Gordon hilarious (who knew Batman fucked bats?) and Poison Ivy and Quinn’s friendship charming. A strong pilot that sets the standard on what a DC animated show should be.
2. So You Need A Crew? (Episode 03)
So our loveable anti-hero needs a crew. How else is she gonna be able to lock in three keys at the same time? The opening train sequence was a funny gag, with Harley doing everything in her power to put in the two keys at the same time, only to find out she needs three. Joker coming in and stealing the weapon from Quinn continued his douchebaggery in a hilarious way. Harley’s quest to find a group of baddies was fun, with the running gag that the villains don’t take her seriously proving some hilarious moments. Eventually, Harley gets her crew, Clayface, Dr. Psycho, and King Shark, and the three villains standout in a fun, over-the-top way, namely Dr. Psycho and his interactions with Quinn and Clayface early on. The message of females not being able to dominate in a male-central world is a nice one, though the writers don’t dive as deep as they could.
3. A Seat At The Table (Episode 09)
Harley Quinn and her crew have finally joined the Legion of Doom! Once again, the relationship between The Joker and Harley Quinn is at the center of this episode and her refusal to get over the clown Prince of darkness affects her dynamic with Poison Ivy, Clayface, Dr. Psycho, and King Shark. The writers do an excellent job at penning the relationship between Joker and Harley Quinn; The king of crazy is a very selfish and manipulative human being, though, given Quinn’s love for Misah J, you understand why she keeps going back to the cruel bastard. The gang’s “first day” in the Legion of Doom is amusing and the story of Quinn dropping her friends for Joker makes for a meaningful plot that carried the episode nicely. The pivotal movement of Joker tossing Quinn out of the helicopter was well done and set the stage for the upcoming episodes.
4. Devil’s Snare (Episode 12)
Plants have taken over Gotham and it’s up to Harley, Poison Ivy, and the gang to stop these murderous trees from eating the entire city. Commissioner Gordon’s obsession about tanks and the whole jazz festival gag provided a nice laugh, and the gang vs. Queen of Fables and Joker created a nice tension throughout the episode. However, the big moment of Poison Ivy dying was truly shocking. Just when Quinn and Ivy were reconnecting in a very sweet and sentimental moment, the writers tug with audiences’ heartstrings and kill off the DC villain. Since this was the early stages of the Harley Quinn show, there was no telling whether Ivy’s death was real, thus this was the biggest twist of the season thus far and the show handled it well, creating curiosity over the future of the popular Batman villain.
5. The Final Joke (Episode 13)
So Joker has seemingly won the battle and Poison Ivy is still dead. This episode ended a huge arc between Harley Quinn and Joker that’s been running throughout the season. The manipulative clown has messed with Quinn’s emotions time and time again, and to see Quinn get her revenge was a reward worth waiting for. This character development was an earned moment for the DC villain and the writers did an excellent job of portraying the abusive relationship between Quinn and Joker. It was cool to see Quinn and Batman work together at the beginning of the episode and Joker’s reign of terror was equaled parts scary and darkly humorous. The final moment of Quinn and Poison Ivy killing Joker was great and the image of Quinn and crew watching the chaos of Gotham was a beautiful sight to see. Based on the hand of Joker popping up at the end, it doesn’t appear that’s he’s done just yet; however, that moment didn’t take away from Harley’s big win in the slightest.