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Harley Quinn Season 1 Episode #11 – Harley Quinn Highway Review

4 min read
The gags are hard and fast as is the violence and bloodshed - and bodies being ripped and torn apart.

The fears of Poison Ivy.

What They Say:
Harley must rescue Ivy from the clutches of Scarecrow (RAHUL KOHLI), who’s trying to harvest her pheromones to make a super toxin that turns plants into sentient monsters.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Bensonhurst episode of the series prior to this certainly had a lot of fun but in many ways I thought it was the weakest of the episodes, largely because it did keep her crew out of the picture for most of it. And it kept Ivy out of the picture. Harley Quinn as a series is obviously focused on her but like the comics, I’ve always found the support side of her stories more interesting and a good balance to her craziness. When you remove that, you get episodes like Bensonhurst that are too weighted in her direction. So this episode appealed from the start with it focusing on Ivy and her being captured and doing her best to escape. Ivy’s always fun but I have to admit there’s a real thrill to how Rahul Kohli handles the Scarecrow – enough so that I’d love to see him tackle it in live-action form.

With Harley realizing that Ivy is under pretty heavy and deadly guard, Frank convinces her that she needs a crew to really break her out. That means going to get everyone back together and she really does go all in on trying to make amends for what she did, being very honest about it. Of course, they have no interest until Frank says that Ivy’s been captured, which means they’re all in. At least until Ivy’s rescued, then they’re ditching Harley again since they can’t trust her. It’s amusing to watch it all come together (and to see Clayface working for the Riddler for a bit to really bad effect) and all the goofy things along the way. For Ivy, she’s not figuring on any help at this point and things get worse when she realizes that Scarecrow is using her toxins to create a new poison for Gotham City. And that she’s using Ivy’s DNA against her to create a fear toxin that will actually work on her.

Which means a chance to see inside of Ivy’s head, which is its own special house of horrors. Ivy’s long done her best to not present as a True Villain in some ways, more focused on protecting the environment and going as an eco-terrorist, but her inner self is very different from what we saw with Harley and it’s definitely dark and disturbing. There’s a lot of weird stuff and fast bits in here – young Pamela is utterly sad and adorable – and watching how the gang fight against the fears is fun. And Clayface as a bat? Priceless! The whole thing is just bonkers in general, right down to an insane racing sequence, and it’s simply delightful to have Ivy back with everyone and all of them embracing the insanity. While I don’t have a lot of fond memories of cartoons of yesteryear, there were times when they just went and put it all on the screen. And this episode does just that in a way that really clicks while giving it the emotional heart.

In Summary:
While the whole Harley/Ivy relationship make-up attempts are mixed in throughout the episode and work well, the bulk of the episode is just lots of action and chase scenes. And what they do is go really big and weird thanks to things like the fear toxin and just general batshit insanery. The gags are hard and fast as is the violence and bloodshed – and bodies being ripped and torn apart. It’s surreal that this exists, quite honestly, but it’s exactly what was needed to balance the kinds of series we’d been getting for the longest time. Projects I love, in fact! But Harley Quinn is able to show just how much further they can go at times with it and hopefully we’ll see some other character get a darker and more serious series as well.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: DC Universe

© DC Universe

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