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Harley Quinn Season 1 Episode #13 – The Final Joke Review

5 min read
Ending the first season on a Gotham is a hellscape that’s burning in front of us is pretty good.
© DC Universe

With a strong first season, can they nail the ending?

What They Say:
In the season finale, Harley has her final showdown with the Joker, when [spoilers] [spoil] [spoilers]. Will they [spoiler]? Maybe. But you can bet they [spoiler]!

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While I wasn’t exactly wary going into this series it was one where I wasn’t sure it could be pulled off. The clips were amusing but without the greater context of how the show was treating its world I couldn’t be sure. But as it found its groove – very early, in fact – and hit the ground running, what we got was something that was thankfully very different from pretty much every other DC animated project. I love the other TV series and films and don’t want that to change. But producing something like this was needed to inject some new lifeblood into it overall because a Harley series done like Young Justice, for example, simply would not work. And that they realized and understood that made this a far better project from the get-go.

With the grim recap at the start here with the appropriate music, the stage is set well for a finale where Harley is going to definitely be looking for some vengeance. The impromptu funeral is nicely done with the right kind of humor and emotion but we also get it set so that her crew does their best to make sure she doesn’t just go off after Joker without a plan. There’s been ups and downs with the way she and her crew have gotten along but they’re all on board to do right by Harley in order to serve what Ivy would want. What’s surprising is that Harley has opted to go and work with Batman to take him down. Which isn’t exactly something either of them would think would happen, but Harley’s playing a bigger game this time around. Plus, with Joker running around in a giant tower, Batman can’t exactly turn away a little help.

The plan, naturally, does not go well and the distraction that Harley was providing fails and causes not just Batman to get take in and captured but Harley’s crew. She manages to escape and then we get a week of Joker running Gotham, which turns it into a hilarious Escape from New York kind of hellscape. The tortures he comes up with for the crew are hilarious and seeing the way the city has to be laughing at all of his jokes in order to stay alive is pure Joker. Of course, the more time goes on the more that Joker gets bored by it all because he enjoys the challenge. But we do get a change along the way when Scarecrow, changing things up, pulls off the mask in order to reveal Bruce Wayne. And the best part is that he nails Bruce’s type perfectly and even Bruce has to say it’s reductive. The whole thing just gets even more hilarious from there in a bloody way with what Joker does.

All of this puts the pressure on Harley, whose reward is up pretty high as the Joker really wants her now, to figure out how to save the day. Joker is basically trying to get back to when things were fun and that has him bringing Harley in and trying to get her into the old costume again, and he’s got her crew as a way to strongarm her into doing it. As much fun as I’ve had with Harley in this form, I’ll admit that having her back in classic form for a bit is welcome. But seeing her uncomfortable in it helps to get past that The reality is that she’s driven by Ivy’s loss and with Joker fully responsible for that, she’ll do what she has to in order to take him down. It gets into a pretty bloody fight overall with a good seriousness to it even as there are a few jokes mixed in.

That there’s a twist is a no-brainer amid the whole thing as when they buried Ivy you knew that she was basically going to come back to life there. It’s not something that Joker or Harley knew but it plays well at the key moment as she’s there when she’s needed and ready to do what she must. Joker’s “Oh fuck” is spot-on perfect. The relationship dynamics of this season have been a lot of fun to watch as it wasn’t focused on just any one thing or pairing but rather all of those in Harley’s life. They had some real ups and downs and it all comes together beautifully here at the end to set us up for the second season later this year.

In Summary:
Ending the first season on a Gotham is a hellscape that’s burning in front of us is pretty good. It definitely left me smiling because it put the core crew together once again and showed them in the right light after all that they’ve been through. It also gives us a good setup for the second season if they pick up while things are still this way or even if they bump ahead several months to a rebuilt Gotham. The beauty of a Harley Quinn show is that both of those can work easily, as well as others, to give us lots of laughs. I really enjoyed this season a lot and can’t wait to see what the back half brings, especially after they get a good understanding of what people thought of the first season.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: DC Universe

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