Harley Quinn and bartender (sane Joker) are army crawling through an air vent.
Credit: DC Universe

‘Harley Quinn’ Season 2 Episode 10: “Dye Hard”

This week on Harley Quinn: After a devastating rejection, Harley returns to Gotham and seeks a distraction, only to come face-to-familiar-face with her past mistakes. Gordon hears from an old friend and looks to take action yet again.

Harley Quinn is back at the hideout, wearing a Cobb Squad shirt, a shirt saying "I went to Themyscira, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt," and drinking from a martini glass.
Credit: DC Universe

S2E10 Review (Spoiler-Free)

Poison Ivy has rejected Harley Quinn‘s love, and now our protagonist must return home.

What will she do now that she is back in Gotham?

Go party and have a one-night stand so she can forget about her problems!

Unfortunately for her, she picks a restaurant in Wayne Tower where all her problems seem to converge into one, and it all starts with a bartender that has a familiar face. I guess the joke is on her.

Commissioner Gordon, off his most recent “win,” receives a message from an old friend that is working their way back into cleaning up the city. It’s time for Gordo to show his worth!

Will Harley succeed in getting laid?

Does the bartender play a prominent role in things to come?

What exactly is Gordon going to be doing?

These questions and more are answered!

A scene from season 1 where a giant Poison Ivy is holding Harley Quinn while being shot by Joker acid.
Credit: DC Universe

Takeaway

The episode is a solid one overall, but takes a bit to ramp up. It is great to follow up the bachelorette party weekend and see Harley reacting to her personal collapse.

What this show has excelled at doing recently is giving viewers a glimpse of what they are building up to. There are so many aspects and loose ends finally tied. The writing has done a great job rewarding us for continuing to watch and seeing how Harley evolves and adapts.

This episode, like the past few, has put Quinn in a position of having to examine herself. Where as other episodes have seen her make decisions that can be argued as selfish, we see her in a situation where her decisions are more understandable and selfless.

The episode does take us on a fun ride as there is a Die Hard feel of making way through a building. It provides some great visuals, especially for the episode climax.

The Harley Quinn ride has just made a wild turn, and I’m all for it.

Harley, back from Ivy's bachelorette party, talk with Sy Borgman.
Credit: DC Universe

S2E10 Recap (Spoilers)

At the crew’s hideout in the mall, King Shark talks to Clayface about Batman using his name and not being part Bat. He equates it to animal appropriation as the two go to leave the mall, but the two stop at the door.

Harley Quinn has returned from Ivy’s bachelorette weekend, drinking a martini and wearing sunglasses, a Cobb Squad hat, and a shirt that says “I went to Themyscira, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.”

She greets them and asks about Kite Man‘s bachelor party, which Shark responds by telling her he got married and saved the Oceanic Trade Federation, but other than that it was pretty chill. Clayface asks her about her weekend, which Quinn responds multiple times with it being great and having emotional low stakes. She clarifies things like Ivy and her sleeping in different beds, which confuses the guys, before declaring that she wants to keep partying and drinking till she forgets. She asks them to join.

Shark can’t because he is going to spend time with his wife because it’s Sunday and his in-laws are religious, due to Jesus really being a shark. Clayface can’t because he is spending time with Tony, referring to watching the Tony Awards. Harley is alone, again, and sighs while looking at her phone at a picture of her and Ivy in front of a burning building (with a guy jumping off in the background).

In rolls her landlord, Sy Borgman, who sees that Quinn’s upset. He tells her a landlord knows two things: when an oven’s busted (because you can’t charge rent) and when a tenant is blue. Harley spills that everyone has someone special in their lives. Sy says being with someone isn’t necessarily important to her happiness and that she should do something that feeds her soul. Harley disregards this and declares that she is going out for a night on the town to get laid.

A dressed-up Harley Quinn arrives at Wayne Tower, down to clown.
Credit: DC Universe

Dressed up and down to clown, she barges into the bar in Wayne Tower and announces her arrival, expecting to party, but it’s actually a fancy restaurant vibe. With everyone staring at her, the host guides her to the actual bar because she doesn’t have a reservation. There, a man flirts with her by talking, in depth, about John Mayer‘s discography. Unsurprisingly, Harley rejects his attempt to sleep with her, causing him to leave. Harley laments and says the guys in the bar suck, to which the bartender (whose facing away) says it’s better than the food, but what do you expect from a Wayne? Harley laughs and says that’s the first funny thing she’s heard all night. The bartender says he has more jokes and turns around.

It’s the bartender from the “All the Best Inmates Have Daddy Issues” episode that Harley and Ivy saw in a small bar, a now-sane Joker.

At GCPD Headquarters, Gordon orders for all men and one woman in uniform to report for action. He wants one unit to go to Gotham’s Oil Refinery District because Parademons are chugging oil like “a desperate teen to Benadryl.” Then, he wants another unit (same gender ratio) to Gotham Park, and a third crew to —. He’s interrupted by a map of Gotham, which shows the Parademons have spread faster than “Chlamyd(ia) on his knob” (his words, not mine). An uncomfortable cop asks him where, which Gordon answers with on his genitals. The cop clarifies he was asking about the third unit, which, after an uncomfortable beat, Gordon says the Harbor.

Another cop comes and tells Gordon he’s got a gift, which excites the Commish because he’s expecting the Dave Barry book he ordered. He opens the book and sees a note, telling him to go to the roof and is signed by the Bat Symbol. Gordon realizes he is needed and runs to the roof where he finds the Batplane. He silently whispers that Batman remembered and cries.

The cockpit opens, and a post-it note is seen that says “For Jim” signed by the Bat Symbol. A video feed pops up of Batman telling Jim to get in, who is ecstatic.

Back at the headout, Sy is sleeping in his wheelchair, snoring and sleep talking (he says don’t go in there). Suddenly, a crash is heard, and he wakes up with his wheelchair producing three types of machine guns, a small laser gun, a missile launcher, a mace, a saw, and a longsword.

The noise was from Dr. Psycho, who seems to be grabbing the last of his things (telekinetically). Sy says he thought Psycho left the crew, which receives a sarcastic remark about the doctor not getting the landlord’s phone number. Sy starts to say it, but Psycho cuts him off. Sy questions him leaving after Harley helped him, which Psycho replies with him and Harley having different end goals (his being far more sinister).

Their conversation is briefly interrupted by a riddle from the Riddler, who is, yes, still running on the hamster wheel. He is incredible swole at this point. Dr. Psycho shuts him down immediately, revealing he’s trying to be nice about ending the conversation so he can leave. He then tells Sy that he fortified the Riddler’s shackles so it’s pretty much impenetrable and leaves instructions to “feed him at 5, shock him at 7, and maybe give him a snack at 9 if he’s good.” Psycho then shocks the Riddler before he leaves.

Joker is angry at the old Harley Quinn.
Credit: DC Universe

Back at Wayne Tower, which is being circled by a swarm of Parademons, Harley is texting Ivy telling her to guess who she ran into, again. In this moment, we see a picture of them two back-to-back that she sent previously but got no response from Ivy. Joker bartender tells Quinn that she looks familiar and if they’ve met before. He doesn’t have any of his previous memories and only remembers a happy life with his girlfriend and his—errr-her kids. Harley shrugs it off as saying she has a common look, but he remembers: that time at bar with Ivy. He talks about how he worked his way up from barback to bartender, but, after making a round of drinks, he looks up to see Quinn walking away.

He calls out to her so she won’t leave. He offers her a Wayne Fashioned (an Old Fashioned but more expensive). Harley is insulted, thinking that his intention is to make her a drink so she would fall for him. He is taken aback, clarifying that he isn’t hitting on her because he is happy in his relationship. He gushes over his girlfriend and her kids, and Harley wants to leave to go to another bar. The bartender tells her all the other ones closed because they can’t keep away the Parademons at bay. The bar at the top of Wayne Tower with its bullet-proof glass is the safest bar in Gotham city.

All of the sudden, a group of criminals in ski masks bust in. Cue a hostage situation with a surprisingly calm and polite ring-leader. Everyone hit the deck, and the bartender crawls from underneath the bar. He sees Harley about to leave and tells her she shouldn’t go because surrendering in the best chance of survival. She would normally just beat the bad guys up, but she doesn’t want to ruin her dress. She wants to get away from him as far as possible, but, since she is distracted, she accidentally bumps into the head baddie. He looks at her before pistol whipping her, knocking Quinn out cold.

She comes to on the floor, handcuffed to and face-to-face on the floor with the bartender. The head baddie is watching security cam footage of a SWAT team advancing, while walkie-talkieing with the hostage negotiator that only wants the richest hostages. The ring-leader says it won’t happen until he gets $50 million dollars; a hostage offers to wire him the money right away. He is taken aback but pushes on. He then asks for W762 nuclear warhead and a Trident 2D5 missile; a different hostage says he’s a military contractor and will give him the weapons. The ring-leader is now flabbergasted and tries to think up of something else. He finally says a pair of “Game-Worn Air Jordan 2 OGs.” He looks to see if a hostage will volunteer, but they are all confused at what he is asking for.

Back on the floor, Harley tells the bartender to stop starting at her. He apologizes and reveals that after their interaction at the dive bar, he had a dream about the two of them: they were on a yacht, as a couple, with bankers; he was so full with rage, he robbed the bankers. Harley asks him if, in the dream, he set them on fire. He says yes and asked if she had the same dream, which Harley quickly agrees with to claim it never happened. He says seeing her felt like it triggered a past life. Harley, scoping out the place, sees an air vent and drags him to it. She sees a guard and asks the bartender how much he weighs. He goes on about doing this paleo diet and how it helped him fit into his skinny jeans, so like 170? She takes him and swings him around, smacking the guard. She uses her heel to kick in the guy’s face, as the bartender stands in horror. They get into the vent.

As they shimmy in the vent, he states that she killed the guy back there. He asks if she wants to talk about it. She says no, but, after he badgers for a bit (bartenders are like therapist), she finally lets it out.  She says she told her best friend that she loves her, and her best friend doesn’t trust her enough to love her back. Harley says she thought she was fine being single after her relationship with Joke—Jokesa Finnastein (sounds Flemish). She exclaims he was abusive, and the world is better off without him.

Back in the skies, Parademons are being caught with nets from the Batplane. Gordo isn’t piloting the jet; he is bored with the occasionally pushing of buttons. He complains to Batman, who says he has an important job of pushing buttons.

Batman is in the Batcave with his mask on and a lounging robe. Gordon wants to shoot a missile, but Batman says it takes years to learn how to fly the Batplane. Batman complains to Alfred, who is bringing him a mug of tea, that he should let Batman go back into the field, but Alfred reminds him he is not ready yet and must heal. Batman takes a sip but spits the tea out because it’s too hot. Alfred tells him he could wait, which Bruce repeats but clearly doesn’t want to. Alfred sighs and starts blowing on the tea.

Gordon captures another Parademon but hears shots. He looks and sees something is going on at Wayne Tower. Batman takes Gordon to the tower.

In a hallway, Harley Quinn kicks open a vent grate, and she and the bartender leave the vents. Harley is still venting, telling bartender about how Ivy broke up with her because she is too impulsive and never cleans up her messes. She comes up to a balcony and hears someone call her name.

It’s the Riddler, who, standing next to a fancy helmet with light bulbs on it, is belittling her. She sees him and asks how he, which he interrupts to explains how he escaped his cell, orchestrated the hostage situation as a distraction so he could steal the helmet. She replies that she was going to ask how he got some buff, which he answers that being on the hamster wheel got him muscles. He sees the bartender and, shocked, asks if that’s the Joker. The bartender, hearing this, thinks its funny and starts to laugh, slipping into a Joker laugh. Harley immediately covers his mouth, denies it, and tries to shift attention. Riddler shoots at the both of them with his Question Mark cane that can shoot beams, apparently. They run away.

Inside what seems to be a classified tech room, two ski mask baddies are sitting, smoking cigarettes. One of them, the bigger one named Carl, is talking about how he moved back to Gotham because he wants to see his kids but doesn’t know if the kid feels the same way. The smaller one, Kev, tries to be optimistic, but Carl says he’s been gone for seven years and left when they needed him the most. Kev tells him to stop blaming himself for the past and move on. Carl doesn’t know.

Enter Harley and bartender. They lock eyes with the two baddies, and a gunfire ensues. Harley and bartender hide behind a table that has a laser shooting upwards for some reason. Harley’s head is a bit exposed and a bullet heads straight for her. Luckily, it goes through the vertical laser, splitting it in half and saving her. She sees this happen and uses the laser to cut their handcuffs. Bartender runs, and Harley grabs the closest gun she can find and shots it Carl. Carl gets covered with some strange ray for a second. He asks what happens, but no one knows. That is, until they see that the gun Harley used was on a table that said Cancer Ray. Kev, tearing up, tells Carl he got cancer. Carl is shocked she gave him cancer, which Quinn is upset about, wondering why the gun even exists. Carl says he’s going to see his family now and leaves.

Quinn turns to apologize to him, giving Kev time to throw a device at Harley that shocks her. Then, Kev corners the bartender, who is begging to not get hurt. Kev starts to chock the bartender, who sees a pencil on the table. The bartender grabs the pencil, and he stabs Kev in the eye. He sees the dead body and starts to laugh; the Joker is starting to slip out. Harley slaps him to stop the laughing, which resets the bartender. He thinks his blood sugar is low and wants to find a vending machine, as Harley ushers him into an elevator. As the doors close, he sees the dead body and asks Harley if she did that.

In the elevator, Harley pushes the button for the Helipad, hoping to find a chopper to leave. The violence upsets the bartender, who says it is the reason he can’t enjoy television shows today. Harley says violence ups the dramatic effect (hint, hint, wink, wink). He says he has enough drama in his life and, just once, wants to see two people fall in love with no complications (and they don’t have sex until they’re married).

As they get to the roof, the Batplane lands on the Helipad. The bartender is excited that it is Batman. Gordon jumps out of the plane. He says Harley Quinn and (he studies the bartenders face for a second) the Joker! Gordon leaps at him and handcuffs the bartender. The bartender is laughing as he struggles (from the cuffs and trying to hold back his true self). Gordon takes the victory of nailing Batman’s Archenemy. The bartender laughs and calls the Commish “Gordo,” telling him it’s good to see him. The Joker is coming out more and more. The bartender is thrown in the Batplane, and the cockpit closes. Snapping back, he yells that he is claustrophobic.

Sy Borgman is flying in his chair, carrying Clayface and King Shark.
Credit: DC Universe

Gordon says he knew that Harley and Joker would get back together again, which she denies. They are joined by Harley’s crew, as Sy choppers in on his wheelchair with Clayface and Shark hanging out. They said they got her text message and came as soon as they could. Clayface states that he paused the Tony’s, and no one spoil it for him, though he assumes it’s spoiled already and starts to cry. Harley says she never sent a text message.

They are joined by Riddler, whose carrying the helmet from before as he ran up 19 1/2 flights of stairs. They question how he escaped from Psycho’s jail, while Clayface asks how he got so hot. Enter Dr. Psycho, who walks between Riddler’s legs and puts on the helmet. Psycho reveals he lied and did have everyone’s phone numbers, for he was the one to text everyone. Harley claims the two were working together all along, but the new duo reveal that Riddler is with Dr. Psycho.

No, not that way. They like each other and respect each other. No, not in a romantic way, as partners. No, work partners.

Psycho says Riddler respects him and recognizes his talent, something he claims Quinn never did. Quinn just calls out that he never liked working for a woman, which he also confirms. Harley doesn’t see the two currently as a threat, which cues Psycho to activate the helmet.

The helmet amplifies his telepathy (which has gotten better with him taking care of his mind with the use of guided meditation), which allows him to control all the Parademons in Gotham, who converge on Wayne Tower. The bartender yells to Quinn that maybe Ivy can help, but Harley doesn’t want to get her involved in another one of her messes. The intention is clear, Psycho wants to do the plan that Harley couldn’t, team up with Darkseid, and take over Gotham. Psycho calls her a pussy, which Quinn argues is powerful because they birthed humanity. Gordon chimes in saying he was a C-section. Psycho commands to Parademons to attack.

Clayface and King Shark step up and start battling the Parademons. The bartender, locked safely in the Batplane, panics, and tries to escape. He flips a random switch that shocks him as a part of a counter-thief measure.  The bartender is out. Sy holds his own in battle, even using his helicopter blade to kill a Parademon that picked him up. Harley goes to take on the Riddler, whose swoleness has made her normal physical attentions useless. Riddler says a riddle as he advances to her: “What’s black and blue and red all over? Your ass when I beat it!” He breaks the staff in half so he can have one in each hand. Harley comments that working out has made his mind weaker, and they engage in combat. She’s able to get some shots in as the rest of the crew are holding their own against the swarm (save Gordon whose kind of useless). Harley calls out to Psycho, who’s now riding a Parademon, to give up and maybe she’ll let him live. He declines.

Wayne Tower rooftop: The Batplane is parked on the Helipad, and Harley, Gordon, King Shark, Clayface, and Sy Borgman stand surrounded by a swarm of Parademons.
Credit: DC Universe

Psycho pulls out his next trick: making a mind-dome around Wayne Tower. He then hypnotizes King Shark and Clayface to fight for him. He tries to do the same to Sy, but it doesn’t work because he has a metal plate in his head. Harley, Gordon, and Sy do their best, but they get thwarted at every turn. Dr. Pyscho goes on a typical villain monologue. He says how, with Batman and the Justice League gone, Gotham was for Harley’s taking, but she never pull the trigger. He thanks her for making him feel so small; otherwise, he would have never realized how big he could be. Clayface and Shark are about to attack Harley and Sy.

Suddenly, a net flies out and captures them both. It’s Gordo in the Batplane, and he is operating it. Sy brings out his missile launcher and shoots one towards Psycho, killing his Parademon. Gordon asks for Harley’s help to break through the mind-dome. Harley suggest Gordon use a missile, which he makes up excuses on why he can’t until finally revealing he’s not allowed to by Batman. Sy steps up and says he will break through the dome. Harley says it’s suicide. Sy reflects on his day and manages to stand up on his own power. Harley is amazed, and Sy says this is him feeding his soul. He is willing to sacrifice his life in order to take down Psycho. Gordon wants them to hurry up the conversation before Psycho gets up. Harley tearfully hugs Sy, calling him a good landlord for fixing their oven so fast and never judging her for flushing her tampons down the toilet. Sy reaches in and pulls out his eye, which is mechanical. He says as long as she has the eye, she always has a friend. She kisses him on the cheek and runs, while he gets back in his wheelchair, prepping for takeoff.

Sy Borgman going full robot before sacrificing himself.
Credit: DC Universe

Sy, while transforming into some kind of robotic form, monologues to Psycho about the Maccabees and the miracle of the oil, which he says runs through his veins. His chair sprouts jets, and he starts to launch.

Harley Quinn is watching from the Batplane, when Gordon is happy because the Parademons destroyed the plane’s communication. Looks like Gordo’s gonna fly!

Sy flies up. Quinn watches with a single tear falling down her face. As he is about to make impact, Sy says he regrets lots of things.

BAM! The impact occurs and the mind-dome collapses. The Batplane escapes.

Gordon and Quinn try to figure out how to take down Psycho. Quinn remarks it would take the whole Justice League to do so, which prompts the bartender to reveal he had another dream about the Justice League being stuck in a book (the Book of Fables that belongs to the Queen of Fables). He dreamed he held the book but can’t remember any other details. Quinn tells Gordo to drop them off somewhere.

An old metal door opens, revealing Harley, in her regular outfit, and the bartender close behind. The two of them are back at Ace Chemical: the birth place of the Joker and Harley Quinn. She is flooded by powerful memories, while the bartender innocently tries to help the situation by suggesting he call Beth to stay with family in Central City.

Harley denies a way out because Ivy was right. She keeps making messes and runs away from them. Harley wants to make things right. The first step: get the Justice League out of the story book. The bartender is shocked that it’s a real thing. She asks him one more time if he remembers more details from the dream and where the book is. He says he doesn’t know, which kills Harley Quinn because she doesn’t want to do it. He asks what, and she says she will be seeing him real soon, Mister J.

She grabs the bartender and throws him over the railing into a vat of acid.

Will the Joker come back from the vat of acid as the old him? Will he remember the details needed and want to help Harley? Is Gordo in trouble for scratching the Batplane?

Catch this episode of Harley Quinn and next weeks on DC Universe.

About Bassam Kaado

Bassam Kaado is a NJ writer that dabbles in screenplays, comic books, poetry, and articles covering various aspect of entertainment. In addition, he is an actor, rapper, and director. You can following Bassam @bkaado on Twitter and Instagram.

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