In the penultimate episode of Harley Quinn season 2, Harley must face a “Lover’s Quarrel” and protect Poison Ivy, while saving Gotham and the world.
S2E12 Review (Spoiler-Free)
With Doctor Psycho behind it all, Quinn makes it her duty to stop the chaotic villain and save her love — err best friend.
Will Harley and the Justice League prevail against this new evil?
Will Ivy be saved?
Will Harley take Joker‘s advice and tell her how she feels?
These questions and more are answered!
God, this episode is just sheer brilliance. Every single component of the penultimate season finale is solid and consistently high quality.
There is not enough that can be said about the story. I know I am a broken record at this point, but the storytelling for this show keeps outdoing itself and exceeding expectations. I think I know what’s going to happen, and, even if I am right, the way it is set up and delivered to me is a curve ball.
I always have and will continue to gush over this show. It is a compelling series that rewards viewership with interesting characters, layered narrative threads, and a vibrant tone and animation style.
This is not hyperbole: Harley Quinn is one of the best shows on today.
SPOILERS are present for the rest of the article. Proceed with caution!
S2E12 Recap (Spoilers)
The episode opens in Gotham suburbia (really pretty to be honest with you) with a return to Bethany’s house. Harley, who’s with the Joker in the living room while the host is in the other room, has answered the door, and Poison Ivy, unbeknownst to the others, is under Doctor Psycho’s hypnosis. Ivy declares she’s there to kill Harley, who’s confused because she hasn’t discussed her potentially problematic and upsetting feelings yet. Ivy uses a vine to launch Quinn outside.
As Ivy is trying to kill Quinn, Joker relaxes with a cup of coffee watching the fight. He remarks how his relationship with Harley had violence before asking Beth if she was to get Thai food or Italian food.
Back outside, Harley tries to reason with Ivy, but to no avail. Ivy wraps her up in vines to detain her, but Kite Man swoops in and saves Quinn. He mentions how she wasn’t at the dress fitting. Quinn is confused and tells him to watch his hand; in swooping her up, he’s holding her with one hand under her legs and one under her breast. Oops! He reveals that Psycho is controlling his “forever babe.” Quinn says she’s going to kill Psycho, which relieves Kite Man since he loves Ivy . . . and the wedding’s tomorrow. She reassures him the wedding will be on and he can put the tux he bought to good use. He clarifies him for renting it, and Quinn chastises him saying “you’re going to use it anyway.”
Meanwhile, in Gotham proper, Parademons are destroying everything, per usual; however, this time, the Justice League are here to put an end to the chaos. Superman takes a few out mid-flight, Batman evades and throws three explosive Batarangs to neutralize a Parademon trio, and Wonder Woman introduces her sword to the rest of them. Superman is incinerating Parademons with his heat vision when he notices the Parademon nest. He goes on to separate it from the surrounding buildings and chucking it into space, not before spouting a corny line with literally no one to hear except for Batman in the distance. Wonder Woman uses her Lasso of Truth and rounds a Parademon. She asks it where Doctor Psycho is, and it responds, just not in English. Baffled, she looks towards Superman, who is immediately insulted that she assumed he might know the language “just because he’s an alien.” Wonder Woman looks disappointed in herself. Superman then admits he knows a little, but it’s still a racist assumption.
At the abandoned mall, Doctor Psycho and the Riddler are laughing as they torment Clayface and King Shark. Psycho reads Shark’s mind to find his most embarrassing moment, which upsets Shark since he thought they were friends or at least coworkers with a begrudging respect for each other.
The memory is revealed: A young King Shark, with braces and a Party Naked shirt is underwater with his brother and his father. His father warns him to play nice with his sibling, but King Shark has his brother in a headlock before throwing him on the ground. The younger brother, wearing glasses and a propeller hat, scrapes his knee and bleeds. The blood goes to King Shark, who smells it and goes crazy, killing and eating his brother.
King Shark covers his face in shame, while a shocked Clayface says he ate his brother like an apple’s bouche. Psycho thought he was going to see a memory like crapping his pants but states that was dark. Suddenly, a Parademon crashes through the roof.
Seemingly lifeless, its eyes glow and project a hologram of Darkseid, who asks about the head of Harley. Confidently, Psycho tells him that it is underway and any minute now, she will show up dead. While he says all this, Riddler turns around and sees a TV, showing breaking news of the Justice League beating up Parademons. He interrupts the convo to deliver the bad news and adds that the heroes are on their way to the hideout. Psycho yells “Fuck,” and Darkseid senses failure is imminent. The doctor says everything is fine, and the Fuck was merely a happy exclamation before going on about the words versatility. Darkseid says that he has been betrayed before by Harley, and he wants a head by nightfall: whether it’s hers or Psycho’s. Darkseid Out. Clayface mocks Psycho’s predicament as being shitty and sings the praises of the Justice League. Shark jumps in saying that the mind helmet can’t overtake Superman. Riddler ponders their situation, saying if the JLA makes it to the mall, Game Over. Psycho refuses to acknowledge defeat. A new plan is made: Kill the Heroes, Kill Harley, Kill the Earth.
Gliding into a small apartment is Kite Man and Harley. The apartment is his, and it’s a typical apartment, except for all the kites and equipment scattered around. He apologizes for the mess, blaming it on his “roommate.” Harley doesn’t care, as she’s upset about Psycho and his “magic yarmulke” that allows him to do Jedi Mind Tricks. She wants to destroy the helmet. Kite Man reminds her that, if they get close, they will be brainwashed too. She says she knows because of what happened to Clayface and King Shark, but Sy —
Kite Man says sighing is right, and goes on a mini-soliloquy. Harley corrects him. Sy Borgman was immune to Psycho’s mental powers. She pulls out Sy’s robotic eye, which he gave her at the end of the “Dye Hard” episode before he sacrificed himself, and ponders what made him immune. The eye blinks on its own power, and Harley shrieks, dropping it.
She goes to destroy it with her handle end of her bat, screaming “zombie eye” but is stopped by Kite Man; his Kite Senses are fluttering. The eye is blinking, and he deduces its Morse Code, which he knows because sailors and kiters use it to communicate without being detected. There is a brief pause, and Harley says she can’t believe Ivy has sex with him. He says she does, before reading the code. The eye is saying: Plug, Me, In. Kite Man asks what it means, which prompts the eye to change its loose wires to AV cables.
Harley plugs in the eye into Kite Man’s TV and — TA DA — it’s Sy, which is what he says! Harley yells his a zombie robot ghost, which he corrects (whenever Sy talks, its static and breaks up/repeats). He explains he has a case of the “human consciousness being transferred into the machine eye-tis” (something that was in his robot handbook he didn’t read). Harley cuts him off and asks why he wasn’t affected by the mind control. “Because the COMMIES!” Sy says, explaining the US government didn’t want him becoming a Manchurian Candidate or President of the United States. They used cutting edge tech to prevent mind control and put it in his mind. Kite Man asks if they can make it, which Sy says is easy. He then goes to list a bunch of 90’s tech that would be difficult to find in today’s day: a floppy disk, a VHS tape, and an 8-Track recording of the Monkees’ song “Daydream Believer.” Harley asks what if they can’t get the things, and Sy says it will take a bit of elbow grease. Just then, Superman, Batmam, and Wonder Woman fly (well, Bats is swinging) by the apartment window; they are on their way to massive vines, presumably Ivy’s location. Quinn yells that Superman is going to kill Ivy, which leads to Kite Man questions how the heroes got out of the book. Harley has a look on her face that says “welllll.”
A live news broadcast from GNN shows Ivy’s vines coming from the ground, and the heroes arrive to the scene, with the lower third saying “Citizens: Romaine Calm!” It’s playing on Psycho’s TV, who’s accompanied by a nervous Riddler that’s trying to suggest they run (have you seen his calves). Psycho wants nothing to do with his idea or his legs because he won’t sleep with him. Psycho says Riddler can leave, but he can’t expect to rule Scandinavia when Psycho wins (Riddler has a “type”). Riddler decides to stay because he loves Scandinavia and thinks everything in it looks like a fairy tale. He goes to have some of Psycho’s chips but is immediately swatted away by the doc.
In the city, the hero trio tell Ivy to stand down, but she doesn’t listen. The vines attack, capturing Wonder Woman and Superman. Batman throws some grenades, but they are bounced off. Superman escapes with his heat vision and takes a second to appreciate himself.
At the mall, Riddler ponders how Psycho will win when the odds are three heroes against one villain, which the Dr. immediately rectifies with the helmet, but not failing to come up with an one-liner similar to a Wesley Snipes catchphrase (the episode is dripping in the 90s).
Back at the battle, the heroes are all free. Superman gives a long-winded way of giving Ivy a way out because she is under mind control (this is sped up by Wonder Woman, who quickly summarizes). Out of the multitude of Ivy’s vines appears King Shark and Clayface, both under mind-control as well. The decks are now stacked. Batman downplays the two additions as non-threats, which is immediately proven wrong. Batman is off his game.
Meanwhile, in Kite Man’s apartment, Quinn is getting impatient. Kite Man is doing his best to solder random equipment together: some of it looks like a TV antenna, giant batteries, a coat hanger, and some computer motherboards. He’s Kite Man, not Soldering Man (that guy lives in Milwaukee). He solders something, but Sy tells him it’s wrong. He has to attach the Thing-a-ma-jig to the whatchayaacallit, not the whosawhat. Kite Man doesn’t know how to do this because kites are electricity-free, and he went to Oberlin. Harley freaks out saying, if he doesn’t do it, the person she loves is going to die. Kite Man stops. Harley stammers and clarifies as a friend, the friend she loves. Kite Man points out it was an intense declaration. Quinn downplays saying she’s impetuous and kisses people (callback to the post-kiss meltdown in the “Inner (Para) Demons” episode). She kisses Sy on the TV, and he reacts as hearts fly all over the screen. Kite Man is confused at everything happening, and Harley has had enough. She doesn’t have time to wait for him to graduate from DeVry and grabs one of his kites. Kite says the kite is extremely difficult to fly and needs training, but Harley has already flown away, majestically.
In the three-on-three match in downtown Gotham, Batman is facing off with King Shark, riding on his back. Bats pulls out his trusty Shark Repellent. Before he can spray it, his hand is caught by a vine, and he is yanked off. Wonder Woman intercepts and cuts the vine to free him. Ivy is proving to be difficult to defeat, and, just as WW advances, her sword is intercepted by Clayface. He consumes her in his clay and traps her in his body. Batman try to advance and is hit by a vine. Superman tries to fly to Ivy but is stopped; King Shark is biting his leg, which seems to stop him from flying. The Man of Steel struggles, commanding the “angry dolphin” to get off of him. Wonder Woman breaks out of Clayface but is hit by a car. Ivy’s vines are now throwing cars at everyone. Harley finally arrives to the scene.
Wonder Woman uses his crossed-arm-push power to Ivy, and Harley tries to draw sympathy by telling her about the bachelorette party and how her and Ivy saved Themyscira from the clutches of Lex Luthor. WW isn’t having any of it. Harley has no choice but to jump into action; Quinn jumps towards Wonder Woman but is repelled off. The jump caused WW’s sword to cut her face a bit. The slight bit of blood triggers King Shark, who goes mental and engages the heroine. Harley hears her name being faintly called.
Clayface, now the size of a building, has Batman, trapped in his hands. Harley is upset Clayface never did that when he was in the crew and only did terrible acting bits. She throws a rock at his face, temporarily hurting him and freeing the Dark Knight.
Also happening is Superman repeatedly punches Ivy’s vines, trying to muscle his way in. Quinn throws a stone at him, who retorts that Man of Steel is not just a clever nickname. Harley warns Ivy that, if she doesn’t snap out of it, they will kill her. Quinn is subsequently hit by a vine. Ivy wraps up Superman, but he manages to turn the tables and springs Ivy into the air, which releases him. Ivy manages to manifest a bush to soften her landing and uses it to escape. Superman quickly follows. Harley needs to catch up and looks at a tall building with a fire escape. If only Kite Man was Jet Pack Man.
The two other villains are chasing the other heroes: Batman is running away from Clayface on the rooftops and King Shark is chasing Wonder Woman.
She diverts the chase to what looks like a giant snow globe (I want to say this is Fries’ old hideout, but I’m not sure). Shark runs in and immediately starts to slip on the ice that’s below him. Wonder Woman comes in and delivers a flurry of quick attacks that’s reminiscent of Injustice: Gods Among Us. She finally knocks him out and subdues him. This only happens though after a fake out where Shark plays dead and goes to bite her, only to break a tooth on her gauntlet.
Batman is still jumping from rooftop to rooftop until he swings on a rooftop that has two crates of dried ice. Clayface stands between the two crates, and Batman throws explosive Batarangs to spread it on him and freeze the giant villain.
Ivy is still fleeing and goes onto the campus of Riddler University. Superman charges in after her, only to be ambushed by five or six giant vines that form a hand and smack the Man of Steel. Harley finally catches up and tries to reason with Ivy, who fashions her vines to make her look like Doctor Octopus and apprehended Harley. They walk away, and Superman eventually escapes the campus. This is not before he is spotted by three bystanders filming him. Seeing them, Superman releases a looong sigh and says for the cameras, “I guess Poison Ivy should have hedged her bet.” The bystanders are unimpressed, and Superman leaves. All three heroes are now in pursuit of Ivy, who’s heading to Wayne Tower.
Back in the apartment, Sy says that Kite Man has something finally that should do the trick. Sy tells him to try it out, and, when Kite Man does, the contraption releases an electric surge that puts out the power for a second and messes up the TV signal. Kite Man worries he killed Sy, but FEAR NOT! Sy is not dead, no, he is now . . . inhabiting a blender. The blender tells Kite Man they have work to do, and , if they have time, they can make some fresh pasta. Kite Man is on board.
At the top of Wayne Tower, the heroes have caught up, and Harley tries to diffuse the situation. She suggests that they don’t use violence (a personal first), which Batman agrees because Wayne Tower has seen a lot of damage, and Mr. Wayne’s insurance plan doesn’t cover a Metahuman battle (he’s a friend). Batman uses his grapple hook to pull Harley away from Ivy, and Superman uses his heat vision to burn the vine and free her. Then, Supes shoots down Ivy’s vine legs, leaving her open for Wonder Woman to apprehend her using her Lasso of Truth.
Harley pleads for them to spare Ivy since she is tied up and pursue Psycho. The trio say they can’t let Ivy possibly escape. Harley begs for them not to kill her, to which Superman says he won’t kill, just put her in the Phantom Zone for all of eternity. Harley says to put her there too, which a confused Superman agrees to do. All of the sudden, Ivy starts to talk and moves around.
She is speaking in an over-exaggerated manner, similar to how Dr. Psycho speaks. Psycho says they are being overdramatic, like a CW show (sick burn). He also says that they should have killed her because they are right where he wants him to be: in the middle of a trap. Ivy sprays her scent that neutralizes the heroes . . . by making them horny. Wonder Woman flirts with Batman, asking if his pecs are real, while Superman tries to flirt with Harley, ensuring her that his pecs are real. It’s Ivy’s love pheromones at work. Wonder Woman wants to take off Batman’s costume while Superman is fine playing voyeur. Ivy grabs Harley and scales down the building. Quinn hears a faint whistle and sees Kite Man flying above in stealth.
Back at the lair, Dr. Psycho and the Riddler are celebrating at the heroes’ defeat. Psycho is a static that Ivy is bringing Harley to the base, his Ramen noodles are almost here, and the world will soon be his. He exclaims that he is the most powerful person on the planet, cueing in the entrance to Darkseid, who immediately grabbed him by the throat. Darkseid demands to know we’re Harley Quinn is.
Time has passed, and Dr. Psycho is stalling by showing Darkseid around the mall at the different stores they were there. He is describing a store that’s called “Things U Want” (which is next to a shake/beverage store) as a store that sells random gadgets like something you’d see in the Skymall. Darkseid asks what an Orange Julius is, but Riddler warns them Harley has arrived. She curses that psycho, and Darkseid says to kill her so he can reward him with the armies of Apokolips. Psycho tells him to cool his jets and take his time because he’s been thinking about the agreement they made. He wants to rule planets, galaxies, i.e. more than just Earth. He wants to be Darkseid’s right hand man and promises to do something big.
As Darkseid listens to the plan, Kite Man flies in and talks to Harley. He tries to recap everything that happened but read the room and sees it’s not time. He gives her two ear plug made of the anti-mind-control material but says he only has to, so put one in Ivy’s ear while he does his plan. The plan is: rely on true love to break the telepathic hold with none other than a kiss. He announces out loud to Ivy that it’s him, Chuck (Darkseid asks what is a “Chuck”), and goes on a mini-monologue of how they are “soulmates” and true love will conquer all before kissing her.
He is mistaken and, therefore, punched in the face by a vine and knocked out. Psycho’s plan is revealed: Harley will be killed by Ivy, her best friend and secret lover. He found out the secret during his time of controlling her mind. Quinn tries to play it off that they’re not lovers and the random fling is over, but Psycho tells her to stop lowering the stakes. Darkseid is mildly intrigued by the idea of evil usurping love and agrees. Ivy starts to attack Quinn.
Quinn doesn’t want to fight but eventually does to protect herself. Psycho continues to hype up the battle, while Harley gets the advantage in the fight. Quinn tries to put the earpiece into Ivy‘s ear, but the earpiece is knocked away. Ivy gets on top of Harley and tries to choke her. In a desperate attempt to save her life, Harley tries true love and kisses Ivy. Dr. Psycho, shocked, gets a boner and loses focus. The ridiculous plan works, and Ivy is broken of Psycho’s hold. Riddler ridicules him for being immature and tells him to focus. While this is going on, Quinn gives the ear prices to Ivy.
Psycho tries again to get her under control, but, this time, it doesn’t work. Harley critiques him for thinking he’s an A-list villain while actually only being a sub-par goon. Darkseid questions if he has failed, which Psycho denies. He says he can kill them by himself because he is all powerful but is quickly subdued by Ivy’s vines. The two ladies take turns talking down to him and insulting men on Tinder that wear hats. Harley uses her bat to destroy the helmet for good.
Darkseid addresses Harley, who struggles to explain herself for backing out of the deal. He says she’s proven to be more formidable than original imagined and still offers her the deal. Harley declines the offer and admits she ain’t a real supervillain (heck, she may be a little good). She brings up her past actions and the wrong motivations attached: joining the Legion of Doom to get back at Joker, stopping the Justice League to get revenge. She admits she didn’t know what she wanted and that indecision pisses off Darkseid, who vows to return and destroy the Earth. He leaves.
Now the two ladies are alone, and Harley opens her soul up to Ivy. She talks about how Ivy always makes her happy and makes her want to be her best self. Quinn says she’s in love with her, and, even though it may be messy and possibly destroy their friendship, she wants to risk it all instead of never trying. She holds her hand and asks Ivy to take a leap of faith and be with her.
Kite Man finally comes back to consciousness and wants to know if his plan worked. Dr. Psycho, who is tied up and lying right next to Harley and Ivy on the floor starts to laugh maniacally. Kite Man, confused, asks if all the laughter means that everyone is friends again and says he hates missing inside jokes. Psycho assures him he will fill in a Kite Man and uses all his mental energy to project something.
In the sky, in front of everyone is a mental protection screen of the night Harley and Ivy had sex. Snippets are seen, but everyone sees it. A defrosting Clayface is taken aback, a recovering Killer Shark says the crew dynamic is going to be messed up in a complicated way, and Bane sees it from down in his pit (not really surprised to be honest. Commissioner Gordon and Batgirl see it: Jim covers her eyes, and Babs covers his in return. Joker watches from Bethany’s place, laughs and says “She’s still in there”, and Alfred closes the blinds, before taking another peek. Doctor Psycho finally finishes, says he needs a cigarette, and passes out.
Kite Man has seen it all and just stands there, in front of his fiancee and her best friend, stunned.