In this week’s episode of Harley Quinn, Harley and Ivy find themselves planning a prison break they could have never imagined, and Jim Gordon and Batgirl try to work together to save New, New Gotham.
S6E7 Review (Spoiler- Free)
Put on trial by Judge Bane and D.A. Two-Face, Harley and Ivy must answer for the murder of the Penguin and “other stuff.” Their sentence: Life in Prison. But the ladies aren’t going to any old prison; they are being sent to Bane’s giant pit in the ground.
Meanwhile, Jim Gordon and Batgirl’s partnership is off to a rocky start. They need to get on the same page if they are to restore order and save the city the clutches of Two-Face, who’s set up shop in the former GCPD headquarters.
Will Harley and Ivy escape? Or will Ivy never see her beloved again? Will Gordon finally pull himself together? How does Gordon not know Batgirl is his daughter?
These questions and more are answered!
This week’s episode really rewards the fans for tuning in and sticking with Harley on her crazy adventure to find her place in this New, New World. The writing as always is impeccable, which makes it arguably one of the best episodes of the entire series. Visually, it was stunning, and the crew used each frame effectively to accompany the stellar voice acting we have grown accustomed too.
As a standalone episode or the culmination of the series thus far, “There’s No Place to Go But Down” hits thematic, emotional, and narrative beats with the painful accuracy Harley displays with her baseball bat or aerobic kicks.
It’s not too late to jump on the Harley train and get aboard, because it’s just getting started.
SPOILERS are present for the rest of the article. Proceed with caution!
The episode starts with Harley and Poison Ivy on trial for the murder of the Penguin and other crimes. Bane is the presiding judge, with a cool and composed Two-Face as the D.A. and a shook-up and scatter-brained Man-Bat as Harley’s defense attorney (she’s screwed).
Two-Face questions a Penguin goon to get the murder story (a convenient recap), with Man-Bat doing a decent job for our heroin–um–protagonist. Unfortunately, no one can understand him. Then, Two-Face calls his next witness, Poison Ivy. Harley pleads with Ivy to blame it all on Quinn, clearing Ivy of any blame. Ivy has done so much for her, and Harley wants to return the favor so she can be free and secure her future with Kite Man.
When she’s in the witness stand, Two-Face grills her on liking Harley, partnering with her, and planning to kill the Injustice League. Ivy thinks and then proudly admits the truth, promising to finish the job. Everyone is stunned, except for Man-Bat, who is furious. The two women are found guilty and sentenced to life in prison by Justice Bane.
Meanwhile, Jim Gordon and Batgirl are on the job, searching the New New Gotham sewers. A diligent Batgirl reminds an inebriated Gordon that they need to find the villain, Ratcatcher, who she believes is smuggling weapons around Gotham. Gordon nearly stumbles into the sewage, causing Barbara to be furious at him for his inability to focus. They finally spot the Ratcatcher, who is relaxing with his rodent friends.
Batgirl devises a plan to go around and block the exit to flank Ratcatcher. She orders Jim to stay put and wait for her signal. Upset and insubordinate, he drinks from his flask, chugging. He almost stumbles but catches his balance, but not before dropping his flask. The Ratcatcher and his rat army have been alerted.
Swarms of rats charge at the hairbag while Ratcatcher escapes. Gordon barely escapes the swarm by (finally) falling into the water. Escaping the swarm, he is helped up by Batgirl, whose disappointment is summarized by Gordon’s empty flask.
Elsewhere, a prisoner transport is speeding through the desert. Inside are a pair of Two-Face goons, Harley, and Ivy. Harley is upset that Ivy didn’t save herself, but Ivy states that she couldn’t let Harley go down alone. Ivy reassures Harley that they will be alright, because breaking out of Arkham is like muscle memory for them. Then, they are taken out of the van.
They are shocked to see nothing but a pit in the ground. Bane greets them, still dressed like a judge. He changes to his warden outfit and introduces them to his correctional facility, affectionately known as “the Pit”. The two women refuse to go in so Bane kicks them, 300 style (This. Is. The Pit). They fall endlessly to what seems like their doom, but Bane reassures the Two-Face henchmen that there is padding at the bottom. Bane jumps to follow them.
Bane gives the ladies a tour and explains that “the Pit” is set up to be more of a rehabilitation center, meant to help those with potential of getting better. Killer Croc is an inhabitant, who is using art therapy to work on himself. Bane brings them to their cells, which have no doors because, you know, they are in a pit. Bane sees a messy bed and, while making it, explains that they must keep their rooms tidy to have a tidy mind.
Ivy is panicking because she can’t find a way out. Who will protect the nature of the world? Will she not be able to marry Kite Man, someone she has finally opened up to and loves? Harley reassures her that they will find a way out and that Ivy will walk down the aisle to marry the man she loves. Ivy feels better, and the two are interrupted by Killer Croc, who gifts them hand-knit skull caps to keep them warm at night.
That night at the Gordon household, a depressed Jim and a worried Barbara are having a silent dinner. She asks her dad about his crime-fighting quest with Batgirl, but Gordon brushes it off as a waste of time, while indulging in tons of mayo and whiskey. She confronts him on his drinking and how it is a major problem, but he denies it. She asks him to give it up for her, and he is faced with an emotional dilemma. Before he can say anything, bullets start to fly.
The unexpected dinner guest is Two-Face, flanked by a pair of henchmen. The villain’s upset that Gordon tried to ruin his gun-trafficking plans, revealing that he is running New New Gotham. Gordon fires back to his best ability before calling for Barbara. He sees that she is gone before noticing a flashbang grenade that flies through the window. Gordon bolts right before it blows.
Back in the pit, Victor Zsaz tells a dark story about dealing with his victims before saying that therapy is helping him with his murderous urges. This reveals a therapy circle that includes Harley and Ivy, being led by Bane. Bane tries to get the ladies involved, but Ivy says she can’t share due to the depressing nature of the pit. She suggests being transferred to Arkham so she and Harley can properly reform, but Bane states that “Arkham is for the criminally insane, but the pit is for the criminally capable.”
Harley and Ivy are frustrated so Bane tries to comfort them. He reveals that a talent show occurring in “the Pit” tomorrow will have a special guest: George Lopez. Everyone is excited, including the ladies when they hear the detail that Lopez is entering the pit via helicopter. The girls devise a plan to escape that consists of Harley joining the talent show to follow Lopez with a comedy set of her own. Her set will be written with the goal to upset everyone and incite a riot, which will distract security and give the girls the chance to escape.
Trapped in his own prison, Gordon is hiding out in a closet while Two-Face and his henchmen look for him. Two-Face wants to end him quickly so he can make a dentist appointment the next day (mostly gum work). He lists off the ways he has hurt and demoralized Gordon, who hears all this while reloading the last of his bullets. Gordon knocks over a small box in the closet and sees old pictures of him and Barbara. Gordon apologizes to her and gives himself up. When Two-Face asks Gordon for his last words, Jim requests that his daughter know that he loved her.
Batgirl interrupts this last stand and distracts the bad guys. Jim gets involved, and the father-daughter duo take down the henchmen. Two-Face escapes, and Jim pities himself and declares his life as a failure. Batgirl confronts Gordon and reveals herself to him, saying how he was the true inspiration for her decision to fight crime, even if she is dressed like Batman. Gordon is taken aback by the news but ultimately is extremely proud of her.
Returning to “the Pit,” Harley is rehearsing a joke with Ivy about how Killer Croc looks like a talking backside. Ivy thinks the joke is low-brow comedy but muses it will probably work with the other villains. Bane comes over to confirm Harley’s entrance in the talent show but sees that her bed is not made. Bane punishes Harley by kicking her out of the show and moves her to solitary confinement. This cell is just like the other cells but is guarded by Cheryl, a woman with the Venom serum. Ivy, alone, looks up and sees the Lopez chopper descend, knowing she will have to carry out the plan.
Lopez does his ten-minute set and kills. Once he wraps up, Ivy is introduced and goes on stage. Harley wants to escape so gives an ultimatum to Cheryl. Cheryl chooses to fight. Ivy, nervous and awkward, tries the Killer Croc joke. It doesn’t work, leading her to keep telling jokes. The audience doesn’t like her jokes and barely boos her. She sees Lopez’ chopper starting up, leading her to ask the crowd to riot. Instead, they give her criticism on her jokes. Harley finally is able to best and escape from Cheryl, but it is too late; Lopez is out.
Back in the Gordon residence, Barbara and Jim talk about the Batgirl revelation, and Barbara tells her dad to stop drinking and get clean. Jim takes a bottle, opens it, and pours out the bottle. He asks her daughter for help, and, through the power of montage, their teamwork helps him get sober (without showing the terrible parts of recovery). Barbara welcomes a new Jim home, but he won’t feel at home until he’s taken back the GCPD, Two-Face’s new lair.
The Lopez chopper has officially left “the Pit” and Ivy all alone on the stage. With no ticking clock and Bane’s encouragement, Ivy bares her soul. Ivy reveals the failed plan and talks about her isolation, in a way that entertains the crowd. She calls her emotional isolation in life a pit and talks about how she climbed out of it and was happy. Now, she is stuck in a physical pit, which is how she views life: hopeless and inescapable. This vulnerable tirade inspires the fellow villains to riot and try to escape, giving Harley and Ivy some hope.
As they try to break out, the Gordons go to break into GCPD headquarters. Barbara tries to strategize, but Gordon tells her he’s got it from here (a reversal of the Ratcatcher scenario). He enters in dual-wielding pistols and takes on droves of Two-Face henchmen. For the first time in the series, Gordon is in peak form, shooting and fighting his way, until he is the last one standing. He finally feels at home, that is, until he is hit by a police car that rams through the wall.
The situation has devolved into chaos at “the Pit,” with an intense amount of violence. Zsas has seemed to easily slip back into his murderous ways, stabbing everyone in sight. A massive mound of fiery debris has given the two ladies a chance to climb closer to the top of the pit. Bane tries to reason with Ivy to stay and continue progressing with his different types of therapy. Ivy tells him to shove it while Harley yells at him for trying to take credit. Bane has had enough and hits the Venom button. Double his size, he throws some debris at them to cut them off and then sprints up the mount.
The women are screwed, but the flung debris had caused a crack in the side of “the Pit,” exposing a vine. Ivy uses her powers to manipulate it and pull the girls up. Bane is not having it and goes to stop them from escaping. He jumps and captures Harley’s leg, pulling the ladies and the vine down slowly.
Downed from his hit, Gordon tries to get up, and the driver of the car, revealed to Two-Face, exits the vehicle to finish the job. The two get into a fist fight, with Batgirl still waiting outside for a signal to help. Two-Face stabs Gordon’s hand, seeming to almost blind the man. Struggling, Gordon finds a bottle of alcohol and smashes it over Two-Face’s head. Gordon regroups, handcuffs the villain, and throws him in jail. Gordon has reclaimed his position and his home.
The episode makes its jump back to “the Pit.” Ivy, Harley, and Bane hang from the vine above a fiery mount of debris. Visually, it’s one of the most beautiful shots of the series. Bane lectures Harley about how hate is holding her back and love will only set her free. Taking the message to heart, Harley, to Ivy’s protest, lets go of her friend to give Ivy a chance at a life of love and a family. She says goodbye, and she and Bane fall while Ivy escapes.
Harley pulls at Bane’s Venom tubes, incapacitating the warden. Harley looks up at the opening of the pit, where she sees the dark, night sky. Accepting her fate, she turns with serenity to nose dive back down to the bottom.
Just then, Ivy bungee jumps down with her vine and catches Harley. The two are brought back up to the surface, with Harley in Ivy’s arms. The two are relieved and happy to see each other. They stare into each other’s eyes and, after a moment, kiss each other. The two then realize what just happened.
Where do they go from here? What will happen to Ivy and Kite Man?
Stay tuned next week for another episode of Harley, available on DC Universe.