Harley Quinn: A High Bar Review
On this week’s episode Harley Quinn, A High Bar, Joker (voiced by Alan Tudyk) is still pissed about Harley (voiced by Kaley Cuoco) dumping him and sets his sights on reeling her back in as she attempts to find her spot within the Legion of Doom by crashing The Penguin’s nephew’s Bar Mitzvah.
With the news of Harley dumping Joker spreading through Gotham’s criminal underground, some villains are starting to see Joker as less intimidating. Even villains like Scarecrow (voiced by Rahul Kohli) and Bane (voiced by James Adomian) are talking about it, and Joker just isn’t having it. So, in order to piss Harley off, Joker does the most “Joker” thing he could possibly do – go onto a morning show hosted by Howie Mandell, who voices himself, and just mess everything up. The second Howie announces him as a “special guest,” I instantly got the biggest smile on my face and once Joker reveals the bomb strapped to Howie, the reactions from Harley, Ivy (voiced by Lake Bell), and Frank (voiced by J.B. Smoove) were priceless. This is such a perfect way to kick off this episode because it’s such a thing that Joker would do, and the way Frank is just crushed is hilarious.
From here, Harley decides it’s time to make some moves, starting with punching her ticket into the Legion of Doom. For those that don’t know what the Legion is, it’s essentially the bad version of the Justice League. Personally, I love this goal for her for the season as it’s something that I don’t believe Harley has ever accomplished in her entire existence and it allows for more of DC villains to join the party. Speaking of parties, Harley’s first step into making her way into the Legion is by crashing a Bar Mitzvah for The Penguin’s nephew in order to show her stuff. Ivy thinks it’s a big mistake and the Legion is just full of losers but wants to support her friend, so she tags along.
It’s great to see the series show villains in a daily, normal setting and the Bar Mitzvah is just the best. Seeing Bane, Scarecrow, and Two-Face sitting at their own table, in costume, at 13-year-old’s party. While Batman and drunk Jim Gordon might not be around this episode, Bane more than makes up for their absence with some hilarious one-liners and an interesting arc. The choice to have his voice mimic Tom Hardy’s version of the villain from The Dark Knight Rises is perfect and the way he constantly gets under the Joker’s skin is incredibly funny. From him ruining Joker telling Harley that she might be better off at the “crazy bitch table” to him being upset that Joker takes his dinner, all I can say is that this better not be the last time we see Bane because he’s just awesome. There’s also a cool arc for him in this episode with him and other villains start to stick up for themselves as Harley acknowledges the Joker’s bullying ways. It’s a cool moment that further acknowledges the Joker’s toxic behavior but extends it past Harley and their relationship.
Speaking of Harley, while her initial attempts to prove herself at the party fall flat, she does still offer up some funny moments. Her raunchy discussion with a bunch of kids is funny and the way she berates The Penguin’s nephew to get him to miss after she is chained up for ruining a surprise for him is hilarious. Even the sudden turn for Harley wanting to prove her villainess worth by robbing the bank the party is being thrown in is great and leads to a bone-crunching fight sequence. Harley’s party crashing is definitely a good start for her to try to enter the Legion and it’s only going to get better with the next episode highlighting the fact that other lesser known villains are going to team up to form a new kind of crew.
There’s also a small sub-plot with Ivy reluctantly teaming up with world-class D-List villain Kite Man (voiced by Matt Oberg). Ivy’s big reason for not wanting to go these kinds of parties is that she always gets stuck with D-list villains that just want her to do heists with them – and that’s exactly what happens when Kite Man enters the picture. Being a rarely seen villain entirely, seeing Kite Man here is an absolute blast as he’s so lame that’s he amazing. Oberg’s voice performance is great, and he is almost like this show’s version of Jerry from RIck and Morty – in that he sucks at pretty much anything he does and is useless most of the time.
While his shtick did get a little old at times, the way he tries to seduce Ivy is hilarious, especially because she barely takes him seriously, and there’s something kind of endearing about his peppy attitude. Not to mention, when he tries to be a little heroic for Ivy and Harley by taking on Bane, the fact that Bane just kicks the crap out of him was great. There’s also a nice moment between Ivy and him that start to defrost Ivy’s rigid personality a bit. Even the mess that Kite Man gets Ivy into with her love serum that starts to turn teens into trees ends on a funny note with the teens getting their wish in kissing Ivy with one of the kids even trying to come back for seconds. With Harley starting her own crew, I’m hoping that Kite Man could find a place in there somewhere to stick around or at least show up for more episodes.
Following her breakup and glow-up in the premiere, Harley Quinn continues to create more and more hilarious moments for Harley to find herself and prove that she’s a new force to be reckoned with. Hopefully, the great new comedic additions, like Bane and Kite Man, can return to conjure up more laughs and the promise of Harley crafting her own crew can lead to many more laughs and kick-ass action that the series has done great displaying thus far.