Harley Quinn: Bensonhurst Review
In this week’s episode of Harley Quinn, Bensonhurst, Harley (voiced by Kaley Cuoco) is out on her own after Ivy (voiced by Lake Bell) dodging her texts and the rest of her crew abandoning her, so she decides to head back home to find some clarity.
After the big blow-up at the end of last week’s episode, Harley is now forced to fight alone and while Bane (voiced by Jason Adomian) offers to blow them up and even drops hints about Black Manta’s (voiced by Phil LaMarr) beach party, the only thing that will give Harley some clarity is talking to the hallucinatory, much saner Harley in her head. Although Ivy might be the only person on her mind when she is told to remember who will love her unconditionally, her hallucination reminds her about one of the key ingredients to the Fast and Furious franchise – family. So, with no reason not to Harley decides it’s time to head home and comes back to the loving embrace of her mother Sharon (voiced by Susie Essman).
As soon as Harley makes it home, we’re treated with a family sitcom opening that lovingly introduces us to The Quinzels. Outside of Harley and Sharon, there’s the Quinzel criminal patriarch Nick (voiced by Charlie Adler) and Harley’s brother Barry – whose montage end in darkly hilarious fashion with him being in an urn. Although Harley seemingly has a great relationship with Sharon, the same can’t be said for Nick as she still holds a grudge against him that’s shown in a flashback to her gymnastic days. Betting against Harley, even though he’s both her coach and father, Nick asked her to take a dive during a big championship in order for him not to lose his other thumb. It’s a nice scene that establishes their relationship and Nick’s selfish ways as well as gives some clarity to how Harley is such a strong fighter. These past grudges lead to an awkward family dinner that leads to heated arguments, strong words, and Grandma Quinzel (also voiced by Essman) getting gruesomely taken out by an assassin.
Nick’s recent debt has put a giant hit on the whole family and it forces Harley to have to quickly take down the assassin and although Nick says he going to handle it himself, Harley doesn’t trust that he won’t mess it up and they’ll just come back to kill Sharon so she tags along with him. Their encounter with the mob bosses hilariously going over stereotypes they want to stop promoting is pretty awesome as the fight sequence offer some blood-spewing action. From Harley bludgeoning mobsters with her bat to creating a blood geyser by jamming a broken wine bottle into the neck of Gatling gun wielding chef, Harley really takes things into her own hands. There’re even moments where Harley and Nick grow close again as he shouts out gymnastics moves like he used to, and Harley even feels some sympathy for him when his other thumb gets shot off. When the dust settles, Nick and Harley’s relationship seems to have improved and they have a dinner that isn’t full of conflict and has Nick hilariously try to eat without thumbs. Things finally seem to be more peaceful in the Quinzel household – until another assassin breaks in and puts a hole through Grandpa Quinzel (also voiced by Adler).
Yep, just as things seem to be better a high price hit has been placed on Harley’s head and she ends up having to kill another assassin. Just as she thinks that things are fine, she ends up getting shot in the back by Nick so that he could claim the price on her head. It’s a betrayal that somehow felt shocking and kind of sad because of how their relationship was improving. Even Sharon siding with Nick kind of hurts and her reasoning for it is quite interesting. The two of them blame Harley for making them laughingstocks when she started being with The Joker (voiced by Alan Tudyk) and it’s an interesting moment because we never really see the effects of villains becoming villains on people in their past lives. It’s a moment that felt genuine and added some more engaging conflict. After a major scuffle with Nick, Harley ends up getting the upper hand, but ultimately decides to not to kill Nick and Sharon and says that they just aren’t worth it. Once again feeling alone, Harley seems to be at the end of her rope until a car pulls up with Frank (voiced by J.B. Smoove) in the driver’s seat?
To understand how Frank got there, we have to catch up with Ivy whose being held in an unknown location by an unknown threat. With only a smarmy goon named Gus (voiced by Rory Scovel) who’s working to earn a little extra cash for school supplies for his kindergarten class. Even though the two seem fine with one another, Ivy’s still looking for a quick escape and finds some help when a rogue dandelion ends up in the room. She uses the dandelion to send for help from Frank – who is smoking some pot with his pot guy from the previous episode. Upon hearing that Ivy needs help, Frank springs into action and has his pot guy drive him to rescue. However, his pot guy makes a pit stop to pick up some hallucinogens that look like giant honeycombs and make him hilariously fall asleep with a huge hard-on at wheel. With Frank taking control, he rescues Harley and the image of him casually driving a car on the way to save Ivy is just perfection. It’s also revealed that Ivy has actually been kidnapped by Scarecrow (voiced by Rahul Kohil), but I get the feeling that he’s really just a pawn in someone else’s game.
The episode doesn’t end there though as we see who ended up putting the price on Harley’s head with Bane walking into a legion boardroom to find Joshua (voiced by Sean Giambrone) is sitting there. It’s then revealed that Joshua put the hit out on Harley as revenge for ruining his bar mitzvah back in the second episode. It’s such a perfectly hilarious reveal as Joshua rages out over Harley and Bane scold him for running up the bill on a company credit card. The entire exchange is one of the funniest moments of the entire series and there’s so many lines like Bane saying that he’s this credit card’s reckoning that are pure comedic gold. It all hilariously ends with Bane tripping over a chair that was behind him the whole time and then angrily throwing it out the window.
Bensonhurst adds some more great comedy and emotion to Harley’s journey as she deals with family drama and Frank goes to the rescue. It easily contains some of the strongest emotional points in the series with Harley dealing with her parents and the funniest sequence with Bane dealing with the credit card bill. It’s truly a well-rounded episode that has a little bit of everything.
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