Harley Quinn (Season 2): All the Best Inmates Have Daddy Issues Review
*This Review Contain Spoilers for Episode 6*
On this week’s episode of DC Universe’s Harley Quinn, All the Best Inmates Have Daddy Issues, we finally get to see what happened to Joker (voiced by Alan Tudyk) after his acid bath in the season finale.
Just as Harley (voiced by Kaley Cucuo) and Ivy (voiced by Lake Bell) are blowing off some steam at a local bar they notice a new bartender that looks a little too familiar to Harley. After a few quick glances, Harley realizes that it’s the Joker, but a sane version of him – or at least as Ivy says, an unremarkable looking white guy. This is the reveal I’ve been waiting for and it doesn’t disappoint. There’s something so uncanny about seeing a normal version of Joker with a menial day job and a girlfriend with kids that he actually likes. Tudyk even slightly alters his voice to make Joker’s voice a little less theatrical and maniacal. It’s also nice to see the series still give some respect to the mysterious background of the Joker is still intact with there being no real name given to him. Regardless, after an awkward conversation with him, Ivy still isn’t buying that Joker has really changed and we are treated to a flashback to Harley’s days as Dr. Quinzel.
There’s actually a lot to unpack with this flashback, mostly because it takes up most of the episode, as we get a glimpse in what certain characters were like before Harleen Quinzel became Harley Quinn. Obviously, with Harley being the new psychologist hotshot on the scene, she doesn’t get much respect from a sober Commissioner Gordon (voiced by Christopher Meloni) and the District Attorney of Gotham – Harvey Dent (voiced by Andrew Daly). She’s even called “skirt” by Gordon and I can’t tell if it’s more interesting how things have changed or how they haven’t. Gordon is still vying for a bromance with Batman (voiced by Diedrich Bader), who’s not having any of it, and trying to be the manliest man possible when we see him in a workout routine with Dent.
Speaking of Dent, we get to see him before he garnered the name Two-Face and be the well-spoken District Attonery of Gotham. However, it’s easy to see that he’s not exactly the white knight of the law anymore and is being consumed by corruption. From how he just torches Ivy to put an end to her plant terror and then says how he can handle more patients like this through a bill he’s passing to how he’s ready to kill Harley, an innocent bystander here, if it means killing the Joker and improving his election odds, he’s certainly already making his way towards a villainous turn. It’s actually kind of nice to have this conflict with him and Harley here as it adds more motivation to their hatred towards each other this season since it looks like he’s becoming a big threat. Also, the little joke about Harley giving him the name “Two-Face” and not getting the credit is pretty funny.
A trip to Harley’s past also gives us a glimpse into how Harley and Ivy became best buds – which is kind of nice and plays into their current debate about whether or not people can actually change. While Ivy still has a distaste for people over plants, this trip back to her time in Arkham shows that she legitimately had pure rage towards people. The way she absolutely tears guards’ limbs off and gives Harley a cold shoulder kind of shows how far Ivy’s come. There’re some nice moments where Ivy and Harley start to grow as she saves him from Dent improving his election odds with bullets and even a touching moment in the present when Ivy opens up about her abusive upbringing. Personally, I’d actually like to see more of Ivy and Dr. Quizel’s relationship to show how they became such good friends as the glimpse we get here is promising.
Most importantly though, we get to see how Harley and Joker’s relationship began as she’s tasked by Gordon to retrieve info about a bomb he’s hid somewhere in Gotham. It’s a scene that we’ve seen plenty of times throughout the years, but there’s this competitiveness about this encounter between the two that’s really interesting. It’s almost as if they are playing game for power as Harley tries to extract info without showing she’s weak and Joker simply wastes time until the right moment comes. Even the idea of Joker “saying his origins” by talking about his abusive father and ferret friend is great and this series pays further respects to the character by having him just steal Ivy’s origins and proclaiming them as his own in the moment. It’s another dynamic that I’d love to see more of in the future and is pretty fun to see here.
Eventually, after a trip down memory lane, the two call in Dr. Psycho (voiced by Tony Hale) to see if this sane Joker is just another one of his tricks and we learn that its not. It’s official, the Joker is sane and there’s no current plot to see him trying to thwart Harley. However, we do get a moment towards the end of his episode that the Joker might still be within this normal body as he delivers his maniacal laugh. Also, it looks like Harley and Two-Face are about to go toe to toe as he kidnaps her and Ivy for what’s likely to be a diabolical trial.
The latest episode of Harley Quinn not only gives us the sane version of Joker that we’ve been waiting for, but also take viewers on an interesting trip down memory lane to Harley’s time as a psychologist at Arkham – and with Joker and Ivy. It also establishes some issues between Harley and Two-Face that are about to come to a head in the next few episodes and that I can’t wait to see.