Episode 2 of last week’s biggest surprise – DC Universe’s Harley Quinn – has dropped; and now that the trepidation of determining it’s initial quality is gone (see the review for Episode 1), the question has now become, “Can the show keep its momentum?” The answer is, “Not really, but it’s still good.”
This episode – titled “A High Bar” – takes place in the immediate aftermath of Harley and Joker’s split. Harley is now rooming with Poison Ivy, seemingly at peace with her decision, and Joker is shrugging off the sympathies of his Legion of Doom co-workers. After some public taunting from Joker, Harley takes it upon herself to track down and crash a party he’s attending – which just so happens to be a bar mitzvah for The Penguin’s nephew. Seeing that Legion members Two-Face, Scarecrow, and Bane are also at the party, Harley attempts to prove to them that she’s worthy enough to join the crew. This, of course, does not go smoothly.
Meanwhile, Ivy must contend with the advances of Z-tier villain, Kite Man. Kite Man doesn’t seem to take the hint that Ivy wants nothing to do with him, and he inadvertently poisons a group of thirteen year-old boys with “love toxins” that he swipes from Ivy. Thus, Ivy must race back across town to gather the antidote for the poison before these kids literally die.
With Episode 1 being such a surprise, it was always going to be a bit tough for the second episode to reach the same dizzying heights of its predecessor’s absurdist humor. Sure enough, the same flavor is here, but it’s a little more metered, and Episode 2 often feels more like situational sitcom humor – something that keeps you smiling but rarely offers full-on hysterics.
Somewhat surprisingly, most of the big laughs for the show’s sophomore outing come from the supporting cast. The Legion of Doom – and Bane especially – is front and center, and the schtick of all of these typically fearsome foes actually being big goofballs works really well. Additionally, Frank (Ivy’s live-in killer plant ala Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors) and Kite Man have some great bits as well. So, while the second episode isn’t as raucous as the first, it does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to establishing the general tone for everyone other than Harley, Ivy, and Joker.
Ultimately, this is a fine episode and an easy way to spend twenty minutes. It’s not as funny as its premier, but it provides some chuckles and probably the best version of Bane to grace a television screen.