HARLEY QUINN EPISODE REVIEW S02:E03

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Harley Quinn’s rampage of revenge on the Injustice Society has hit a roadblock. Mr. Freeze is next on her hit list but he’s safely sealed up in an ice fortress with really thick walls that have defied Harley’s attempts to break the ice. Left out in the cold, the only thing that can match Mr. Freeze’s ice ray is an equally powerful heat gun.

Luckily, Firefly’s plasma flame thrower is still in New New Gotham. Unluckily, it’s in the lair of Doctor Trap -a  Z-list villain who started looting all the other villains’ hideouts when Gotham City became a No Man’s Land. His lair is a museum, where people come to see him and they’re welcome to take what they want from his collection… if they can survive the traps around each display.

After one failed attempt at trying to snag one of The Penguin’s trick umbrellas (reasoning that it will be worth more as a collectible now that he’s dead) Harley decides this job might be more than she can handle. Thankfully, the best burglar in New New Gotham is agreeable to a team-up since there’s a ruby in the same museum she was thinking about wanting to maybe steal someday. Unfortunately, Poison Ivy worked with Catwoman once in the past and…. well, things are kinda weird between them.

Meanwhile, as the Gotham City Sirens are getting their groove on, Doctor Psycho is going crazy.  The Riddler escaped from the confines of the hamster wheel that was powering Harley’s lair and the pint-size psychic is justifiably worried about what Harley will do if she gets back and finds out he screwed up the one thing he was told to do while she was out; i.e. not let The Riddler escape.

“Trapped” is a solid episode of Harley Quinn, but I didn’t find myself laughing as hard or as often as I usually do. I suspect this is largely because despite the action of the plot being focused on Harley’s plan to steal Firefly’s flame-thrower, there’s very little of Harley in the actual episode.

More airtime is given to the relationship between Poison Ivy and Catwoman and how the normally confident and aloof Ivy suddenly becomes obsessed about impressing Catwoman and proving that she’s cool enough to work with the queen of the cat burglars. It’s more troubling than funny to see the normally unflappable Ivy fawning over the behavior that she told Harley she found annoying when it was just the two of them together. The comedy is very Mean Girls but the idea doesn’t really work for Harley, Ivy and Selina.

The subplot with Dr. Psycho also doesn’t quite work. It’s a little out of character for him to care about proving his competence, even if his main motivation is keeping Harley from killing him. I also don’t believe for a minute that the Riddler is too smart to fall prey to his mind-control powers. 

Still, the voice acting is solid as always. Sanaa Lathan is a purr-fect Catwoman, playing the role with the right level of playful indifference and a slight growl to her voice that speaks to her feline nature. And while the Kite Man/Poison Ivy romance still doesn’t make any sense to me, Matt Oberg adds an open and honest aura to the character, as he asks for Harley’s help in stealing the perfect engagement ring so he can ask Ivy to marry him… with a real ring this time! 

The best acting in the episode comes from Lake Bell, who manages to make her Daria-esque Ivy seem like she’s having a real crisis of faith. For how little Harley figures into the story, the episode focuses on Ivy as she tries to manage her image of who she was when she used to team-up with Catwoman, who she is now as part of Harley’s collective of not-that-evil evil-doers and where she wants to go in her relationship with Kite Man. I won’t spoil what happens at the end of the episode but it will definitely have an effect on the season to come.

Rating: 7/10

Trapped will be available to stream on April 17th, 2020!

Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.

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