It’s Christmas Eve and Harley Quinn is all alone. Clayface and King Shark had their own plans for the night. Doctor Psycho bailed on her when she decided that world conquest wasn’t the kind of villainy she was interested in. And Ivy… well, they haven’t spoken since the wild weekend in Themyscira where the two crossed the line between friendship and love. But Ivy decided that while she could trust Harley with her life in a fight, she couldn’t trust her with her heart or that Harley wouldn’t get bored with the relationship when the next distraction came along.
This leaves Harley dressed up fancy and in the bar on top of Wayne Tower, looking to get drunk and hook-up. Shame the few people who will talk to her are so boring. The best conversation she has all night is with the last person she wanted to talk to; the non-descript bartender who, before he took a dive into a vat of normalizing acid, was her ex-boyfriend, The Joker!
The night will wind up being anything but dull, however, as terrorists take over Wayne Tower as part of some kind of heist. Harley is an unlikely hero and more reluctant than most. Still, she’s not about to let some random mooks ruin her night, even if the night had already been ruined, technically.
Can Harley save the day and get herself out of this alive, with a trigger-happy Commissioner Gordon piloting the Bat-Wing en route to save the day first? Will Harley even want to survive the night after she gets handcuffed to The Bartender Formerly Known As Mistah J? And most importantly, can Harley keep the newly normal Joker from remembering who she is or from having any more of the anxiety attacks that seem to be bringing his old memories to the surface?
Even without the title as a clue, it’s pretty clear what “Dye Hard” is meant to be parodying. As a comedic parody of the ol’ “base under siege” action movie, the episode is pretty funny and plays up a lot of the clichés of the genre, complete with an awkward scene of Harley crawling through the duct work of Wayne Tower (in a strapless ballgown no less!) while still handcuffed to an incredibly apologetic Joker. Yet there is method to this madness and a far deeper story than any mere sitcom parody.
The story of Season 2 of Harley Quinn has centered around Harley’s growth as a person in the face of her claiming her position among the world’s worst villains. While Harley has become the person she always dreamed of being, she has yet to accept that she’s still evolving, despite her desire to live in the moment and savor things as they are. Most of the conflicts of the season come from Harley’s past decisions that have come to bite her in the butt later because she didn’t want to bother with considering the consequences and we see several of those decisions come to light as it is revealed who is responsible for the heist. It’s deep and deeply moving and surprisingly well-written for a show best known for its silly humor and DC Comics in-jokes and it’s a big part of why I love this show so much.
Dye Hard will be available to stream on June 5th, 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.