This Harley Quinn review contains spoilers.
Harley Quinn Season 2 Episode 8
Love is messy. Sometimes the best way to distract from a romantic entanglement that’s getting you down is to distract yourself. And that’s exactly what Harley Quinn dedicates herself to this week during “Inner (Para) Demons.” After kissing Ivy and the pair stating that actually it was just a one time thing, a crazy mistake, Harley needs to get her head right and, sadly for the people of Gotham, she has a wild ass plan to do it. And it includes Darkseid.
With the news of the Snyder Cut of Justice League hitting HBO Max next year, this episode couldn’t come at a better time. “Inner (Para) Demons” is chock full of Fourth World love from Parademons to Granny Goodness, Motherboxes, and Boom Tubes as well as a cameo from Darkseid himself. It’s a great little primer for the Jack Kirby-created madness that has been inspiring creators and directors for decades as well as being a super fun entry into the series. With this episode, Harley Quinn showcases one of its biggest talents: the balance of the totally absurd and the emotional.
Whilst Ivy meets Kite Man’s parents, much to her chagrin, Harley is trying to shake a strange feeling. And she knows just how to do it: get an army of Parademons to beat Jim Gordon. Why does she need to take on the commish? That would be because the President of the United States has put a bounty on her head. If Gordon can rid Gotham of Harley, the city might just get put back on the map… literally. It’s an offer too good to resist for Gordon who takes on the challenge but comes up against an unexpected obstacle in his daughter Barbara. The young heroine has settled into her role as Batgirl but refuses to believe Harley is all bad.
Batgirl’s good intentions end up nearly causing the Apokolips as Harley takes some bad advice from Dr. Psycho and heads to another dimension to see Darkseid. Harley Quinn has long been grounded in the streets of Gotham so it’s a lot of fun to see the crew in the strange realm of the Fourth World. It’s not just Darkseid we get to see either as Granny Goodness shows up and we get a brilliantly brutal showdown between two of DC’s strongest women. See, Harley has to beat the leader of the Female Furies before she can take control of the Parademons. And even before she does it, Darkseid has a little question for her… is this really what Harley wants?
Harley’s wacky determination to prove just how crazy she is plays heavily into this episode. At her core, she’s trying to distract herself from a brutal reality, that her kiss with Ivy didn’t mean nothing. In fact, it meant something, something really, really big. Before she comes to that realization, though, she’ll have to destroy a good chunk of Gotham with her new legion of bugs. On the other end of the spectrum is Ivy who is, like so many unfaithful partners, is suddenly realizing what a sweet guy Kite Man really is. She’s especially enamored when she realizes that her fiance also happens to have awful superpowered parents. This paired with her guilt makes Ivy come to a revelation all of her own, but sadly it’s not one that includes Harley.
As is their way, Harley and Ivy’s paths eventually cross as the former rains hellfire on Gotham. Harley’s potential redemption arc and hero’s journey has been lurking in the shadows all season and here the pieces start to come together properly. Not only does Babs warn Harley about her dad because she thinks that her actions this season have been heroic, but Ivy calls on her humanity to ask if the total destruction of Gotham and its citizens is what she really wants.
The answer is no, because what Harley really wants is Ivy. That’s something she realizes as she watches the green-skinned goddess stand in front of the fiery wreckage of the city. But just as she’s about to come clean about her feelings, Ivy declares her love for Kite Man and the pair share a passionate kiss. It’s a heartbreaking moment, but one that feels real, and we’re sure it won’t be the last that we see of this relationship, especially when it’s clear that Harley’s feelings run a lot deeper than she’s willing to let on.